As part of our Singapore Adventure, we planned a mid-week excursion to Coastal Thailand. We flew into Phuket Airport and immediately met our transfer to Ayara Villas in Khao Lak, about 45 minutes from north of Phuket. Khao Lak is a peaceful seaside village, the opposite of the bustling Phuket. It has international restaurants, water sports and a wonderful night market. After some beach time, a visit to the night market and a good night's sleep, we had a hotel pick up for our transfer to the Surin Islands. Our main purpose in coming to Thailand was to snorkel the offshore Surin Islands, a remote group of volcanic islands about 60km from the Thai mainland. These islands and their surrounding waters are protected by the Mu Ko Surin National Park. This area is considered on of the 10 best dive and snorkel spots in the world. You have to plan your trip carefully because the park is closed from May 1 to September 1, during the rainy season. We used Greenway Tour Company to shepherd us through 4 snorkel spots and an overnight stay in bungalows on North Surin Island. Let these photos inspire you to explore the Thai Coast away from Phuket.
Heading out on a sunrise walk at Ayara Villas, Khao Lak.
Fruit and vegetable stall at the Khao Lak night market.
Sunrise on Khao Lak beach.
Swimming pool at Ayara Villas.
Food Stall at the Khao Lak night market. My favorite way to eat.
Sunset at Khao Lak beach.
Food stall at Khao Lak night market, the tempura shrimp are delicious.
Our transport to the Surin Islands from Kuraburi Pier.
The waterway leading to the Andaman Sea.
South Surin Island, Pakgord Bay. Our first snorkel spot. The water is crystal clear. The coral and sea life are colored in shades from indigo to periwinkle, with some creams, yellow, and reds. I was delighted by these colors in coral.
The Mu Ko Surin National Park main stop on North Surin Island.
The jungle hides the building on North Surin Island. A traditional Thai long tail boat ferries passengers between the islands.
The beach at Mae Yai Bay on North Surin Island.
Mae Yai Bay at low tide reveals interesting rock formations.
The Senerity of sunrise at Mae Yai Bay.
There is a buffet lunch, hot breakfast and plated dinner included in the bungalow or campsite rentals on the island. Coffee, soft drinks, ice cream and other treats are available for purchase. Monkeys swing from the trees above the common areas on the island providing entertainment while you eat.
The tidal range is dramatic on these islands, making low tide exploration enjoyable.
Slowing down and relishing the beauty is one of the great pleasures of visiting this National Park. Wifi, electricity and air conditioning is available to everyone staying in the bungalows.
The jungle grows almost to the waterline on these islands.
Pachumba Island, sadly our last snorkel stop of our trip. I must admit, I was the last person out of the water at this spectacular stop. The colorful coral formations were pristine and the sea life so diverse, including a 6 foot jet black moray eel.