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Similan Islands are located just 84 km from the crowded island of Phuket. Today there are eleven islands that are part of the Similan Archipelago.
Koh Similan is one of the best-known island groups in the Andaman Sea. It’s because of the wonders that await beneath the clear blue waters surrounding it. Similan Islands are among the 10 most interesting dive areas in the World. This little archipelago has also become a favourite destination for yachts and tour boats.
When you travel to the Similan Arcipelago you’re entering a National Park that is protected by Thai law. This park has its restrictions for visitors for staying and accessing the different islands to protect the environment.
- Koh Huyong – Island #1, largest and widest beach and it’s closed to Phuket.
- Koh Payang – A rocky island with no beaches but awesome cliff formations, also referred to as Island #2.
- Koh Payan – Rocky island with no beaches but great diving spots, also called Island #3.
- Koh Miang – Miang Island or Island #4, it has some large white powdered beaches and beautiful forests.
- Koh Ha – small island with the Garden of Eels, also known as Island #5.
- Koh Payu – Island #6, stunning snorkeling spots full of hard and soft coral species.
- Koh Hin Pousar – Known as Island #7 and famous for an Elephant head shaped rock.
- Koh Similan – Island number #8, largest island with stunning views and hikes through jungle and over the mountains (244m high).
- Koh Bangu – Christmas point scuba diving spot, also known as Island #9.
- Koh Bon – Also known as Talu Island or island #10, it’s famous for its rocky pinnacles diving spot and whale sharks.
- Koh Tachai – Island #11, famous for pinnacles diving spot and whale shark spotting.
Following the suggestion of our friends, we decided to stay in this paradise for 2 nights. The accommodation choice is between a tent or a bungalow (with or without air conditioning). For convenience and “cleanliness” we opted for the air-conditioned bungalows (those classified as Chomview) which are those that are located on a hill.
The advice is to book in advance from your own country. This is in order to avoid the risk of no availability, not even in a tent! I booked through the website of Phuket Tours, with whom I also booked other trips to the various islands of Phuket. The difference, in financial terms, between a tent and a bungalow is approx 50 Euros. The option we choose was the one of 3 days – 2 nights.
In the morning they come to pick you up at the hotel (in Phuket being punctual is the real challange!) and, after about 1 hour and a half, you get to the Tap Lamu Pier where you can catch a boat to the Similan Islands.
After about 1 hour you first get to the Island 9 stop where you have a chance to take a dip in a paradise-like scene. Then a second stop to the Island 8, another marvellous place, where you can snorkel or just relax on the boat. Finally you get to the Island 4 where there are bungalows and tents.
To our great pleasure, they gave us the bungalow right on the beach. They don’t normally rent them because they are reserved for state authorities, but apparently they were overbooked. At least we avoided the climb to reach those on the hill (maybe furnished a little better, but more difficult to reach).
The rooms are very basic and are clean enough (a bit less the bathroom) but we knew perfectly well that it would be so. The electric current works from 6.00 pm to 6:00 am.
The island is quite crowded during the day, as there are all the people who make the 1 day excursion. But from 3.00 pm, the island is empty and you can fully enjoy the peace and the breathtaking panorama.
The island has a bar and a restaurant, but we always ate on the boat, whether it was a breakfast, lunch or a dinner (all very good). The boat, very beautiful, was a sailboat that during the day took us around for snorkling.
They also offered us to sleep on the boat one night, at no extra charge (as we had booked the bungalows on the island, which is the most “expensive” option). After viewing the cabins, we just accepted it and did not regret it. There were no more than 10 guests on the boat … we basically had a boat available just for the 5 of us, as the other went to sleep early!
The first day, after dinner, we had a guided tour of the island to see snakes, giant crabs and spiders. In our opinion they had placed them there for the occasion, although the snake was also there the morning after.
Looking up to the sky, on the trees you see many bats. The famous mice of Similan Islands are the country mice, which are also very nice. I have seen many more and some of the ugliest ones in Bangkok. The sea, needless to say is breathtaking! The food is just amazing!
I recommend everyone to visit the Similan Islands. You have to spend at least one night in this paradise – because is really worth it!