Ko Surin National Park
Koh Surin, or the Surin Islands, are part of Mu Koh Surin National Park, an environment preserved in its natural, pristine state. Surrounded by the Andaman Sea, this five-island archipelago is located 43 miles (69 kilometers) off the coast of Thailand’s Phang Nga province.
The highlight of the Surin Islands is Richelieu Rock, one of the most famous diving sites in the world. Dive beneath the warm ocean waters to discover sea creatures of every variety, from whale sharks to leatherback turtles. Explorer Jacques Cousteau discovered the purple coral reefs that make this area so famous. Experts and beginner divers can explore the underwater oasis through one of the many dive centers located on the mainland. Snorkelers too enjoy the waters of the Surin Islands.
The archipelago offers plenty of non-diving outdoor exploration. Sunbathe on pristine beaches, swim in the warm ocean or explore the verdant forests that cover the islands. Monkeys and other exotic creatures abound so make sure to have your camera handy throughout your stay.
With its azure water, white-sand beaches and tropical climate, the Surin Islands offers a spectacular exotic getaway. Less popular with tourists than the nearby Similan Islands, this archipelago is home to the ethnic Moken community, who subsist off the land.
Visitors stay on North Surin Island (Koh Surin Nua) or South Surin Island (Koh Surin Tai). Accommodation is fairly basic, with bungalows and campgrounds serving as the prime lodging options. Many people opt for live-aboard diving trips. Because of the undeveloped nature of the islands, there are limited restaurant and shopping options. People come to the Surin Islands to enjoy nature in its purest form; it is an ideal destination if you want to escape from society for a few days.
The Surin Islands’ dive season spans from November through May. The park is closed during the off-season. It is often difficult to gain access from June to October. To get to the islands, take a ferry from points along the Phang Nga coast.