Ko Surin in on the left side of Thailand. It is a protected marine national park where fishing is forbidden. On the island, there is only 2 beaches to stay at, in rented tents or crazy expensive bungalows. No concrete hotel, no shop, nothing… There are only two boats a day and they’re leaving within 30 minutes, so you really feel that “lost on an island vibe”. The beach we were camping at was beautiful, transparent water and white sand all to ourselves. It was paradise! On the island, we could hear that the dense jungle was host to many animals. We would sometimes just stop and listen to them. You cannot scuba dive there so we snorkeled. The boat took us pretty far away, dropped people at different spots and abandoned us 100 meters away from where it waited. At first I was so excited, it was incredible! Never in my life have I seen parrot fish that big, that bright, red, green, blue, rainbow, all together! I kept looking around in amazement, when I spotted a baby silver tip shark. I looked around to get Silvere to come watch it, when I realized we were alone as everyone else was snorkeling much closer to the boat.
I have no idea why the driver decided to leave us there and others further away.
I couldn’t get Silvere’s attention at first so I stayed and watched some more that cute shark. I really didn’t want him to miss on such a beauty so I went to get him, and when we both arrived, the baby shark was only a meter away from us! And then, a second baby shark arrived… Oh oh, so he’s not alone, lost in the shallow waters… Hmm. I’m thinking that we should probably start to swim away, but I pull Silvere’s arm to make sure he sees what I’m seeing: right in front of us, only a couple of meter away, a bigger shark of maybe 1,20 meter is slowly coming towards us then switch direction… Alright now I’m scared. We’re alone there, the boat is far away, and there are sharks.
I’m trying to make the SOS signal to the boat driver so he would come get us, but that idiot looks at me without moving. So I keep making big moves in the water to tell him that there is something wrong, but still, he doesn’t move. Silvere and I decide to swim to the boat right away, even if the sharks are on our way. Fastest crawl ever! Once safe and on board, I explode and try to understand why the boat driver didn’t do anything, but it feels like the guy is simply driving boats and doesn’t have a clue what’s going on. I bet he doesn’t understand why we’re going in the water with masks and I’m even wondering if he can swim… So safety, well, maybe another day. The thing is in case of a problem, we’re just too isolated to make it to the nearest hospital. I had seen sharks before but it was completely different: I was scuba diving, I had people around me, an instructor who knew what to do and how to behave etc… I can tell, this is something else!
Then we started talking about that third shark with Silvere… “How big do you think it was?” And we were in total disagreement… I thought it was maybe 1,20 meter, 1,50 top for sure, but Silvere maintained it was a huge 2 or 2,50 meters shark. I thought maybe since he wasn’t wearing glasses underwater his judgment was altered, until he said that the shark passed in front of us, 20 meters away, from left to right… And I realized that we didn’t see the same shark. Who knows how many of them were there?! We saw 4. From there, I decided not to go back to the water on the other snorkeling stops. We heard later that this specific spot was renowned for its shark abundance, I kinda wished someone told us before so we could prepare ourselves to that sight! The next day we played it cool and spent some time reading on our hammocks, doing some yoga on the beach and finally walking on the nature trail. There was a sign close to our camping indicating that water monitors were living there. We tried to spot one, and found at least a dozen. They were moving in the little swamp, sunbathing or even getting close to us. They were huge! I did not expect that, but it was wonderful to watch such big reptiles so close in their natural habitat. It felt like the time stopped on the island, 3 days seemed like nothing and forever at the same time. When we left, we spent our last day in Phuket, close to the airport we had to go to to catch our plane for Myanmar the next day. Even if it was much busier, we found a way to maintain our routine of beach yoga and walk for one last day.
I really fell in love with Thailand. The food, the people, the beauty of the scenery and the wildlife definitely make me want to go back. So far, Thai temples are also my favorites of all the ones I’d seen before. There are so many places remaining to explore… Twenty five days are not nearly enough!