If I go to the Surin islands for a diving holiday, will I able to find a dive shop on the island?
And what is the best place to use as a base? C. Redar
The Surin Islands are perfect for diving from now until the middle of May. Koh Surin is actually a group of islands 60 kilometres off Phang-nga's Kuraburi district and the boat journey, which takes two hours, but is worthwhile for the smooth white sandy beaches, waters rich in marine life and the number of good dive sites. In fact the whole Mu Koh Surin National Park covers 135 square kilometres and encompasses five islands - Koh Surin Nua, Koh Surin Tai, Koh Ree (or Stok), Koh Glang and Koh Khai (or Torinla). If you want to snorkel, then stay on Surin Nua island, where there is some basic accommodation as well as a restaurant. You can also book a tent by the beach from the National Park office. With just a diving mask, snorkel and fins, you can explore several dive sites around there including Ao Chong Kaad, Ao Tao, Ao Pak Kaad and Ao Suthep. Here you’ll encounter miles of healthy coral reefs surrounded by foraging turtles, numerous anemones, and countless fish species.
Many people stay on the mainland in Kuraburi, or on Koh Phra Thong, an island about 10 kilometres from Kuraburi. There are decent resorts and cheaper accommodation as well as dive shops that can take you scuba diving off the Surin Islands. It’s also a scenic island with a flat landscape and inland savannah. Its golden long and quiet beaches fringed with coconut trees may not as impressive as white sandy beaches of the Surin islands but Koh Phra Thong is the closest island to the Surin Islands’ top dive site - Richelieu Rock - as well as the stunning Koh Tachai. Nearby, to the north of Koh Phra Thong is Koh Ra, a wild mountainous island covered with forest. To the south is Koh Kho Khao, which is becoming popular with tourists from Khao Lak.
I am looking for a national park that's suitable camping and biking. I don’t mind a place at a moderate distance from Bangkok, probably up to three to four hours drive. Where do you suggest? Ralph.
There are plenty of green and scenic national parks suitable for cycling in Thailand. If you are willing to travel further beyond the popular Khao Yai National Park in Nakhon Ratchasima province, good venues for cyclists can be found in the lush green surroundings of Thung Salaeng Luang National Park.
This National Park is located in an area that overlaps Phetchabun and Phitsanulok provinces. You will be on a small hill less than 1,000 metres above sea level. The park offers a charming bike path through savannah and pine trees. You can choose to cycle on its two main tracks - one is from Thung Salaeng Luang to Thung Nang Phya over a distance of 10 kms, or the Khaeng Wang Nam Yen track at 15 kilometres. Many cyclists like to ride across the two provinces of the National Park from Nong Mae Na on the Phetchabun side to Phitsanulok. The distance is 42 kilometres and the path takes you on up and down hills, cutting through Thung Non Son, which is lined with tall pine trees. Once you negotiate the dirt track, you’re rewarded with a scenic vista of sloping mountains, which many cyclists have testified is worth the trip. However, you do need permission from the National Park Headquarters to enter this route, as it is a highly protected area.