Koh Tachai & Surin Islands
The Surin Islands lie around 75 nm N.W. of Phuket and are the most northern Thai islands before the border with Myanmar.
Heading north of the Similan Islands we come to Koh Tachai – a remote Island surrounded by crystal clear waters and an 800m long white sandy beach.
Please Note – The Surin Islands & Koh Tachai are closed Between 1st May to 31st October every year
Surin Tai, the southern most island is host to a community of Moken sea gypsies who recently were re-settled in government sponsored huts after their original settlement caught fire and burnt down. They thrive on fishing, operating longtail tours and selling woodcarvings, colourful bead necklaces and other trinkets to visiting (mostly Thai) tourists.
Between these island gems is a very picturesque narrow channel and near by on the tip of Surin Nua is a rather interesting stand of mangroves, in fact it is a nursery! At high tide if you are lucky, you will be able to wade around amongst the baby black tip reef sharks which shelter there.
These islands are spectacular both above and below the water. They are graced by several large and extensive jungle clad bays with some really excellent fringing reefs and lovely beaches. The crystal clear waters surrounding the islands teem with fish life and vibrantly coloured corals – in places it is possible to see large coral trout suspended above their patch of reef jealously guarding their domain.
The Surin islands are far enough away from the main tourist hubs to still be in pristine condition. Although there are a few speedboats that come out there on day trips from the
Nominated by the National Geographic Society as one of the top 10 diving destinations, this Island is only open between November and April of each year. A proven popular destination for diving as a result of the vast marine life that inhabits the surrounding reefs – such as Napoleon Wrasse, Barracudas, sea turtles, Leopard Sharks and even Whale Sharks and manta rays. On the Islands itself are several basic bungalows, a small restaurant and a ranger station that cater to those who really appreciate being off the beaten track and decide to camp here for a night or two.
There is a fresh water source on the Island, several nature trails to follow, allowing you to experience the wide variety of wildlife that call this stunning Island home. The Nature tail starts from the north end of the beach, where the overhanging rainforest provides plenty of shade. Following the trail west, you become teleported into a different world full of stunning rocks and an equally stunning view over the Island itself and the Andaman Sea.
A little History on the name – Koh Tachai
Koh Tachai was formally known as “Koh Bua” due to a unique Lotus flower that grew in brackish waters found within the swamps here.
Unfortunately, as a result of the 2004 Tsunami, the Lotus here was wiped out and has never respawned. The name “Koh Tachai” (or “Uncle Chai” in English) now comes from the first fisherman that came back to the Island after the Tsunami