Surin Islands (Full name : MO KOH SURIN NATIONAL PARK) is the heaven of snorkeling where is the one of world exuberant corals and underwater creatures. The snorkeling and diving lover must not miss this place. But the pier to Surin Islands is locate in Kuraburi district, Phang-Nga province, the small province of Andaman sea shore which is located in southern of Thailand. This province has no airport serving. The nearest airport is Ranong Airport (90 km away) and Phuket int’l airport (175 km away). In addition, the speed boat schedule to Surin Islands is to depart from Kuriburi on morning only (no later than 9.30am). It mean arriving to pier by morning flight from Bangkok and catch speed boat to get Surin Islands on same day is not possible. Except you arrive Phuket or Ranong by flight one day in advance and stay overnight before go to Surin Islands. And, Kuraburi is not the part of Thailand railway network. Thus, the most convenient, safe and comfortable way to get Surin Islands from Bangkok is taking overnight bus and arrive Kuraburi bus station on the morning and catch speed boat to The islands. During travelling by bus, you can rest and sleep on bus and can arrive the islands before 10.30am which mean you have afternoon time to snorkeling and/or enjoy heaven white sand beach at the islands !
This trip we went from Bangkok to Kuraburi by Transport co.,tld. This company is Thai government bus company. This route was using first class coach – double decks – 48 seats (lower deck 8 seats and upper deck 40 seats). It had 1 bus daily from Bangkok. This route is Bangkok – Phuket but will pass Kuraburi and can drop us there. We can get in the bus at Bangkok Southern Bus terminal (Thai : สายใต้ใหม่ / Sai Tai Mai). The ticket cost is 451 THB/trip (about 15 USD) The schedules are follows.
Outbound (Bangkok – Kuraburi) : Depart 19.30pm and Arrive Kuruburi 06.30am (next day)
Inbound (Kurabiri – Bangkok) : Depart 18.15pm* and Arrive Bangkok 05.15am (next day)
* In ticket, it will specify departure time at 15.00pm due to it is departure time from Origin station (Phuket). It will arrive Kuraburi to pick-up us on 18.15pm. Don’t worry. 🙂
The tickets can be bought online from Thai Ticket major (Click here). Once the tickets are bought, you can print the voucher out and exchange it to be original ticket at counter of Transport co.,ltd at Southern Bus Terminal at least 30 minutes before departure.
Actually, you can buy tickets by walk-in at ticket counter at Southern Bus Terminal on travelling date. But not recommended due to it has only 1 bus a day and it might be fully booked. And, it has another private company called “Lignite Tour” which serve with VIP bus (24 seats and 32 seats), more premium than Transport Co.,Ltd. But the website of Lignite Tour is available in Thai Language only. So, if you prefer to go with Lignite tour, you can try to buy ticket by walk-in at their counter at Southern bus terminal. The schedule is 30 minutes ahead Transport co.,ltd. (depart from Bangkok on 19.00pm and depart from Kuraburi on 17.45pm).
Ticket counter of Transport Co.,Ltd. at Southern Bus Terminal
Ticket counter of Lignite Tour at Southern Bus Terminal
Before we travel, we bought tour package with Sabina Tour for 3 days 2 nights. the price is 6,400 THB/pax for foreigner (about 205 USD). This price is included everything from pick-up when we arrive at Kuraburi bus station, round trip speed boat to/from islands, breakfast/lunch/dinner for all 3 days (7 meals), snorkeling trip everyday, 2 nights tent accomodation and drop-off service to Kuraburi bus station on returning date. We almost have not to pay anymore during the trip. this company has very good service. We went with this company for 2 times already…..confirm. The details are available on this website : HTTPS://WWW.SABINATOUR.COM
How to get Southern Bus terminal (Thai : Sai Tai Mai – สายใต้ใหม่)
This bus terminal is serving bus route to Southern of Thailand. Please DO NOT confuse with Mo-Chit bus terminal which serve bus to Northern and North-Eastern provinces. The most convenient way to southern bus terminal is by BTS (skytrain). You can catch BTS to Bang Wa station and then us Exit-1 and catch the taxi from there to bus terminal. You can tell the driver that you want to go to “Sai Tai Mai“, he will know for sure. It take only 10-15 minutes and taxi cost is about 50 – 80 THB (2.00 – 2.50 USD). In case you stay at Khaosan road or nearby, you can catch taxi from there to bus terminal directly. It will take 30 – 45 minutes and taxi cost is about 150 – 200 THB (5.00 – 6.50 USD).
In front of bus terminal, you can see the sign of “SC Plaza”. This bus terminal is the same location with small department store (front is store and back is bus platform). It has many food restaurant, fast food shop and mini-mart (7-eleven) inside. You will not hungry before get in the bus and during travelling for sure.
In front of Southern Bus Terminal, it is SC-Plaza
(Photo from https://www.mushroomtravel.com)
We had arrived bus terminal on 16.00pm to prepare ourselves before long journey. We had exchanged ticket voucher to be original ticket at bus counter here. Then, we had dinner at KFC and bought some stuff (e.g. snack, soft drink, etc.) from 7-Eleven. It has toilet in the bus terminal with free of charge. We recommend to buy all the things you need here because it has no convenient shop from now to the islands. Surin islands is belong to government national park. It has no hotel and shop. Just have small restaurant and small snack stall which are belong to government only, and price is quite high.
Our original bus ticket (after exchanged from voucher) for both outbound & inbound
Around 19.00pm, we carried all our bags and stuffs and went to platform. Security guard had allowed passenger to go to platform 30 minutes before departure time only. Our bus had been waiting us at platform no.28 already (according to the ticket).
The door to platform
Our bus was waiting us at platform no. 28
Once we arrive our bus, we left our bags to bus crew to keep it at luggage room inside the bus. Then, we went to our seat as indicate in ticket. When all passengers had seated, the crew had served us with bottled water and snack box (1 bread stuffed with chicken and 1 coffee set – we can request hot water to make coffee all the time during travelling). The weather was quite cold in the bus, we suggest to bring your own light jacket when you on-board too. 😛
Seat in the bus (first class of Transport Co.,Ltd.) – Seat is reclinable & comfortable for sleeping – it has blanket every seat (do not bring it to outside the bus).
The toilet inside the bus was clean.
Snack box and bottled water.
On 19.30pm, the bus was departed on time. On the bus, crew had asked us where we will be drop. We just told her we will get off at “Kuraburi”, please wake us up when we almost there. The bus will stop for 20 minutes around midnight at rest area to change the driver. We could go out the bus to stretch up and go to restroom. There had big restaurant for fast food if you feel hungry too.
Around 6.15am, the sun was rising, the bus crew had waken up us to prepare ourselves as we will arrive Kuraburi in next 15 minutes. When we get off the bus, it had Sabina tour staff waiting us at bus station already (1 day before, Sabina tour had called us to make appointment and told us they will send staff to pick-up us).
Kuraburi Bus Station in morning
Sabina tour was waiting us before we arrive
It took only 10 minutes from bus station to Sabina tour office. When we arrive tour office, staff had told us to register & check-in and receive snorkeling equipment (mask, snorkel and life vest). It may has to deposit small money for those equipment but it will be refunded on returning date. We can rent more equipment such as fins too. We had about 2 hours before catch speed boat to Surin islands. Sabina Tour had served us with breakfast (fish porridge and coffee/tea). It has toilet and shower room at tour office too.
In front of Sabina Tour office
In front of Sabina tour office, there is office of national park and pier
On 8.15am, the staff had called us to go to the pier which 50 m walk to opposite of Sabina tour office and prepare for boarding . For big luggage, we can leave it to staff to carry to the boat for us. The boat was departed on 9.00am.
The pier to Surin Islands
The boat is ready to bring us to heaven islands
Passengers already on-board and prepare for journey
The boat took about 1 hour from mainland to Surin islands (Chong Kaad Bay). Then, we had to change from speed boat to Longtail boat (small boat) to go to our accommodation area (Mai Ngam Beach). The tent is located on the beach. It is incredibly beautiful and amazing view.
(Tips : If possible, choose the front tent nearest to the beach. It will have good view and well air flow on night time)
We arrived Surin islands at Chong Kaad Bay and change to longtail boat here
🙂 Surin Islands – Extremely clear water 🙂
Mai Ngam Beach – We reach you !
The tents at Mai Ngam Beach
Mai Ngam Beach with less people – It is peaceful like private beach 😉
After we check in and keep our stuff at tent already, we had an hour to walking & relax on the beach and take some chic photo before lunch. The lunch was available as seafood buffet at main restaurant on 12.00pm. After lunch, we will be ready for first snorkeling of the trip. The guide had appointed us on 13.50pm. Now, it is time to say hello the underwater world and greeting with sea fishes….Let’s Go. 😛
For review of first day snokeling, please see this chapter…..Click Here.
WRITTEN BY : SHIPY SIWARIT TIASUWATTISETH