Similan islands holiday guide (2020)

Similan islands


Thailand Similan islands Guide

Similan Islands Marine National Park is considered one of the best places in the world for diving and snorkeling. It is undoubtedly the best playground for sea lovers in Thailand. Imagine Koh Phi Phi before Hollywood’s “The Beach” – slightly smaller, harder to get to, tons more beautiful. Now imagine a dreamy chain of eleven these little wonders with a coral reef that’s 5000 years old. Covered in jungle and grandeur rocks, with remarkable beaches and marine life unmatched in Thailand, the Similan Islands promise perfect images of paradise from any angle.

The Similan Islands Marine National Park is famous for being one of the best places in the world to practice diving. For the best sites to dive, you can visit Koh Bangu, Koh Bon, and Koh Tachai. Similan Islands is a snorkeling haven, too. Top snorkeling activity happens around in Koh Ha, and Koh Payu. With 50 meters water visibility, the snorkeling around the Similan Islands is remarkable because you can view the underwater paradise here without the need for diving so deep. A must-visit destination is Koh Similan (Island #8) with its terrific Donald Duck and Sail Rock viewpoints. You will find gorgeous powder-soft in Koh Miang (Island #4), where Honeymoon Bay and Princess Bay are among the top things to explore. With resident manta rays, reef sharks and turtles, the Similans is a paradise destination not to miss.

The Similan Islands are located in the Andaman Sea of Thailand in front of the Khao Lak coast. It is one of the unspoiled paradise places you should not miss when on vacation in Khao Lak or Phuket. Especially if you are an avid snorkeler or diver. If you like the sea, being lost on a beach, and enjoying the natural beauty of the islands, this is the place to go.

The Similan Islands have initially been nine small islands (similar saying in Malay “Sembilan,” which means nine). But recently, two new islands were included in the group (Koh Bon and Koh Tachai). The islands are part of the Mu Ko Similan National Park, and we can only get close to 6 of them (Koh Similan, Koh Miang, Koh Bangu, Koh Ha, Koh Payu, Koh Bon). The other islands are fully pRotected since their beaches are usually used by turtles to lay eggs (wow..!). Unfortunately, you are not allowed to get into the surrounding coral areas. On the six islands we have left, we can snorkel and dive around all of them.

Similan Islands are open for visitors from November until May 15 each year. Do note that December through February is a high season with lots of tourists island hopping to Similans daily. The most popular option of exploring the Similan Islands is on a boat tour, either for a day trip or staying onboard overnight. November through May is also the best season weather-wise in this part of southern Thailand.

Unfortunately, from June 1, 2018, it is no longer allowed to spend the night on any of the Similan Islands. The visit is only possible for the day for travelers staying in Phuket or Khao Lak. With Islander, however, you can still enjoy this remarkable destination by staying overnight onboard our private yachts and catamarans.

  • The Similan Islands’ beaches promise the most beautiful, whitest and softest sand you can experience in Thailand next to ridiculously turquoise waters
  • Climb up Donald Duck and Sail Rock formations on Koh Similan, Island #8, to make the most Instagrammable photo in paradise
  • Snorkel at marvelous Honeymoon Bay and Princess Bay, where shallow waters lead to scenic forest walks on land
  • Unwind on the powder-soft Princess Beach on Koh Miang, or Island #4
  • Discover a snorkeling haven on Koh Bangu, or Island #9
  • Go for exhilarating dives with dramatic arches, canyons, and huge sea fans at Christmas Rock and Turtle Rock
  • With the visibility of up to 50 meters, the abundance of marine life around Koh Ha, Island #5, will blow your mind away
  • Dive alongside colossal manta rays at the East of Eden, on Koh Payu, Island #6
  • Explore deserted beaches of the remote Koh Bon, where mountain land crabs (Pu Kai) roam freely
  • Similan Islands is a one-of-its-kind liveaboard destination in Thailand. You can find a liveaboard in Phuket and Khao Lak to the Similan Islands during November and May. Living onboard a yacht is an experience of its own. Still, coupled with the scenery of the Similan Islands, it is a once-in-a-lifetime event.
  • 1h 30m drive by a minivan will take you from Phuket to Khao Lak at any time. Once you reach Khao Lak, you can join an open tour by speedboat with a fixed schedule. Alternatively, you can charter a boat with Islander to zoom you around the stunning Similan Islands in exhilarating style and comfort.

    The distance between Krabi and Similan Islands National Park is 149 km. The fastest way to get from Krabi to Similan Islands is by a minivan to Khao Lak first. And afterward by joining a speedboat day trip or chartering a private yacht.

    There are two options to reach Similan Islands from Khao Lak. You can either join a day tour by speedboat alongside other travelers. Or you can charter a yacht with Islander to visit Similan Islands in absolute privacy and most comfort.

    Best places in Similan islands

    Koh Similan


    Koh Miang


    Koh Bangu


    Koh Payu


    Koh Ha


    Koh Bon


    Koh Tachai


    Richelieu Rock