Green Attraction

Similan & Surin Archipelagos

Phang Nga

A wealth of marine life

      One of the most entertaining activities after you finish your sessions of diving in these archipelagos is when you open your tropical reef and fish guides. Chances are, you will have seen at least a fish on any given page. Sometimes you have seen so many that recording them in your log book becomes an effort.


      And not just the tiny ones swimming in a dazzling huge school, those solitary giants also grace the Archipelagos with their frequent presence. Dive masters can almost guarantee that, if you come in the right season, you will see Manta Rays flying by in Ko Bon (Surin); or at Richelieu Rock, the Whale Shark will glide feeding itself with plankton. Here you will see quite a number of sea turtles because Huyong Beach in Similan (conserved area, not open to diving) is where the shelled creatures lay their eggs, or look on the sandy bottom here if you want to see leopard sharks.


      You will find a lot of fellow divers who will tell you this is not their first dive here. Similan and Surin are capable of surprising the most experienced divers and their wealth of marine life is almost inexhaustible (that is, if properly taken care of). The diversity of creatures are world-renowned and more than 75% of the coral reefs of Thai seas can be found here. This is why we recommend a ‘liveaboard’ trip where you will stay on a boat for three or more days and do nothing but dive instead of a day trip. It is less tiring, wastes less fuel, and you will get to experience the marine treasure to the fullest. It is true that all the dive shops in Khao Lak can put you on a boat, but we recommend you support the ones that adhere strictly to good environmental policy. You can look them up at the Green Fins Thailand website:


Beautiful at All Levels

      Non-divers can also relish these underwater treasure troves. The large shallow water area combined with crystalline water at Mu Ko Surin National Park makes it the best spot in Thailand to snorkel. There are dive shops in Khao Lak and Khura Buri that organise a day-trip snorkel tour. But you can also spend a night in Mu Ko Surin National Park accommodation and use the daily snorkel trip service offered by the Park.


      Most trips around Similan will stop on Ko Miang (The eighth island of the archipelago) where the Park headquarters is located. Here you will see the Sail Rock, the logo of the Archipelago. It is a small climb to get to the base of this fantastically shaped boulder where you can enjoy an unhindered panoramic view of sunset. A nice spot to recollect what wonderful sights you have seen under the ocean lying in front of you.


      Please note that the Archipelagos are closed yearly from mid-May to mid-November due to the monsoon and to allow the marine ecosystem to rejuvenate itself. 



      Whenever you look at the list of the world’s best dive sites, Similan and Surin Archipelagos invariably appear among the top ten. Here you have a very fat chance of spotting creatures dreamt of by every diver, the majestic Manta Ray, the gentle giant Whale Shark, and the curious sea turtles.



      Both Marine National Parks are well managed in terms of visitor reception, with reasonably comfortable accommodation and well-stocked canteens. Mu Ko Surin NP is well-known for its environmental practices.



      Many dive centres in Khao Lak organise volunteer reef check or garbage picking dives. Ask around for more information. 


How To Get There

      The most convenient base for exploring Mu Ko Similan and Mu Ko Surin National Parks is Khao Lak, the hub of dive centres which also offers a wide range of accommodation. There are buses leaving from Bangkok for Khao Lak daily. The journey takes about 12 hours. The nearest airport is in Phuket, about 2 hours bus ride away.