Pullman Khao Lak Resort - Luxury hotel - A Traveler’s Guide to the Similan Islands

A Traveler’s Guide to the Similan Islands

The Similan Islands are arguably the most picturesque in all of Thailand, making them a popular destination for travelers from around the world. World-class diving, stunning natural landscapes, and diverse wildlife are just a few of the reasons to visit this unique archipelago in the Andaman Sea. Whether you’re a seasoned adventurer or planning your first tropical getaway, this guide will help you unlock the secrets of this island and make the most of your trip to Thailand.

Things you should know about Similan Islands

about Similan Island

Consisting of 11 islands, the Similans are located off the coast of Phang Nga Province, just north of Phuket. Recognized as one of the top diving and snorkeling destinations in the world, the islands are part of the Mu Ko Similan National Park and boast exceptional biodiversity.

The islands are numbered for simplicity, from north to south. Originally, only nine islands were considered part of the National Park, and the Similan name derives from the Malay word for “nine.” However, two more islands were added in the late 1990s. Island No. 8, also known as Ko Similan, is the largest and a favorite among visitors. Its iconic Sail Rock offers panoramic views that will leave you breathless.

When to Visit the Similan Islands

Timing is everything, especially when it comes to visiting the Similan Islands. The best time to explore this paradise is during the dry season, from December to April. During this period, the weather is typically perfect, with calm seas and clear skies, providing ideal conditions for water activities like diving and snorkeling.

Note that the Similan Islands are closed to the public during the rainy season, which lasts from May to mid-November. This is done to protect the marine ecosystem during the monsoon season, but also for the safety of visitors.

If avoiding crowds is your top priority, then the best time to visit would be the shoulder seasons of late November and early May. However, sunny weather isn’t guaranteed at these times of year.

How to get to the Similan Islands

How to go to Similan Islands

Getting to the Similan Islands requires a bit of planning but is well worth the effort. While it is possible to take a boat trip from Phuket, the preferred option is to depart from Khao Lak. This coastal town, which serves as the gateway to this island, is roughly 1.5 to 2 hours north of Phuket.

Boats depart daily from Thap Lamu Pier, with speed boats taking approximately 75 minutes to arrive at the archipelago. Another popular option among divers is to take a live-aboard boat and spend multiple days exploring the islands.

If you’re starting your journey at Pullman Khao Lak Resort, the Islands are just a hop, skip, and a boat ride away. We offer several tours to the islands and can ensure you find the best option for your travel needs. Just remember to book your trip in advance, especially during peak season, to secure your spot on these popular excursions.

What to Do at the Similan Islands

The Similan Islands are a playground for adventure seekers and relaxation enthusiasts alike. Here are some of the most popular activities.

Diving and Snorkeling

diving at similan

The underwater world is nothing short of spectacular. With crystal-clear waters and an abundance of marine life, it’s a diver’s paradise. Explore famous dive sites like Richelieu Rock, Elephant Head Rock, and Christmas Point, where you can encounter colorful coral gardens, sea turtles, manta rays, and even whale sharks.

For those who prefer to stay closer to the surface, snorkeling is equally rewarding. The shallow reefs around the islands are teeming with vibrant fish and coral, making it an excellent activity for all ages and skill levels.

Hiking and Wildlife Spotting

Venture inland to discover the lush tropical forests and unique granite formations that characterize the Similan Islands. Hike to viewpoints like Sail Rock on Koh Similan (Island No. 8), where you’ll be rewarded with panoramic vistas of the surrounding seascape. Keep an eye out for the diverse wildlife, including monitor lizards, hornbills, and fruit bats.

Beach Hopping and Relaxation

Each of the Similan Islands boasts its pristine beaches, perfect for lounging and soaking up the sun. Visit the iconic Donald Duck Bay on Koh Similan, named after a rock formation that resembles the beloved cartoon character. Relax on the soft sands, take a refreshing dip in the turquoise waters, and let the island’s tranquility wash over you.

Photography and Sunset Watching

Watching Sunset

With its breathtaking landscapes and vibrant sunsets, the Similan Islands are a photographer’s dream. Capture the beauty of the islands from every angle, whether it’s the striking granite boulders, the lush greenery, or the underwater wonders.
Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q: Are the Similan Islands suitable for beginner divers?
    A: Yes, the Similan Islands offer dive sites suitable for all levels, from beginners to advanced divers.
  • Q: Can I stay overnight on the Similan Islands?
    A: While there are no commercial accommodations on the islands themselves, live-aboard boats offer multi-day trips, allowing you to stay on board and explore various dive sites and islands over several days. Alternatively, there are many resorts in Khao Lak with easy access to Thap Lamu Pier, including Pullman Khao Lak Resort.
  • Q: What should I pack for a trip to the Similan Islands?
    A: Pack light, breathable clothing, swimwear, a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, a reusable water bottle, and any necessary snorkeling or diving gear. Don’t forget your camera to capture the stunning scenery!
  • Q: How much is the National Park Fee?
    A: To visit the Similan Islands, visitors must pay a National Park Fee of THB 500 per adult. For children, the fee is THB 250.

Ready to embark on your Similan Islands adventure? Pack your bags, book your stay at Pullman Khao Lak Resort, and get ready to create memories that will last a lifetime.


Pullman Khao Lak Resort ☆☆☆☆☆
46/109, Moo 2, Soi 46 Laem Son, Bang Muang Sub-District, Takuapa District, 82190 Phang Nga
Tel: 076-59-2233
Email: HB436@accor.com

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