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SURIN ISLANDS, BEACHES & STAY OVERNIGHT
The Surin Islands consist of the 5 islands, Koh Surin Nuea, Koh Surin Tai. Koh Torinla (Koh Kai), Koh Pachumba and Koh Ree (Koh Stok). Together they form the Mu Ko Surin National Park. The Surin Islands are an hour and a half’s sailing from Khao Lak, 100 km from the Similan Islands, 160 km from Phuket and not far from the border with Myanmar.
The Surin Islands are very beautiful, it is said that they are the most beautiful islands of Thailand. Also the snorkeling and diving possibilities are among the best in Thailand, the visibility underwater is regularly 30 meters!
Koh Surin Tai & Koh Surin Neua
On the slightly more southern island of Koh Surin Tai is the Moken Village, where the Moken (also called sea gypsies) who have lived in this area for generations. The Moken are the only allowed permanent residents on Koh Surin Tai. Tourists are allowed to visit the island and the village but are not allowed to sleep there.
The small islands Koh Torinla (Koh Kai), Koh Pachumba and Koh Ree (Koh Stok) are surrounded by beautiful reefs. That is why they are visited next to the two big islands during snorkel tours.
The only island where you can and may sleep is the northern Koh Surin Nuea. Here there are also facilities such as tents, bungalows, a restaurant, toilets / showers, a restaurant and a small store. Koh Surin Neea is the largest island of the Surin Islands.
Spending the night on the Surin Islands
By spending the night on the Surin Islands you will experience the islands at its best! When the day trippers leave around 15:00 with their engines running, a great peace descends on the island.
Koh Surin Neau is a beautiful island with white beaches, pristine jungle and good snorkeling opportunities. You can sleep on the beaches Chong Klad Bay and Ao Mai Gnam. Currently camping is only possible on Ao Mai Gnai. Sleeping in a bungalow is still possible on both beaches.
Tents and Bungalows
If you want to spend the night on the Surin Islands, you can choose a tent or bungalow. There are no luxury hotels on the Surin Islands. All accommodations on the island Koh Surin Neua are basic. So you will have to sacrifice some comfort anyway. But the experience of sleeping on this magical island makes up for that.
When you go camping on Ao Mai Gnai, you change from the speedboat to a longtail boat at Chong Klad Bay. This longtail boat brings you to a beach near Ao Mai Gnai. From there it’s a short walk (200 meters) on a good path through the jungle to the beach where the tents are.
Camping on the Surin Islands
Camping on the Surin Islands is very affordable. The tents cost 300 baht per night, per tent (not per person) there are 2 pillows, 2 sleeping bags and 2 (thin) mats to lie on. There are larger tents available for three to four persons, which cost a little more. The tents are set up in several rows on the beach. So it can happen that your tent is in row 2 and you see the sea between the tents. But don’t worry with a rollover or two you are already on the beach.
Because there are cheeky monkeys on the island you get a lock to close your tent. Opening a tent zipper is peanuts for them. Tents can be rented on the island at the reception, there are more than enough. The showers (cold water) and toilets are shared.
Bungalows on the Surin Islands
The bungalows on Koh Surin Neua have more comfort than the tents but don’t expect luxury. You have your own bathroom with shower (cold water) and toilet. There are different types of (family) bungalows. Just don’t dive into your bed with a big leap,… We have heard that the mattresses are rather hard. Some bungalows also have a balcony with a partial sea view. Most bungalows are not directly on the beach, unlike the tents. But don’t worry, you never have to walk far.
The bungalow has air conditioning but it only works between 18:00 and 08:00. For a bungalow you pay about 2.000 baht per night. Bungalows are better booked in advance, because there are fewer bungalows than tents on the island.
Dinner on the Surin Islands
Eating on the Surin Islands is possible in the large covered restaurant or at the picnic tables in the sand. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are all at the same location and can only be served at fixed times. If you come too late, well then you really are too late. You can order dishes from the menu or order set menus. All food in the restaurant is Thai, except for a slice of bread with jam maybe… So don’t expect pizza or fries!
- Breakfast is from 07:30 tot 09:00, set menu cost = 120 baht
- Lunch is from 12:00 tot 14:00, set menu cost = 250 baht
- Dinner is from 18:30 to 20:00, set menu cost = 280 baht
There is a small store where you can buy some snacks and drinks. Hot / boiled water is free. Bring some of your favorite instant noodles, snacks and/or drinks you can’t live without from the mainland. Also bring enough cash because there is no ATM on the island.
Is there a Walking Street on the Surin Islands?
No, fortunately not, apart from a jungle path there is not even a street. In the evening there is not much to do. The restaurant/reception and the small store is the so called center of the island. You can sign up there for the snorkeling trips, rent a safe for valuables and charge your phone if there is a plug free. And with a little (un)luck you will have wifi reception.
Surin Islands, what does it cost?
Because the Surin Islands belong to a National Park you have to pay 500 baht per person to visit the islands. This ticket is valid for 5 days. The speedboat trip (1.5 hours) from the Khura Buri pier costs 1,700 baht return. Per person you will therefore lose 2,200 baht anyway to get to the Surin Islands alone. This is all easy to organize yourself on the spot.
Snorkel tour to the Surin Islands
If you book a snorkel tour in Khao Lak or near the pier you pay about 3,200 baht for a day trip. The boat leaves at 9:00 am and you will be back around four o’clock. The snorkel tour includes the 500 baht park fee, a visit to three snorkel sites and a visit to the Moken Village. Lunch, fruit, drinking water and snorkeling are also included in the price. It’s not a bad deal, because if you would book all this separately you would lose about as much. In addition, you probably won’t be able to see so much in one day. For people who don’t want to compromise on comfort, this snorkel trip to the Surin Islands and sleep in Khao Lak is a good solution.
Multi-day tours to the Surin Islands
On the multi-day tours you sleep one night in a tent. Multi-day tours cost around 5.200 baht per person. On the tour we saw you go snorkeling once and visit Moken Village the next day. All meals and the park fee are included in the price. If you like everything is arranged for you it is a great option. But if you organize it yourself it will be cheaper.
What is te best travel period to visit the Surin Islands?
If you have the choice we would choose for the months December, January or February. You have the most chance of dry weather and bright blue skies.
The Mu Ko Surin National Park is closed every year from about May 1st until October 31st. In those months the weather can be very turbulent. The opening and closing dates of the national park can vary slightly because it depends on the weather and whether the boats can still sail. During the closure of Koh Surin national park, nature has time to recover. Therefore, you cannot make day trips to these beautiful islands in the province of Phang Nga during this period.
More information about the Surin Islands and surroundings in the InfoBox below:
Staying 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.
On the Surin Islands there are a number of fun and beautiful activities to do, soon you will read more about this.
The Surin Islands are (reasonably) easy to reach from several destinations. In our article travel to the Surin Islands, you can read more about transportation to and from these beautiful islands in the Ko Surin National Marine Park.
People who visit the Surin Islands often visit the following destinations:
- Khao Lak
- Similan Islands
- Koh Lanta
- Krabi Town and surroundings
- Ao Nang
- Khao Sok National Park
View our selection of impressive photos of destinations or special days in Thailand through our Picture This section.
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