Similan Island Beach
Sea Turtle Similan Islands
Whale Shark in Similan Islands

Similan Islands

The Similan islands lie approximately 50 miles northwest of Phuket and are known for having some of the most immersive and spectacular diving sites on the planet. The crystal-clear blue waters off the Similan archipelago often rank among the top 10 dive sites in the world. In recent years, the island chain has also become a top destination for yachters and boat tours.

Coral Island
Clown Fish and Anemone

Comprised of nine main islands, the Similans were declared a marine national park in 1982. As a result, the area remains largely undeveloped. After being closed temporarily for rehabilitation efforts, the park was recently re-opened on October 15th, 2018 and the number of daily visitors is now capped at 3,850. All overnight accommodations were also removed as part of the rehabilitation program. Unlike the limestone islands of Krabi or Phang Nga Bay, the Similans are a group of low-lying islands that are covered by thick forest.

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One of the most visually stunning features are the huge, building-sized boulders that sit on the western and southern shores of many of the islands. Many of these rocks appear to have been shaped by a mysterious ancient race. textContent: 'These same boulders also cascade into the sea and have helped to create some of the most spectacular coral growths in the world. Stick your head below the surface, and you’ll find an Alice in Wonderland type playground filled with caves, canyons and passageways that are yearning to be explored.'

The exotic submarine environment includes over 200 species of hard coral alone, and a diversity of marine life that you’re unlikely to see anywhere else. While waters around the islands average about 30-45 meters in depth, less experienced divers (and snorkelers) will be pleased to discover marvelous coral gardens as few as 5 meters beneath the surface. The think forests are also home to a diverse ecosystem, which includes ironwood, gum, jackfruit, and rattan trees, along with crab-eating monkeys, dusky langurs, and a wide variety of birds. Most visitors to the Similans will focus their time exploring the marine life, but the thick forests offer their own intrigue. And of course, the island chain also offers some of the most picturesque white coral-sand beaches to be found in all of Thailand. The Similan islands are officially open to the public from October 15th to May 15th, but dates may vary each year. Considering the restricted nature of visits to the island chain, travelers are advised to make preparations well in advance of their intended arrival.

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