Surin National Park
Situated in Tambon Ko Phra Thong and covering an area of 84,375
rais (33,750 acres), Mu Ko Surin is an archipelago of 5 islands:
Ko Surin Nuea, Ko Surin Tai, Ko Ri, Ko Khai, and Ko Klang.
It was declared a national park on July 9, 1981. The archipelago
is located in the Andaman Sea, near the Thai-Burmese sea border,
to the west coast of Thailand. There are beautiful and unspoilt
coral reefs; the area is suitable for snorkelling. The best
time to visit is from November to April.
Ko Surin Nuea
has several bays. The most well-known bay is Ao Mae Yai, the
largest bay that offers calm waters. To the southeast of Ko
Surin Nuea lies Ao Luek, which is so deep that the sea appears
dark green, offering splendid shallow corals as well as sea
weeds, sea flowers, coral lines, and various species of fish.
Sea Gypsy Village, a Singha, or Morgan, Sea Gypsy tribe resides
on the shore of Hat Sai En, Ko Surin Nuea. There are 130-150
sea gypsies who still hold on to their traditional ways of
life and still live in their boats. On shore, there is a wooden
sculpture resembling the Indian Totem Pole and is considered
a sacred area. Every year, on the 15th day of the waxing moon
in April, the sea gypsies in this village would worship their
respected spirits. The event lasts for 3 days. Ao Mai Ngam,
situated to the west of Ko Surin Nuea with the National Park’s
office nearby. There is a 2-kilometre walking path that you
can take to enjoy the natural features of Hat Mai Ngam or
you can take a longboat ride. The lovely bay provides fresh
water and a long beach that is best for snorkelling and swimming.
Ao Chak, situated to the north of Ko Surin Nuea. The bay possesses
unspoilt coral reefs.
Interesting attractions on Ko Surin Tai include Ao Tao, situated
to the east of the island. The bay is home to numerous sea
turtles and magnificent coral reefs. Ao Phakkat, situated
to the south of Ko Surin Tai. It is where unspoilt coral reefs
can be seen.
Ko Klang or Ko
Pachumba has a scenic bay called Ao Mangkon. The bay is teeming
with splendid coral reefs and many schools of various kinds
Ko Khai or Ko Torilla, situated to the south of Ko Surin Tai.
On the eastern side of the island there is a long stretch
of unspoilt and picturesque coral reef. Snorkelling is the
most recommended activity here.
Mu Ko Surin can be initiated from several different points:
- Khura Buri Pier is the nearest point to Mu Ko Surin. Khura
Buri is some 125 kilometres north of Phang-nga. A boat trip
takes around 4 hours. There is no regular boat service for
travellers to Ko Surin. Boats leaving from Khura Buri are
suitable for group tours.
- Amphoe Kapoe
Pier is in Ranong Province. The trip takes 7 hours. Visitors
may contact Chansom Tara Hotel (tel: 0 7783 5317-9) which
has boats leaving Chan Damri Beach for trips to Mu Ko Surin.
Note: The best
way for individual travellers is to join a trip out of Phuket
that includes Mu Ko Surin on the itinerary. This typically
lasts at least 3 days and includes visits to Mu Ko Similan.
There are lodges,
bungalows, tents, and restaurants available. Admission fee
is 200 baht. Scuba diving equipments are available for rent.
For more information, contact Mu Ko Surin National Park, Amphoe
Khura Buri, Phang-nga, 82150, tel: 0 7649 1378, 0 7641 9028.