When Is the Best Time
Tours are offered from October until May. Very best time for snorkeling around Surin islands from late January until the end of February due to a very calm sea at this time of the year. The sea can be rough, and seasickness can be an issue. On the other hand, this time of the year is the busiest. Continue reading to figure out your best time for the Surin Islands and our top spot for diving.
Shoulder Season – Less Crowded
October, November and April, May except Easter
October is sometimes still too rainy and trips are canceled. May is hot but usually still nice.
December until March. Prices are at the highest level. Surin is not offered daily and should be booked a few days in advance. Similan Islands and Surin Islands are very popular for snorkeling. We got told that the reefs around Surin are more beautiful and Similan beaches are overrun. The trips are pricey therefore think twice where to go and when.
Tip for Divers
Divers should book a liveaboard trip for a couple of days. One outstanding dive spot is Richelieu Rock. Follow the link for detailed information and pictures.
Where and Tips
The snorkel trips are offered from Khao Lak, and you get a pick up at the hotel. Depending on the location of your hotel the pick up can be very early although the boat leaves the pier around 8.30 a.m. Mostly a light breakfast and lunch is included but not worth to mention. Prices and quality vary a lot. Check first before booking.
The speedboat ride takes around 70 minutes across the Andaman Sea to the Surin Islands. We anchored 3 times always 40 minutes in crystal clear blue water for snorkeling. We spotted lots of blue corals but also bleached ones, colorful fish, and on our third snorkel place at a destroyed reef we followed a turtle. The reef was impacted by the tsunami but is still famous for sharks and turtles.
The trip includes a stop at a sea gypsy community, the Morgan Tribe Village. They are protected and supported by the Thai Princess. They don’t own a passport. You get a short insight into their life. In between, we had lunch which was average, and we preferred to explore the island and snorkel again.
If your schedule allows stay at least one night in a beachfront tent for less than 10 $ or try to book one of the few basic bungalows. One of the most beautiful beaches for camping is Mai Ngam. It’ll be an excellent experience when all day trippers already left the island after 2 p.m. Sunsets and sunrises are amazing. You hear the monkeys in the trees. Book your independent snorkel trips on Surin Island which is much cheaper.
Jellyfish occurs in the sea. We saw several, but luckily none of our group got a sting. Anyhow protect your body from jellyfish and the powerful sun.
Where to Stay in Khao Lak and the Ko Surin Islands
There is a huge variety of hotels for every budget around Khao Lak. Bookmark the link and check the recommendations of other travelers. Khao Lak Hotels When booking a snorkel day trip to the Surin Islands book either through your hotel or directly with the operator but not in one of the many travel agencies. If you book through an agency, you do not know what to get at the end. There are differences in the quality of the boats, the guides, and the food.
It's more difficult to organize a stay on the Surin Islands in the National Park. There are simple tents and roughly ten basic bungalows owned and offered by the headquarter of the Surin Island National Park which means the government. It is not allowed to pitch your tent. Give the National Park Organisation a call and try to book one of the few opportunities for a stay. If you are not limited in time stay here for a couple of nights. Telephone Number for the Surin Islands Headquarter: +66 76-491378 and +66 076-419028