Welcome to the land of turquoise waters, pristine beaches, and breathtaking views – the Similan Islands! If you’re looking for a tropical paradise that’s off the beaten track, these 9 islands located in the Andaman Sea are definitely worth discovering. Whether you want to soak up some sun on deserted beaches or explore underwater worlds teeming with marine life, there’s something for everyone here. So grab your sunscreen and get ready to embark on an adventure unlike any other as we take you through all that the Similan Islands have to offer!
What are the Similan Islands?
Location: The Similan Islands are located in the Andaman Sea off the coast of Thailand.
Geography: The Similan Islands are made up of over 100 small islands, and islets spread over a distance of about 160 kilometers.
Climate: The average temperature ranges from 22 degrees Celsius to 32 degrees Celsius with moderate rainfall throughout the year.
Nature: The Similan Islands are an eco-sensitive coral reef destination, home to a wide variety of sea creatures including marine turtles, dolphins, sharks and many more.
How to get to the Similan Islands
The Similan Islands are located in the Andaman Sea off the coast of Thailand. The islands are a popular diving destination and can be reached by ferry from Phuket. The ferry ride takes about two hours, and there is a small airport on the island of Koh Lanta. The islands are administratively part of Surat Thani Province.
The Similan Islands National Park encompasses both the mainland (Koh Lanta) and the main island (Similan). The park is open to visitors from April to November. Visitors should note that during this period, there is heavy tourism, and it can be difficult to find a place to stay that isn’t booked up months in advance.
The Similan Islands have more than 60 dive sites, including some of the world’s most famous wreck dives. Some of the more popular dive sites include Mantas Bay, Tiger Cave, and Philby Rock. Divers can explore these sites using a wide variety of scuba equipment, from snorkels and masks to dry suits and tanks. Those who want an adrenaline rush can try dive trips with optional night dives.
There are also many hiking trails on the islands, perfect for exploring lush rainforests and stunning coral reefs. Some of these trails lead to secluded beaches where you can relax after a day of adventure diving or hiking.
What to expect on the Similan Islands
Getting to the Similan Islands is difficult but well worth it. The islands are an archipelago of over 100 small islands that sit in the Andaman Sea off the coast of Thailand. The islands are home to some of the most dramatic and beautiful coral reefs in the world.
The best way to get to the islands is by taking a speedboat from Krabi, Thailand. You can also fly into Phuket and take a taxi or minibus to the mainland and then take another taxi or minibus to Krabi. There are also boats leaving from Telaga Bay in Bali, Indonesia, which takes about two days arriving at your final destination in Similan National Park.
When you arrive on the main island (Similan), there will be someone waiting for you at the port who will transfer you to your hotel. The main town on Similan (Koh Lanta) is small with only a few restaurants and shops, so it’s best to wander around and explore all of the little villages that dot the island before settling down for dinner or breakfast.
Several hotels on Koh Lanta will offer transfers to/from your accommodation each day as well as tours of different areas of the island. You can also find taxis right outside most hotels, but be sure to negotiate a fair price before getting into one – speedboats are much more expensive than taxis!
The best time of year to visit the Similan Islands
The best time of year to visit the Similan Islands is from January to March. This is when the weather is warm, and the sea is calm. The best time to see the wildlife is during this time because there are fewer tourists. April to June is also a good time to visit, as the weather is hot and the sea is calmer. July to September sees an increase in tourism, so it can be busy but still manageable. October to December can be very cold and windy, so it’s not ideal for exploring the islands.
The best ways to spend your time on the Similan Islands
The best ways to spend your time on the Similan Islands can vary depending on what interests you, but there are a few places you should definitely visit, no matter what. First and foremost, the beaches are amazing and perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and snorkeling. If hiking is more your thing, there are plenty of trails to follow that will take you through dramatic scenery. And if you’re looking for something a little more relaxing, head to one of the many resorts for a day of pampering. Whatever you choose to do, make sure to enjoy the incredible natural beauty of the Similan Islands!
When to return home from the Similan Islands
The Similan islands are a destination for divers, snorkelers, and kayakers who want to see some of the world’s most beautiful coral reefs. The best time to visit is from November to March, when the weather is warm but not too hot, and the seas are calm. During April and May, the seas can be choppy, and September through November is usually too cold for swimming. The best way to get around these islands is by rental bike or motorbike.
Hotels in Similan Island
Similan Islands are located off the coast of Phang Nga Province in Southern Thailand, and they are home to some of the most stunning beaches and marine life in the world. To enjoy this paradise to the fullest, staying in one of the Similan Islands hotels is a must. These hotels offer guests the chance to immerse themselves in the island’s beauty while enjoying all the comforts and conveniences of modern accommodations.
One of the most popular hotels on the Similan Islands is the Similan Islands National Park Hotel. Located on Koh Miang, this hotel is just a short walk from the beautiful beach and offers guests comfortable and spacious rooms, a restaurant, and a bar. The hotel also offers a range of activities, including snorkeling, scuba diving, and island hopping tours.
Another popular hotel on the Similan Islands is the Sea Turtle Resort. This hotel is located on Koh Similan and offers guests a range of accommodation options, including beachfront bungalows, sea view rooms, and standard rooms. The resort also features a restaurant, a bar, a spa, and a range of activities such as snorkeling and scuba diving.
The Six Senses Yao Noi is an excellent choice for those looking for a more luxurious stay. While not located on the Similan Islands themselves, this hotel is just a short boat ride away and offers guests luxurious villas with private infinity pools, stunning ocean views, and a range of activities such as kayaking, hiking, and cooking classes.
Finally, the Khao Lak Laguna Resort is another great option for those looking to stay near the Similan Islands. Located in Khao Lak, this resort is just a short boat ride away from the islands and offers guests spacious rooms, a restaurant, a bar, and a range of activities such as beach volleyball, cycling, and Thai boxing classes.
Thank you for reading our article on the Similan Islands. We hope that this information has helped you to better understand what these beautiful islands have to offer and that you will be eager to visit them soon! With so much to see and do, it is hard to resist the draw of the Similan Islands. If you have any questions about our Lonely Planet guide or would like some further advice on planning your trip, don’t hesitate to contact us. We would love to help!
Frequently Asked Questions
What are things to do on the Similan Islands?
The Similan Islands provide a variety of activities, such as snorkeling, scuba diving, and island hopping cruises. Hiking through the forest, relaxing on the lovely beaches, and sampling the native food are all options for visitors. The islands are home to a variety of marine life, including sea turtles, reef sharks, and colorful fish, making it an ideal location for both nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers.
Where to stay on the Similan Islands?
Accommodation choices in the Similan Islands include the Similan Islands National Park Hotel and the Sea Turtle Resort. For those seeking a more opulent stay, the Six Senses Yao Noi and the Khao Lak Laguna Resort, both located just a short boat ride away from the islands, are excellent choices. Guests may pick from a variety of lodging alternatives, ranging from low-cost rooms to magnificent villas with their own infinity pools and spectacular ocean views.
How long does it take to get from Phuket to Similan Islands?
The Similan Islands are located around 70 kilometers northwest of Phuket and may be reached by motorboat. Depending on the water conditions, the speedboat ride from Phuket to the Similan Islands takes around 1.5 to 2 hours. Tourists can alternatively take a slower ferry from Phuket to the islands, which takes around 4 hours.
How to get to the Similan Islands Thailand?
The Similan Islands are accessible by boat from a number of Southern Thai destinations, including Phuket, Khao Lak, and Krabi. The quickest method to reach there is via speedboat from Phuket, which takes around 1.5 to 2 hours. Tourists can also take a slower ferry to the islands, which takes around 4 hours. It is crucial to note that from May to October, the islands are restricted to tourists for conservation concerns.
Are the Similan Islands Open?
The Similan Islands are available to visitors from November to April each year, but are closed for conservation purposes from May to October. The islands are closed to tourists during the closure period, and no accommodations or services are available. When arranging a vacation to the Similan Islands, make sure to verify the opening dates to guarantee that you can experience the beauty of this area.
How far are the Similan Islands from Bangkok?
The Similan Islands are roughly 850 kilometers south of Bangkok in Southern Thailand. The quickest method to get to the islands from Bangkok is to fly to Phuket, Krabi, or Khao Lak and then continue by boat. Depending on the destination, the flight from Bangkok to these cities takes between 1-2 hours. The speedboat ride to the Similan Islands takes around 1.5 to 2 hours from there.
What is the meaning of Similan?
The Similan Islands are a series of nine islands located off the coast of Southern Thailand, and each island is numbered from one to nine. The islands are well-known for their breathtaking natural beauty, beautiful blue waters, and rich marine life, making them a popular destination for tourists looking for adventure and leisure in a tropical setting.
How far are Similan Islands from Phuket?
Similan Islands are around 70 kilometers northwest of Phuket, Thailand’s most popular tourist destination. The quickest and most convenient method to get to the islands is by speedboat or ferry from Phuket’s mainland, which takes around 1.5-2 hours. Nevertheless, the distance and trip time may vary depending on the weather and water conditions. The Similan Islands are well-known for their beautiful beaches, crystal-clear seas, and teeming marine life, making them a favorite diving and snorkeling destination.
Can you stay in the Similan Islands?
Yes, people may stay in Similan Islands because the islands have various campgrounds. Visitors must, however, seek a permit from the national park office before camping on the islands. Every year, the camping season lasts from mid-October until mid-May. There are also a few bungalows on the islands, but these must be reserved well in advance. Staying on the islands is an excellent opportunity to appreciate the natural beauty of the area as well as activities like snorkeling, diving, and trekking.