Surin Islands Snorkeling
Surin Islands Snorkeling
Snorkelling in the Surin Islands not only lets you explore crystal clear, turquoise waters teeming with life but to do so while framed with a perfect green, coastal backdrop. These lush islands are located in the Andaman Sea, waters that allow coral reefs to thrive by providing near perfect conditions for their growth. The five islands that form this archipelago and their surrounding waters are protected by the Mo Kur Surin National Park, with 80% of the park being occupied by ocean. The five islands in the archipelago are Ko Surin Nuea, Ko Surin Tai, Ko Ri, Ko Kai, and Ko Klang. The largest of the islands are Ko Surin Nuea and Ko Surin Tai, with the other three acting as satellite islands and providing fringing reef as well as an amazing vista.
The islands are beautiful regardless of if you´re underwater or above it and is known to host incredible sunsets. The islands, due to their rather remote nature, have remained free of development pressures and in so showcases some of Thailand´s most beautiful views in its rawest form. The larger islands are inhabited by small local communities that average around 150 people per island. With sites accessible for both beginner and advanced snorkelers, the Surin Islands are sure to be a crowd pleaser.
Marine Life in the Surin Islands
Colorful reef fish are everywhere on the reef, dancing between the hard and soft corals that can be seen. Lionfish, anemonefish, moorish idols, flying gurnards, and ghost pipefish are only some of the regulars that can be found here. Many intriguing invertebrates can also be seen while snorkeling here, keep an eye out for the colorful yet small animals like harlequin shrimp and a variety of nudibranchs. Multiple sharks can be seen here from white tipped reef sharks, leopard sharks, black tipped reef sharks, and even the occasional whale shark. Hawksbill turtles and manta rays can also be seen flying through Surin´s waters.
Many other unique and colorful animals of all sizes can be seen while snorkeling here. In fact, with the incredibly high diversity that the islands host it is virtually impossible to not see something new with each snorkel - just remember to keep a careful eye out for the smaller finds and those that like to hide in plain site (looking at you scorpionfish).
Best Snorkel Spots in the Surin Islands
Surin Islands´snorkeling is blessed: you can go to virtually any of the reefs and be blown away by all the critters that call it home. With sloping coral reefs to pinnacles that attracts an incredible variety of life, anywhere with shallow reef in the Surin Islands makes for amazing snorkelling. The most famous spot in the Mo Kuh Surin Marine Park - and one of the most famous spots in the world - is Richelieu Rock which sees the likes of many larger pelagic favorites like whale sharks and manta rays. Ao Tao is one of the best spots in the islands to see turtles and is a favorite among many snorkelers.
Best Time to Snorkel the Surin Islands
The best time to snorkel the Surin Islands is from November to February during Thailand's high season to avoid excessive rainfall. The Mo Kuh Surin National Park is closed from the beginning of May to the end of October during the monsoon season. Since the park is only open during certain months, any time you choose to visit is sure to be enjoyable since it remains warm year round. If you wish to see manta rays, be sure to visit the island from March until the park's closure in May and bring your good fortune with you as they can be trickier to see in shallower waters.
How to Get to the Surin Islands
The best way to get to the Surin Islands on your own would be to depart out of Khuraburi; however, if you wish to explore these islands and explore some more of the beautiful islands in the Andaman Sea, then a liveaboard is likely your best bet and will likely depart from either Khao Lak or Phuket depending on the other areas being visited.