The Similan Islands are a group of nine granite islands in total that go to make up the spectacular and unparalleled Similan Island group. The Similan’s, offer some of the finest scuba diving in South East Asia. The scenery here is remarkable and a definite a must see for all scuba divers, snorkelers and non-divers alike.
The islands are one hundred km North West of Phuket Island. The Similan islands are a National Marine Park made up from huge granite boulders which are covered in lush green tropical rainforests.
Two of the islands (islands No.4 & No. 8) have accommodation. From stylish bungalows to basic tents all is available, and all at very reasonable prices. Accommodation can be only booked through the Similan Island National Park Website
The first three of the islands are closed due to wildlife conservation. This leaves island number four through to nine available for scuba diving and snorkelling activities.
The Similan Islands stretch from North to South. The east side of the islands offer glorious beaches that gently slope off and disappearing into the azure waters below. The east side sheltered from the South Westerly monsoon, which begins in May and ends in October. The Similan’s are closed to the public during these months.
The west side of the islands offer almost unparalleled diving the enormous granite boulders have tumbled over the years to form the most dramatic swim-through’s you could wish to see and depending on the time of month can offer wicked drift diving.
Scuba Diving at Similan Islands National Park
The Similan’s offer an assortment of diving from spectacular drop offs to depths of forty metres and well beyond. The cascading reefs which drift off the east side are home to over two hundred known species of corals.
The diversity of marine life here is only equalled by it’s the sheer beauty of the place. A scuba diver could make easily one hundred dives and only see a fraction of what that the Similan’s have to offer.
The Similan islands conjure up a mouth-watering taste of just what the Indian Ocean and in particular the Andaman Sea in this area has to offer.
There is incredible predatory action here. You will see Blue Fin, Black and Giant Trevally hunting in packs, running with them at times is a large school of Emperors. Large schools of large Yellow Tail, Chevron and Pick-handle Barracudas, also, Great Barracudas cruise these waters, some of which are up to two metres in length.
White Tip, Black Tip, Bamboo Nurse Sharks and Leopard sharks are commonly sighted here too, Grey Reef Sharks; the mighty Whaleshark also pay frequent visits.
After the Whaleshark, the animal that ranks second most wished for fish is the magnificent Manta Ray, gliding through their realm with such grace and demanding awe and humbling all who seem them.
For the macro photographers and scuba divers, there is an astonishing variety of Nudibranch’s and Flat Worms, Seahorses, Ornate Ghost-Pipe Fish, Harlequin Shrimps, Frog-Fish, Scorpion Fish and of course not forgetting the Fairy Basslets and Gobies.
The Similan Islands are usually the start of your Thailand liveaboards adventure before moving further north to the sensational dive sites of Koh Bon the dramatic and fast moving Koh Tachai until you reach the pinnacle of the Andaman’s dive site the peace da resistance of Richelieu rock.