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You can visit the Surin Islands by means of (day) tours and snorkel trips from Khao Sok, Khao Lak and Phuket. You only have to walk into a travel agency and you can often leave the next day. Even multi-day tours with an overnight stay in a bungalow or tent can be booked at almost every travel agency on the spot.
If you have enough time and like to organize the trip by yourself you can save a lot of money, especially with multi-day trips. And you will have the freedom to do whatever you want. If you like your stay, you just stay another night! In this article we explain how to do that.
Buy your own boat ticket
Khura Buri is the place of departure to the Surin Islands, from the Khura Buri Pier the boats leave for the Surin Islands. In the small town there are several travel agencies where you can buy boat tickets. Often the transfer from your hotel in Khura Bhuri to the pier is included.
A return ticket costs 1,700 baht per person and the crossing takes about an hour and a half. Travel agencies in Khura Buri include Tom & Am, Sabina Tours in Khura Buri and Greenview Tour.
Een retourticket kost 1.700 baht p.p. en de overtocht duurt ongeveer anderhalf uur. Reisbureaus in Khura Buri zijn o.a: Tom & Am, Sabina Tours in Khura Buri en Greenview Tour.
From Khura Buri to the Surin Islands
If you travel by bus, chances are you will arrive at the Khura Buri District Transport Station. This small bus station is about 15 minutes drive from the Khura Buri Pier and not far from the “center” of Khura Buri. There are minibuses between the bus station and the pier.
At this bus station you even can buy a ticket for the boat to the Surin Islands, again the price is 1,700 baht including transportation to the Khura Buri Pier. The speedboat to the Surin Islands leaves once a day at 09:00.
From Khao Lak / Khao Sok to the Surin Islands
If you want to travel from Khao Lak to the Surin Islands, you can have everything booked in a local travel agency. It’s not necessary to book a full tour. In Khura Buri you can easily arrange everything yourself. By cab you will travel an hour and a half from Khao Lak. So leave early if you want to pick up the boat that same day.
Important to know is that if you travel by local bus you will probably have to spend the night in Khura Buri. This is usually not the case if you are going on a tour.
If you take the local bus from Khao Sok you will have to change in Takua Pa, the total ride costs about 200 baht per person. Buses run approximately every hour. As far as we know it is not possible to go on a day tour from Khao Sok and return to Khao Sok on the same day.
Belangrijk om te weten is dat wanneer je met de lokale bus reist je waarschijnlijk moet overnachten in Khura Buri. Dit is meestal niet zo als je met een tour meegaat.
Als je vanaf Khao Sok de lokale bus neemt moet je overstappen in Takua Pa, de totale rit kost ongeveer 200 baht per persoon. De bussen rijden ongeveer om het uur. Zover wij weten is het niet mogelijk om een dag tour te maken vanaf Khao Sok en op dezelfde dag terug te keren in Khao Sok.
From Bangkok to the Surin Islands
If you depart from Bangkok take the Southern Bus Terminal (Sai Tai Mai). These are ” VIP busses” Departure time 19:05, scheduled arrival time 05:30. The price depends on the number of seats in the bus and is 603 baht or 804 baht.
Spending the night in Khura Buri
In “the center” of Khura Buri not much happens. There are a number of restaurants, a 7-Eleven, ATMs and some typical Thai grocery stores. Nice to browse around and do your shopping before heading to the islands. For example, you can buy hammocks and snorkels. A popular place to eat something in Khura Buri is the Bai Ya Restaurant, the restaurant looks nice and is known for the delicious food.
Almost opposite the street to the bus station, next to the 7-Eleven is the local morning market (Khura Buri Food Market). Here you can have breakfast with fried banana or just plain fruit for example.
Khura Buri is mainly used by tourists as a transit point to the Surin islands, Khao Lak and Khao Sok. But you won’t find many other tourists there, which is probably why there are only a few hotels to stay the night.
Accommodations in Khura Buri
- Khura Buri 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.
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Travel further from the Surin Islands
From the bus station buses leave for Phuket, Takua Pa, Ranong, Chumphon, Krabi and Bangkok. It is also possible to buy bus / cab / boat combi tickets to Koh Tao (Chumphon) Koh Payam (Ranong) and Koh Chang (Ranong). You can book a complete visa run trip to Myanmar yourself. Buses to Takuapa and Phuket and Chumphon run all day every hour / 1.5 hours.
The first bus from Khura Buri to Takua Pa and Phuket leaves at 08:30 and the last one at 19:30. The travel time to Takua Pa is about 1.5 hours and to Phuket 4 hours. The first bus from Khura Buri to Chumphon leaves at 09:10 and the last one at 21.45 hours.
The bus from Khura Buri to Ranong leaves 3 times a day at 10:40, 19:45 and 21:45, the journey takes 2 hours.
Book bus tickets at 12GoAsia
If you want to travel independently but still want to be sure that the transport is well arranged, you can also book bus tickets at 12GoAsia. You are then sure of a place on the bus. Usually you pay a little commission, but it saves time and arranging. 12GoAsia is a reliable organization which we have often used ourselves.
Is your planned route not listed? Take a look at the website of 12GoAsia, almost everything is possible!
Combi tickets and visa run
Combi tickets to Koh Payam and Koh Chang cost 620 baht with the speedboat. Departures 7 times a day between 09:00 and 17:00.
Combi tickets to Koh Tao (speedboat) leave at 07:00 and 13:00 and cost 1,040 baht.
Combi ticket to Koh Tao (ferry) departure 11:00 costs 800 baht on the spot.
Visa run Ranong combi ticket with bus, cab and longtail boat, departures 11:30 and 15:00. Cost 1.300 baht. Visa run Ranong combi ticket with bus, cab and large boat, departures 11:30, 12:30 and 14:30. Cost 1.500 baht.
Some other great destinations worth a visit: