Our Overnight Surin Snorkeling tours are incredible 3 day/2 night visit to the Surin Islands Marine Park. Although the Similan Islands are more famous for diving, the Surin Islands offer some of the most beautiful beaches you can find in Thailand, interesting snorkeling and a real adventure. The Surin Islands are home to the Moken people, also known as “Sea Gypsies” who have lived nomadically for thousands of years There are also much fewer visitors to the Surin Islands making a more serene experience.
⁃ Fewer Tourists
⁃ Vibrant Reefs
⁃ Private Longtail
⁃ Private Guide
⁃ Only groups of 6 or less
⁃ Unique Visit to Moken People
The Surin Islands are part of a national marine park and consist of 5 islands with the North and South Surin Islands being the biggest two. On one of the islands, there are still sea gypsies living a traditional lifestyle in stilt houses! There are no roads, no hotels, no bars and certainly no tourist traps. The campsite, restaurant and park headquarters are owned and operated by the Thai government and are in a stunning secluded bay with clear shallow water. The Moken village is in a nearby bay.
Surin Islands Snorkeling
Your Surin snorkel guides will show you the best sites, introduce you to the marine life and share the safest ways to enjoy your Surin Island Snorkeling. Our trips are family friendly, so bring everyone! Included in the full package are a longtail charte, a guided tour of the jungles surrounding the Moken Village as well as the village and an afternoon longtail tour – led my the natives of the islands and all meals and transfers. Want to see the best beaches? What about those rare species that inhabit the Surin Archipelago? Your guide will take you to some amazing viewpoints and on jungle walks. Transfer is done by fast, comfortable speedboats.
Home to the Moken People – Sea Gypsies
The Surin Islands are one of the tradtional homes of the Sea Gypsies (Moken) who have lived nomadically in these seas for thousands of years and only with the invention of modern borders has their lifestyle been forced into a more permanent location. As people without land or country, they have ended up at the bottom rung of Thai culture – often without even the most basic of rights. With a vast history in the area and traditional knowledge that helped them survive through the millennia – they are naturally the people visitors would turn to. However, circumstance and prejudice has placed them more in the role of tourist object. In the tourist industry these are called “monkey shows” where the tourists watch and take photos of “culturally significant” persons – like the Masai in Kenya, The Kayan women in Burma (the long necked women) and many others.
Wicked Diving stopped offering or being involved in these tours two years ago for moral reasons. Now, in cooperation with the Moken villagers, KGV travel and Wicked Diving we are very, very proud to announce a new pilot program that empowers and supports the local community on the Surin Islands.
The goal of this project is to allow visitors to interact with and learn from the Moken people without exploiting or disturbing their way of life. This is done in two parts – one is a walking tour of the surrounding forest where a guide from the village shows us the local botany and wildlife and how it is used in their daily life. This walk ends in the village where we are given the opportunity to experience the ebb and flow of village life. This may take the form of a visit to the community center, helping one of the women weave baskets or even brief lesson in how to paddle the traditional Moken canoes.
For the second part of this project we board a Moken Longtail and go for a snorkeling tour of the nearby bays. This journey takes us to bays and sites not on typical tours and the Moken guides will share insights about the marine life and cycles of the sea. Through the fees for the guide and the hire of the long tail we are putting money directly into the community. In addition an additional 10% fee is given it a community fund to be spent by the village. As there is very little opportunity for income in this remote place and many of the young men and women head to the mainland to work as laborers, this program offers an opportunity to supply a livelihood as well as bring attention and support to their traditional lifestyle in a way that preserves their heritage. Due to the location of the village and tidal changes – the walking tour may happen in the morning or afternoon.
Here is your chance to get out and enjoy all of the marine life that the SURIN ISLANDS have to offer. Not everything in the big blue ocean is limited to those who dive, so grab your mask and snorkel, sunblock and fins, and hit the water with Wicked Diving.
This trip is designed with guest safety in mind, and will take you to not only the white pristine beaches of the Surin Islands but several reefs in the area for your snorkeling enjoyment. You will always be accompanied by our own professional Snorkel guide who will show you the ropes and help you with fish identification. On the second day we organize a private longtail trip to snorkel reefs and get away from the crowds. When you’re not snorkeling, there are jungle trails and plenty of spots to just relax and soak up the beauty of the islands.
Please bring walking shoes for the Moken tour. We also ask that pictures of the Moken people or their village ONLY be taken after asking permission.