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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
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wunderschön - nicht umsonst schaut auch die Insel mit dem Strand aus wie im Paradies
Diving Surin Islands in November on the Hallelujah