If you want a wonderful diving experience, SIMILAN is the best place to go. It offers dramatic underwater view and picture postcard beaches which is popular to the divers because of their surprising mixture of marine life. The island also feature luxuriant rainforests inhabited by bats, squirrels and a variety of bird life. Many amazing creatures in the world call this home.
The Similan Islands, located about 50 Kilometers West of Khao Lak, are composed of nine granite islands washed by a clear blue tropical ocean and blessed with some of the worldβs finest beaches. Similan is a Yawi or Malay word, which means nine or a group of nine islands. In 1982, this 128 square kilometres area was declared a marine national park
Similan Islands is voted one of the top 10 diving sites in the world for good reasons. You have a chance to dive with leopard sharks, white tip and black tip reef sharks, batfish, moray eels, snappers, barracudas, triggerfish, surgeonfish and unicornfish. Moreover, you can experience different diving environment in one destination. The western islands feature massive boulders, giant fan corals and windswept trees while diving is more relaxed on the eastern side with sandy white beaches.
Best Time to Dive
November through the month of April is the peak season with finest conditions. However the best time for whale sharks is month of February to May. Good month for diving and snorkeling is in the month of summer, where the water is clearer and too far to be affected by fresh water run-off.
Getting There and Around
Phuket International Airport is the nearest airport to Similan Islands. Many liveaboards to Similan Islands depart from Khao Lak and it is about an hour away from the airport. Most hotels and resorts can arrange transfers. Airport taxis and minibuses also make the trip, though minibuses will only go if there are enough passengers to make it worthwhile. From Khao Lak city centre, it is another 15 minutes to Thap Lamu pier where most liveaboard depart.
Many airlines fly to Phuket International Airport. From Asia region, there are Air Asia, Jetstar, Silkair, Tiger Airways from Singapore, Nokair within Thailand, Fireflyz from Penang
Travel around Similan Island is by boat. Long tail boat is also available where travelers can take to the popular islands for hiking and trekking. For diving, it is recommended for you to go on liveaboard though many dive shops in Khao Lak are able to arrange for day trips.
Check before you go
- Passport expiry date (most countries require at least six months prior to the expiry date)
- Visa requirements
- Travel Insurance (make sure coverage for Scuba Diving is included)
- Medical status (Visit your doctor if you are unsure)