Surin Islands Dive Sites

manta ray whale shark nudibranch tropical sunset turtle

Surin Islands Dive Sites

The scuba diving here is mainly on hard coral fringe reefs, similar to the east side of the Similans. Visibility is usually in the range of 20-35m, 30m+ is common.

Ko Surin Nuea (North Surin Island)

This island is surrounded by coral reefs in several bays, some more than 300m. wide. The reef edge contains numerous corals before sloping to a depth of 20-30m; 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 coral reef.

Ko Surin Tai (South Surin Island)

shoal of batfish

The coral reefs of the South Surin Island are only 100-200m 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.

One of the favourite dive sites is Turtle Ledges. At Turtle Ledges you can see hawksbill turtles, juvenile batfish and ghost pipefish.

Richelieu Rock

The famous Richelieu Rock is a limestone pinnacle carpeted with a thick covering pink and purple corals. Richelieu is one of the only sites in the world where the whale sharks are encountered on a regular basis. See the main Richelieu Rock page for full details.

Ko Torinla (Ko Khai)

Famous 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 length goby up to 4 metre wide manta rays.

In summer, this area is not only the best snorkeling and diving site of Mu Ko Surin but also the best in Thailand. It is located about 1 km from south Surin Island.

Ko Khai or Ko Torinla is located on the southern part of the Ko Surin Tai. On the eastern part of this island has a long, perfect and very beautiful coral line which very suitable for snorkelling. This island is about 6km from the national park office.

The coral reef is found on the northern side of the island and is about 500m long and 100m wide before sloping to a depth of 15-20m. In the shallower areas, one of the largest and densest areas of branching corals are found.

The submerged rocks between Ko Torinla and Ko Surin are an interesting dive site. There are several species of soft corals and sea fans, no less than 242 species of coral reef fish, as well as larger species like Manta Rays.

Ao Luk (Deep Bay)

Famous for its deep dark green waters with beautiful coral reef in the shallows.

Ao Chong Khat

banded seasnake

This bay is located between the North and South Surin Islands, and its narrowest point is about 200 m wide.

It can be swam across during low tide. The water is shallow (1-3m), and it is a suitable place for playing, and learning to snorkel (snorkeling and diving 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 around the islands.

Ao Mai Ngam

Ao Mai Ngam located on the western part of the Ko Surin Nua or far from the national park office about 2 kilometres. A safe snorkeling and diving site and the nearest. 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.

The coral reef ranges from 200-800m offshore. In the shallower areas, there are many corals, particularly foliose, found scattered in large beautiful groups.

Deeper, there are massive corals mixed with staghorn corals to a depth of 12 - 15m. Massive corals are habitats of many strange coloured 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 20m below the surface.

Ao Chak

A rather remote site due to its distance from the Substation (45 min. by boat), and one of the best snorkeling and diving sites of the islands. The coral reef lies at 200-400m from the shore, where Staghorn Corals and several other species can be found. The reef gradually drops to a depth of 12-15m where a few soft corals and sea fans are found.

Ao Tao

A highlight of the area is that Hawksbill Turtles are often found, as well as Green Turtles and several species of fish such as butterfly fish and puffer. The reef here is 100-200m wide before sloping to a depth of 20m. 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 and diving treat not to be missed.

Ao Phakkat

The area has a rich diversity of corals, especially foliose corals. 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 300m long and 100m wide, before sloping to a depth of about 18m. A popular snorkeling and diving site.

Ao Mang Kon

Ao Mang Kon located on the eastern part of the Central Island or Ko Pachumba has a beautiful coral and many big school of fishes. It's far from the national park office about 5 kilometers.

Ao Phak Kat

Ao Phak Kat located on the southern part of the Ko Surin Tai has a perfect colorful coral line. It's far from the national park office about 5 kilometers.

Ao Tao

Near coral line of Ao Tao located on the eastern part of Ko Surin Tai is a living place of a lot of sea turtles. This beautiful coral is far from the national park office about 2 kilometers.