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Off the west coast of Southern Thailand, located in the glistening waters of the Andaman Sea, are the beautiful Similan Islands. Composed of eleven islands, each one as magnificent as the next. Is exploring remote and desolated places full of wildlife your thing?
Escape the bustling crowds of Phuket and discover these exotic gems for yourself. In this Similan Islands travel guide, I will walk you through everything you can see and do in the area including information on how to get there and more. So what exactly makes the Similan Islands so special? What is it about them that is so attractive to travelers?
Put simply, the Similan Islands are natural wonders, full of low-lying formations covered in plush, dense forests and surrounded by the clearest waters imaginable. This is a sight to behold in itself but then you as soon as you delve beneath the waters, you will discover why Koh Similan is one of the top 10 most interesting dive areas in the world!
Convinced that this is a location that deserves to be explored yet? If not, read on to find out more.
Obviously, we have to talk about snorkeling and diving first after making the bold claim that it is one of the best scuba diving destinations in Asia. Offering warm, clear waters with weak to moderate currents and 20 to 30m visibility, the Similan Islands provide more than ideal conditions for a fantastic diving experience. Throughout the diving season late October through to Mayyou can explore the abundant marine life that lives just below the surface and admire the dizzying landscapes.
Whether gently sloping coral reefs, deep rocky gorges, or challenging depths and variable currents are your preference, the waters surrounding the Similan Islands provide something for every diver. Here, you will find the most incredible submarine rock formations, huge granite boulders, swim-throughs and giant fan corals that you may ever see.
Travelers who go for day trips from nearby Phuket or Khao Lak can also bring their own gear to avoid having to rent some when you get there.
With endless diving options and so much marine life to see, it can be overwhelming to choose what sites you want to explore! If you want to make the most of your time in the Similan Islands, a liveaboard would be a great option for you. Four-day trips that visit both the Similan and Surin Islands are the most popular. We highly recommend liveaboard diving if you want to get the most out of your diving experience. These tours take you to all the main dive sites and offer a mixture of dives ranging in difficulty as well as night dives!
Click the button below to get information on our top Similan Islands liveaboard boat picks which you can sort by price range and type of trip. Although the islands are not large, you can spend some time out of the water exploring the dense forests and discovering hidden places that not many have ventured too. Whether you like to follow the hiking trails go full-on off-road, you can take your time and discover some beautiful sights along the way. Just make sure you take some insect repellent and a bottle of water before you set off.
The white sandy beaches of the Similan Islands provide the perfect setting for you to relax and unwind. Yes, you could go snorkeling, diving or swimming if you want to, but why would you when the suns rays are streaming down on you and the soft sound of waves are lapping the shore? With so many divers heading to the Similan Islands, this little archipelago has become quite the destination for yachts and tour boats.
Due to its popularity, you should expect a few boats and people during the How to get to similan islands from bangkok. If you opt to stay on the island, once the day boats leave, you have the beaches all to yourself again. If you love animals, the Similan Islands are home to some amazing wildlife that you can feast your eyes on.
With so many ironwood and gum trees lining the islands and rattan and bamboo forming part of the denser undergrowth, you will see many crab-eating monkeys, squirrels, bats, lizards and rare and exotic birds.
If you like to bird watch or just see animals living life to the full in their natural habitat, a trip here might be well worth it. Getting to the Similan Islands is not the easiest, especially as there is no regular boat service to the island. During the low-season months May to Octoberboats may even stop running altogether so bear this in mind when booking your trip. Boat trips take about three hours and the cost can vary a lot 1, Baht for a space on a fishing boat, 1, Baht for a space on the National Park boat, 2, Baht for a speedboat or 5, Baht for guided trips.
Other options include taking a day trip from Phuket or Khao Lak, ing a liveaboard boat tripor taking a taxi or bus from Phuket bus station to Khao Lak and then a boat. As mentioned, day trips from Phuket and Khao Lak are common and take anything from 45 minutes to 3 hours depending on the type of boat.
To check exact boat schedules, take a look at Bookaway or 12Gowhich we use to book transport tickets all over Southeast Asia. Therefore, in an attempt to protect the Islands, the Government of Thailand closes them to the public during the monsoon season May to October. This makes the best time to visit between the months of October to May. As we mentioned, the unique ecosystems on the Similan Islands are quite fragile and need to be preserved so you can only actually stay on three of the islands.
The tents are quite spacious, enough to fit two to three people comfortably. In some campsites, there is even a small restaurant. So what do you think? Hopefully, this guide has convinced you to visit Similan Islands so you can take in the beauty of this place for yourself. Travel Must: At the risk of sounding like your parents, make sure you get travel insurance before hitting the road. We recommend either World Nom or Safety Wingdepending on the type of traveler you are.
For full information, please see our disclaimer here.How to get to similan islands from bangkok
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Similan Islands – What to Do in the Similans?