.... but 2 not so wonderful nights.
Just returned from a 3 day 2 night trip to the Surins, organised by Kuraburi Greenview, booked in La On at Tui Bistro (next door to Happy Snapper and has advantage of having great cakes and coffee while you are booking!) for 4600 baht per person including transfers to and from resort, all meals/water on the island, snorkelling equipment, soft drinks/water on speedboat and accommodation.
Day 1 - picked up at 7.20am in Bang Niang, collected our friends at 7.30 in Khuk Khak, then straight to pier at Kuraburi, arriving about 8.45. Checked in and collected mask, snorkel and fins. Had coffee and toast then boarded speed boat. Weather hot and sunny and sea flat calm, so fast transfer across. About 20 on board. 2 snorkels at different sites and brief visit to view Moken Island but did not leave boat. Both sites excellent for coral and fish. Access to and exit from sea by ladder from the boat. Plenty of help from excellent onboard staff.
Mrs Arandora not being a swimmer had taken some persuading to go snorkelling for 3 days ("I'll stay on the boat!") but had her own personal guide who got her into the water and accustomed to it (he did in 5 minutes what I've been trying to do for 40 years!!!) then towed her around with her clad in life jacket and clinging onto anaother. This left me free to start filling up a memory card with underwater shots of the fabulous corals and fish and other marine life.
Reached the main island pier at about 12.30 in time for lunch - a huge set menu, mainly fish and seafood with a chicken curry/soup also and free water. Any other drinks are chargeable. We were then taken to our accommodation - a tent on the beach under the trees! Well at least it was a large tent!. We left our luggage and told our sleeping gear would be in the tent when we returned later.
Back to the speedboat for another 2 sites. Number 3 was best - and, of course, where my battery would fail! Thankfully had spare on board and changed for site 4. Different variety of corals and fishes. At this point my search for Nemo began. Everyone bar me, it appeared had seen a Nemo or two.
Returned to island about 3.15. The 7 of us staying got off and replaced by others going back to Kuraburi.
So that was the end of the day for day trippers and start of of our first night. We went to tents to find two towels, two pillows, two foam pads about a half inch thick, which we doubled over and added the sleeping bags provided in an attempt to offer some comfort from the anything but soft sand floor. The tents were igloo type, fully sewn in bases with zip up doors and windows, which you leave open and fly screens which you leave closed, to keep out bugs and provide the air-con courtesy of the sea breezes.
After dinner at 6.30 (more seafood and fish and plenty of it) and a couple of beers retired to bed exhausted and proceeded to have possibly the most uncomfortable night's lack of sleep we have ever had. In between the heat, sweat, rock hard floor, snoring from the seasoned sleepers near us (and the wife eventually!) the night passed interminably slowly. It was me who greeted the dawn chorus of monkeys and birds waking up!!!
Day 2 - same as Day 1 really, 4 snorkels at 4 more different sites, 2 before, 2 after lunch all from longtail boats. Brilliant day and I found my Nemos. Another guide looked after Barbara thaen after depositing her back on the boat took me to Nemo sites. I got pics from the surface, he took the camera and went "up close and personal" to these beautiful and so comical looking little fish as well as other inhabitants of the not so deeps. Fantastic!
Dinner 6.30, a couple of bers and a shared bottle of local brandy helped, we hoped, ensure a better night's sleep - it couldn't be worse, could it?! Woke up (yes, actually fell asleep) at 3.3w0am due to the effects of the sleep inducers on my bladder) got the torch and made my way to the toilets, only falling over one tent guide rope on the way. About to return when I saw light glimmering form the TV at the bar. Went to investigate and sure enough it was my favourites Man.Utd. playing in The Champions League. Second Half started, watched for 10 minutes 0-0 then the opposition scored, so went back to bed feeling pretty unhappy with the world. Another Bad night! But morning broke with monkey peering in at us at is walked past, then went to breakfast to find we had equalised. So not such a bad night after all!
Another 2 snorkels after breakfast. First site cancelled as the sea was so rough so went to calmer places, soaked to the skin - and we hadn't even been in the water yet! Lunck at 12.30, then packed and vacated our "luxuruy" accommodation and free time until transfer at low tide by longtail to the speedboat for the very bumby, but great fun, ride home.
A great trip, even allowing for the tented accommodation. Bungalows would have been another 2000 baht per nigh and not as clean as tents.
Highly recommended and pics to follow.