Surin Islands - Frequently Asked Questions

1. Boats

  • 1.1: How many people will be on the speedboat for day trips & day 1 of Surin 3d2n trip?

  • The speedboats are licensed for between 28-45 passengers, depending on the size of boat, and these maximum capacity limits are always respected. How many people are on the same speedboat as you will depend on the time of year & the day of the week. Christmas/New Year, Chinese New Year, Songkran & other Thai holidays are busier times. Weekends are also typically busier than weekdays, as Surin Islands is a popular National Park for Thai people to visit.

  • 1.2: How many people will be on the longtail boat for days 2 & 3 of Surin 3d2n trip?

  • For the snorkeling sessions, numbers are normally limited to 12-15 maximum. If you are visiting at a quiet time, there may only be 4-6 people on the longtail boat.

  • 1.3: How long does the speedboat take to get to/from Surin?

  • The journey direct from Kuraburi pier to Koh Surin takes approximately 1 hour by speedboat.

  • 1.4: Are lifejackets provided on all boats?

  • Yes, lifejackets are provided on all boats. If you are travelling with children, please ask your trip leader to find you an XS or S lifejacket before leaving Kuraburi pier. Most lifejackets on board are M and fit most adults. There are also some L sizes for the fuller figure.

  • 1.5: Do the boat crew speak English?

  • All trip leaders speak good English and will be able to assist if you have specific requests or questions. Some boat crew only speak Thai but will anticipate your general needs regarding assistance putting on equipment and getting in/out of the water.

  • 1.6: Are towels provided on the speedboat?

  • Yes, there are towels on the speedboat. These will be allocated when you get out of the water after the first snorkeling session.

  • 1.7: Are drinks provided on the speedboat?

  • Yes, there is an ice box containing cold water & fizzy drinks on the speedboat.

  • 1.8 Where should I sit on the speedboat if I am prone to seasickness?

  • If you are prone to seasickness, we recommend you sit in the stable centre of the boat. Avoid sitting at the very front on the boat where the ride will be bumpier.

  • 1.9 Is there shade on the speedboat?

  • Yes, most of the speedboat is in shade. If you want to be in the sun, you can sit at the very front of the boat but be sure to put on sunscreen as the sun is very strong and you may not feel it whilst travelling at speed. Be aware that if you sit at the very back of the boat, you may get the sun on your back, so either cover up or be sure to wear sunscreen.

  • 1.10 Will I stay dry on the speedboat?

  • Generally, you can stay dry whilst travelling in the centre of the speedboat. If you sit at the very front or very back on the boat, you may get wet spray from waves. If there is heavy rain, you may also get wet in the centre of the boat. So if rain is forecast, you may want to take a raincoat.

    During the day, the boat will get wet inside as people come back on board after snorkeling sessions. Be aware that bags left on the floor, may get wet. Therefore if you have valuables that you want to keep dry, e.g. money or electronic equipment, we strongly recommend that you put them in a dry bag. We have 15l litre dry bags for sale but these must be pre-ordered when booking your trip to ensure availability.

2. Snorkeling

  • 2.1: Which snorkeling sites will we go to on Surin day trip?

  • The snorkeling sites visited on the Surin day trip or day 1 of the Surin 3d2n tour will always be protected easy sites on Surin North and Surin South Islands. All sites will be suitable for novice snorkelers. Typically, these include Ao Bon, Ao Sapharot (Pineapple Bay) and Chong Khad (Nemo's Paradise). However, the sites visited may vary depending on weather conditions.

  • 2.2: Which snorkeling sites will we go to on Surin 3d2n trip?

  • On day 1 of the Surin 3d2n tour you will visit the same sites as those on a day trip. These will be protected easy sites on Surin North and Surin South Islands. All sites will be suitable for novice snorkelers. Typically, these include Ao Bon, Ao Sapharot (Pineapple Bay) and Chong Khad (Nemo's Paradise).

    During days 2 & 3 of Surin 3d2n trip you will visit a wide variety of snorkeling sites at all the Surin Islands. These could include:

    - Koh Stork (most northerly island 5 miles from Burmese marine border);
    - Koh Mu Kong (most westerly island with chance of seeing turtles);
    - Koh Torinla (most southerly island with chance of seeing blue spotted stingrays);
    - Hin Pae (a rocky outcrop with chance of seeing juvenile black tip reef sharks);
    - Pad Kaad (a beautiful reef with chance of seeing whiptail rays in the sand);
    - Ao Tao (fringing reef close to the beach where turtles go to nest)

    Which sites are visited may vary depending on weather conditions.

  • 2.3: Is snorkeling equipment provided?

  • Yes, snorkeling kit is provided. After check in at Kuraburi pier, you can choose a pair of fins that fits you. Masks & snorkels will already be on the boat. If you are on a 3d2n tour, keep your snorkel equipment with you for the duration of the trip. At the end of your day trip or 3d2n tour, masks & snorkels should be left on the speedboat and fins returned at Kuraburi pier.

  • 2.4: Do you have masks with corrective lens?

  • We do not stock masks with corrective lens, as there is such a wide variety of potential requirements for people with long or short sighted eye problems. Before you travel we recommend that you purchase some corrective lens that can be inserted into normal masks. There are such lens which can be re-used, so you can insert & remove them into any standard mask you are allocated on all future snorkeling trips. If you are a frequent snorkeler or diver, we would recommend you invest in a mask with corrective lens and bring this with you.

  • 2.5: Can we snorkel in lifejackets?

  • Yes, you can snorkel in lifejackets. Wearing a lifejacket helps to make snorkeling effortless and relaxing. If you are not a strong swimmer, we would strongly advise that you do snorkel in a lifejacket for your own safety & comfort. We also strongly advise that all children snorkel in a lifejacket, even if they are good swimmers. Sometimes there can be surface current and you may drift further from the boat than realized. In such a situation, wearing a lifejacket makes it easier to swim back to the boat against the current when you are tired.

  • 2.6: Will we see whale sharks or manta rays?

  • Whale sharks & oceanic manta rays are both rare migratory species. They travel throughout the Andaman Sea and further afield – there are not resident in any one location. They may occasionally visit the open sea sites at Surin such as Hin Pae, Koh Torinla & Koh Stork, primarily during February & March. However, sightings can never be guaranteed at any time of year. If you are lucky enough to see one, this will be a very special experience. You have better chances of seeing black tip reef sharks & blue spotted stingrays which frequent the reefs around the Surin Islands, particularly Koh Torinla & Pak Kaad which are usually visited during a Surin 3d2n trip (not on day trips).

    If you want to see whale sharks or manta rays, the best option is to join a 3, 4 or 5 night diving liveaboard to Koh Bon, Koh Tachai & Richelieu Rock. These 3 locations all have offshore dive sites which attract migratory whale sharks & manta rays to feed on plankton, particularly between January-March. These sites are better suited to divers than snorkelers due to the strong currents and pinnacle structures. For liveaboard enquiries/bookings, please visit Blue Guru's website.

  • 2.7: Will we see turtles?

  • You may see green or hawksbill turtles whilst snorkeling in Surin Islands. Your chances of seeing turtles are increased by joining a 3d2n Surin tour rather than just a day trip. Turtles lay eggs on South Surin Islands' beaches – these beaches are closed to protect the turtle nests. Turtles may be seen at many snorkeling sites including: Ao Tao, Pak Kaad, Hin Pae, Koh Torinla, Koh Mu Kong & Koh Stork.

  • 2.8: What marine life will we see?

  • Thanks to Surin Islands' shallow reefs and clear water with typical vizability of 20m-30m, you will see a wide diversity of marine life whilst snorkeling. Of course, as with all nature, no specific sightings can be guaranteed. However on all Surin snorkeling trips you are likely to see a wide range of the following:

    -Reef fish, e.g. parrot fish, rabbit fish, butterfly fish & anemone fish (clown fish aka Nemo)
    -Invertebrates, e.g. common pipefish, sea stars & Christmas tree worms
    -Crustaceans, e.g. lobster, shrimps & crabs

    On a Surin 3d2n tour where you visit a wider variety of sites, you may also have the chance of seeing:

    - Sharks, e.g. juvenile or adult black tip reef sharks
    - Rays, e.g. blue spotted stingrays or Jenkins whiprays
    - Turtles, e.g. green or hawksbill

  • 2.9: Are there marine life identification aids on the speedboat?

  • Yes, there are laminated sheets to help identify marine life. If you need additional assistance, you can ask your trip leader. It is always easier to identify a species from a photograph, rather than a verbal description, so if you have an underwater camera it is worth taking this with you.

  • 2.10: Can we snorkel at Richelieu Rock whilst on our Surin trip?

  • Richelieu Rock is in Surin National Park. However, it is 14km offshore from the Surin Islands. Richelieu Rock is an open sea pinnacle which can be subject to strong currents. As such, it is typically considered an advanced dive site, not a snorkeling site. Richelieu Rock is not included in Surin Islands snorkeling trip itineraries. If you want to dive at Richelieu Rock, this can be done by 3, 4 or 5 night liveaboard trip. More info on liveaboard dive trips to Richelieu Rock can be seen on Blue Guru Diving's website.

  • 2.11: Are the snorkeling sites suitable for novice snorkelers?

  • Yes, all the snorkeling sites visited on the Surin Islands day trip and day 1 of the Surin 3d2n trip are shallow reefs in protected waters and suitable for new or inexperienced snorkelers. On days 2 & 3 of the Surin 3d2n tour you visit sites which may be more remote or less protected. However, your trip leader will always judge the sea conditions and ensure the snorkeling spot is safe bearing in mind snorkelers' level of experience. There are a wide variety of snorkeling spots in Surin, so your trip leader can always choose sites protected from prevailing currents or waves. We strongly advise that all novice snorkelers wear lifejackets for their own safety & comfort.

  • 2.12: Is snorkeling affected by rain?

  • You can still snorkel in the rain. If it is raining, you may wish to bring a rain coat with you to wear whilst on land at lunchtime.

  • 2.13: Is snorkeling affected by the wind?

  • The wind affects wave height and surface currents. There is a wide variety of snorkeling spots Surin Islands facing in different directions, so once out in Surin National Park, it is normally possible to find sites which are protected from the wind.

    If there are extremely high waves, it can be dangerous for the speedboat to make the crossing from Kuraburi to Surin Islands. The wind can pick up later in the afternoon, so sometimes it may be necessary to leave Surin slightly earlier than scheduled to get back to Kuraburi before the waves get too big. The journey between Surin & Kuraburi will typically take longer if there are big waves. In the interests of safety, Surin Islands trips may be cancelled in the event of very strong wind and high waves.

  • 2.14: Has there been coral bleaching in Surin National Park?

  • There was a coral bleaching event across the whole of South East Asia in May 2010. This affected the shallow hard coral reefs at Surin Islands. The reefs worst affected were temporarily closed to aid recovery but all were re-opened by 2014. There are still some signs of dead corals caused by coral bleaching. However, in general, the reefs have recovered well with plenty of new coral growth now evident. A wide diversity of marine life remains living on Surin's reefs, so there are still great snorkeling opportunities.

  • 2.15 How do the Surin Islands compare to Similan Islands, Phi Phi, Krabi and Phuket?

  • Similan Islands, Phi Phi, Krabi and Phuket are all mainstream tourist destinations. They are easily accessible from either Khao Lak, Krabi or Phuket, which are all busy tourist locations. This means the number of tourists visiting each of these snorkeling spots is much higher than those visiting Surin Islands, which is 250+km away from where the majority of tourists stay in Phuket and Krabi resort areas.

    Koh Phi Phi, Krabi and Phuket are all year round destinations, although there still may not be the opportunity to snorkel every day during low season due to the monsoon. Similan Islands and Surin Islands are closed from May – October for the monsoon season.

    Like Surin Islands, Phi Phi and Similan Islands are in National Parks due to the natural beauty and diversity of marine life in these specific locations. Surin Islands' sites are generally considered better for snorkeling than diving, whereas sites in Phi Phi and Similan Islands are generally considered better for diving than snorkeling. To experience the best snorkeling spots in Surin National Park, we recommend joining the 3 day/2 night snorkel trip which visits quieter sites on the outermost islands away from the daily speedboats.

3. Meals

  • 3.1: Where is food served on Surin trips?

  • All meals are served at Surin National Park's restaurant at Chong Khad on North Surin Island.

  • 3.2: What type of food is served in Surin National Park's restaurants?

  • For day trips, lunch is a buffet of Thai food with the choice of chicken, seafood & vegetable dishes with rice. Vegetarian dishes (soy protein, egg tofu or omelette) are provided for vegetarians who inform us of their dietary requirements in advance.

    For 3d2n trips, breakfast is a choice between American Breakfast (fried eggs & toast) or Thai Breakfast (fried rice). Lunch & dinner are set menus served family style with a choice of chicken, fish, seafood & vegetable dishes with rice. Vegetarian dishes (soy protein, egg tofu or omelette) are provided for vegetarians who inform us of their dietary requirements in advance.

    Most dishes are not very spicy – just watch out for the odd small chilli! If you want to add spice, Thai condiments are available including fish sauce & chilli powder.

    Please bear in mind that this is a Thai National Park restaurant 60km offshore from a small Thai town on the mainland. So there's not the same wide variety of food choices that you get at restaurants in mainstream western tourist locations in Phuket, Khao Lak or Bangkok.

  • 3.3: Are vegetarians/vegans catered for?

  • Vegetarian dishes (soy protein, egg tofu, vegetables or omelette) are provided for vegetarians. Vegan dishes are typically limited to soy protein, vegetables & rice. After booking a trip, vegetarians & vegans should inform us of their dietary requirements in their online snorkeler form.

  • 3.4: Can my food allergy be catered for?

  • After booking your trip, please inform us of any food allergies in the dietary requirements section of your snorkeler form. Your trip leader will then be informed and will do their best to ensure suitable dishes are available. There is always plenty of rice.

  • 3.5: Is self-catering available?

  • Self-catering facilities are not available on Surin. However, there is a free supply of hot water in the National Park restaurant, so you can make pot noodles to supplement your meals or mix milk formula for infants.

  • 3.6: Can you buy snacks on Surin?

  • Yes, there is a snack shop at Chong Khad's restaurant selling crisps, Thai style snacks & fizzy drinks.

  • 3.7: Can you buy alcohol in Surin National Park?

  • Yes, you can buy cans of beer at the snack shop in Surin National Park headquarters at Chong Khad.

  • 3.8: Is it safe to leave food in our tents?

  • It is not advisable to leave food in your tents, as it will attract monkeys & insects.

4. Accommodation

  • 4.1: Where are the tents located?

  • Guests on our 3d2n trips will be allocated tents on the beach facing the sea at Chong Khad, Surin National Park's headquarters. Chong Khad is our primary choice of location for overnight guests, as it is easy to access and has the most facilities being the headquarters of Surin National Park.

    It is also possible to stay in tents on the beach at Mae Ngam between December-March. At low tide, it is harder to access Mae Ngam and it is necessary to walk 400m through the forest from a shallow bay to the campsite. Please advise at the time of booking if you prefer to stay at Mae Ngam.

  • 4.2: Is bedding provided in the tents?

  • A sleeping bag, pillow and thin sleeping mat is provided for each person staying in a tent.

  • 4.3: Are towels provided for overnight stays?

  • Yes, a towel is provided. You may want to take an additional towel of your own, as it can be nice to have an extra one when snorkeling for 3 days and camping for 2 nights.

  • 4.4: Can you book bungalow accommodation in Surin National Park for us?

  • We stopped offering the Surin Islands bungalow option at the beginning of the 2014.

    This is because the Surin Islands national park had a total of 22 bungalows which fell into disrepair and have been completely unavailable for these past 3 seasons.

    During the 2016 – 2017 season the national park initiated a program to overhaul and update the bungalows for the 2017 – 2018 season. Once the necessary work has been done then we will relaunch our Surin Islands 3d2n tour with bungalow accommodation option. We will also offer all our clients who are already booked on the Surin Islands 3d2n camping tour for the 2017 – 2018 season the option to upgrade to a bungalow.

    We expect the additional cost to be 2,500Bt per night per 2 person bungalow and we expect the work to be completed by or before the 1st November (the opening date of the Surin Islands national park).

  • 4.5: Can you arrange accommodation in Kuraburi for before/after our Surin trip?

  • Yes, we can arrange accommodation at Boon Piya Resort in the centre of Kuraburi town. The price of a double/twin room with air con, hot water & free wifi is 750Bt+ per night. Please see the Kuraburi accommodation page of our Surin Islands website for more info & photos.

  • 4.6: Can you arrange accommodation on Koh Phra Thong before/after our Surin trip?

  • Yes, we can arrange accommodation at either Moken Eco or Horizon resorts on Koh Phra Thong. Logistically, it is better to stay on Koh Phra Thong after your Surin trip. However, it is feasible to stay on Koh Phra Thong before your Surin trip, if this suits your travel itinerary better. For more info on Moken Eco, Horizon and transfers between Kuraburi pier & Koh Phra Thong, please see our Koh Phra Thong website:

  • 4.7 Is it possible to sleep on the boat instead of a tent?

  • The speedboat returns to Kuraburi every day, so it is not possible to sleep on it. It is also not suitable to sleep on a longtail boat. If you want to do a snorkeling or diving trip sleeping on a boat, you could join a liveaboard trip. The 5d5n liveaboard itinerary on Blue Guru's website includes Surin Islands, as well as Similan Islands, Koh Bon, Koh Tachai & Richelieu Rock. Please see Blue Guru's website for more info on liveaboard itineraries, boats & prices.

5. Facilities

  • 5.1: What toilet/shower facilities are available at Surin?

  • There are 2 blocks of toilets/showers for men & for women at Chong Khad headquarters & campsite. The toilets are western style with Thai style hoses. No toilet paper is provided but this can be bought at the kiosk in the restaurant. The showers & sinks have cold water.

    There are 2 single toilets in the Chong Khad reception area and an outside shower on the campsite beach.

    Mae Ngam campsite also has a block of toilets/showers for men & women.

  • 5.2: Is there electricity at Surin?

  • There is generator electricity overnight from about 6pm-6am. A torch is helpful for use in your tent at night.

  • 5.3: Can I charge electrical devices at Surin?

  • There is only generator electricity overnight in the National Park. So it is possible to recharge electronic equipment between 6pm-6am. There are sockets in the reception area and restaurant. There can be high demand for these sockets, so it is recommended to either plug devices in as soon as you get back from the afternoon snorkeling session, ready for when generator switched on at 6pm and/or to take an extension lead to create additional sockets for multiple devices.

  • 5.4: Is there wifi at Surin?

  • There is usually wifi available when the generator is on in the evening from 6pm. It is slow and unreliable but usually ok for emails.

  • 5.5 Is there phone signal in Surin National Park?

  • AIS and DTAC phone signals are sometimes available but cannot be guaranteed.

    True move signal is not available.

  • 5.6: Is there an ATM, currency exchange or credit card facility at Surin?

  • No, there is no ATM, currency exchange or credit card facilities in Surin National Park. Only Thai baht cash is accepted in the Surin Islands.

  • 5.7: Do I have to pay for any snacks & souvenirs in Thai Baht cash?

  • Yes, any snacks, fizzy drinks, beer or souvenirs you want to buy in Surin Islands must be paid for in Thai Baht cash.

    We recommend you take small Thai baht notes, as change may be limited, especially in the Moken Village.

    Surin National Park operates a coupon system for all purchases in its restaurant, snack shop & souvenir shop. Work ouk how much to need to pay for the items you want; give that amount of cash to the National Park receptionist at the reception desk; receive required amount in National Park coupons; hand over National Park coupons at the restaurant kiosk, snack shop or souvenir shop to make your purchases.

  • 5.8 Are there any safety deposit facilities in the Surin Islands?

  • Yes, there are lockers in the reception area at Chong Khad headquarters. These are charged at a daily rate.

  • 5.9: Are there any shops in the Surin Islands?

  • There is a National Park kiosk at Chong Khad restaurant selling snacks, fizzy drinks, beer, toilet paper & toothpaste. There is also a National Park souvenir stand in Chong Khad restaurant selling t-shirts, sarongs & fisherman pants.

  • 5.10: Do any of the staff in Surin National Park speak English?
  • Yes, some of the Surin National Park staff speak English. On Surin snorkeling day trips, your trip leader will speak good English. On Surin 3d2n trips, there will be staff on the island dedicated to looking after 3d2n guests. Most of these staff will speak some English.

6. Activities

  • 6.1: Can we dive whilst on a Surin day trip or 3d2n trip?

  • No, the Surin day trip and 3d2n tour include snorkeling only.

    There are no diving facilities on Surin Islands for visitors.

    If you want to dive at Surin Islands, there is a 5 night liveaboard itinerary which includes diving at Surin Islands, as well as Similan Islands, Koh Bon, Tachai & Richelieu Rock. For more info or to book this liveaboard trip, visit the Blue Guru website.

  • 6.2 Is there a dive operator based on Surin Islands?

  • No, there is no dive operator based in Surin National Park.

    If you want to dive at Surin Islands, there is a 5 night liveaboard itinerary which includes diving at Surin Islands, as well as Similan Islands, Koh Bon, Tachai & Richelieu Rock. For more info or to book this liveaboard trip, visit the Blue Guru website.

  • 6.3 How can we dive in Surin National Park?

  • If you want to dive at Surin Islands, there is a 5 night liveaboard itinerary which includes diving at Surin Islands, as well as Similan Islands, Koh Bon, Tachai & Richelieu Rock. For more info or to book this liveaboard trip, visit the Blue Guru website.

  • 6.4: Can we swim or snorkel from shore whilst staying in Surin National Park?

  • You can swim from Chong Khad campsite beach at high tide. At low tide the water is too shallow for swimming. You should not swim or snorkel from the front beach by Chong Khad reception due to boat traffic.

    You can snorkel from Mae Ngam campsite beach but be aware of boat traffic.

  • 6.5: Can we visit the Moken Village whilst in the Surin Islands?

  • Yes, all Surin snorkeling day trips & 3d2n trips include a visit to the Moken Village. The timing of visits are subject to tide times.

  • 6.6: What is the Moken Village?

  • The Moken are traditionally sea gypsies without nationality who live at sea in Burmese, Thai & Malay waters. The Thai government have allowed some Moken to settle and build homes on one beach in Surin National Park. They are also allowed to fish in the National Park waters for their own subsidence. No Thais or foreign nationals have this right. The original Moken village on North Surin Island was destroyed in the 2004 Tsunami. After the Tsunami, their village was re-built on South Surin Island. As well as houses on stilts, their village has a school & community medical facility.

    You can visit the Moken Village as part of your snorkeling day trip or 3d2n tour. Your trip leader will give you more information about the Mokens during your visit. There is also an information board in Thai & English in the village.

    To support the Moken community, you can buy handcraft souvenirs from the women & children in the village. Please take small Thai Baht notes, e.g. 20, 50 & 100, as they do not have the money to give change from 500 or 1000 Baht notes.

  • 6.7: Is there any hiking in Surin National Park?

  • There is a nature trail from Chong Khad campsite to Mae Ngam campsite.

    Please be aware that this is not an easy walk in many places. You may have to climb over large rocks or fallen trees. It is therefore not suitable for young children, elderly or disabled people. You should wear good footwear such as trainers or sandals, not flip flops. You should also not carry too much, apart from water, as you need your hands free when climbing over boulders.

    The nature trail is only open in daylight and you should be sure to allow sufficient time to get back to your campsite before dark. Always let someone know that you are walking along the trail and give them your expected time to return back, so that a search team can be sent if you get injured and cannot return without assistance.

  • 6.8: Is there any wildlife to see on land in Surin Islands?

  • There are monkeys which you may see on the roofs of National Park buildings or raiding the National Park recycling bins. Make sure you don't keep food in your tent or you may get a visit from the monkeys!

    There are resident flying lemurs at Chong Khad headquarters. Look on the trees near the picnic benches & toilet blocks and you may see them. If you are very lucky, you may see one spread its wings and soar from one tree to another.

    For bird watchers, look out for the Hornbill that can often be seen around buildings between Chong Khad toilet blocks. If you attempt the nature trail, you may see or at least hear monitor lizards in the undergrowth.

  • 6.9 Are there rubbish bins on Surin Islands?

  • The National Park provides rubbish bins in the restaurant and additional recycling bins nearby. There are separate bins for glass, plastic & general waste.

    In the restaurant there are large bowls for all food scraps and biodegradable waste. Please use these bowls for all food waste, rather than putting it in the general waste bins. Please help keep Surin litter-free by disposing of all rubbish in the bins. Better still, take your own rubbish back to the mainland with you and dispose of it responsibly there.

7. Transfers

  • 7.1: Can we be picked up from / dropped off in Phuket?

  • Yes, when joining a Surin snorkeling day trip or 3d2n tour, you can be picked up or dropped off in Phuket. Please be aware that it is over 200km from Phuket to Kuraburi, so pick up time is early – typically between 5am-5.30am, depending on your exact location in Phuket. The journey takes between 3 ½ - 4 hours, depending on traffic and where you are staying.

    If possible, we recommend you stay in Khao Lak or Kuraburi the night before your Surin trip, so that you do not have such an early start or long journey before your speedboat transfer to Surin Islands. The extra charge for a Phuket pick up or drop off is 500Bt per person. This will be added to the balance payable in cash upon check in at Kuraburi pier.

  • 7.2: Can we be picked up from / dropped off in Khao Lak?

  • Yes, your Surin day trip or 3d2n trip includes complimentary shared minibus transfers between Khao Lak & Kuraburi pier. Pick up is between 6.50am – 7.30am, depending on where in Khao Lak you are staying. The journey takes about 90 minutes.

  • 7.3: Can we be picked up from / dropped off in Kuraburi town?

  • Yes, your Surin day trip or 3d2n trip includes complimentary shared minibus transfers between Kuraburi town & Kuraburi pier. Pick up is between 8am – 8.20am, depending on where in Kuraburi you are staying. The journey takes about 15 minutes.

  • 7.4: Can we be picked up from / dropped off in Khao Sok, Ranong, Surat Thani or Krabi?

  • We can arrange private taxi transfers from Khao Sok, Ranong, Surat Thani & Krabi to Kuraburi pier. Please ask at the time of booking for this additional service to be included in your invoice. We use the only registered taxi provider in Kuraburi and all taxi services must be booked & paid for in advance, with as much notice as possible to ensure availability.

    For Khao Sok & Ranong it is possible to get an early morning taxi between 6am-7am direct to Kuraburi pier on the day of your Surin trip.

    For Surat Thani & Krabi, we recommend travelling to Kuraburi the day before, as the taxi journey is longer and it would be a very early start at 5am or before.

  • 7.5: Can we be picked up from / dropped off on Koh Phra Thong?

  • If you are staying on Koh Phra Thong before your Surin trip, you will need to charter a longtail boat leaving the island at 7am to arrive into Kuraburi pier at 8.30am in time to check in for our Surin trip.

    If you are staying on Koh Phra Thong after our Surin trip, you will need to charter a longtail boat leaving Kuraburi pier at 16.30 to arrive at Koh Phra Thong at 18.00.

    We no longer offer a Surin Islands speedboat pick up or drop off service at Koh Phra Thong for many reasons, e.g.:

    1. The sea conditions on the west coast of Koh Phra Thong where all the resorts are located are unreliable and prone to big waves if it is windy. This means it is not possible to guarantee that the speedboat will be able to come into the bay and pick up/drop off guests on the beach. If it is not possible, guests cannot join the Surin trip they booked and are disappointed. However, with the longtail boat it is possible to leave Koh Phra Thong from the east coast in any weather conditions, so guests can be assured of joining the Surin trip they booked.

    2. Getting on & off the speedboat at Koh Phra Thong usually involves wading waist high into the sea, as the speedboat cannot come right onto the beach. Over the past 9 years that we have been operating, this has proven often not to be popular with guests, especially when they have bags that get wet.

    3. There is a large surcharge for the speedboat to come to/from Koh Phra Thong. This makes it cost prohibitive for many guests. Most prefer the cheaper option of doing the Surin trip before or after their stay on Koh Phra Thong, so that there is no extra transfer cost & time.

    4. Diverting via Koh Phra Thong to pick up & drop off guests adds an hour to the total speedboat journey time. This means that the time in Surin gets reduced by an hour if the speedboat diverts via Koh Phra Thong to pick up and drop off guests. If customers join at Kuraburi and go direct to/from Surin, they get an extra hour in the National Park.

7. Transfers (cont.)

  • 7.6: How do we transfer to/from Koh Phra Thong before/after our Surin trip?

  • If you are staying on Koh Phra Thong before your Surin trip, you will need to charter a longtail boat leaving the island at 7am to arrive into Kuraburi pier at 8.30am in time to check in for your Surin trip.

    If you are staying on Koh Phra Thong after your Surin trip, you will need to charter a longtail boat leaving Kuraburi pier at 16.30 to arrive at Koh Phra Thong at 18.00.

    If you are booking your Koh Phra Thong accommodation with us along with your Surin Islands trip, we will include your longtail boat transfer in your invoice and make the necessary arrangements for you. We can include accommodation & transfers to Moken Eco and Horizon resorts on Koh Phra Thong. For more info, see our Koh Phra Thong website.

  • 7.7: Can we get the overnight bus from Bangkok to Kuraburi in time to make the trip?

  • Yes, most overnight VIP or 1st class buses from Bangkok get into Kuraburi bus station well before the scheduled minibus pick up time of 8.15am. Do check the expected time of arrival when booking your bus ticket at the Southern Bus Terminal in Bangkok.

  • 7.8: Can we make our own way to/from Kuraburi pier?

  • There is no public transport between Kuraburi town and Kuraburi pier, which are 6km apart. Taxis from outside the Kuraburi area often get lost when bringing customers to the area, as there are 3 different piers. If you are driving yourself, we can send you a map and GPS co-ordinates to help you find the correct pier. However, to ensure you get to the right pier on time before the speedboat leaves, we would strongly recommend either:

    - joining the minibus service from Kuraburi or Khao Lak included in your Surin trip or
    - booking your taxi through us if coming from other locations in Southern Thailand.

  • 7.9: Can we just book speedboat transfers to/from Surin without booking a tour?

  • We do not offer transfer only services – only fixed tours including speedboat transfers, snorkeling, snorkeling kit, food & National Park entry fees.

  • 7.10: Is there a slow boat or ferry service to Surin Islands?>

  • No, there is no slow boat or ferry service to Surin Islands. The only way to get to/from Surin is by speedboat.

  • 7.11: What time does the speedboat leave/return to Kuraburi pier?

  • The speedboat leaves Kuraburi Pier at 9am and returns between 4pm-4.30pm.

8. Pricing

  • 8.1: Do we need to pay a deposit to book a trip?

  • Yes, a deposit must be paid to reserve your places on the trip. If you have not paid a deposit, you do NOT have a booking.

  • 8.2: What is the booking fee?

  • The booking fee covers the cost of taking the deposit payment including PayPal fees, currency exchange rate losses and bank charges. The booking fee is 10% of the deposit amount only. There is no additional amount charged on the balance payment, which is payable in Thai Baht cash.

  • 8.3: For pricing, how old is an adult, child & infant?

  • Surin National Park sets the following age ranges:

    Adult – aged 13+
    Child – aged 6-12
    Infant – aged 0-5

  • 8.4: What are Surin National Park fees?

  • Most National Parks in Thailand charge entry fees to contribute towards maintenance costs.

    The entry fees for Mu Koh Surin National Park are:

    Adult – 500Bt
    Child – 300Bt
    Infant – no charge

    These entry fees are paid as part of your trip booking and you do NOT need to pay any extra on arrival in Surin Islands. There is no discount for Thai Nationals.

  • 8.5: Can we get a discount as Thai nationals?

  • No, there are no discounts available to Thai nationals. All prices are fixed and the same for all nationalities.

  • 8.6: Do we get a discount for bringing our own snorkeling kit?

  • You are welcome to bring your own snorkel equipment but there is no discount.

  • 8.7: Can we pay the balance for our trip by credit card?

  • Your balance on arrival can only be paid in Thai baht cash.

    If you wish to pay the full amount in advance upon booking, you can pay by credit card via the secure PayPal system in your preferred currency, e.g. sterling, dollars or euros. However, please note that if you pay the full amount (deposit & balance) in advance via PayPal, a 10% booking fee will be applied to the full amount to cover the additional costs of PayPal fees, currency exchange rate losses and bank charges.

  • 8.8: Can we pay for items in Surin National Park by credit card or foreign currency?

  • No, credit cards & foreign currency are not accepted in Surin Islands. All payments for extras such as souvenirs, snacks & beer can only be paid in Thai baht cash.

    There is no ATM on Surin, as there is no mains electricity. You should therefore bring sufficient Thai baht cash from the mainland for the duration of your trip. It is also recommended that you bring small notes for buying souvenirs in the Moken Village, as the Moken do not have the money to exchange large notes. There are lockers in the reception area at Chong Khad if you are worried about keeping your money safe during your trip.

  • 8.9: How much money should we take for our trip?

  • You should take some Thai Baht in small notes if you wish to buy any of the following:

    - souvenirs, e.g. 100-200Bt per wood carving
    - snacks, e.g. 20Bt for small bag of crisps
    - fizzy drinks, e.g. 40Bt for small can of coke
    - beer, e.g. 80Bt for small can of Chang

  • 8.10 What is the price just for transfers between Kuraburi & Surin without snorkeling?

  • We do not offer this service. We only offer all-inclusive tours with transfers, food & snorkeling services.

  • 8.11: What is the price just for accommodation in Surin without snorkeling?

  • We do not offer this service. We only offer all-inclusive tours with transfers, tent accommodation, meals & snorkeling services.

9. Medical

  • 9.1: Are seasickness tablets provided?

  • Yes, seasickness tablets are freely available from the reception desk upon check in at Kuraburi pier. They are also available on the speedboats. If you are prone to seasickness, we would recommend taking a seasickness tablet 1 hour before each speedboat crossing.

  • 9.2: Is there a first aid kit available?

  • Yes, there is a first aid kit on the speedboat and at Surin National Park reception. However, if you know you will need certain pharmaceutical items, we recommend that you take them with you to ensure availability.

  • 9.3: Is there a doctor in Surin National Park?

  • No, there is no doctor on Surin. If you need attention from a doctor, you would need to return to the mainland.

  • 9.4: In the event of medical emergencies, how long would it take to transfer to hospital?

  • The speedboat journey from Surin to Kuraburi pier takes 1 hour. From Kuraburi pier to Kuraburi hospital takes 15 minutes. Kuraburi hospital has a 24 hour emergency department. If you need to go to an international hospital for more serious injuries or illnesses, the journey from Kuraburi pier to Phuket International Hospital takes 3 hours.

10. General

  • 10.1: When is Surin National Park open?

  • Surin National Park is open from 1st November – 30th April. Sometimes, if the weather allows, it may also be open from 15th October – 15th May. However, due to the weather, it is not possible to guarantee that speedboats will be able to go from Kuraburi to Surin Islands in October or May, so we only offer snorkeling trips between 1st November – 30th April.

    Surin National Park is closed from May-October for the monsoon season.

    Chong Khad campsite is open from November to April.

    Mai Ngam campsite is open from December to March.

  • 10.2: Can I visit Surin National Park between May-October?

  • No, Surin National Park is closed from May-October for the monsoon season.

  • 10.3 How far in advance do I need to book?

  • We would recommend as far in advance as you can to ensure availability on your preferred dates. As a very minimum, you should book at least 2 days before your preferred departure date to allow sufficient time for the payment process, booking confirmation & arrangement of your transfers & boat insurance. Furthermore, trips often get fully booked within the last 48 hours before departure, so you should not leave your booking until the last minute.

  • 10.4 Can I book for tomorrow?

  • We can take bookings for the day after tomorrow but not tomorrow. This is because it takes time to process the payment and make all the necessary arrangements including transfers, boat insurance and catering. Furthermore, trips often get fully booked within the last 48 hours before departure, so you should not leave your booking until the last minute.

  • 10.5 Can we book by phone or in person?

  • No, we only take internet bookings. Please complete the online enquiry form and we will send you all the necessary information by email including a secure payment request link to secure your booking.

  • 10.6: Why do I need to complete the online snorkeler form?

  • Our online snorkeler form provides us with all the information required to arrange your boat insurance, transfers & meals. This form should be completed for everyone in your group, including infants and any non-snorkelers, as we need to arrange boat insurance, transfers & meals for every person joining the trip, regardless of whether they're snorkeling.

  • 10.7: What items should we bring on a Surin Islands day trip?

  • We recommend you bring the following items on a Surin day trip:

    Swimwear
    Sunscreen
    T-shirt or rash vest to snorkel in as added sun protection
    Camera
    Waterproof bag to keep personal possessions dry on the boat
    Thai Baht cash in small notes if you wish to buy souvenirs

  • 10.8: What items should we bring on a Surin Islands 3d2n trip?

  • We recommend you bring the following items on a Surin overnight trip:

    Swimwear
    Sunscreen
    T-shirt or rash vest to snorkel in as added sun protection
    Camera
    Toiletries & any medication you require
    Mosquito repellent
    Toilet paper (not provided in National Park toilets but available to buy in the kiosk)
    Towel (one is provided but it can be nice to have a second one)
    Waterproof bag to keep personal possessions dry on the boat
    Thai Baht cash in small notes if you wish to buy souvenirs, fizzy drinks or beer

  • 10.9: Can we bring all our luggage on a Surin overnight trip?

  • If you are travelling very lightly and have backpacks, then it is fine to take all your luggage with you on a Surin overnight trip. However, we would recommend not taking large cases or items that you do not need in Surin, as it takes up space on the boat & in your tent and may get wet on the boat. All surplus luggage can safely be left in the office at Kuraburi pier for the duration of your trip.

  • 10.10: Can we leave our luggage somewhere safe whilst on our Surin Islands trip?

  • Yes, you can safely leave large suitcases and any other surplus luggage in the office at Kuraburi pier for the duration of your Surin trip.

  • 10.11 Is it safe to leave our belongings in our tent whilst snorkeling?

  • Theft is generally not a problem on Surin Islands and your belongings left in your tent should be safe whilst snorkeling. We would recommend only taking belongings that you need diring your trip and leaving excess belongings in safe keeping at Kuraburi pier office. We would also recommend not leaving valuables such as money or smartphones in your tent, just as a precaution. There are safety deposit in the reception area at Chong Khad where you can store your valuables.

  • 10.12: Are Surin trips suitable for babies?

  • This very much depends on the temperament of the baby and whether they will be happy spending most of the day on a boat & sleeping in a tent. There are no baby facilities available, i.e. no baby life vests, no high chairs, no baby cots etc. However, if you feel your baby is adaptable enough to join the trip, there is no minimum age limit.

  • 10.13: Are Surin trips suitable for elderly people?

  • This very much depends on the individual. There is the need to climb in & out of boats on several occasions. Whilst assistance will be provided, an individual needs a reasonable level of physical ability to be able to walk & climb up/down ladders. Similarly, whether camping is suitable for an elderly person, very much depends on the individual.

  • 10.14: Can we change the date of our trip?

  • If for some reason you cannot make the date of the trip originally booked, it may be possible to move dates. However, we cannot guarantee this will be possible, as it is subject to availability. We recommend you contact us as soon as possible if you decide you need to change dates.

  • 10.15: What happens if we need to cancel our trip?

  • If you need to cancel your trip, we can write you a letter for your insurance company, so you can claim back your non-refundable deposit. Please refer to our terms & conditions before booking.l

  • 10.16: In what circumstances might our trip be cancelled?

  • Trips are rarely cancelled and only in the case that sea conditions make it unsafe for speedboats to travel between Kuraburi & Surin. In such a scenario, we would offer you the choice of switching the date of your trip or receiving a full refund. Please refer to our terms & conditions regarding cancellation.

  • 10.17: What are your booking terms & conditions?

  • Our terms & conditions can be read on our website.