Thailand is known for its natural beauty and its impressive locales, and the Similan Islands only add to its legendary reputation. This small group of islands off the coast of Phang Nga have created one of the most visited national parks in the province. And for good reasons.
The cluster of islands has become a hotspot for tourists from all over the world, not only for its natural beauty and the unmatched views from every square meter on the island, but also from the plethora of activities the island has to offer. Once you are in the Phang Nga Province then it is hard to miss opportunities to get to the luxurious destinations, and in our opinion, you owe it to yourself to visit the Similan Islands.
It would be easier to list reasons not to visit the islands since there are little to no reasons not to. There are a plethora of reasons you should not miss the opportunity to pay a visit to the largest commercial island destination for people from all over the world. From the dive centers to the coral reefs and the day trips that are organized during its open season, to the magical boat trips and the once in a lifetime scuba diving experiences it offers.
Similan Islands scuba diving is one of the most popular activities on the islands. When at Similan Islands, diving is an absolute must! You will witness underwater landscapes in such volume that you will hardly find in any other place on the planet with a similar scene. The beauty of the underwater scenery will remain in your memory. There are plenty of opportunities to dive and there are also a lot of diving centers that you can visit to arrange a scuba diving session. Diving ‘Similan Islands style’ has gained a huge reputation over the years since approximately one million people have visited the islands over the past few years, making it one of the must-do activities. The waters are clear and inviting and the marine life underneath the water surface ensures a diving experience like no other. If you are not excited for the diving, you can participate in the other activity that the Similan Islands is renowned for, Snorkelling!
From Phuket to Similan Islands, you can only reach it by boat. It is not a long ride, especially with speed boats that can access the islands in a couple of hours. You will find plenty of boat offerings at Phuket, and within the Phang Nga Province, that travel to the Andaman Sea for visits to the islands. With the Phuket boat tours, you will also avoid the need for a Similan islands map while also meeting plenty of tour guides that can make your trip easier. This is achieved through the expertise of the guides and their ability to point out what to do and how to make the most of your time at the immense national park.
Yes and No. There are some islands that you can stay on, but not on all of them. The most common islands people are able to stay on are Koh Meang, Koh Similan and Koh Tachai. The accommodation on these islands are usually made through hotel bookings and depending on your budget you can find a place to stay on the appropriate island. Keep in mind that they are all very beautiful. If you are looking for more high-end accommodation then you should look into Koh Meang. Although, please keep in mind to seek information regarding potential accommodation prior to visiting the actual location. This is because there are some hotels and campsites that have closed over time because of protestings about environmental harm on the islands. The protests usually relating to the many areas on the island that are protected for their natural beauty and the wildlife that exists on the island.
By the time you glance over the islands during your boat trip, you will start instantly understand what the whole fuss is about. You will start seeing why so many people visit these islands during its open season.
To begin with, the view that can be seen from every inch of these beautiful islands is worth the visit and the boat ride. There is nothing more satisfying than traveling to a destination, and the destination appearing more and more beautiful on approach. On the boat ride, you will go through silky azure waters and gentle sea waves that lead to the cluster of islands. Once you get closer to the islands themselves, you will notice the green and grey horizons that are made up of rich vegetation and geometrically formed rocks. That is where the pictures you have been seeing for so long become a reality.
The Similan Islands National Park offers plenty of things to do and a lot of beauty to offer to everyone that visits.
One of the first highlights is the diving you can do amongst the islands. The diving is one of the must-do activities when you go there, and if you are not into diving, then you can also try snorkeling in the waters of the islands. There are plenty of underwater sites that many people are willing to visit and explore. These include underwater caves and tunnels, alongside reefs and boulders that form unforgettable memories and experiences. Diving at Similan Islands is bucket list material. Just keep in mind to be safe, as the weather can be temperamental, and the currents strong, while you are diving. And there are many dives in the islands that go deeper than the recreational depth.
In addition to diving, there are plenty of dreamy beaches you can visit. Some of the most beautiful beaches are the White Sand Beach in Khao Lak and the PhraNang Cave beach in Ao.
Another must when you visit the islands is walking along some magnificent trails. Hiking and Trekking are incredibly popular activities to do on the islands. Many people take their time to explore the amazing locales, and many of those go birdwatching as well.
The once in a lifetime pandemic has drastically altered tourism in Thailand during 2020. How has this effected your planned trip to the Similan Islands?
Tourism is opening up slowly. At the time of writing, the Thai Government was slowly opening up their borders to tourists and this means that as of mid-October 2020, there is still great difficulty for most travelers to venture to the region.
However, those who have gained access, and those living locally will find that local tour operators are operating and capable of taking visitors to the region.
The best way to investigate the current status is to call your local embassy, and if permitted into the country, contact a local operator such as Simba Sea Trips for all your day tour needs.
Visiting the world famous islands is one of the best choices you will make once you visit Phuket or the Phang Nga Province. And don’t forget that the Similan Islands are also extremely close for a Simba Sea Trips tour, giving you even more ways to explore the province!
What months are the Islands open?
Normally, the Similan Islands are open from October 15th to May 15th. However, the corona pandemic has impacted on this. Please contact your local travel adviser for the latest news.
How far is Phuket from the Similan Islands?
The Similan Islands are approximately 120 kilometres to the Northwest of Phuket Island.
How can you get there?
You can get a boat from nearby Khaolak (50 kilometres west) or travel from Phuket Marina with a private tour operator.
Where can I book a trip to the Similans?
You can book a tour with an online tour operator or from any tour agent in the Phuket region. Either those at your hotel or from one of the numerous street tour booths.