Similan Islands, or Koh Similan, is an archipelago located off the east coast of Thailand in the Andaman Sea. The islands are particularly popular for scuba diving, as they sit just above huge shipwrecks, a wide variety of marine life, and offer a number of world-class dive sites. Similan Islands is home to some of the highest coral reefs in the world and is also a popular destination for snorkeling and whale watching. There are several attractions on the islands including beaches, waterfalls, caves, and lagoons. With easy access from Bangkok and Phuket, this destination is a great place for a fun weekend getaway or a weeklong vacation.
If you’re one of the many diving enthusiasts looking for more adventure and unique diving sites, you can also explore the limestone caves on some of the islands. There’s much more than meets the eye with these islands – explore them further to get a glimpse into their beauty beyond their natural appeal!
The Similan Islands, as we’ve said above, is a paradise for people who want to explore the beauty of the underwater world through diving or snorkeling. As such, it is even more important to learn about the best times to visit Similan Islands as the water conditions vary depending on the season. This means diving and snorkeling may be dangerous in some months while perfectly safe in others.
During the warm season (which runs from December to mid-March), the Similan Islands see the least number of rains. The sea also remains calm, making it the perfect condition for snorkeling and diving.
While you can head out to the sea at any time during the warm season, the actual diving season is during late February and mid-March when the ocean is almost still.
The rainy season, also called the monsoon season, runs from mid-May to mid-October. During this time, weather conditions are incredibly unpredictable. One day the sea will be calm, and another day it will be full of crashing waves. As such, authorities close the Similan Islands National Park every year from May 16 to October 14 to prevent any accidents.
Because the Similan National Park is closed half the year, expect an influx of visitors during its open months. To avoid any issues during the trip, it is advisable for you to book your hotel and transportation months prior.
There are rarely, if any, events and festivals held in Similan Islands. However, you can partake in any events held across Phang Nga province.
Before anything, we’ll be honest and say that getting to the Similan Islands is not the easiest. There is no regular boat service to the island. However, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to get to the island.
You cannot fly to the Similan Islands as there are no airports in the area. However, you can travel from Bangkok to Phang Nga Bay where there are boats that could take you to Similan Island.
From Phang Nga Province, you can take a boat trip at the Thap Lamu Pier in the Thai Muang district to get to the islands. The cost of boat trips varies depending on the type of boats you take to visit the Similan Islands. The prices are as follows:
To check exact boat schedules, you can take a look at Bookaway or 12Go, which also allows you to book tickets ahead of time.
Note: Boat trips usually stop altogether during the low season due to unpredictable water conditions.
Similan Islands is made up of 11 islands, each of which can only be reached by boat. Once you hit land, you can walk around the island and reach the numerous dive destinations by foot.
While Similan Islands National Park has 11 islands, you can only really stay on three, particularly Koh Miang, Koh Similan and Koh Tachai. Having said that, the only forms of accommodation on these islands are either guesthouse bungalows, which can cost up to 2,000 THB per night, or camping tents, which can cost around 500 THB per person per night.
We recommend staying in a tent rather than a bungalow as it allows you to wake up to the most beautiful sunrises and white sandy beaches.
Off the west coast of Southern Thailand, the Similan Islands are not as scenic as other islands in the country. However, there are plenty of things that make the islands truly worth visiting. In addition, there are also lots of things to do on the islands.
On land, Similan Islands offer plenty of low-lying formations covered with dense forests of ironwood, gum trees, jackfruit, rattan, and bamboo. The most striking boulders litter the island group’s western and southern shores, with one of the most famous being Sailing Boat Rock teetering high above a cove on Ko Similan.
With such a dense forest, the island group is home to crab-eating monkeys, dusky langurs, squirrels, bats, lizards, and a good variety of birds. In some islands, sea turtles can also be seen along the rocky coastlines
While the huge boulders and wildlife on land are striking, some of the most interesting sights in the Similan Islands are found beneath the waves.
The marine life in Similan Islands is truly one you don’t want to miss. There are plenty of reef fish, bright and colorful coral gardens, huge coral walls, and magnificent whale sharks, leopard sharks, and manta rays. In addition, there are plenty of submarine peaks, canyons, caves, and passageways underwater, giving scuba divers plenty of interesting dive areas to explore during their trip to the Similan Islands.
There are 11 islands in the national park, namely: Ko Hu Yong Island, Ko Payang, Ko Payan, Ko Miang, Ko Ha Island Group, Ko Payu, Ko Hin Pousar Island, Ko Similan, Ko Bangu, Koh Bon (also known as Ko Talu Island), and Ko Tachai.