40min offshore the Thailand west coast, the Surin Islands Marine National Park holds some of the most breathtaking underwater treasures of the Andaman Sea. The following snorkeling trips are available to this isolated archipelago surrounded by turquoise, warm waters:
We recommend staying in the national park for 1 or 2 nights. This way you will have a more relaxing stay and greater opportunities to see a diverse range of marine life.
Due to its remote location, the Surin Islands National Park has remained free of the pressures of tourist development from the mainland.
Since the creation of the park in the 80's, the Surin Islands have been protected from overfishing and mass tourism promoting a rich marine diversity and an excellent reef conditions.
The tsunami has had limited impacts on the ecosystem, healthy reefs have recovered and most of the sites exhibit few hundred years old coral colonies.
These idealistic conditions make the Surin Islands a haven of peace large schools of reef fish and for ocean giants such as whale sharks and manta rays or napoleon which can occasionally be observed flying majestically in the blue. Koh Surin is also frequented by sea turtles which are often spotted and come to lay down their eggs on the white sandy beaches framing the islands.
There are many interesting snorkeling spots around the Surin Islands. The eastern coast exhibits the best corals within the archipelago. Protected from the main winds and currents, dotted with shallow and sheltered bays, it is the perfect location to explore safely the beauty of Surin.
Either experienced or beginners, adventurous or nervous, young in age or at heart, everybody can come snorkeling at Surin, experienced its wonders and bring back memories and pictures.
Non adventurous or non experienced swimmers would probably prefer snorkeling within the shallow water and most protected part of the reef. The reef flat allows you to get a really close look at the fish. Adults can search between coral boulders and sand patches for a wide range of species such as pipefish, parrotfish or damselfish and children can meet Nemo hidden in its anemone.
One of the best ways to take advantages of all the biodiversity of the reef is probably swimming along the reef crest. You can enjoy the looking closely at the corals and its numerous fish species while keep alert for bigger pelagic species in the depths.
More experienced or adventurous snorkelers can swim along the reef slope on the deepest part of the reef where corals diversity is the highest and colonies the largest. By looking towards the open ocean, you have a good chance to spot the tranquil giants: turtles, rays, groupers, barracudas, sharks.
Sites are chosen carefully to give you the best while caring for your safety and weather conditions. However, Surin offers so many opportunities between shallow bays, small islets and more exposed coasts that you won't swim at the same place twice.
Snorkeling trips are supervised by experienced boat drivers who pick up the adequate snorkeling site and guides that are assisting you inside and outside the water. Equipment is checked to ensure it is appropriate and life jackets are provided onboard for children, non confident swimmers or anybody else who desires.
Waters are warm, clear and calm, providing perfect conditions to put on your mask and fins, even for the first time. Guides are here to help you familiarise yourself with the equipment, teaching your kids on their first snorkeling experience and helping everybody to spot the highlights of the site.
If you get to step on the main island during your visit, a lot of information about the Surin Islands and its marine life are available at some of the facilities of the National Park especially through their small museum. The Surin Islands can be best enjoyed on a more leisurely 3 day 2 night trip.
Broad shallow reefs and steep drop offs mean there is plenty to enjoy for both beginner and advanced snorkelers.
Best opportunities to view whale sharks are at pinnacle sites such as Richelieu Rock during March & February.
The Surin Islands are lined with coral gardens. These regions host a multitude of other marine life.