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Back in 1928, King Prajadhipok Rama VII — ruler of Thailand from 1925-35 — created a golf course north of the beach. During a political upheaval in 1973, the local people fought to win back the beach front and, to this day, it is a public park enjoyed by locals and tourists alike.
On any day, Surin’s beachfront will be alive with friendly football matches, beach volleyball, kite flying, surfing, or equally relaxed with bathers enjoying sun rays on the sandy shore. Meanwhile, local Thai vendors still run their popular and traditional beachfront sala-style restaurants and bars offering tantalizing seafood dishes, cocktails and world-famous Thai hospitality.
Neighbouring Laem Singh beach is also a popular spot for loungers and fun lovers. A short trek down a forest trail opens the mind to one of nature’s best kept secrets. This stunningly beautiful cove of crystal clear waves and art-scaped boulders is enhanced by a sprinkle of deck chairs and cool cocktail bars that feature funky DJ’s spinning their tunes for Sunday afternoon beach parties.
In the late 1980’s the area’s first five-star resort was born. The exclusive Amanpuri Resort, at Pansea Beach, just north of Surin, attracts world celebrities to the fantastic shores of Phuket’s central north-west. The branded Aman headland property intersperses Thai-style pavilions and villa homes amidst a serene coconut plantation with a private beach and fleet of luxury cruisers. The neighbouring French-managed, seafront The Chedi Boutique Resort and nearby Twinpalms Resort & Spa join to add more than a touch of glamour and indulgence to the 900-metre long white-sand beach frontage.
In the hills behind Surin, villa estates bloom in the tropical sun as naturally as the exotic foliage in their well tended gardens. Private villas nestling among new estates such as Surin Heights, with its soaring Andaman sea views, and Baan Thai Surin Hill estate all combine with the area’s latest projects to draw buyers from across the globe. Residents include villa owners from Hong Kong, UK, Scandinavia, and beyond, from all social demographics.
Upmarket eateries and bars sit alongside swanky resorts that offer fine dining ambience as well as upmarket health and wellness services. Twin Palms Resort & Spa, a new addition to the local landscape, is a modern, contemporary haven that spoils guests with buffets of chocolate, cheese, oysters and wine while offering the latest innovations in spa treatments and health services. Local residents are drawn from their villa sanctuaries to partake in such heavenly and therapeutic delights.
Hong Kong-based, Canadian entrepreneur Allan Zeman is such a fan of Surin that he created The Plaza Surin — a glitzy upmarket shopping destination offering the epitome of style and sophistication. Two levels of retail shopping contain a dozen stores devoted to home décor and entertainment, antiques, collectibles, art and fashion, while the top level is reserved for Silk — a restaurant, bar and lounge where fine dining joins with the island’s premier groovers and shakers.
Other nightlife options in the Surin area include the Supper Club and Tatonka in nearby Bangtao — a regular haunt of the northern set. Several upmarket nightclubs at Patong, to the south, also lure the party residents and visitors of Surin from a day at the local beach to an evening of funky music and dance.