Thursday, January 14, 2010
Bolesav's Surins trip report - visited Dec 09.
View of the main beach where the boat lands - the transportation was with Khuraburi Greenview Resort, but organised for us by our Khao Lak resort owner, who is Dutch - the resort is called Amsterdam Resort, a quiet little place near the beach in Khao Lak.
He reserved the transportation and the bungalows for us (during the week, weekends are busy with Thai people) - the cost of the transportation was TB 1900.
Having Amsterdam organise transport and paying National Parks for the accommodation seemed to be cheaper than the package Greenview Resort was offering and gave us variety at mealtimes. Greenview's package deal meals according to the people who did it this way, were OK but often cold, and the same every night.
We paid for the accommodation once we arrived to the island at the national park's office. National park runs long boats to the snorkeling sites at 9am and 2 pm, the cost per person is 80 TB. cost of the snorkeling gear rent is 80 tb per day
Park has a Nature trail on their map, we tried it and it crosses several broken down bridges, which we climbed anyway, visits nice and quiet beach in front of the Royal navy's barracks and continues to a beach on the other side of the North Surin island.
Tent accommodation on the main beach
Close up of tent area - (tezza-Wow, I'm a sucker for tents on the beach!)
View of the bungalows
Bungalows - we decided on the island bungalows, the cost is 2000TB per night, but you get comfortable bed, own shower, balcony and lockable room vs. tent where there tents are 20 cm apart from each other, approx 25 in a row, hard ground even when using the sleeping mat and no privacy.
Restaurant - food at the restaurant was good, nice variety, too. You have to purcahse "coupons" at the office, you pay with the coupons for the meal and at the end of the stay the office will exchange left over coupons back into TB. the price was TB 80 120 per main meal.One note, the cell phone coverage- we had a local DTAC, but there was no coverage at the islands at all.
---- more inside.
This is a cuttlefish we saw. A few notes on the snorkeling at the Surins islands- the national park organizes the boat tours 2 a day for 80TB, at 9am and 2pm, the trip lasts approx. 2.5-3 hours included 2-3x snorkeling at 2-3 different stops. We were told the best season for snorkeling is Jan-Feb, when the sea is calm. The Surins were hit partially by Tsunami in 2004 and even though the people at the national park will tell you that all the snorkeling spots are equally nice, I did not find this to be true.
This map was done by Thaiforest Booking - click to expand for a clearer view of the snorkelling sites.
The following is my review of those snorkeling sites I visited:
Ao Pak Kaad (South Surin Island) - coral is damaged, occasionally nice spots, almost no fish.
Ao Tao - coral much healthier and varied than Ao Pak Kaad, not too many fishAo Mae Yai - very colorful and healthy coral, variety of different coral species, several species of fish.
Hian Chong Kaad - very nice healthy coral, soft coral with nemo, the depth very low, easy snorkeling.
Ao Suthep -coral very damaged, no fish
Ko Kland - coral in better shape than Ao Suthep, not very varied
Ao Chong Kaaad - coral mushroom like shape with fish
My favorite snorkeling sites (beauty of coral and fish) - Ao Mae Yai and Hian Chong Kaad
In addition to that there is a site (Ko Torinla) which is supposed to be very nice and supposedly one can see manta rays there in Jan-Feb, we had a bit too big waves in December when I was there so the national park cancelled the boat trip there.
Some web sites that provided me the info on the Surin islands:
SURINS ISLANDS COM
SURINS ISLANDS DIVE SITES
KURABURI GREENVIEW RESORT
AMSTERDAM RESORT KHAO LAK
If you want to submit a trip report on the Surins or any other location please send text and any pix to firstname.lastname@example.org