Camping on the Beach..... $10 a night

Trip Start Jan 21, 2013
Trip End Mar 16, 2013

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similan islands national park camping

Flag of Thailand  ,
Saturday, February 2, 2013

One of the great things about coming to Thailand a few times, is learning about all the great new places to see on my next visit. The Surin Islands are part of the marine national park, a set of islands off the Andaman coast that are famous for its diving and untouched beaches, visiting mostly by day trippers, but truly the best way to see and experience these serene islands, is to stay the night. The only accommodations on the island, are tents that you can rent from the national park service that are already set up, you can even rent the sleeping bags and mats for the ground for an extra $3 . There are a few expensive bungalows for rent as well, but staying in those would really take away from the experience of being there in the first place.
Getting there took some planning, they had a couple of boats that did day trips from Koh Phayam mostly for divers and snorkelers, and you could tag along and they would drop you off so you could stay and camp, these boats only ran once or twice a week. We were lucky that one was leaving the end of the week, so we signed up, and took off with the sunrise for a longer than expected day of sailing to the island. The winds were against us, so the normal 5 hour trip, took 7, but that is just part of the travel experience in Thailand, you just have to go with it.
I had heard about two camp grounds, one where you just arrive, the 2ND you reached by long tail , and it was more remote and quiet, and had a beach where very few of the day trippers went, so of course we went there!
The water was gorgeous...crystal clear, turquoise water, so stunning, that its hard to even describe. We friended a great group of French travelers that were heading the same way, they were our new buddies for the next 3 days, we even got tents next to each other.
The campgrounds were nicely set up, the tents directly facing the beach, and it was so warm, the sleeping bag were only slept on top of for extra padding, and we used our sarongs for our cover ups. The campground had its own restaurant, and outdoor bathrooms, which were great, and actually really well run.
And the beach.....ahhhhh, it was this white powder sand, with the same crystal blue water, and we had it all to ourselves...okay we had to share it with about 30 other people, but this beach was big,and we never were crowded. There were some interesting other campers there. This place was cheap, $10 a night to rent a tent, $3 if you brought your own, yes, I'm serious.
We met some french hippie gypsy bandits,,,,I say this because it looked like they lived a life of travel, and they were living there for a while. We thought maybe they were on the run and hiding up there for a while...some of them were missing quite a few teeth, and they were pretty scruffy. Now if you were on the run, NO one would ever find you here, I mean nobody, This place was as remote, as remote gets, and there was only one boat a day to get out of there.
I warned Christine about the monkeys....she really didn't believe me, there had been no monkey sighting as of yet. But one morning as she was coming out of the outdoor bathroom, there he was, a real life monkey, getting into one of the trash cans, and trying to open up and rummage through a bag of trash that someone had thrown away. He looked up at Christine for a moment, and seemed unfazed by her and went back to his trash. Christine was delighted to tell me her sighting, and I hope she feels the same way when we come across a whole pack of them while we are trying to pass along a path, sometimes they are not as passive.
Sleeping on the beach and waking up to the sound of the waves is worth the Sand crab that woke me up in the middle of the night crawling under neath our tent floor to escape . Next stop...Beautiful Phi Phi Island. 
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Sarah on

This water is amazing Mom! I can only imagine how I would react if I had a crab crawling under me! I can't believe how inexpensive this place is and how wonderful the beaches are! And one boat a week in and out of this place? Your right...this is a good place to go if you need to get away from everyone! You could totally hide out there for a long time and no one would find you!

Sarah on

One boat a day I mean!

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