Liveaboard Diving in Surin Islands

What To Expect on A Surin Islands Liveaboard

A liveaboard dive tour to the Surin Islands in Thailand will take divers to some of the best diving available in the Andaman Sea. Situated in the picturesque Thai province of Phang Nga, the Surin Islands archipelago is about 60km away from the west coast of Thailand in the Andaman Sea. Designated a National Marine Park in 1981, the Mu Koh Surin National Park is formed of 2 large islands, North and South. The islands are covered in granite outcrops that are ringed with pristine coral reefs that provide an underwater spectacle of life and color. Still relatively untouched, liveaboard diving is the best way to experience diving these islands and enjoy nature's finest. Due to its remoteness, some liveaboards only offer a short 4 days schedule.

Surin Islands Underwater

The abundance of marine life in these waters is staggering with regular sightings of cruising white tip reef sharks, barracuda, batfish, ghost pipefish, bump head parrotfish, napoleon wrasse, octopus, mantis shrimp, blue-spotted jawfish and the rarer sightings of seahorses, frogfish, manta rays, and whale shark. Look closely and you may spot black and blue ribbon eels hiding amongst the crevices.

Be wary of the sometimes aggressive titan triggerfish, especially if nesting and protecting their young. Depths range from 5 to 30 meters with warm clear waters, the coral formations in these waters act as a good barrier with fields of staghorn corals dominating the shallows. These reefs gently slope down to a sandy bottom and if you look into the blue, you may see the occasional passing eagle rays.

Dive Sites Of Surin Islands

Liveaboard dive cruises to the Surin Islands usually include diving at Koh Tachai, Koh Bon and the famous Richelieu Rock:

Koh Tachai is teeming with marine life and known for large numbers of leopard sharks. A coral plateau sloping from 12 - 35 m, this site can be challenging at times with strong currents. Usually done as a drift dive, these currents bring high levels of plankton during the months of February – May and in turn the larger pelagics feeding on them such as the Manta Ray and Whale Shark.

Koh Bon, south of Surin Island is known as the perforated island, classified as a deep dive due to a fantastic wall dive that goes down to 42m on the southwest side. Also frequented by a great number of leopard sharks, the usual suspects such as the morays, white tip reef sharks cohabit these waters. Also a popular cave diving spot, this should only be attempted with the right certifications.

Richelieu Rock, to the southeast of the Surin Islands is renowned for whale shark sightings and other pelagics like the Manta Ray, barracuda, giant trevallies, and dogtooth tuna. For the avid macro lover or photographer, this site also provides a plethora of critters, porcelain crabs, tiger tail sea horses, pipefish, harlequin shrimp, nudibranch and more. The current here is mild to strong.

Other dive sites include: Bon Soong Wreck, Ko Torinla, Koh Chi, Hing Gong

Top Tips For Divers

Liveaboard trips to the Surin Islands run from November to May. February to April season often sees an increase in currents attracting the larger marine creatures like whale sharks and manta rays. Visibility ranges from 25-30m during this period and water temperatures range between 26-29c so a 3mm neoprene wetsuit should be enough. Some of the dive sites can be a bit more challenging and are best reserved for the more experienced diver.

Getting To Surin Islands

Some International flights fly directly to Phuket or you can get a connecting flight from Bangkok, with low-cost carriers such as Air Asia also available. It is recommended you check your departure port with your liveaboard operator before arranging your international flights. Most Thailand liveaboards leave from Phuket or Khao Lak. Some may also leave from one port and return to another. Diving in Thailand is accessible to all and there are liveaboards suitable for all budgets.


Surin Islands Diving Reviews

  • 9.2 Superb
  • 89 Verified Reviews
  • 8.8 Fabulous
  • Eric L
  • Canada Canada

Great abundance and variety of Sea Life. Hin Luang dive site will likely be best diving I will ever see.

Diving Surin Islands in March on the Manta Queen 7

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Garry D
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

Manta's, Manta's and more Manta's, need I say more

Diving Surin Islands in March on the Marco Polo

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Rod B
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

Almost a relief to get here after the West Ridge and Koh Tachai which certainly raise the blood pressure. Fabulous drift dives over verdant reefs.

Diving Surin Islands in March on the The Junk

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Tomaz J
  • Slovenia Slovenia

Many sea turtles, sting rays, moray eels, … great diving spots.

Diving Surin Islands in January on the The Junk

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Pierre B
  • France France

Easy dive, perfect to get warm for the Richelieu rock

Diving Surin Islands in February on the The Junk

  • 8.4 Very good
  • Felicity R
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

Poor visibility and some strong currents

Diving Surin Islands in February on the Thailand Aggressor

  • 8.4 Very good
  • dawn M
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

Via was an issue but if you want to see many as and whalesharks it's what you expect.

Diving Surin Islands in February on the The Phinisi

  • 8.4 Very good
  • Nicole S
  • Canada Canada

Cold water 24-25 not good visibility Great marin life

Diving Surin Islands in February on the Sawasdee Fasai

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Christine J
  • United States United States

Very good, tough currents, not recommended for newbies.

Diving Surin Islands in February on the The Phinisi

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Chris W
  • United States United States

Excellent, the vis was very bad but that’s nature!!

Diving Surin Islands in February on the The Phinisi

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Wontae C
  • Australia Australia

Lots of school of fishes but not special.

Diving Surin Islands in February on the Hallelujah

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Adam B
  • United States United States

Beautiful dive sites! Varying visibility but plentiful sea life

Diving Surin Islands in February on the The Phinisi

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Brett B
  • Australia Australia

Great. Recommend AOW as a minimum.

Diving Surin Islands in February on the Manta Queen 7

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Richard R
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

Reasonable diving experience, it's luck as to what's going to be there and we didnt see too much here.

Diving Surin Islands in January on the Hallelujah

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • kevin W
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

Again nice dive sites easy diving and plenty of life down there.

Diving Surin Islands in January on the Thailand Aggressor

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Myeongjin K
  • South Korea South Korea

다양한 생물들이 살아서 좋지만 시야가 그리 좋지 않다

Diving Surin Islands in January on the Sawasdee Fasai

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Janice R
  • United States United States

Not as memorable as Richelieu Rock, but the visibility was better

Diving Surin Islands in January on the Hallelujah

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Guy W
  • Australia Australia

Great. More diversity that Similan Islands. Saw some species I had not seen previously

Diving Surin Islands in January on the Manta Queen 7

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Kathryn C
  • New Zealand New Zealand

Beautiful reefs and the islands were idyllic. As with the Similan Islands, there was plenty of healthy reef life there and the diving was similar but with yet more life.

Diving Surin Islands in December on the The Junk

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Krasimir S
  • Bulgaria Bulgaria

That was fantastic place to dive. Defenitely plenty to see under the water. Clear waters. There was very nice gesture by the crew to organise visit of the islands during the trip.

Diving Surin Islands in December on the The Junk

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Torsten G
  • Germany Germany

Beautiful - though we had quite cold currents in some places ("the green monster")

Diving Surin Islands in December on the Thailand Aggressor

  • 8.0 Very good
  • EVI N
  • Cyprus Cyprus

Beautiful .. Huge school of Barracuda's

Diving Surin Islands in December on the Bavaria

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Simon V
  • Belgium Belgium

Great diving, some thermoclines and green water. Overall beautfiful underwater life

Diving Surin Islands in December on the The Junk

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Karly S
  • United States United States

The most marine life I have ever seen!

Diving Surin Islands in November on the The Phinisi

  • 8.4 Very good
  • FRANCK D
  • France France

same as Similan: fishes, fishes, fishes and healthy corals

Diving Surin Islands in December on the Thailand Aggressor

  • 8.8 Fabulous
  • Kenneth R
  • Canada Canada

Visibility wasn’t the greatest but we did encounter Mantas which is always nice.

Diving Surin Islands in November on the Thailand Aggressor

  • 8.8 Fabulous
  • Allee E
  • United States United States

The was first stop and was a great intro as to what was to come.

Diving Surin Islands in November on the Manta Queen 7

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Thomas M
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

Diving in the remote Surin is an experience not to be missed.

Diving Surin Islands in November on the Hallelujah

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Fernando J
  • Brazil Brazil

Very good dive, water was very warm in Thailand, 32 Celsius. Many fishes and corals.

Diving Surin Islands in April on the Sawasdee Fasai Live Aboard

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Irina O
  • Norway Norway

Challenging current and surge but so much fun,Challenging current and surge but so much fun And beautiful reef

Diving Surin Islands in April on the The Phinisi

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Ben A
  • Israel Israel

The Barracudas school was awsome.Much like the Simillan, very strong currents but lots of fish and marine life

Diving Surin Islands in April on the Sawasdee Fasai

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Peter R
  • Australia Australia

Good for beginners. Lots of drift diving.

Diving Surin Islands in April on the Hallelujah

  • 8.0 Very good
  • Manfred Z
  • Germany Germany

sehr gute Vielfalt an Korallen und Fische

Diving Surin Islands in April on the Sawasdee Fasai

  • 8.4 Very good
  • MICHAEL H
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

We particularly liked Torinda Original dive site - very colourful ref dwellers, several morays, sea horse...

Diving Surin Islands in January on the Similan Explorer

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Myles M
  • United States United States

Colorful and loaded with fish.

Diving Surin Islands in March on the Pawara

  • 8.8 Fabulous
  • rory J
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

Really good lots of schools of fish

Diving Surin Islands in February on the Sawasdee Fasai

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Grant G
  • United States United States

Nice warm water and beautiful fish!,Unreal! Breathtaking!

Diving Surin Islands in January on the The Phinisi

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Boris L
  • Russia Russia

Strong current, but very good experiance

Diving Surin Islands in December on the Sawasdee Fasai

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • ILGUK J
  • South Korea South Korea

Beautiful. Saw many shrimp, lobstar, turtle, rays etc.

Diving Surin Islands in April on the Manta Queen 7

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Melih Cevdet O
  • Turkey Turkey

Alive marine life. Some current, beautiful landscape.

Diving Surin Islands in April on the Pawara

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Bastien M
  • France France

Nice place to dive, especially because we were alone on the diving sites.

Diving Surin Islands in December on the Similan Explorer

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Martin R
  • Germany Germany

Even better visibility the further north we got and the sandy patches are just beautiful

Diving Surin Islands in October on the Pawara

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Lisa M
  • United States United States

Amazing visibility, diverse dive sites

Diving Surin Islands in October on the Hallelujah

  • 7.6 Good
  • Amish S
  • India India

No words to describe the experience. Highlight was my first night dive and the ship wreck an. Richelue rock

Diving Surin Islands in February on the Similan Explorer

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Evan R
  • New Zealand New Zealand

Many enjoyable dives seeing many new species.

Diving Surin Islands in April on the Sawasdee Fasai

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Natalie R
  • New Zealand New Zealand

A lot more diverse fish, change in topography with more limestone formations. Beautiful pink and red corals

Diving Surin Islands in March on the Similan Explorer

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • JAYEON C
  • South Korea South Korea

Interesting to see unique geography.

Diving Surin Islands in February on the The Junk

  • 8.8 Fabulous
  • pablo E
  • Chile Chile

Really beautifull, great life and night dives, nothing to complain.

Diving Surin Islands in February on the Similan Explorer

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Ian T
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

Stunning, Some cold currents but great diving

Diving Surin Islands in January on the Similan Explorer

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Minjung K
  • South Korea South Korea

Surin is good..best diving point in Thailand

Diving Surin Islands in December on the The Junk

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Elena L
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

Real coral garden - every kind of coral in one sight.

Diving Surin Islands in December on the Thailand Aggressor

  • 8.0 Very good
  • Marcel Fernando S
  • Germany Germany

Visibilities were not super good, but a nice variety of animals.

Diving Surin Islands in November on the MV Similan Explorer

  • 8.0 Very good
  • Ursula C
  • Germany Germany

was good and bad, depending from the dives

Diving Surin Islands in March on the The Junk


Origin: US