The Similan Islands
Islands... do you want some, here they are!
From Phuket, the small port of Thap Lamu is about 100 km away, less than two hours drive.
Khaolak is about twenty kilometers north of Thap Lamu.
These places (Thap Lamu and Khaolak) are sadly reminiscent of a memory since they were seriously damaged by the 2004 Tsunami. The deadly and devastating waves largely swept the entire area and the damage was considerable.
Nothing remains of this dramatic period... the years have passed and now, new facilities have been built with modern infrastructures to welcome holidaymakers.
This is the case here at this small port where we have found a very good welcome.
On the way to the dream islands
After a friendly welcome, breakfast served in the large hall, we are given a briefing by the guide who will accompany us throughout the expedition. Everything is well explained: the circuit, the schedules, the meal, the arrival on the islands, what you can do, what you must not do... essential recommendations in order to preserve the site: do not throw rubbish, do not tear out corals, do not feed the fish, in fact, do not touch anything and just touch... with your eyes!
(with normal atmospheric conditions)
When we land on this first island, we are like in a dream... the sand under our feet is as fine and light as flour.
The landscapes are exceptional. All around us, we are in awe of these shades of hues ranging from dark blue to light blue through turquoise blue-green, the sky of course frames it all. The brown and grey granite rocks as well as the green vegetation add a nice contrast to this environment that leaves us speechless.
When landing here for the first time, you take your breath away because it's so beautiful, it's so grandiose, it's so fabulous.
No concrete buildings, no restaurants, no hotels, no cars or motorcycles... only nature alone: the sea, the sand, the trees and the rocks. If this is paradise, then we are in paradise.
We are very close to Koh Similan, the largest of the islands in the archipelago.
This huge rock on the top of the hill seems to be barely in balance... to enjoy the view of the rest of the island, you can access it by a small path, then by a series of small narrow stairs, sloping down to the rock facades.
The crowd of visitors is such that the access to the summit is quite long....
A dream place... yes, but !
The Similans...? Yes, it's a dream place. The colors of the sea, the sky, the very green nature, the sand of the beaches so white and so pure, are so many positive assets that your visit can only be a real satisfaction... provided that you manage to disregard the hordes of tourists who are there at the same time as you. And they are numerous, very numerous.
The beach of Koh Similan has not yet reached the density of that of Maya Bay in Koh Phi Phi, but it is on "good way", unfortunately.
How to get there ?
If you register for a "Tour", the organization in which you have booked will pick you up at your hotel directly, around 6am. (to be discussed with them)
If you own a vehicle and are self-sufficient, you can go directly to the small port of Thap Lamu, located 100 km northwest of Phuket.
It takes 1h30 to 1h45 of travel time.
To see more details about this plan, click on it to enlarge it....
When to go there ?
The Similans Archipelago
The archipelago consists of a set of nine granitic islets covered with lush tropical vegetation. These islets rise from the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean, called here the Andaman Sea, offering a fabulous and unforgettable spectacle. Small, almost immaculately white coral sandy beaches line some of the islets.
Coral sand is largely the product of the nibbling of marine wildlife. For example, the parrot fish, which you can admire very easily with a simple mask and snorkel, releases an average of 16 kilos of coral sand per year. The conditions for coral growth are ideal here, with exceptionally clear water at a minimum temperature of about 28° C. More than 200 species of hard corals have been recorded in this region of Thailand.
The archipelago has enjoyed the protective status of a National Park - อุทยานแห่งชาติหมิหมู่เกาะส่เกาะสิมิลัน - since September 1982, prohibiting anarchic and unsightly constructions as is too often the case on the mainland and on the island of Phuket.
The archipelago is known to divers all over the world as one of the most beautiful "spots" in the world, with crystal-clear water. It is classified among the 10 most beautiful sites in the world by the American magazine "Skin Diving".
Similan's name comes from the Malaysian word "Sembilan" which means "nine", many of the islets that make up the archipelago.
The islands are identified by a Thai name or a number. The numbering starts from the south (island number 1) to the north (island number 9).
Island number one: Koh Hu Yong. It is the island located at the southern end of the archipelago.
Island number 2: Koh Pa Yang.
Island number 3: Koh Pa Yan.
Island number 4: Koh Miang - Second largest island in the archipelago, after Koh Similan, it is on this island that the National Park Office is located and it is also the only one with bungalows. It is also possible to rent camping tents.
Island number 5: Koh Ha.
Island number 6: Koh Pa Yoo.
Island number 7: Koh Pa Boo.
Island number 8: Koh Similan - This is the largest island in the archipelago. It has a splendid coral beach, bordering the main bay, in the north of the island. Ideal for snorkeling, the water is particularly clear and provided with aquatic fauna. A strange rock that appears to be balanced on a granite pile provides a splendid view to the east of the bay. It is on this island that most boats stop for lunch.
Island number 9: Koh Ba Ngu (Snake Island) is the northernmost island. In its southern part, it has a magnificent small coral beach, 50 m long. The funds are still very rich here.
In fact, there is a tenth island, about 30 km north of Koh Ba Ngu, called Koh Bon, which is also part of the Similan National Park. But her distance often makes her ignore visitors.