This park is situated at
Mu 5, Tambon Ko Phra Thong, occupying an area of 84, 375
rai. It was announced as a national park area on
July 9, 1981. To access Surin National Park, the
shortest distance between the park and Phangnga is to
use the fish marketing pier of Ban Hin Lat around the
mounth of Nang Yong Canal area (the folks there call it
Thun Nang Dam Canal). The access road to the fish
marketing pier is a one kilometer earth road which
branches off from Ranong-Takua Pa Highway at Km.110
(from Ranong), 5 kms. from Amphoe Khura Buri. To
travel from this pier take only 4-5 hours Traveling by
boat from Phangnga (township area), it will take about
13 hours. If boating from Kapur of Ranong the time
will be seven hours approximately.
The best time to visit Mu
Ko Surin National Park is only from December to March.
Attractions within the national park are:
The are consists of Ko Surin Nua and Ko Surin Tai with
more than 10 bays among which Mar Khai or Mae Yai Bay is
renowned for its serenity while Ao Luk or Deep Bay is
famous for its deep dark green waters with a most
beautiful coral reef in the shallows.
Sing tribe, the last
seamen living a primitive life in their houseboats in
Thailand, inhabit Ko Surin Tai beach. Opposite to
the national park office, there is a carved wood
sculpture similar to an American Indian totem. It
is most revered by the seamen tribe. The tribe
convene here annually for a 3-day gathering on the full
moon night of the 3rd lunar month to pay respect to
their totem spirits.
For accommodations in the
area of the national park, contact the National Park
Division, Foresty Department, Tel: 579-0529, 579-4842,
or Mu Ko Surin National Park Office, Amphoe Khura Buri,
Remarks: The most appropriate time to go sightseeing
in the Andaman Sea is from the beginning of November to
mid summer around the end of April. However, prior
to starting each trip information on weather status
should be obtained from the Weather Forecasting
Divition, Department of Meterology (Tel: 258-0437-9) in
advnace for safety.
on the northern rim of the Andaman Sea, and only 8 km. From
the Thailand-Myanmar border.Mu Ko Surin is the meeting place of two ecosystems:
the Tropical Rain Forest on the islands themselves and the
largest, most beautiful and most abundant shallow water
coral reef in Thailand.
Mu Ko Surin is the best place for snorkeling in
Thailand, with rich marine life such as sea turtles and
There are also nature trails and a cultural site of
interest, a Morgan community, the last of the Sea
Gypsies who still live their traditional lifestyle
according to the expansive seas.
Ko Surin Tai
The coral reefs of the South Surin Island are only
100-200 m. wide, but they have more diversity than those
of the North Surin Island.
Some famous diving sites are Ao Phakkat, and Ko Torinla.Ao Tao is the best site to easily see sea turtles,
and has the first underwater nature trail established in
Thailand to learn about the marine ecosystem.
Ko Surin Nuea
island is surrounded by coral reefs in several bays, some
more than 300 m. wide.The reef edge contains numerous corals before
sloping to a depth of 20-30 m.; for example, Ao Chong Khat,
Ao Mai Ngam, Ao Sai En, and Ao Chak. The coral reefs here
suffer little in the way of strong current or wave action
and provide a suitable place to snorkel.The nature trail at Hat Mai Ngam links many diverse
ecosystems ranging through Evergreen Forest, Beach Forest,
and Mangrove Forest to an “underwater forest”, the large
Famed as the most beautiful shallow coral reef in
Thailand, it hosts a vast Staghorn Coral reef, the
habitat of several marine animals ranging from
match-stick lengthed goby up to 4- metre-wide Manta
Ao Chong Khat
is located between the North and South Surin Islands, and
its narrowest point is about 200 m. It can be swam across
during low tide.The water is shallow
and it is a suitable place for playing, and learning to
equipment rental fee is 100 baht/day/set).The shallow water coral reef here has scattered
1-meter-high massive corals and also some submassive corals.
Marine animals found include Sea anemones, over 550
anemonefish, Giant Clams, and small fish such as pipefish,
and small parrotfish.
However, one should be careful when the tide is rising or
falling, and also beware of long-tailed boats since this is
the route to other bays aroundthe islands.
Ao Mai Ngam
safe snorkeling site and the nearest.Can be reached by walking along the 2 km.Nature trail starting at the Substation.The coral reef ranges from 200-800 m. offshore.In the shallower areas, there are many corals,
particularly Foliose, found scattered in large beautiful
Deeper, there are massive corals mixed with Staghorn
Corals to a depth of 12 – 15 m. Massive corals are
habitats of many strangecolored fish like parrotfish,
wrasse, butterfly fish, and anemone fish.
You should snorkel during the high tide period to
prevent damage to these corals.
Ao Mae Yai
In the past, it was home to one of the largest Staghorn
Coral reefs of Thailand.
Today, the area is a rehabilitation site with no
permission to dive other than in the cape area at the
southern tip of the bay site 20 m.
below the surface
A rather remote site due to its distance from the
min. by boat),
and one of the best snorkeling sites of the islands.The coral reef lies at 200-400 m. from the shore,
where Staghorn Corals and several other species can be
reef gradually drops to a depth of 12-15 m.where a few soft corals and sea fans are found.
Ko Surin Tai
A highlight of the area is that Hawksbill Turtles are
often found, as well as Green Turtles and several
species of fish such as butterflyfish and puffer.The reef here is 100-200 m. wide before sloping to
a depth of 20 m. In shallow areas are again found
various corals including Staghorn Corals.There is also an underwater nature trail se out
here, which is a snorkeling treat not to be missed.
The area has a rich diversity of corals, especially
Angelfish are often found and there are no less than 7
species.In deeper areas are found some small soft corals
and sea fans.
The coral reef is about 300 m. long and 100 m. wide,
before sloping to a depth of about 18 m.A popular snorkeling site.
In summer, this area is not only the best snorkeling
site of Mu Ko Surin but also the best in Thailand.It is located about 1 km.From South Surin Island.The coral reef is found on the northern side of the
island and is about 500 m. long and 100 m. wide before
sloping to a depth of 15-20 m. In the shallower areas,
one of the largest and densest areas of branching corals
The submerged rocks between Ko Torinla and Ko Surin are
an interesting scuba diving site.There are several species of softcorals and sea fans, no less than 242 species of
coral reef fish, as well as larger species like Manta
Hat Mai Ngam Nature Trail
trail being about 2 km. Long, is suitable for an hour
trail, you will pass Moist Evergreen Forest, Beach Forest,
Beach and Swamp Forests.Some rare species of bird can be found with careful
Some such as the Large Green Pigeon, the Pied Imperial
Pigeon, but most particularly the Nicobar Pigeon, are found
only on distant offshore islands in the Andaman Sea like Mu
Ko Surin and Mu Ko Similan.
Station 1 Ao Chong Khat: Diving point with several
species of fish.
Station 2 Ficus altissima: Afig tree.Its ripe fruits are the food of several
animals, including Mouse Deer, Flying Foxes, several
types of bird and some larvae.
Station 3 Shoreline Geology: A submerged shoreline.From this point, you can see Ko Pachumba or
Ko Mangkon where there are many Spiny Lobsters.
Station 4 The largest Alexandrian Laurel
Station 5 Beach Forest: Found on lthe shore above
high tide level.
On the sandy beach, Sea Almond
Barringtonia racemosa, and Scaevola taccada, and
sometimes Pandanus sp.Are found.Fpomoea pes-capral cover the sand floor.
Station 6 Wetland: The freshwater pond is a habitat
of plants like Elephant’s Ear
and Fishtail Palms
and small animals like shrimp and fish.
Station 7 Rattan Palm
: A palm that Morgan Sea Gypsies use to sew Pandanus
leaves together to make boat sails and thatches.
Station 8 Mangrove Forest: A spawning ground and
habitat for many animals.
Mangrove helps prevent sediments from the land
flowing into the sea.
Vegetation in Mangrove Forest is adapted for
survival in salt water; for example, White Mangrove
and Sonneratia caseolaris have a salt excreting
gland on the leaf surface, Rhizophorasl have
succulent leaves for water storage and aerial roots
to enable them to breathe above the suffocating mud.
Station 9 Fig Tree: Source of food for wildlife like
birds, squirrels, and monkeys, especially in the dry
Station 10 Licuala sp. : A species of palm found at
the swamp edge or in deeper Swamp Forest.The fruit is a source of food for several
Topography of a Coral Reef
Most coral reefs alrle “fringing reefs”, and it can be
easily observed that these reefs are located along
shoreline connected to a beach.The reef is divided into 3 areas, which are Reef
Flat, Reef Edge, and Reef Slope.
The First Underwater Nature Trail of Thailand
trail was created to promote knowledge and experience in
environmental education on coral reefs, by snorkeling
from stop to stop requiring no more than average
It takes not more than 30 min. to cover the trail, which
consists of 10 stops. There are large numbered signs
tied underwater and by reading the information provided
for each stop in the underwater manual, a whole new
world will open up to you.
For those interested in doing the trail, please contact
the park rangers to borrow the underwater manual and
also rent a boat to reach the start point
Stop 1 Funny Anemone-fishes: There are nine False
Clown Anemonefish living here with the sea anemones.Each has a different behavior.The mother fish usually comes out to protect
Stop 2 Large Tabulate Corals: The coral reef
ecosystem is a rich but limited habitat.Bottom dwelling species have their own means
for survival in the struggle of life.
Stop 3 Huge Giant Clam: There are only 3 species of
giant clams left in Thailand.This particular giant clam is one of the
largest ones reported in Thailand.
Stop 4 Fire Corals
: Fire corals are actually jellyfish and they have a
Stop 5 Fire Corals
can be found everywhere around Surin Islands.
Stop 6 Massive Corals and Fish Bites: Parrotfish
mainly eat corals.
Their parrot-like “beaks” work very well to scrape
Here, you can see the results.
Stop 7 Diverse Corals: This stop tells the story of
se veral species and forms of corals such as massive
corals, branching corals, and submassive corals.
Stop 8 Soft Corals: They are not like other corals.
Discounting their soft bodies, there are many other
factors that make them different.Take a closer look.
Stop 9 Natural Dead Corals
Stop 10 Net Fragment Caught on Corals: Corals can be
destroyed by human beings in several ways either
intentionally or not.Net fragments cut or torn from a boat stuck
on corals cause many problems.
The Last Mokaen
Mokaen Sea Gypsies originally traveled widely in the
Andaman Sea, from the islands of Southern Myanmar to the
seas of Ranong, Phang-nga, Phuket, Krabi, Trang, and
Satun Provinces, and on to some of the Malaysian
The Mokaen of the Surin Islands are the last of their
kind living in Thailand.
At present, about 160 live in large villages in Ao Bon
Lek and Ao Sai En.
They still continue their own traditions like the “Boat
Floating Festival” to appease the sea in May.They are still living as their ancestors did
hundreds of years ago. They use Zalacca trees to
construct boats and dwellings.
If you would like to see the lifestyle of these Sea
Gypsies, you should contact the park rangers in advance
to arrange a suitable time and transportation.Do not disturb them too much, and do not hurt them
and the sea by buying their smuggled shells.If you’d like to help them, you may buy their
handmade products such as natural utensils.