Ko Rawi, Thailand
Ko Rawi is the big island to the North-West of the Tarutao National Marine Park in South-West Thailand.
There is nowhere to stay on Ko Rawi, so there is nothing much to report about the off-the-beach-snorkelling, I’m afraid.
One of the two organised snorkel trips out of Lipe and Adang stop briefly on the South Coast of Rawi. There is an account and a few underwater pictures here.
Some friendly yachties once took me along on a trip around Rawi and we did some snorkelling at a couple of spots. The underwater life there looks very similar to that in Adang and Lipe. Lots of brown Porites (“Hump”) Coral in reasonable-to-good condition, with minor patches of other hardy hard corals like Double-Star and Brain. Plenty of common reef-fish.
There are two Ranger Stations on Rawi, but they are for Rangers only – they aren’t open to visitors.
Some old travel guides mention that you can camp independently on Rawi, but this is now forbidden after a couple of incidents where foreign campers and moored-up-yachties were shot dead in robberies. The perps were (apparently) Burmese fishermen who were in Thailand illegally. One of the incidents is recorded on the UK Government travel advice website, so presumably the stories are kosher.
If you wanted to visit, your best bet is to take the day trip, or if you wanted to throw money at it, you could charter a private longtail for the day (about 3000B). But the snorkelling is really about the same as Lipe or Adang, which are much easier to get to.
Written: Feb 2014 . Last Updated Feb 2014