23 Oct Surin National Park
Surin National Park is the lesser known sibling of Similan National Park even though it is in no way any less stunning than Similan. The colorful sea life and underwater landscapes in the Andaman Sea are world famous and attract thousands of visitors every year. Its crystal-clear waters, white sandy beaches and the promise to see astonishing maritime wildlife make this park a tropical paradise. We provide you with the opportunity to experience this beauty off the beaten path to make it the highlight of your Thailand vacation.
Enjoy the quiet atmosphere in Surin National Park…
Found in 1981 as Thailand’s 29th national park, it’s been pretty tranquil here until about 10 years ago, when companies decided to set out on trips to this park. The strict national park rules forbid any kind of housing on the islands, making it largely uninhabited except for a small settling of traditionally nomadic sea people. What some may call a “lack of development” is now one of the islands’ biggest assets as most of them is pure, untouched wilderness, white sandy beaches and colorful reefs, making up a tropical paradise and some of the world’s most amazing snorkeling opportunities.
But let’s dive into it….
Surin National Park covers an area of roughly 140 square kilometers of which 80% are ocean. The remaining 20% are landmass and divided into 5 islands of which Koh Surin Nuea and Koh Surin Tai are the main islands. The national park’s administrative office is located on Koh Surin Neau, as well as a restaurant, handful of bungalows and a few tents. A 2-kilometer hiking trail allows you to explore the dense jungle of the island and the opportunity to make some exciting wildlife sightings such as Pig-tailed Macaques and Flying Foxes.
Do you know the “Moken people”?
During low tide you can walk the 200-meter-wide channel that sets the two main islands apart in order to get to the other main island, Koh Surin Tai. This island is home to the Moken people, sometimes also called Sea Gypsies. These people used to live up to 9 months of the year on their boats, maintaining a nomadic hunter gatherer lifestyle. They would spend the rainy season on land, fixing up their boats and avoid the rougher waters. Today, the Moken have two settlings in the Andaman Sea.
On Koh Surin Tai is one of them, and you will get the unique opportunity to hear their stories and meet their people. Moken children can often swim before they learn how to walk and starting at an early age, they are also incredible free divers and have – due to adaptation – a two times better visibility under water than we have. There is no written language but instead they have stories that they share from generation to generation. One of those stories (the one about the wave that eats men) helped them survive the 2004 tsunami by hiding in the mountains. They didn’t lose a single one of their people.
Snorkelers are welcome in the Surin National Park
The water in the Surin national park is mostly shallow, making it especially great for snorkelers to explore the colorful reefs. Turtles, reef sharks and manta rays are no rare finds. Put on your mask and your fins and watch playful clown fish swim in and out of their home anemones, see majestic angelfish and marvel about the colors of the parrot fish that you will definitely encounter when snorkeling. The waters are calm, making Surin national park a perfect spot for beginning and experienced snorkelers alike. Due to the abundance of spots and our experienced capitaines who do their best to avoid the crowds, the water won’t feel crowded, giving you space to make the memories of a lifetime.