...Highlights: turtles, great macro life/ marine diversity, schooling fish/big pelagics...
...Diving environment: wall diving, beginner divers, off the beaten track...
The extensive reefs of the Surin Islands have the greatest hard coral diversity in Thailand. Though the soft corals and fish diversity are not quite as good as some of the other Andaman Sea destinations in Thailand, you will find fish species here that you won't see in the Similan Islands, such as Napoleon wrasse, yellow-masked angelfish, bumphead parrotfish, tomato anemonefish and barramundi, as well as lots of turtles.
Not many liveaboard boats visit these islands, not because the diving is less attractive than at other Thai destinations, but rather due to their remoteness; the short 4 night schedules of the more popular Thailand dive safaris do not allow enough time to take in both the Surin and Similan Islands. So when you do visit here, you'll find that there's still a beautiful corner of Thailand that you are able enjoy without sharing it with the tourist hordes. Show more
Koh Chi - This is the smallest and furthest north of the islands of Surin. The site consists of a gentle slope and granite boulders off the western side down to a depth of 22m. The marine life is excellent here and a variety of hard corals carpet the sea floor. You can see several turtle species and many pelagic fish such as trevally, barracuda and tuna. The north end of the islet features granite boulders and caverns, which are favoured as refuge by soldierfish, angelfish and reef sharks. Currents can be strong at Koh Chi. Show more
There are not many liveaboard dive boats that visit the Surin Islands but as for ones that do, you will find them in our Similan liveaboards section here.
Typically these cruises include diving at the Similan Islands, Richelieu Rock, Koh Bon and Koh Tachai islands, and usually last 5 nights, although occasionally there are slightly shorter trips on offer too. One attraction of these trips is that you generally have the dive sites to yourselves at Koh Surin.
The Surin liveaboard diving season runs from mid October to early May, though the best time for a visit is from December to April. Outside of these months it can be wet and windy and there are, therefore, no scheduled trips to the area.
The water temperature never goes below 27-28°C (during the rainy season May-October) and can go up to 30-31°C during dry season (November-April). Dry season also brings the best sea conditions, with calm waters and visibility that reaches 30m on most days.
The dive sites in the Surin area are often known for the presence of large pelagics (usually eagle and manta rays, but also whale sharks), usually from February to April. Earlier in the season (November to January), the currents can sometimes be strong - ideal conditions for spotting huge schools of trevallies, fusiliers and barracudas.
Review our maps below of Koh Surin and its host country Thailand. Here, you will find information on how to get to Phuket or Khao Lak, and then on to the Surin Islands.
Depth: 5 - >30m
Visibility: 5 - 20m
Currents: Can be strong
Surface conditions: Calm
Water temperature: 26 - 29°C
Experience level: Beginner - advanced
Number of dive sites: >10
Distance: ~205 km north northwest of Phuket (10 hours)
Recommended length of stay: 5 - 6 days as part of a Thailand liveaboard charter