Chief Puttapot noted in his order that the Thai Meteorological Department (TMD) forecasts thundershowers and isolated heavy rain across 60-70% of the park area from May 10-13.
Southwesterly winds are forecast to reach 20-35km/h. Waves are predicted to reach two to three metres in height in the thunderstorm areas, during the period.
Further, from May 14-16, the TMD predicts thundershowers across 30-40% of the park. Winds are to range from 15-35km/h and waves are to reach up to two metres in thunderstorm areas, Chief Puttapot noted.
“So, for the safety of tourists, we have therefore closed the Mu Ko Surin National Park to tourists from May 12 onwards,” he said.
The park closes each year from May into October during the southwest monsoon, when strong wind and waves make visiting the park dangerous. The annual closure also allows the local marine ecosystem to recover from the volume of visitors during the tourism high season.
The move to close the park early due to the weather follows the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation on Apr 24 declaring the park to be closed this year from May 16 through to Oct 14.
Similarly, Mu Ko Similan National Park is to be closed from May 16 through Oct 14.
Koh Tachai, as with Maya Bay off Phi Phi Island, remains closed without a scheduled re-opening date to allow the island and its surrounding waters to recover from heavy tourism.
For the full list of annual closures this year for national parks and DNP attractions, including popular waterfalls throughout the country, click here.