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The Surin Islands are great for doing nothing and just enjoying the beautiful beaches and nature. But while you are there, there are some very nice and fun activities to do!
Snorkeling and swimming Ao Mai Ngam
Snorkeling is besides relaxing, the main activity on the Surin Islands. You can rent snorkels for 50 baht per day and explore the Ao Mai Ngam bay yourself. Because the bay is shallow for a long time, you can walk quite a distance from the beach and snorkel. The Surin Islands have more than 100 different kinds of fish.
Parts of the coral are unfortunately affected by the warming of the sea. Fortunately, there is still living coral and recovery is being seen.
Ao Mai Ngam is very nice for young children because the bay is shallow for a long time and has a sheltered location. Because of this, the sea here is often very calm. For beautiful snorkel spots you only have to walk into the sea at low tide! At the mangroves, baby sharks are regularly seen.
Snorkel trips around the Surin Islands
Every day there are two snorkel trips, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, these cost 200 baht per person. For this you need to register on a list on the spot. The snorkel tour takes about 2 hours. Usually you will visit two snorkel sites per trip. The places where you will snorkel are always changing, there are many beautiful snorkel spots around the Surin Islands! It’s even an affordable way to see more of the island and its surroundings.
Fish you can go see include clownfish, puffer fish, turtles, reef sharks, manta rays (giant manta rays), dolphins and sometimes even whales!
Beautiful snorkeling spots of the Surin Islands include Ao Mae Yai, Hian Chong Kaad and the island of Koh Torinla.
The most beautiful dive spots
The Surin Islands are known for their beautiful dive sites, one of the most beautiful dive sites in Thailand is Richelieu Rock. Richelieu Rock is also part of the Mu Koh Surin National Park and is located southwest of the Surin Islands. Above water there is not much more to see than some rocks but under water it is fun! There are beautiful coral gardens with hard and soft corals. Besides a great diversity of small and bigger fish you also have the chance to meet a whale shark! Despite their diet of plankton (lucky us!) these fish can grow up to 16 meters long!
Book a dive trip
Most divers go on multi-day tours, you often sleep with other divers on a boat and sail along the best dive sites in the area. The liveaboard tours are best booked in advance. They are quite expensive, but incredibly beautiful if you like diving! It is not possible to arrange this on the island itself. On the mainland in Khao Lak, Krabi and Phuket.
Nature trail, an adventurous jungle trail!
There is an adventure jungle trail on the island, it goes from the Ao Chong Khad beach (headquarters) to the beach of Ao Mai Ngam. Good shoes and some stamina come in handy here because it is a pretty rough path. The nature is unspoiled and you pass a few small deserted bays. You have a chance to see monitor lizards, monkeys and the colorful Nicobar pigeon. The monkeys here are just a bit different and have a kind of pig-tailed macaques. Also take a good look in the trees for the flying Maki, these special creatures also live on the Surin Islands.
The jungle path is about 2 km long and is “open” from 08:00 to 17:00. More information and a map is available at headquarters on the island.
Moken Village is a village of wooden houses on stilts on the beach of Koh Surin Tai. This island is not far from the island of Koh Surin Nuea. The beach on which they live is beautiful! Moken Village is an authentic village with a touch of modern influences. There are some dish antennas and solar panels to see. Yet Moken Village is anything but a tourist village. The Moken, also called sea gypsies, have lived at sea for generations. That’s why they are also called the Chao Le, which means people of the sea. You can learn a lot about their culture, mythology and history if you are interested.
It’s possible to make multi-day trips to Moken Village. Because it is not allowed to sleep on Koh Surin Tai, you will spend the night on the nearby island of Koh Surin Neau. During these multi-day trips you will learn everything about the island and the (edible) plants, fishing and building the boats. You can also go snorkeling with a guide who will show you the most beautiful spots and teach you the snorkeling techniques that the Moken use.
Children and women sell handmade souvenirs like bracelets and wooden statues for small prices. By buying something you support the community.
DID YOU KNOW?
Although you often visit Moken Village as part of a snorkel tour, it’s not appropriate to wear a bikini or swimming trunks through the Moken Village.
More information about the Surin Islands and surroundings in the InfoBox below:
Spending the night on the Surin Islands
By spending the night on the Surin Islands you will experience the islands at its best! Because when the day trippers leave around 15:00 with roaring engines, a great peace descends on the island and you can enjoy the beautiful island to the fullest.
Accommodations in Khura Buri
Khura Buri is located near the Khura Buri Pier in this small town are a number of accommodations that can be useful if you can’t or don’t want to travel to the Surin Islands right away.
- Greenview Resort: Quietly located hotel overlooking a lake and swimming pool. Friendly staff.
- Tom’s House: The hotel will open in 2019. It has very nice rooms with balcony and hot shower and there is even a small swimming pool.
- Country Hut Riverside: Cheapest place to sleep in Khura Buri, it has simple but clean bungalows near the river.
- More accommodations in Khura Buri.
Spending the night in Khao Lak
Would you like to visit the Surin Islands with a day tour from Khao Lak? Then of course you can also just sleep in a hotel in Khao Lak. Popular hotels in Khao Lak with good reviews are:
- JW Marriott Khao Lak Resort & Spa: Luxury and family friendly resort with excellent service, right on Khuk Khak Beach. Fun fact this resort has the longest swimming pool in all of Asia!
- Apsara Beachfront Resort and Villa: Comfortable resort with beautiful swimming pools winding through the beautiful hotel grounds. At the booth of Pakarang Beach and near Pakaran Cape.
- Light Khao Lak Resort: Fine and affordable resort with small swimming pool, family rooms available. Within walking distance (500 m) from Bang Niang Beach and night market.
- DKaYa Hostel: Fresh new hostel, almost on the doorstep of the Bang Niang Market. It’s located 1.2 kilometers from Bang Niang Beach.
The Surin Islands are (reasonably) easy to reach from several destinations. In our article to the Surin Islands, how to get there, you can read more about transportation to and from these beautiful islands in the Koh Surin National Marine Park.
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