Koh Tapao Noi
Location: Off the southeast coast.
How to get there: Take a boat from Ao Makham Pier.
Koh Tapao Noi was for a long time an unknown Phuket island, but that could all be about to change since January of this year when the Royal Thai Navy decided to begin developing a plan for eco-tourism on the island.
Flocks of colorful and rare hornbill bird live peacefully on the island and can now be observed while trekking or hiking. Although the birds are rare in the rest of Thailand, they have made their home on this Phuket island and adapted to the small human population surprisingly well.
Those in charge of the eco-tourism development on the island have stated that they do not believe that subjecting the birds to a larger population of tourists will harm their natural ecology. One of the main attractions of this Phuket island is feeding the birds rice and bananas, which isn’t exactly what they’d eat normally, but nobody seems to mind.
Birds are not the only attraction on the tiny island of Koh Tapao Noi, however. The lighthouse is also popular. Built in 1890 during the reign of King Rama V, it was constructed to warn boats away in case they strayed too close to the island.
The lighthouse still work and its chief operators are planning to develop a nature trail around the island. There might even be two trails, each around 500 meters long or so, to provide visitors with excellent opportunities for bird watching and wildlife observation.