Similan Islands Phuket
Although Thailand is known as the land of the golden temples, millions of international visitors come here every year not only for the pristine beaches in Phuket, the Emerald Buddha Temple or the Golden Temple... yet also because of the beautiful islands captivating tourists’ impression from their first sight. One of the must-visit destinations is Similan Islands.
The original meaning of Similan Islands is Nine because the archipelago consists of 9 small islands extending from North to South: Koh Ba Ngu, Similan, Payu, Koh Hok, Koh Ha, Koh Miang, Koh Payan, Koh Payong and Koh Huyong. Similan Islands has a majestic beauty that is hard to describe in words because of the rich underwater ecosystem, the diverse flora and fauna in the sea. Similan Islands is one of the most beautiful islands in the world still retaining its original pristine features.
The cluster of nine islands
The cluster of nine islands was named the Similan Ocean National Park in 1982. You can easily see the image of this paradise island cluster on any postcard: beautiful beaches uninhabited and the great ecosystem. Situated in the western Andaman Sea, Similan Islands is considered the best diving spot in Thailand. The archipelago consists of 9 islands surrounded by tropical jungle with white sand beaches. Similan is also referred to as the land of rich fauna and flora with 32 different species of birds along with reptiles, amphibians and mammals such as porcupines or flying lemurs.
All of the islands have white sandy beaches with clear water where you can even see small populations of colorful fish, rays and sea turtles. Beautiful coral reefs have been heavily destroyed by fish mine hunting, but today this is a strictly protected reserve. Forest rangers are the only people living on the island. They play an important role in preventing pollution and destructive behavior against the beauty of nature. So during the rainy season the park will be closed while boats are checked regularly. You can first go to Khao Lak from Bangkok, Phuket or Krabi, then transfer to a speedboat and travel about 1 hour to reach the Similan Islands.
Scuba diving in Similan Islands
The clear seawater with colorful corals in strange shapes makes this place an ideal Thai tourist destination for people who love diving. The underwater world is always a priceless gift that nature offers. There are more than 200 species of corals and countless different species of fish that you can hardly find elsewhere in Thailand. The most famous diving spot is the Elephant Head, where you can glide away and enjoy the ocean world.
Each year Similan National Park is only open to visitors for about 6 months, from November 1 to May 15 of the following year. The weather in Similan all year round is summer. The coldest days don't drop below 25 degrees Celsius. Therefore, during the park's opening hours, you can come at any time. However, according to Similan travel experience, the most ideal time is from the end of February to the middle of March every year. This is the time when Similan rarely rains, the weather is not too hot, and so it is very convenient for leisure activities.