The coastline of Trang in total extends for over 120 squares km, and has historically been inhabited by sea fishermen whose houses were built at the mouths of streams and rivers flowing into the sea. These people had a simple easy life, fishing and harvesting produce from their surroundings. The coast of Trang is dominated by beaches of the finest quality sand, clear water and a plentiful unspoiled coastal forest. The coastal zone is very natural. This natural unspoiled environment is the last remaining refuge of the strange marine mammal, the Dugong in Thailand. The Dugong is one of the fifteen reserved animals of Thailand, species which have been adopted by the people, because they are endangered, and require special efforts to ensure their survival in the future.
Hat Chao Mai is a very popular name in this region of Thailand, it is used to signify a special beautiful place and many villages, canals, beaches, caves, hills and islands within the national park are called this. Thus the region when designated a National Park. The national park covers 230.86 squares km. The park was established in 1981.
Hat Chao Mai National Park is located on the western shore of Thailand and has connecting area as follows:
North: adjacent to Khao Chong Chan in Amphoe Kan Tang, Klong Meng and Khlong Lam Yao in Mai Fad district, Amphoe Sikao, Trang.
South: adjacent to Malaka channel, Amphoe Sikaow, Trang.
East: adjacent to Khuan Din Dang, Khuan Medjun, Khuan Lu and Khuan Dang.
West: adjacent to Ko Ngai, Ko Mang, Malaka channel
Hat Chao Mai National Park consists of land area and sea area, located in the western side of southern part of Thailand. It covers land area about 93.64 sq.km and sea area of Andaman sea in Indian ocean about 137.21 sq.km. This national park is divided into 2 parts; the first part is the coast land including Muk Island, Kra Dan Island, Wan Island, Cheaung Island, Pring Island and Meng Island. This area consists of a steeply high limestone mountain where the northern part of the eastern side has Chong Chan mountain, Kwan Med Chune Mountain, Kwan Dang mountain, etc. where are the source of many streams which joins together at Bang Sak canal and drains to the Trang river. In addition, this national park also consists of grass field, rainforest, mangrove forest, beach forest and sand beach whereas sea area has the deep sea widely covered with coral reef along the steeply high shoulder of mountain. This coral reef would be found in the Waen Island, Cheaung Island and Kradan Island.
Hat Chao Mai National Park is influenced by the northeastern monsoon wind and southwestern monsoon wind which induces it has a lot of rain all year round. There are two seasons here; the hot and raining season. The hot season starts from January till April while the raining season starts from May till December. Average temperature of March and April is about 35.2 degrees Celsius while the lowest temperature is about 21.2 degrees of Celsius in January and February. Related humidity for all year round is 80 percent and average rainfall is about 2187.3 millimeters. The highest rainfall is in September which is about 158.8 millimeters.
FLORA AND FAUNA
Able to classify into 5 groups as follows:
- Primary rainforest is the main type which covers the inner land area of Nam Rab Mountain, Hot water pond and the eastern part of sand beach including Muk Island. Most of found plants here are Dipterocarpus Chartaceous, Burma reed, and low level woods as found in a general rainforest such as rattans, vines, etc.
- Mixed forest in limestone mountain area has been found in the western part of Muk Island, Cheaung Island, Wan island, Pring island, Bare Na mountain, Meng Mountain, Yong Ling Mountain and Chao Mai Mountain. These consists of plants which grow only in the specific area such as Dracaena Lourieri, Phoenix Paludosa, Euphorbia Lacel Craib, Orchid, etc.
- Beach forest has been found in the area of shore mountain of Muk Island, Chao Mai Island and Meng Island. The important plants here are Casuarinas Equisetifolia, etc.
- Mangrove forest widely covers all area of Bay of Muk Island. The important plants are Rhizophora Apiculata, Ceriops Tagal, Xylocarpus Granatum, etc. At the back side of this mangrove forest are the place of brackish water plants such as Nypa Fruticans, Heritiera Littoralis, etc.
- Aquatic plants society that could be found here are sea grass, seaweed and plankton, especially in the sea area of Chao Mai National Park is the place of the big sea grass.
From survey, could be classified as follows:
- Mammal Animals which are going to be gone in the near future are Sea Cow, Capricornis Sumatraensis, Presbytis Melalophos, Muntiacus Muntjak and Tragulus Javanicus, while the predatory animals that rarely found here are Felis Bengalensis The easily found animals are Aonyx Cinerea , etc.
- Dugong is a kind of marine mammal. It has a slim and shuttle like body parallel to the ground and swims by use of their two Flippers. Its mouth is at the lower part of the face where the upper lip is thick like a pigs nose. Dugong is mostly herbivorous and feeds on sea grass on the sea floor. It is a rare animal in Thailand but still found in Trang. Therefore it is regarded as a preserved forest animal as being categorized in appendix I of CITES. Being hunted for its meat as Foods, caught by fishing gears, holding low reproduction capability, getting affected from coastal pollution which extinguishes sources of sea grass and algae as their nourishing foods, dugong will be extinct in the near future.
- Birds, there are two types which are going to be vanished, the first is the black-necked stork and the second is the lesser adjutant. Also found the rare migrating sandpipers such as Chinese Egret, Nordmann's Greenshank and Chinese Crested Tern.
- Reptiles such as yellow-headed temple terrapin, Indian python and reticulated python.
- Amphibians such as R. Nigrovittata, Ornate Froglet, etc.