There are several places with the name “Surin” in Thailand, however the one that is of interest is the Surin Islands in the Andaman Sea which is actually close to the Thai-Burma sea boundary. The Surin Islands comprise of 5 other islands that make up the chain of Surin Islands and the area is a designated national marine park known as the Mu Koh Surin National Marine Park.
Surin Island accomodations are limited to a few holiday bungalows and most hotels are located in Phang Nga or at Phuket. A favorite Surin Island activity is camping. There are endless beaches with clear white sand and enough shelter for you to set up camp around the island. Though amenities are spartan but you can bring your own basic necessities. It is advisable that if you want a good camping spot, to bring your own tents and equipment as the rented equipment is located in areas that are not as striking in comparisons. Since the whole area is a marine reserve, other marine activities such as the usual Motorsport types are not allowed in the vacinity. Surin Island tourism is primarily eco-tourism where there are mostly liveaboard packages to tour and sight see the Surin Islands.
The five islands making the whole of the Surin islands are Koh Surin Nua, Koh Ri, Koh Kani, Koh Klang and Koh Surin Tai. The word “Koh” means island in Thai sometimes called “Ko” for short. If you prefer the comfort of a nice bed and fairly modern amenities but do not expect luxury, some of the holiday bungalows are suitable. There are also government bult camping lodges where there is a daily basic cafeteria, canteen and toilets for the visitors. The cafeteria does serve up some good fresh seafood for those who are not able to cook while on the island. To really get to know the Surin Islands try one of the Surin Island tours where you will be taken around the islands to great snorkeling and diving spots. After all, a trip to the Surin Islands is not complete without a Surin Islands adventure tour such as visiting the sea gypsy village (the Chao Lay tribe), jungle trekking in the rich and lush green jungles to observe the wildlife and to see the sea tortoise on Koh Surin Tai.
As the Surin Islands are free from commercialism, anyone who would like to make a trip to the islands are advised to get in touch with the Tourism Authorities of Thailand or book a Surin Island tour package through a bona fide tour agent. There are several package types available. Some include accomodations, stay-on-board tours, day tours or scuba and snorkeling tours. The popular Surin Islands things to do are all based on mostly scuba diving and snorkeling. There are many bays and reefs with rich coral and marine life for all levels of scuba divers. Do make a note that the islands are open to the public on from the months of November to May. Rest of the year it is closed due to the monsoon season.
Some of the interesting things to see in the Surin Islands can be accomplished when you take a boat ride around the islands to observe the beautiful sunset at strategic points along the island shores and some of the places to go on Surin Islands include Luk and Mae Yai bay where snorkeling and diving is highly recommended, Mangkong Bay where you can find large lobsters, the three other smaller islands have remarkable coral tables and reefs as well as marine life. One notable naturally occuring phenomenon on the Surin Islands is the rich phosphorus in the water that iluminates in the night giving off a floourescent effect on the sea surface. This is a unique experience for those fortunate enough to see it and definitely a rare travel experience when you visit the Surin Islands.