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Similan Islands

Similan Islands

The Similan Islands are a group of nine islands about 100kms northwest of Phuket. The area has been designated the Similan Marine National Park. The Similans are famed for their spectacular underwater scenery and marine life, and is regarded as one of the top ten dive spots in the world. The islands are completely undeveloped, except for Koh Miang, where the park headquarters, a visitors centre and some accommodation are located. There is also a royal residence on Koh Miang.

The name “Similan” is derived from the Malay sembilan meaning “nine”. Each of the Similan Islands has a number as well as a name. Thais often refer to the islands just by their number, so Koh Miang is Koh Si, meaning “island number four”. From north to south these are as follows:

  • 9. Koh Ba-Ngu
  • 8. Koh Similan
  • 7. Koh Payu
  • 4., 5. & 6. Koh Miang (actually two islands, with Hin Pousar often designated as no.6)
  • 3. Koh Payan
  • 2. Koh Payang
  • 1. Koh Hu Yong

The beaches are pristine and although the scenery above water is not as dramatic as the limestone islands in Phang Nga Bay, the smooth granitic rock formations and scattered boulders, together with the crystal clear sea, make up for it.

  • Cliff
  • Beach

You can visit the Similans from November to April. The weather is at its best and the water visibility is clearest. Plenty of dive-boats visit the island on day-trips and liveaboards from Phuket and Thap Lamu (near Khao Lak) during this time. June marks the start of the rainy season when the national park closes.

Koh Similan and Koh Miang are both excellent for hiking. The Similan islands are very rich in flora and fauna for such a small and remote area. The islands are a combination of several forest types, and the convergence of evergreen forest and coral reef. The bio diversity ranges from whale sharks to rare birds such as the Nicobar Pigeon, as well as 27 species of mammals, 22 species of reptiles, and at least 4 species of amphibians.

Book a Similan Islands Tour

Accommodation

The Park authorities maintain a few bungalows, campsites and a restaurant for visitors when the park is officially open from November to May. There are no hotels or resorts in the national park. The nearest places to stay on the mainland are in Khao Lak, about 50kms away.

Activities

Clown Fish - Similan islands

The main activity here is scuba diving and snorkelling, although fishing trips and sailing vessels also stop here regularly.

As it takes about 3.5 hours to get to the Similans, most dive trips are by liveaboard. Because there are so many dive sites offering so much variety, you should consider a trip of at least four days to fully explore these islands. However, if you are pressed for time there is a hydrofoil from Phuket, which makes the trip in under 2 hours, allowing you to make two dives before returning.

The Similans offer an incredibly varied underwater landscape. Sloping hard coral reefs and shallow coral gardens on the east side of the islands, which are protected from the strong currents. On the west side is totally different scenery. Huge granite boulders, caverns and swim-throughs make for a faster paced and more challenging experience.

See more information on Phuket scuba diving

Getting to the Similan Islands

From Phang Nga:

Most boats to the Similans leave from Thap Lamu pier, which is in Thai Muang district between Phuket and Khao Lak, where the National Park’s office is located. Journey time by speed boat is approximately 90 minutes.

From Phuket:

There are speedboats to the Similans from the Boat Lagoon, just north of Phuket Town, taking around 2.5 hours.

Liveaboards:

These can be overnight trips or longer. Food and accommodation is provided on these dive boats. Most dive centres in Phuket and Khao Lak can arrange regular liveaboards to the Similans during the dry season.

Tips

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Tips:

Екатерина February 5, 2012
Волшебное место! Обязательно к посещению в тае! Сюда нужно приезжать на несколько дней!!!
Done by 2 people
NungNing 🎀 April 17, 2010
Sand is so soft, water is so clear
Done by 5 people
Templedog February 23, 2013
Paradice on the earth
Done by 1 person
Mila April 27, 2012
Летучие лисицы свистят и верещат, хабалки!
Done by 1 person
Qnanee February 14, 2011
I saw a turtle fying in front of me OMG!
Done by 3 people
Andrey April 4, 2013
Sail Rock.
Done by 1 person
Alexey November 13, 2012
Дивный остров!! Надо заночевать!
Done by 1 person
Basil January 7, 2011
Very sweet place for snorkeling!
Done by 2 people
Cody January 1, 2011
Beautiful views, clear waters, soft sands. But don't expect much from the food!
Done by 2 people
Sutinee December 19, 2010
would love to come back again :D
Done by 2 people
David April 6, 2010
Insanely crowded between 9:30am and 3:30pm. Very relaxed in the late afternoon evening. Some nights you can have 'Sunset' all to yourself.
Done by 2 people
Elena March 27, 2013
Здорово становится, когда уедут туристы, которые едут на экскурсию на день...
Done by 1 person
Elena March 27, 2013
Реально очень красиво! Подводный мир потрясающий! Вода чистейшая, песок белейший! Обязательно экскурсия на два дня и более...
Done by 1 person
MooMiwa February 29, 2012
ดำน้ำ snokering
Done by 1 person
Thitinan March 14, 2011
Get away from people, let's walk to Honeymoon bay
Done by 1 person
Evgenii February 24, 2014
листцы орут круглосуточно над палатками. из едв в баре снеки и бпшки. крепкий алкоголь только с собой
Done by 1 person
bmw January 23, 2014
90 min each way on the speedboat is actually very little fun. Kids and women started to throw-up. Not a nice view. I recommend to take one of the slower double-deck boats.
Done by 1 person
Andrew December 10, 2013
WiFi password is similana . Best signal is near reception. Enjoy your stay!
Done by 1 person
Chinee April 20, 2013
Great getaway...boat trip can be boring though
Done by 1 person
Frau January 25, 2013
.nice place to escape from crowded Phuket
Done by 1 person