Surin Travel & City Guide
A chilled beach atmosphere that caters well for a younger and more fashionable crowd.
Surin Beach is situated along the west coast of Phuket and is often referred to as ‘Millionaire’s Row’ due to the plush properties that can be observed high in the surrounding hills. There are also quite a number of high-end hotels in the area, which all add to its exclusivity.
That said, Surin Beach still provides many reasonably priced options in terms of activities, nightlife, restaurants, as well as shopping. It remains one of the island’s quieter beaches, which adds to its attraction. In fact, the expansive white sandy beach, lined by coconut palms and casuarina trees makes for an idyllic setting for both sunny beach days and shaded picnics. During high season the sea offers clear water but during low season whips up some strong waves.
Towards the north end of Surin Beach, seek out a tricky trail that will lead you to a beautiful beach, known as Pansea. A path preferable to those that are fit, as well as brave. If you can take the trek, it’ll be well-worth the effort.
WHERE TO STAY
On Surin Soi 8 road, that runs a bit inland from the main road, a few hotels and resorts of varied standards can be found from fancy big complexes to small locally owned hotels. A few of these resorts are frequently visited by international celebrities.
Condominiums, mixed with hotels, villas, low budget guesthouses and bungalows are up on the mountain-side and inland. These can be found off the main road, between Surin and Bang Tao.
WHAT TO DO
Surfing at Surin Beach during the low season months, from May to October, can be quite satisfying. Home to a surf school that offers lessons during surf season and paddle boarding when the waves are at rest, you can enjoy activities throughout the year.
Snorkelling is great at either end of the beach during the high season and kayaking is also a popular pastime, from where you can venture to Pansea Beach and further along to Laem Singh Beach. Aside from water activities, you can also indulge in a spa treatment in any number of spas, both high-end within the resorts around the area, as well as privately owned parlours along the streets of Surin.
Some of the luxurious venues offer Thai cooking classes where a trip to the local market is also included to select the necessary ingredients.
This culinary experience is well-worth trying as you’ll not only be able to taste the fruits of your labour, when you have finished preparing the meals, but you will also take home some handy cooking tips and recipes as well.
WHERE TO EAT
There are a variety of options when it comes to choosing a bar or restaurant to frequent at Surin Beach. If you’re after some sunset drinks in a stylish setting, there are a few waterfront venues that serve refreshing beverages and enticing menus packed full of flavour. These al-fresco establishments have an inviting atmosphere, which combined with creatively prepared cocktails and beautifully presented dishes guarantees mouth-watering results and impressive views.
Surin also has fresh seafood establishments, as well as mid-range restaurants that serve a choice of international and Thai dishes. Pubs are also quite popular in this area where you can enjoy drinks and pub grub at reasonable rates.
For something more low-key, why not enjoy some Thai food around the main parking lot by the beach? Here you’ll come across such succulent delights as grilled chicken and the ever popular, spicy (or not - mai ped means not spicy in Thai) papaya salad, som tam.
Imported wines from around the world are available in a multitude of shops in Surin and Bang Tao.
Surin’s nightlife is concentrated around its beach clubs, which have recently seen a few changes in terms of sizing down from placing seating directly on the beach. However, they are still in operation and offer a cool night out in terms of lively crowds, good music and scrumptious bites to eat.
Of course, hotels also boast bars and restaurants, which are equally as entertaining to enjoy a drink or indeed eat at. In addition, you can choose to head into Cherngtalay, a village which is approximately five kilometres away where you’ll find an assortment of sports bars, pubs and yet more eateries. Alternatively, head south towards Patong if you feel like having a lively night out.
Surin’s shopping opportunities are not as plentiful as other parts of Phuket, however, there are a few options, some of which are quite exclusive, such as Surin Plaza. Since surfing is quite popular in the area, there is a shop between Surin and Cherngtalay which specialise in surfing.
Here you’ll find antique boutiques, art galleries and designer shoe and clothing shops that all come with a hefty price tag. Aside from extravagant retail outlets, you’ll also be able to spot some less expensive options around Surin’s streets that include galleries, souvenir and tailor shops.
There are two markets near Surin. The first one is situated behind Tesco Lotus and is open on Mondays and Thursdays from 16:00 to 21:00.
The other is near Bang Tao mosque and operates on Tuesdays and Fridays, between 16:00 to 19:00. Fruit, vegetables, clothing and knick knacks are all items you’ll find, as well as food, food, and more delicious food. There is a Tesco Lotus complex towards Cherngtalay that sells reasonably priced groceries and is home to a selection of other shops, such as a bookstore, an optician, and a pharmacy that sells medicine, as well as health and beauty products. There are a few fast-food eateries here, in addition to a couple of cafÃ©s.