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 are 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 colour. 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, bumphead 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 south east 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

  • 9.3 Superb
  • 29 Verified Reviews
  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Iouri M
  • United States United States

Strong current, but very good experiance

Diving Surin Islands in December on the Sawasdee Fasai

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • 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
  • 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
  • Shiou H
  • United States United States

Great water temperature; visibility varied depending on location. Loved swimming with swarms of fishes alongside me!

Diving Surin Islands in January on the Thai Sea

  • 9.2 Superb
  • minjung K
  • South Korea South Korea

Surin is 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