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“Surin Island three day trip with Blue Guru”

Blue Guru Dive Centre
Florida
Level Contributor
99 reviews
42 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 123 helpful votes
“Surin Island three day trip with Blue Guru”
Reviewed 29 April 2014

We were picked up at the Greenview Resort and got to Kuraburi Pier about 40 minutes later. Tyler, a young man from the USA, joined us and told us he would be our private guide for the three-day trip. Well, we had not realized we would be escorted the whole trip. In our case, private meant two people, but, as Chris the owner, clarified later, it can mean 2-6 people. The speedboat ride to the islands took about 80 minutes and we were traveling with about 24 more people in the boat. Tyler managed all the meals and logistics, especially on the second day, but he did not join us when snorkeling, but was sunbathing on the boat during our time in the water. It turns out that on our first day, we piggy-backed with the Greenview boat and snorkeled off their boat and ate their snacks and their staff would help us in and out of the boat. We hit four snorkeling spots on the first day and they were all good to great. We checked into our only lonely bungalow on the less busy side of the island and it was a true privilege to be there and we thank Chris for having snagged the only bungalow on this side of the island and we did not have to stay in a tent. It faced a beautiful deserted white sand beach, had a patio, and our own bathroom and shower, of sorts. Food at the restaurant was fine, nothing to write home about. The second day, Tyler was our guide, hired a longboat with a driver and we were off to visit the Moke village and then snorkeled at four separate spot, all very good, some drift snorkeling. Some places had varied coral with cliff drop-offs, while other places had less coral, but more fish. Be aware that you need to climb out of the water by pulling yourself up and then climbing the steps, before balancing and making your way into the longboat. The third day, though was a bust, hence my rating for only an average. Tyler informed us the night before that we could do a nature walk and then relax till 2pm when the boat from Greenview would pick us up again. After our nature walk to a deserted beach, we came back to camp and only then did I notice a sign that advertised a morning snorkeling tour for around 100 baht. Well, we wished we had known about that as we would have liked to snorkel more, to make the most out of our time on the islands. But, alas, Tyler neglected to inform us about another option on how to spend our third day. In fact, he said, that hiring the boat again, would not be worth it for just two people. Ouch. So when Blue Guru is offering snorkeling tours, be aware that you will join another group on the first day, may have a guide who will not be in the water with you, but will eat all meals with you, and that the last day does not include another opportunity to snorkel more. The islands are fantastic nature reserves with white beaches and the bluest water. The bungalow is very primitive, but had everything we needed, was secluded, and was better than sleeping with the sand fleas. All in all very charming places and I would not hesitate to go back there on a future snorkeling trip, even with Blue Guru, knowing what I know now.

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
3 Thank KaliCA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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75 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
tel aviv
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Great Diving”
Reviewed 19 April 2014

I was very impressed by the Blue Guru team: Super-professional from the planning stage (thank you Chris for your patience), safe, friendly and always with a smile. The 2-days trip to Surins/Richelieu Rock was simply amazing! A small group, nice boat, great food, excellent instructors (big thanks to Yuri, Richard and especially Ilona) and great-great diving, including 3 meetings with beautiful whale sharks at Richelieu Rock. Very highly recommended. Hoping to come back soon to this special place.

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank oren e
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
cornwall
Level Contributor
18 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Snorkelling Heaven”
Reviewed 6 April 2014

Used Blu Guru to research trip to Koh Phra Thong. Very helpful and efficient with good informative website & links.Stayed on KPT at Koh Phra Thong nature resort and snorkelled & kyakad from beach, good to be able to explore at own pace,but as Christopher at Blue Guru suggested the trip to Surin produced excellent snorkelling.
Thought about going for 3 days but didn't work on times so took the day trip. Full day but very well planned & run so we had an interesting boat trip & 3 superb snorkelling spots. Saftey was high on their list so there were longtail boats to help at the sites if we needed.
Lots of sightings we saw a 5ft reef shark someone else a whale shark & turtle. Lots of good coral and masses of fish, all in water with a good visibility.
Trip had a mix of divers & snorkellers all were catered for. Lunch was good & plenty of snacks & drinks all day.
Staff brilliant .
Most important we were taken to sites which were quiet only 1 other boat seen. We had heard tales from others that it could be busy but Blue Guru know the area & selected excellent & quiet locations.
Thanks to everyone for an excellent trip.

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
Thank CornwallClinker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Beijing, China
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Great diving for the whole family”
Reviewed 25 March 2014

We booked a diving holiday with Blue Guru over Chinese New Year this spring and had an excellent experience. From the planning stage (with unlimited patience of Helen and Chris to answer all our questions), to the actual trip and the dive courses, everything went perfectly well. On top, we had an extremely pleasant time on the magic Island of Koh Phra Tong (where the dive center is located). The dive center with its outstanding crew, Ilona, Richard and Daniel (Snippy), did everything to make this one of our most memorable trips. The quality of the courses and the dedication of the instructors were outstanding. From bubble maker for our youngest, open water for our 12-year old and advanced for Dad, everybody's expectations were exceeded. Passion, fun and competence meet in a magic place - what more can you ask for?

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
Thank Hans W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
26 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Bad customer service”
Reviewed 24 March 2014 via mobile

We found Chris, the owner, to be very inflexible and unhelpful. He has established himself as the island spokesman, so it is very confusing when you are booking at other places on the island. We canceled a service (due to a medical emergency) well in advance and he charged us anyways because he claims he didn't see the email in time. More likely that he cancelled the service and then pocketed the money.

If you go to Koh Phra Thong, get in contact with Karen at Koh Phra Thong Nature Resort. She was very helpful!

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank SalkantayTrekker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SurinBoy, General Manager at Blue Guru Dive Centre, responded to this review, 23 April 2014
This review does not correspond with any of Blue Guru's customer details for this season and definitely not for the month of February - the time period for which the reviewer alleges they used Blue Guru's services. Blue Guru Diving is a small operation catering to approximately 80 customers a month for a short 6 month season, so a client with such a specific set of circumstances would normally be readily identifiable and I could reply accordingly.

Consequently, on receiving such a scathing and slanderous review, I tried to identify the customer in question so that I could gain a context by which I could offer an appropriate response on TA. There was only one who vaguely fit the bill based on the reviewer's location and cancellation of a boat transfer. However, in this case they did not use any Blue Guru snorkeling or diving services, I only assisted them in an independent role by helping them book accommodation & transfers with an external provider. They did not have a medical emergency and we flexibly gave them a full refund for the cancelled transfer. They actually wanted to stay longer on Koh Phra Thong, then proceed direct to another island, so this doesn't seem like someone experiencing a "medical emergency". I did write to this particular customer to check whether they had written this review but they shared my dismay and categorically denied any TA submission relating to Blue Guru. Of course, I also wrote to the anonymous reviewer directly through the Trip Advisor message service to gain further insight into what had caused this review to be given but they did not reply.

This means that we are left completely in the dark as to why a false and slanderous review was written and by whom. As such, I have asked Trip Advisor to remove this fraudulent review but apparently it 'complies' with their submission guidelines and they have merely suggested that I tell ‘my side of the story’. Given this reported situation did NOT happen, it is hard to give my side of the story. It is sad that someone can anonymously write defamatory lies about us without justification or accountability.

All I can say is that Blue Guru is a highly professional diving business and customer service & welfare are paramount. On the rare occasions over the past 6 years that customers have had medical emergencies and needed to leave the island immediately, we have always arranged all their transportation at whatever time of day or night it was required. We have also provided staff to personally escort them to the nearest hospital in Kuraburi and ensure they are well looked after. Whether sick or well, we pride ourselves on providing a helpful service, so it is extremely upsetting that someone has posted this fictitious review.
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