Mu Koh Surin National Marine Park has been inhabited by local sea gypsies for centuries, they derived their livelihood from the reefs around Koh Surin , as they hosts some of the oldest and most established reefs in Thailand, situated 60 Km North East of the Similans, near the Thai – Burmese border markers.

The two main islands; Koh Surin Nua and Koh Surin Tai are the largest in the Surin group. This Archipelago is much quieter than the Similan Islands, as it is a little off the beaten track for most tourists.

Surin is not only home to local sea gypsies, but also to a great range of wildlife. On the islands itself, it is possible to see; Flying Foxes, Grey Bellied Squirrels, Mouse Deer, crab eating Macaques and white bellied Sea Eagles.

The Surin Islands have a large population of Hawksbill Turtles, which use the local beaches to lay their eggs. Certain times of the year False Killer Whales and Pilot Whales can be seen breaking the surface with their young as they come up for air. Also Sailfish are another common sight here; occasionally jumping spectacularly close to the boats, as if to show off their unique colourful patterns.

The dive sites around these waters consist of sloping reefs and submerged pinnacles; all covered in a huge variety of soft and hard pristine corals. There are stunning coral bommies, which are home to many smaller marine creatures, including many species of Nudibranch, Cowries, Filter feeding crabs, Seahorses, various species of Pipefish and there is an overabundance of Featherstars –many of the species here are exclusive to Surin.

Due to its remote location, the Surin Islands National Park has been relieved from much of the over fishing pressure by local companies, and also being classed as a National Park as helped its cause to. Which help to sustain the reef life and thus not impacting the marine and coastal life too much.

Since its classification of being a national Park back in the 80’s, the Surin Islands have been protected from overfishing and mass tourism which, as we have said, helps to promote a rich marine diversity and excellent reef conditions.

An excellent way to see the reefs is on a snorkel or dive trip with boats leaving Khao Lak area every day, it is not too difficult to jump on one of these boats to enjoy the breath-taking adventures that Surin Island s will offer you.

Some of the critters you will see on your trip out here are indigenous to the islands. Most trips out here will involve an organised trip by using one of the local mainland based companies and will normally involve a pick up from your hotel in the early morning, you will be taken to the speedboat and given a briefing of what is happening that particular day.

After the sail out there you will be given your equipment and life jacket and will be invited to enjoy the local reefs of Surin. Lunch is included and additional in water activities continue until its home time.

Giant Yellow Edged, Undulated and White Eyed are just a few of the Moray Eel family which can be stumbled upon. The well camouflaged Frogfish (aka Anglerfish) are around too, though quite elusive and at times difficult to find. There is a huge variety of scorpion fish here too, such as Common Spot Fin Lionfish, the Raggy, and Bearded Scorpion fish and of course the Reef Stonefish –divers need to be cautious where they put their hands.

Bluefin trevallies, looking for their next meal pursue large schools of glass fish without mercy. Blue Spotted Stingrays and the much larger Feather Tail Stingray can be seen lazing on the sandy areas. The bizarre Garden Eels are a favourite amongst divers as they sway in the gentle current.

Several species of barracuda hunt here too, such as the Great, Pick-handle and Yellowtail Barracuda stalking prey make for an impressive site.  Black and White Tip Reef Sharks are frequently seen here as well as the odd Grey Reef shark.  Snappers, Sweet-lips, Emperors, Groupers and of course the Dotty-backs also make Surin their home.

Surin Islands are fantastic and are remote so it is guaranteed to be quite, the locals Gypsies are very friendly and if you are feeling particularly adventurous, you can stay overnight. There are two main campgrounds where you can erect your own tent. Otherwise, you can rent a large quality tent from Park Authority they will even rent you bedding too. So come and see just what it is like on a remote archipelago in the Andaman Sea.

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