The Captivating Island Idylls of Khura Buri
Khura Buri Pier is where you board the local boat to Koh Prathong and the Surin Islands. Located next to the Khura Buri District’s little fishing port, it’s packed with fishing boats and there’s a strong smell of fish in the air. Boats come and go all the time – giving you some idea of the hard work that goes on here preparing fish for the local district markets. We got to explore the port a bit and it was interesting to see how the fish catches were unloaded from the boats and packed into big trucks.
The long-tail boat driver who was taking us to Koh Prathong island was already waiting for us. He was a nice old man, but he didn’t speak much English. We spotted a sea eagle hunting for fish after leaving the port, and while sailing passed Koh Ra, we saw several hornbills and kingfishers.
Upon arriving at Koh Prathong, we took a local transfer. It was low tide so the long-tail boat was not able to reach the pier and we had to walk through the shallow water to the beach. The local ‘transfer’ was an old tractor and it was quite a squeeze with room for only four people. The ride to other side of the island took about 30 minutes with two local dogs guiding us all the way! We passed through incredible untouched nature and even spotted a wild deer in the ‘savannah’ region of the island.
Koh Prathong is a rural island with no shops, no connection to the grid and with only hotel restaurant options to choose from for dining. Most power is turned off at night. The beaches are empty and good for long walks – great for families and couples who want to spend some time away from modernity. Snorkeling and kayaking are the most popular activities; otherwise it’s a place to relax.
After arriving at our hotel, we took the savannah and village tour, which first takes you to the grassland plains at the center of the island. The tour in an old Land Rover was amazing and we really felt like we were in Africa! Here you can spot deer and there’s lots of birdlife.
We also stopped off at Koh Prathong’s Moken village and visited the local school where you can create batik cotton designs to support the local Moken community. We walked through the village and along the pier where you have an amazing view of Khura Buri’s mangrove forests.
The next day we took a private long-tail boat from our hotel on Koh Prathong to the Surin Islands, an archipelago of five, with Koh Surin Nuea (north island) and Koh Surin Tai (south island) being the two main islands in the group. We loved the tour, which took us to some great reefs for snorkelling.
The Moken village on Koh Surin Tai was a great experience. We started off by first visiting the information center, a small tented area with informative boards about Moken sea-gypsy culture. The village was a very local set up with around 100 wooden houses directly on the beach.
Lunch was served at a place near the beach which was completely deserted. We thought it must have been what Phi Phi Island was like 30 years ago, with crystal-clear water and white sand – truly beautiful.
After finishing the tour, we headed back to our hotel for the night and the next day we ventured to Koh Ra island which has several small reefs that are good for snorkelling. There are no tourists on this island and it has a beautiful long, natural beach – a perfect place to relax at the end of our trip to the islands of Khura Buri!
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