It’s no secret that Thailand is a destination par excellence for those who love the underwater world, boasting renowned diving spots and attracting visitors from all over the globe. Here at The Sarojin, we are lucky enough to neighbour the spectacular Surin and Similan Islands, which each boast Marine National Parks dotted with beautiful coral reefs that start just metres from the shoreline and attract a wide variety of marine life including leatherback sea turtles, whale sharks and manta rays.
To delve a little deeper into what makes these two beauties of the Andaman Sea so special and how to explore them responsibly and sustainably, Resident Manager – Operations, Khun Kade, tells us about his role and experience organising diving excursions throughout the years…
“I am proud to say that I have worked at The Sarojin for more than ten years. I started in 2007 as Senior Front Office Manager and left in 2009 to learn new experiences. I then returned home to The Sarojin in 2011 and held the Executive Assistant Manager position until 2013 when I was promoted to Resident Manager – Operations. I cover all the different front of house aspects from guest liaison and operations to the front office, food and beverage, spa and excursions. A part of my role that I love and cherish is spending time getting to know our guests. Creating unforgettable and tailor-made experiences is so important to us… and there is no better way to do so than experiencing them myself.
My day involves various admin tasks as well as precious time speaking to our guests… I welcome everyone on arrival and chat to guests during breakfast and advising and helping them with any experiences they would like us to organise during their stay. Popular options include cooking classes with Executive Chef Gogh, private candlelit dinners, spa treatments and an all-time favourite: diving excursions to the Surin and Similan Marine National Parks aboard the Lady Sarojin yacht. I think what makes exploring these world-renowned gems of the Andaman Sea so special to our guests (and to us) is their unrivalled beauty… guests can expect deep offshore blue seas, a laundry list of colourful marine life, dramatic rocky gorges and hard and soft coral reefs. The diving season runs from mid-October until early May with calm waters and visibility that reaches 30m on most days… what’s not to love!
Making sure we help preserve the different areas that surround the resort is at the heart of everything we do and the core of our ethos and this is particularly important when it comes to organising excursions to these stunning Marine National Parks. We care deeply about marine environments and carefully plan our excursions to make sure no damage is done. For example, we do not employ fixed anchor techniques but instead, hook with a floating ball so that our visits don’t impact coral reefs. Additionally, we educate guests on the marine conservation project at the Surin and Similan Islands so that they are aware of how to respond to marine life when diving – for example by asking them not to touch any of the marine creatures or coral reefs. Keep this shocking fact in mind… an accidental kick to a coral reef can destroy 50–100 years of growth as corals only grow two centimetres or less every year!
There is so much to discover at the Surin and Similan islands, but our guests agree that there are a couple of “not-to-be-missed” diving spots. Richelieu Rock, part of the Surin National Park, is a beautiful horseshoe-shaped reef with crystal-clear waters and an amazing purple and white soft coral that attracts a diverse marine life including frog fish, seahorses, whale sharks and barracudas. It gets its name from the Richelieu Rock that stands out from a depth of 50 metres. Other favourites are Koh Bon and Kon Tachai, both belonging to the Similan National Park and approximately 20km from Similan Island. Koh Bon is famed for being home to spectacular manta rays all year-round and Kon Tachai sees big schools of travelly, rainbow runners and fusiliers, giant morays, and oceanic triggerfish.
Both National Marine Parks have strict rules to control boat and diving activities, which we make sure we adhere to. There is no denying that the lack of tourism during the Covid-19 pandemic has had an impact on marine life worldwide. However, both islands have been protecting their precious ecosystems for a long time by limiting the number of boats and setting boundary buoys around sensitive areas. Some new measures introduced as a result of the global pandemic include limiting the number of daily divers to 525 (3,400 previously), single use plastics banned from both parks and overnight stays no longer allowed – true testament that environment comes first!
One of the main reasons we chose Khao Lak as the location for The Sarojin was the natural beauty of the area. We are advocates of contributing to preserve it for both the local community and our guests and encourage those that choose to stay with us to contribute to our #SarojinCares initiatives including ongoing beach, coastal and mangrove environmental care activities – you can find more information here www.sarojin.com/en/khao-lak-resort-sarojin/community-and-environment/”
Speak to our team about booking a diving excursion… moored just off our picture-perfect 11km private white sand beach, Lady Sarojin is ready and waiting to be taken on her next adventure! Further details available here www.sarojin.com/en/khao-lak-resort-facilities/adventure/
To find out more about The Sarojin’s health and safety procedures in response to COVID-19, you can visit our Health and Safety page www.sarojin.com/en/khao-lak-resort-sarojin/covid-19/ or to explore the resort’s spacious grounds and residences virtually check out our 360-degree online tour or our video tours https://www.sarojin.com/en/khao-lak-resort-gallery/video/
For more information on Thailand’s reopening and arrival visit https://www.tatnews.org/