When Is the Best Time
Guided boat tours to the Surin Islands are offered from October until May. The best time for snorkelling around the Surin Islands is from roughly January until the end of February; during these months, the sea is calmer. If the sea is rough, seasickness can be an issue. On the other hand, this time of the year is the busiest. Regarding the weather, January to March are the driest months of the year. Whale Sharks are around Ko Surin from March to May.
December until March. Prices are on a top level. Surin is not offered daily; therefore, prebooking is recommended. Similan Islands and Surin Islands are very popular for snorkelling. A local guide told me the reefs around Surin are more beautiful, and Similan beaches are overrun. The trips are pricey; therefore, think twice about where to go and when.
Do you want to avoid crowds? The end of the rainy season in November is also shortly before the rainy season starts in April except Easter, fewer daytrippers book a guided boat tour. October is sometimes still too rainy, and trips are cancelled. May is hot but usually still nice. The Surin Islands are closed from May to October.
It is a tropical climate here; therefore, never cold; temperatures are around 30°C during the day and roughly around 23°C at night. The seasons are defined as the dry and rainy seasons. However, showers can occur in the dry season as well, usually in the afternoon or night. The rainy season lasts from April/May to October/November. The dry season starts from late November until the beginning of April.
The sea temperature is pleasant, ranging from 27-30°C.
Best Months to Visit
Location 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 mentioning. 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 snorkelling. We spotted lots of blue corals but also bleached ones, colourful fish, and on our third snorkel place a destroyed reef where we spotted a turtle. The reef got heavily destroyed by the tsunami but is still famous for sharks and turtles.
The trip includes a stop at a sea gipsy 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 snorkelled 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. However, protect your body from jellyfish and the powerful sun.
Accommodations in Khao Lak
There is a huge variety of hotels from budget to high priced around Khao Lak. Bookmark the link and check the recommendations of other travellers. 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 in 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 National Park. There are simple tents and roughly ten basic bungalows owned and offered by the headquarter of the Surin Island National Park the government. It is not allowed to pitch your own 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