Mu Koh Surin National Park is an archipelago in the Andaman Sea located approximately 70 kilometers off the western shore next to the Thailand – Myanmar border. The Park comprises 5 major islands; namely, Koh Surin Nuea, Koh Surin Tai, Koh Khai (Koh Torinla), Koh Klang (Koh Pachumba), and Koh Ri (Koh Satok). It was proclaimed a national park on July 9, 1981, and includes islands with beautiful coral reefs in the shallows and various schools of fish of different colors. It offers ideal spots for snorkeling to admire coral reefs in the shallows, especially at Koh Torinla and Koh Pachumba. An ideal spot for scuba diving is the Richeliu Rock, 10 kilometers to the southwest of Koh Surin. This site is a fertile undersea nature habitats various kinds of fish, colorful corals, and where whale shark, the kind Giant of the Sea, is frequently encountered. The most suitable period for a visit is between November and April whereas from May to October is the period of monsoons when there are heavy rainfalls and windy wavy sea.
Mu Koh Surin National Park
Interesting Attractions within the National Park:
Koh Surin Nuea and Koh Surin Tai are two attached islands separated by a water channel. There are both large and small bays scattered around the islands, all with distinctively beautiful beaches. Koh Surin Nuea is where the Park’s Ranger Station is located with a Tourist Service Centre, bungalows, camping site, and long-tailed boats for rent to visit various islands are all here.
Ao Chong Khat is located south of Koh Surin Nuea and has a camping spot on a clean white sandy beach suitable for swimming and snorkeling to see coral reefs with various kinds of colorful fish such as parrotfish and wrasse.
Ao Mae Yai is also south of Koh Surin Nuea and offers a bay of calm sea. It is the largest island in the Surin Archipelago with coral reefs in the shallows.
Ao Sai En is situated east of Koh Surin Nuea, with boat people known as Chao Le or Mogen People the sea tribes settled their life here. They believe in Indian icons carved wood regarded as their sacred items. During the full moon day’s period of April every year, they will gather to pay respect to their revered spirits for 3 days.
Ao Luek is to the southeast of Koh Surin Nuea and offers coral reefs in the where it acts as schools of clown fish.
Ao Chak is to the north of Koh Surin Nuea and offers a white powdery beach and snorkeling spot to admire coral reefs in the shallows.
Ao Mai Ngam is to the west of Koh Surin Nuea next to the headquarters bay. It is a large bay with a long curving beach, beautiful coral reefs. Moreover, there is Ao Mai Ngam Nature Trail through an evergreen forest along the beach, with nature interpretation signs along the 2-kilometres route, taking approximately 1 hour. Along the route, various species of wildlife and flora such as mouse deer, flying lemur, and rare birds like Nicobar pigeon and pied imperial pigeon can be seen.
Ao Bon is located east of Koh Surin Tai and inhabited by another group of the Mogen or Chao Le people.
Ao Tao is located east of Koh Surin Tai and a habitat of a large number of sea turtles near the coral reefs. It offers a snorkelling spot to view soft corals and sea fans.
Ao Phak Kat is to the south of Koh Surin Tai and offers a snorkeling spot to view staghorn coral reefs. It’s also a good spot to do scuba diving.
Ao Suthep is to the north of Koh Surin Tai offers a beautiful coral reefs to snorkle.
Koh Pachumba or Koh Klang situates on the north of Koh Surin Tai. It offers clean white powdery beaches and intact coral reefs where Manta rays and other rare fishes including giant lobsters. The bay is called Ao Mangkon after the Thai name of lobster, Kung Mangkon (Dragon prawn). It is also a spawning site for sea turtles as well.
Koh Khai or Koh Torinla is south of Koh Surin Tai. To the east of the island, there is a very long stretch of coral reefs that are still in perfect condition and ideal for scuba diving.
To Get to Mu Koh Surin National Park:
By car, from Amphoe Mueang Phang-nga, take Highway No. 4 (Phetchakasem Road) toward Amphoe Khura Buri and turn left at Km. 721, 6 kilometres before reaching Amphoe Khura Buri, for 3 kilometres. The Park’s direction sign will be seen on the right.
By bus, the Transport Company Limited operates air–conditioned buses from the Bangkok Southern Bus Terminal on Borommaratchachonnani Road once a day, leaving Bangkok at 8.00 p.m. and arriving in Amphoe Khura Buri at 8.00 a.m., taking a total of 12 hours.
To Get to Thap Lamu Pier:
- From Bangkok, take the Bangkok – Ranong or Bangkok – Surat Thani bus and get off at the Lam Kaen T-junction, Amphoe Thai Mueang. Then, take a motorcycle to Thap Lamu Pier.
- From Phang-nga provincial town, take the Phang-nga – Thap Lamu Pier bus, leaving Phang-nga Bus Terminal, or the Bangkok – Surat Thani or Bangkok – Ranong bus, to Lam Kaen T-junction. Then, take a motorcycle to the pier.
- From Amphoe Thai Mueang, take a Song Thaeo minibus running on the Thai Mueang – Thap Lamu route, Phuket – Takua Pa bus, or Phuket - Surat Thani bus from the market on Phetchakasem Road and get off at Lam Kaen T-junction. Then, take a motorcycle to the pier.
Ferry and Charter Boat
Visitors travelling in groups may contact a ferry or charter boat at:
- Khura Buri Pier, Amphoe Khura Buri, 60 kilometres from the Park, taking some 4 hours. Contact Mu Ko Surin National Park at Tel. 0 7649 1378 and Khura Buri Green View Resort, Tel. 0 7649 1477 - 8.
- Thap Lamu Pier, Amphoe Thai Mueang, taking about 4 hours. For a ferry, visitors may contact any travel agency nearby.
Accommodation: The Park provides 16 bungalow rooms, each room for 2 persons, at 2,000 Baht / bungalow. A tent for rent is also available at 300 – 450 Baht / night. A camping site fee of 40 Baht / night will be charged for visitors bringing their own tents. Admission to the Park is 400 Baht for adults and 200 Baht for children. A boat is also provided to view around the islands 2 times daily at 60 Baht / person.