Mu Ko Surin National Park
For many years Mu Ko Surin was an unspoiled group of islands, acting as
a refuge for fishing boats during storms and hosting small communities of
sea gypsies. In this situation the islands provoked little interest and
for a long time were recorded as a National Forest Reserve by the Royal
Forest Department. But on 30th December 1971 the National Committee on Wild
Animal Reservation and Protection suggested that the islands should become
a wildlife sanctuary. This was thwarted when it was realised that the islands
occurred within the exploratory area leased to Weeks Petroleum Ltd. An alternative
plan then proposed to develop the islands as a Vietnamese refugee camp.
This idea was rejected as it was realised that the translocation and support
of so many people in such a fragile environment, would soon result in damage
to the islands pristine land and marine habitats. The Royal Forest Department
appreciated the islands unique nature and their tourist and research potential.
Thus the Royal Forest Department opposed the development of the islands
and instead proposed the establishment of a national park to protect the
area. Mu Ko Surin was eventually gazetted as the 29th National park of Thailand
on 9th July 1981.
Mu Ko Surin National Park is situated in the Andaman
sea approximately 60 km from the Coast of
Province in the southern
peninsula region. The park covers an area of approximately 135 km2. Of the
protected area 102 km2 or 76% is sea. The park comprises 5 main islands;
Ko Surin Nua, Ko Surin Tai, Ko Ree (or Ko Satok), Ko Glang (or Ko Pachumba)
and Ko Khai (or Ko Torinla). Ko Surin Nua and Ko Surin Tai are large islands
and are situated on a north-south axis. A few kilometers to the north of
the park is the Myanmar border and about 100 kilometers to the south is
Mu Ko Similan National Park
Surin Islands comprise of five main islands, including 2 large islands consisting
of the northern Surin island and southern Surin island which located very
adjacent like the twin island. They are separated by the 200 meters width
shallow sea. In the low tide period, you can walk across to the other island
or so-called "cutted channel bay". The other three islands are the rock
islands with some dwarf trees. Plants that found here are the rainforest
plants. They are one source of the big and best fertile shallow coral reef
Could be classified into 2 seasons consisting of hot seasons starting from
mid of February - May, while the raining season starting from mid of May
till October which has a highest level of rainfall. The yearly average rainfall
is more than 3,000 millimeters and the average of related humidity is 83
percent. In rainy season, the park will be closed during 16 May - 14 November
every year for visitors safety.
Flora and Fauna:
Vegetations, able to classify the society of plants as follows:
- Primary rainforest
covers most area
of the national park, both of slope and ridge of mountain. The important
plants found here are Diospyros malabarica Kostel., etc.
- Beach forest
could be found in beach
areas where you can find many kinds of plant such as Barringtonia, Cerbera
odollam, etc.- Mangrove forest
is located in the mud area and the brackish water of Mae Yai bay. This is
not the fertile forest but you can find some kinds of plants such as Rhizophora
apiculata, Rhizophora mucronata, Xylocarpus granatum, etc., while some dwarf
forest or grove plants comprise of Cycas pectinata Griff., Dillenia obovata
(Bl.) Hoogl., Erythroxylum cuneatum Kurz, etc.
, from survey found totally 91 types of birds including local birds
about 57 types and the others are the migrating birds from elsewhere, such
as Little Heron, Common Sandpiper, Little Tern, etc.
be found here totally 22 types including 12 types of bat such as Island
Flying fox, Black-Bearded Tomb Bat, Pig-Tailed Macaque, Common Wild Pig,
have been found 6 types such as Indian or Bengal Monitor,
Water Monitor, Skink, Reticulated Python, etc.
, such as Needle coral,
, such as Damselfish, Wrasse, Butterfly-fish and Midas blenny; Ecsenius midas etc.
, Sea turtles are a very ancient family of animals and their
ancestors date back to when Dinosaurs roamed the earth. Although the Dinosaurs
are now extinct, the sea turtles are still surviving although their future
existence is in doubt. Many species are endangered with several species
near extinction. Their principle threat is the loss of their nesting beaches
to development stimulated by increasing tourist pressure. This has reduced
the number of turtles worldwide to such an extent that positive action must
be taken to secure their existence in the future. The principle action is
the preservation of their nesting beaches, and the protection of the eggs
from theft once laid. Sea turtle still nests on the Surin islands, with
two species coming ashore to lay their eggs, Hawksbill, and Green turtles.
In the early 1990’s we also had a few nest of the rare Olive Ridley turtle.
Mu Ko Surin is the best place in Thailand for anyone who want to swim with
sea turtles. Most visitors have a few chances to get close to them, mostly
Mu Ko Surin principle attraction is the fact that it is an unspoiled tropical
paradise far from the mainland, with healthy forested islands surrounded
by clean water supporting a profusion of coral reef species. The coral reefs
are the best, most diverse coral reefs accessible to snorkelers. The coral
reefs at Ko Surin do not require the use of scuba equipment to observe them.
Being the primary snorkeling spot on Thailand, Mu Ko Surin attracts a lot
of tourists each year, many also arrive on pleasure cruises and on some
days the number of visitors can be excessive. The islands also attract great
research interest, and many scientists visit the islands each year for a
variety of reasons ranging from coral reef surveys to bird observation.
Culture and Traditional:
- Sea gypsies
The Sea Gypsies or Moken
are a nomadic sea people who live in the Mergui archipelago. Their ancestors
came from Indonesia. The name Moken is from their own language, which is
universal to all sea gypsy groups. The Moken live a very primitive existence
and as such have a great respect for nature and the environment. They rely
upon their environment for food, clothing and for the materials for boat
construction. They live by spear fishing and collecting shellfish. Being
nomadic they spend a lot of their time travelling, but they avoid travelling
during the monsoon season from May to November. During this time they moor
their boats in a sheltered location to form a temporary village of several
families. These villages then break up when they start travelling again
in December until April. The Moken do not have a written language, but are
good at other languages including Thai and Yawi Malaysian. Every year during
April an important ceremony occurs on Surin and Sea Gypsies from far away
come to attend. They often come from Myanmar and the islands of peninsula
Thailand and Malaysia. The festival is called Loi Reua and involves ancestor
worship and the asking the spirits to care for and protect the Sea Gypsies.
- Cultural Sight Seeing Top.
The Beautiful of Nature:
- Ao Tao (Tao Bay)
Near coral line
of Tao Bay located on the eastern part of South Surin Island is a living
place of a lot of sea turtles. This beautiful coral is far from headquarters
about 2 kilometers.Activities
Diving Top - Ao Pak Chak (Pak Chak
Pak Chak Bay located on the southern part of the South Surin
Island has a perfect colorful coral line. It's far from headquarters about
- Snorkeling Diving - Scuba Diving Top
- Ko Pachumba (Pachumba Island)
Pachumba Island or Mang Kon Island has Mang Kon Beach located on the eastern
part of Island. It has not coral and sea fan. It's far from headquarters
about 5 kilometers.Activities
- don't visit
Ao Mai Ngam (Mai Ngam Bay)
Bay located on the western part of the North Surin Island far from headquarters
about 2 kilometers. You can get there by walking through the trail of Mai
Ngam Natural Studies or taking a long tailed boat. There is a fresh water
and beach suitable for swimming and coral sightseeing.Activities
- Snorkeling Diving - Activities on Beach - Camping - Bird Watching
- Nature trail study - Canoeing-Kayaking Top
- Ko Torinla (Torinla Island)
Island or Khai Island is located on the southern part of the South Surin
Island. On the eastern part of this island has a long, perfect and very
beautiful coral line which very suitable for snorkeling. This island is
far from headquarters about 6 kilometers. Ao Chak (Chak Bay)
- Snorkeling Diving - Scuba Diving Top
- Ao Chak (Chak Bay)
Chak Bay located
on the northern part of North Surin Island has a perfect and beautiful coral
line. It's far from headquarters about 10 kilometers.Activities
- Snorkeling Diving Top- Ao Suthep
Suthep Bay llocated on South Surin island is a good
place for those who want to do night diving. When low tide, coral reef may
expose to the air. It's not far from headquarters.Activities
- Activities on Beach - Snorkeling Diving
||Bungalows are also available, located at Chong Khat Bay of
the North Surin Island.
||Campground is available for visitors. located at Mai Ngam
Bay of the North Surin Island.
||Restaurant, first-aid room and souvenir shop are located at
Chong Khat Bay of the North Surin Island. Docking , Boat Tie-up
, Wharf - Tour Service Boat.
||From Khuraburi Port to the Mu Ko Surin National Park costs
us about 1,000 Baht/trip/person (round-trip)
||Coral sightseeing in the area of islands costs by long -tail
boat about 120 Baht/person/day
||Visitor Center is available, located at Chong Khat Bay of
the North Surin Island.
||One path of land natural studies at Ao Mai Ngam.
||Two paths of snorkeling at Ao Suthep and Ao Tao about 200
meters long. At the Ko Surin Tai, tourist would touch the beautiful
and exotic undersea animals and plants.
Raining season starting from mid of May - October with North - Western wind
which has a highest level of rainfall. In rainy season, the park will be
closed during 16 May - 14 November every year for visitors safety.
- By Car
Drives on the road no.
4 (Phetkasem Rd.) from Bangkok to Amphoe Khuraburi which is about 720 kilometers
long then turns to Khuraburi Port at milestone no. 721, about 6 kilometers
prior to Amphoe Khuraburi. From this intersection about two kilometers,
you would see the entrance sign board of Mu Ko Surin National Park on the
right-hand side, then make a turn to the tourist service center which located
in the area of national park office.
- By Bus
the New Southern Bus Terminal at 7.00 pm which would arrive at Khuraburi
about 5.00 am. Bus fare is 480 Baht/person. From the Bus Terminal, in Amphoe
Khuruburi about 10 kilometer, you can take a motorcycle or rental car to
the Khuraburi Port area, the location of Mu Ko Surin National Park Office.
Motorcycle fare is about 50 Baht/person while a rental car cost you about
- By Plane
Takes a plane to Ranong
Airport or Phuket Airport
, then takes a car to
Amphoe Khuraburi of Phang Nga
province. - By Boat
- Mu Ko Surin Port, you can take a private tour boat which controlled by
the national park and serves tourists everyday. The cost for round trip
is 1,200-1,500 baht per person. This tour boat departs from Kuraburi Port
at 09.00 am. everyday and arrive at the National Park Headquarters unit
on Northern Mu Ko Surin at 13.00 pm. From the port to this islands is about
60 kilometers which takes about 3 hours of journey. The return boat from
Mu Ko Surin to Khuraburi Port departs at 10.00 am. everyday. However, this
service would be closed at May 16 every year because entering of raining
Contact & Source:
Mu Ko Surin National Park
Ko Phra Thong Sub-district, Amphur Khuraburi
Phangnga Thailand 82150
Tel. 0 7649 1378, 0 7649 1582 Fax. 0 7649 1583 E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org