National Park coastline – Image courtesy of Kallerna/Wikimedia Commons
Hat Noppharat Thara-Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park
Stretching along the Krabi coastline and extending into the Andaman Sea, Hat Noppharat Thara-Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park is one of southern Thailand’s largest national parks. It covers an area of 390 square kilometres taking in around 80 offshore islands, including the Phi Phi islands.
Spot wildlife on an elephant safari or explore the park on foot along trails fringing the park’s coastal reaches from both Ao Nang and Noppharat Thara beaches. For panoramic views, climb Khao Hang Nak, the highest elevation at 498m-high.
Along the way, don’t miss the amazing ‘Seashell Cemetery’ at Fossil Shell Beach (or Su-san Hoi). Here you can examine thousands of tiny, perfectly preserved 40-million-year-old fossil shells embedded in great concrete-like slabs that lie along the shoreline.
The fossils date back to an age when the area was a large freshwater swamp. Fossil Shell Beach is one of only three similar sites in the world – the other two are in the US and Japan. There's a small visitors centre, with geological displays and various stalls selling snacks.
Su-san Hoi is located on Cape Laem Poh facing the Chicken and Poda islands, around 7km west of Ao Nang.
Location: Shell Cemetery – Around 7km west of Ao Nang
Hours: Visitors centre 8.30am-4.30pm