Mu Ko Surin Marine National Park
Mu Ko Surin Marine National Park
Tambon Khura, Amphoe Khura Buri, Phang-Nga - Phuket ( Surin Islands )
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Mu Ko Surin Marine National Park

The Surin Islands is an archipelago of five islands in the Andaman Sea, just 60 Km from the coast of southern Thailand. Administratively, the islands are part of Tambon Ko Phra Thong, Amphoe Khura Buri, in Phang Nga Province, Thailand. Since July 9, 1981, the five pristine islands were declared national park and named "Mu Ko Surin Marine National Park", where "Mu Ko" means cluster of islands in Thai language. The Surin Park is one of the most beautiful and diverse dive destinations in Thailand,and its world-famous Richelieu Rock is one of the best ten dive destinations in the world, according to the National Geographic Society, a "must" for divers and snorkellers. The park covers an area of approximately 141.25 square kilometres of which 80% are ocean. The main islands of archipelago are Koh Surin Nuea and Koh Surin Tai, which are separated only by 200 meters of shallow sea, at low tide can walking from one to other. The other three small islands are rocky outcrops, which just protrude from the ocean with some dwarf trees. They are: Koh Ree, also known as Koh Chi or Koh Satok, Koh Klang aka Ko Pachumba and Koh Khai aka Torinla Island. The two largest islands have many bays with white sand beaches and the typical vegetation subtropical. Limited areas of mangrove forests are located in the brackish waters of Mae Yai Bay in Koh Surin Nuea. The Park Headquarters on the mainland is located in the small village of Ngan Yong in Tambon Khura, along the coast of Khura Buri District the nearest access to the Park. The reception house of Park HQ on archipelago is in Ao Chong Kaad on Koh Surin Nuea, where the boats arrive and depart. Two small ethnic minority communities Moken, also known as Chao Ley, or sea gypsies, live on Koh Surin Nuea and Ko Surin Tai. The population of this particular ethnic group is about 150 people. Koh Surin Nuea is the main island of Surin Archipelago. Separated from Koh Surin Tai only by 200 meters of shallow sea, at low tide you can walk from one to the other. Koh Surin Nuea has many bays with white sand beaches and the typical vegetation subtropical. Limited areas of mangrove forests are located in the brackish waters of Mae Yai Bay. Ao Chong Kaad is the main bay on island. Located in the south of island, it has a pristine white sand beach surrounded by crystal clear water, which is ideal for both snorkelling and scuba diving. Among the thick vegetation of the bay there is the reception house of Park HQ on archipelago. Here there are the Park campsite, a laundry service, a small shop, a restaurant, toilets with shower facilities, and a small Scuba Centre for rent diving and snorkelling equipment. The Park campsite provides 16 bungalows for 2 persons each at 2,000 THB per night; the tents cost 300/450 THB per night. While those who has their own tents will pay 40 THB fee person per each overnight stay. Ao Mai Ngam is the other most known bay of Koh Surin Nuea. Located in the west coast, it is accessible by a walking path along 2 km from the HQ. Admission fee: 200 THB per person, 100 THB for child.
Getting to Surin Islands: Archipelago lies in open Andaman Sea off the West coast of Thailand, about 60 Km west of Phang Nga Province. A few kilometres north there is the Myanmar sea border and about 100 Km south is the Mu Ko Similan National Park. The nearest access to the islands is Khura Buri, a small coastal town 90 km north of Khao Lak, the famous tourist resort in Phang Nga Province. From Kara Bhuri's pier departs all daily excursions organized by tour operators to Marine Park, the trip take about 70 minutes by speedboats. Instead, the multi-day diving cruises to Surin and Similan Parks usually depart from Thap Lamu, a small fishing village located just 15 km from Khao Lak. There is no regular boat service for single travellers to Koh Surin from Khura Buri. However, there are a few choices available to reach the islands independently. Among these the cheapest is a place on the deck of fishing boats, about 1,000 THB for a trip of 4 hours. Some tour operators offer also the simple round trip on speedboat for a cost between 1,600 and 2,200 THB. This price includes only the boat passage is instead excluded anything that offers the package tour, but it is a good option for those who wish to see the islands independently. There is also a boat owned and operated by the National Park, a trip that takes 4 hours and costs 1,500 THB. It leaves each day at 09:00. The streets of Khao Lak, Phuket or Krabi are full of tourist agencies and kiosks selling the tour packages offered by many authorized operators. Beware and compare rates before choosing between them, considering not only the cheaper price but also the quality of the proposed service. The majority of these tours provide the transfer by minivan from your hotel with departure at about 06.00; arrival to Khura Buri Pier at 08:30 and departure with the speedboats; arrival to Surin Islands at 10:00; two stop around the islands to enjoy snorkelling and swimming; a long stop for lunch buffet and relax on Koh Surin Nuea; the visit of Moken Village in the afternoon and another stop around the islands to enjoy snorkelling and swimming. The departure time from the Surin Islands is at 15.30; the arrival time at the hotel is between 19.30 and 20.00. The cost of daily excursion from Khura Buri range from 2,800 to 3,500 THB depending on the company and eventual options chosen, and include refreshment on board, the lunch buffet, snorkelling equipment, tour guide, insurance and National Park admission fee, 500 THB for adult and 300 for children. The round trip is performed by large offshore speedboats with engine powers which are close to 750 hp.
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