Mu Ko Lanta Marine National Park
Mu Ko Lanta, Thailand
MARINE PROTECTED AREA
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Mu Ko Lanta National Park (Thai: อุทยานแห่งชาติหมู่เกาะลันตา) is a national park in the southern part of Krabi Province, Thailand, consisting of several islands. The two largest islands are Ko Lanta Noi and Ko Lanta Yai. Although both are inhabited, Ko Lanta Yai is the primary tourist destination. The park was established in 1990 and altogether covers 134 km2 (52 sq mi).
Ko Lanta was once known by its Malay name, Pulao Satak, which means Long Beach Island. Later, many Thais, both Buddhist and Muslim, moved to the island making the island known as the island of “a million eyes” ("Lanta" in Thai). The name may also be derived from the Javanese "lan-tas", or fish grill (built of wood with a square grill on top where the fish are set in a circle).
Ko Lanta is mountainous and rugged, especially near the southern tip; some beaches are gravelly, while others have fine white sand.
A clan of Chao Ley, or “Sea Gypsies” lives on Ko Lanta Yai. The clan still practices many of their ancient customs and ceremonies, such as the setting of ceremonial boats adrift to bring good luck and prosperity on the full moon nights of the sixth and eleventh month.
Ko Lanta is surrounded by many islands of the southern Andaman Sea, known for their dive sites.
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