Similan Islands – Open from October to May 2017

Similan Islands – Open from October to May 2017

Similan Islands

The Similan Islands are blue diamonds of the Andaman Sea, located 100 km from Phuket island. The islands are so strikingly beautiful, you don’t even need to be a good photographer to take some amazing photos.

The best way to enjoy the Similan islands trip is to stay for a 2 days. It’s a little bit far from Phuket and can be tiring to reach by speedboat. This way you’ll have some fabulous beaches almost for yourself in the morning. To get there you should consider booking a tour that take you around for some snorkeling first, then drop you on the main island where restaurant and accommodation are available.

Similan Islands

Try not to go for the cheapest speedboat unless you are on strict budget. You don’t want to travel like a sardine in a tin can. Of course, if you are a diver you’ll have dozens of dive centers offering this destination as a day trip from Khaolak or better as a live-aboard cruise.

The Similans are open from November 1st to May 15th. Time varies each year so always check before planning a day out there.

Similan Islands

The archipelago consist of 9 islands, but you will only have time to visit 2 or 3. The first is very well known for its iconic landmark: a giant boulders perched at the top of a hill overlooking a clear bay. You’ll arrive in the morning and will have just a bit of time to explore, maybe an hour…

Climbing the boulders isn’t too hard since steps and ladders are available all the way to the top. This will give you a nice bird view on the entire bay. The shadow of the boats floating above white sand will give you an idea of how clear water is.

The famous Similan Island rock formation

You probably will get a second stop near another island where you can try some great snorkeling. Water is warm and incredibly clear. It feels like flying above coral formations and thousand colorful fishes. It is very common to see sea turtles swimming around the boat, I suppose they used to get themselves a free lunch.

3 facts to remember not to get in trouble

  1. Do not feed the fish, even if they swarm around you and beg for some.
  2. Do not pick up any coral or sea life.
  3. Do not walk on the coral… swim!

Similan Islands by Speedboat

Staying over in the Similans

Last stop is island #4 where you can choose to spend the night in a tent or in an air con bungalow. I don’t know about you, but we picked the bungalow with no hesitation, it’s not that expensive. Nothing really fancy, but you get your own (cold) shower and bathroom, a balcony with possibly a sea view, and the luxury of cool air at the hottest time of the year (That’s March to April.)

You can rent tent but I just can’t imagine what kind of sauna a tent would be. Please note that you have to book in advance for both tents and bungalows. It would be unwise not to. Last time we went there it was 570 baht for a tent and 2,000 for a bungalow, plus tax of course.

Overnight in Similan Islands, in front of the restaurant

A thatched roof restaurant serves basic lunch and dinner, water and soft drinks. Not sure if beer is still on sale since they were talking about banning alcohol in all national parks. So at this date, I don’t even know if you’ll be allowed to bring your own.

This last island has 2 beaches connected by a path through a light forest. The beach in front of the restaurant is large and incredibly white, well shaded for a nice rest, and water here too is clear and painfully blue. Don’t forget sunglasses and sunscreen. Water is very warm and fishes once again are everywhere. The other beach is more rocky but since you have plenty of time it’s fun to explore, go to every corner of the island.

Speedboat trip to the Similan Islands

One of the Similan Island’s highlight of hour stay was a giant whatever snake, maybe 3 meter long, having a nap at the bottom of the stairs leading to the bungalows… Looked like a python. So we had the choice between sleeping on the beach or practicing our best high jump. We chose the jump, but then I couldn’t resist to go back and get some close up photo. The lady at the restaurant told us it was very unusual… well considering the size of the tiny island I wonder how unusual.

One of the beach on the main island

Where to Book Accommodation

It’s not simple and you should try as early as possible.

Similan National Park Accommodation
T: (02) 562 0760 (02) 561 0777
[email protected]

http://nps.dnp.go.th//reservation.php?option=home (select Mu Koh Similan)
or
http://nps.dnp.go.th/parksdetail.php?id=46&name=MuKoSimilanNationalPark

When are the Similan Islands open?

The Similan open from November 1st to May 15th. Time varies each year so always check before planning a day out there.

Useful tips about Similan Islands:

Having a waterproof camera such as the compact Olympus is worth it… Turtles are not shy and you will effortlessly get a nice shot. It might not be a bad idea to buy on of those waterproof floating bags, they are cheap.

On the not so fun side:

  1. Buy some motion sickness pills. Most companies will provide some, but better be safe than sick, and it’s a long trip, so unless your are a sailor: take it… once you start to feel sick, it is not easy to stop it.
  2. Don’t seat at the front of the speedboat, it’s fun for 5 minutes while you are still in the calm waters but it might become a real roller coaster ride and your spine might never forget it. Don’t forget sunscreen, sunglasses AND a cap! The rear end of the boat is the most stable place, but you’ll be in the sun for more than two hours! Now if you like amazing scenery, but you are worried about seasickness, consider a cruise in Phang Nga Bay instead.

Good to know about Similan Islands:

There is a National park fee to pay, but it will be included in the speedboat fare. To book a tent or a bungalow, contact the National Parks at (+66) 25 62 0760 is the easiest way. You can contact your travel agent and get a pick up at your hotel or drive to Takua Pa and get a boat from there which is obviously cheaper.

Snorkeling in the Similan Islands

 

The Similans The Similans Islands

Similan Islands Map

Similan Islands – Open from October to May 2017
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Written by

Born in France a long long time ago, I started to travel the world in my 20s and never stopped until I finally settled in Thailand in 1994. Then for the past 23 years, my passion for photography and my natural curiosity has taken me to every corner of Thailand, jumping frequently between Bangkok and Phuket and basically everywhere I could go. I run 2 blogs: Phuket101.net and BangkokUndercover.com, I also manage 30 online travel guides in Asia and beyond, including Phuket.com, Bangkok.com and Bali-Indonesia.com

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