The picture-perfect Similan Islands can be described as a dream come true for all diving fanatics. If you are one, but have never heard of them, then you'll definitely want to add visiting this place to your bucket list. In fact, thanks to its deep clear-blue waters and heavenly coral reefs, this exotic destination is praised as being one of, if not, the best, diving sites in the world.
Comprising 9 islands – Ko Bon, Ko Bayu, Ko Similan, Ko Payu, Ko Miang, Ko Payan, Ko Payang and Ko Huyong – the Similan Islands started their existence some 65 million years ago and first came about due to huge outpourings of hot magma which were then smoothed out by glacial ice and erosion along the years. Today these islands are simply referred to by numbers 1-9.
Things to see and do
On land, the Similan Islands thrive with jungles to be trekked; tremendous rock formations to be climbed; and luxurious beaches containing some of the softness chalk-white sands you will ever immerse your feet or body in. Off-land, in the shallow or deepest waters of the Andaman Sea, you'll find spectacular marine life such as lionfish; clownfish; parrotfish and even whale sharks in addition to some 200 species of hard coral reef. Water clarity in this area is one of the best in the world which means you'll be able to experience this enchanting water-world to the max.
Apart from scuba-diving, the other main activities to be enjoyed in this tropical gem of Southern Thailand are excursions by boat, sailing, snorkelling bird watching and nature trails.
Where to Stay?
Overnight camping is only permitted on the islands of Ko Miang (#4) and Ko Similan (#8), however tents must be bought from the islands themselves. Ko Miang (#4) is also the only island with bungalows for accommodation should you wish to prolong your visit to the region.
Should you not be able to reserve a bungalow on Ko Miang which is done by contacting the National Park and Wildlife Conservation Department of the Similan Islands, it is recommended you book your accommodation at the nearest location which is in Khao Lak region of Phang Nga Province. Khao Lak is a highly tourist-oriented group of villages and the departure point for scuba-diving trips to the Similan Islands.
NOTE: The only time you can visit the Similan Islands is from December to mid-May. The remaining months are closed off for safety reasons due to weather conditions.