Similan Islands

Similan Islands
21.05.2020

The Similan Islands are an island archipelago in the Andaman sea. A group of picturesque Islands is located in the North-West of Phuket in the province of Phang nga located in the South of Thailand. Since 1982, they have been part of the Similan national Park.
Similan Islands were formed 65 million years ago due to the eruption of underwater volcanoes. According to UNESCO ratings, Similan Islands are among the ten most beautiful Islands on the planet. They attract tourists with their impeccable cleanliness, azure sea, snow-white beaches, palm groves and exotic animals. Many people come here for snorkeling. And divers from all over the world consider the underwater landscapes near the Islands one of the most popular places for exciting underwater dives. The Similan Islands stretch for about 20 km. They consist of nine separate Islands that are stretched in a line parallel to the mainland. The highest point rises 244 meters above sea level. In the yavi dialect of Malay spoken by the ethnic Malays of Thailand, the name of the Islands means "nine". Although Similan Islands are more often named by number, each of them has a name in Thai: Huyong, Payang, Payan, Miang, Ha, Paju, hin-Pusar, Similan and Bangu. In 1989, two more Islands, Tachai and Bon, were added to the Similan national Park. The largest in size is Similan island (#8). It stretches for 4.3 km and has a width of 1.4 km. Miang island (#4) was chosen by a Thai Princess. She built a house here and actively cares about preserving the pristine nature of the archipelago. Travel to the Similan Islands is very popular with holidaymakers in Phuket and Khao Lak.
Since the climate in Thailand is seasonal, the best time to visit the Islands is considered to be the end of December - the end of March. At this time, the weather is clear, there is almost no precipitation, the sea is not stormy, and travelers can enjoy a pleasant beach holiday. During the peak tourist season, Similan beaches can be quite crowded. During the period from may to October, Similan Islands are closed to tourists due to the deterioration of the weather - there are often strong winds, as well as storms. The sea is rough and that is why Similan is closed to visitors at this time of year for the safety of tourists. Most often, boats with tourists come to the island of hin-Pusar. The sea floor around it is characterized by a variety of terrain and an abundance of underwater fauna. Some travelers stay overnight on Similan and the second largest island, Miang, which measures 2.2 km by 0.65 km.
Most tourists come to the island archipelago for a beach holiday. Although there are nine Islands, only two of them - Miang (#4) and Similan (#8) - are open to travelers. Other Islands are closed to visitors of the national Park, so that people do not disturb animals and birds once again. The most popular beach "Donald Duck Beach" is located on the largest island of the Similan archipelago (#8). Many boats with tourists come here. As a rule, all travelers go to climb the picturesque rock 2Sail Rock", which is located next to the beach, because it is one of the recognizable symbols of the Similan Islands. It is easy to walk to the top of the sail-like rock in 5-10 minutes. For convenience, the lift is equipped with wooden stairs. And from the observation point offers a beautiful view of almost the entire island archipelago. On the other side of Similan island (#8) is another popular beach - " Beacon Beach2. It is smaller in size, but just as clean and covered with fine white sand. There are two beaches on Miang island (#4). Large in size "Hat Yai", which is also called "Honeymoon Beach", and a small but very picturesque beach" Hat Lek", named"Princess Beach". This island has its own observation point at an altitude of 130 m and several Hiking trails for traveling through the jungle.
The first diver to explore the bottom of the Andaman sea was Jacques-Yves Cousteau. In the middle of the last century, the team under his leadership discovered the beautiful world of the Similan Islands and made films of underwater flora and fauna. These days, diving off the West coast of Thailand is very popular with divers around the world. Here you can see the most picturesque underwater landscapes. Around the Similan Islands, nature is almost untouched by man. Different types of corals thrive in the sea, and there are hundreds of species of tropical fish. It is no coincidence that the Thai authorities have organized a national Park in this part of the Andaman sea. Divers come to the Similan Islands from December to April. At this time, the sea water is very clear, and there are almost no storms. Visibility under water reaches 20-25 m, but can reach up to 40 meters. Around Similan, there are about 30 dive sites located close to each other. Features of the underwater world of the Western part of the Similan Islands are underwater canyons, grottos and caves, huge rocks and giant boulders, as well as an abundance of soft and hard corals that descend in a wall to depths of 30-40 m. The sea is home to flocks of colorful fish, as well as barracudas and Tunas. The currents here are fast and strong, so dives in the West are made by more experienced divers. The Eastern part of the Similan Islands is characterized by beautiful coral gardens with anemones, between which multicolored fish scurry. The sea here is shallow and absolutely calm, and these conditions are the best for those who take their first steps in diving.
Each of the Similan Islands looks like a large green cap covered with lush tropical greenery. The waters of the Andaman sea have become a haven for giant turtles, whose shell reaches 1 meter in diameter. Sea turtles have chosen local sandy beaches for laying eggs, so the longest beach, which is located on the southernmost island of the Huyong archipelago (#1), was specially closed to tourists. Female turtles lay eggs on it every year. 39 species of birds nest among the trees, and some of them cannot be seen on the mainland, as they only live on remote Islands. Here beautiful species of pigeons - Nicobar and two-color fruit-breed their offspring. They are quiet, unafraid birds, and they are often met by tourists. The Similan Islands are also home to the flying Fox, 16 species of bats, and large monitor lizards.
Most travelers are limited to a one-day island tour. However, those who want to spend a few days in a wonderful tropical Paradise also stop at Similan. Conditions for overnight accommodation are created on the largest island - Similan (#8) and Miang island (#4). There are no comfortable hotels or guesthouses, but wooden bungalows are built, equipped with air conditioning, fans and mosquito nets. A Bungalow with a fan costs 1000 baht, while a Bungalow with air conditioning costs 2000 baht per night. Electricity is generated by a generator, which is usually turned on at night, so that most of the day air conditioners and fans do not work. If desired, you can spend the night in a camping tent, designed for 2-4 people. This is what most travelers who stay on the Similan Islands do. However, it is worth noting that you will have to use local tents, since the administration of the national Park does not allow you to bring tents with you. In addition, when camping overnight, tourists use shared bathrooms and showers. A night in a tent costs 500-600 baht. Choose any option for your holiday! You will still be satisfied with your stay in this beautiful place! Have a great holiday!