Tourist’s guide to Similan Islands – a picturesque archipelago in Thailand

Similan Islands is a popular tourist destination, which is visited by about 1000 people every day. Similan National Park is famous for its beautiful nature, crystal clear water and picturesque sunsets.

Similan Islands

General information

Similan Islands – one of the most picturesque and clean places in Thailand, which is worth a visit for every guest of the country. They managed to preserve their pristine beauty of the island thanks to the status of the national park, which was assigned to them in 1982.

The attraction is located in the southwestern part of Thailand, and the distance to the mainland (Thai province of Phang Nga) is 70 km. The area of ​​the Similan Islands is more than 140 km², and the highest point reaches 244 m above sea level.

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Attractions Similan Islands

The Similan National Park includes 11 islands, of which about. Similan and Fr. Miang – the largest and most famous. They are popular among tourists primarily because a number of smaller islands are forbidden to visit. The Similan National Park also includes the following islands:

  • Huong

On this island is the largest and longest beach. A lot of turtles live here, however, you can only swim to the island – tourist groups are not allowed here.

Turtle on Huong Island
  • Payan

There are no beaches on this island – only a rocky coast.

  • Ha

A small but interesting island for divers. The main attraction – Garden of eels (white cliffs), which peeks out from under the water.

  • I pay

The area near the island is great for beginner divers – under the water there are many corals, various types of fish and beautiful stones.

  • Payang

The island consists of rocks and mountains. There is a small beach, but tourists are not brought here.

Rocky island
  • Hin puzar

The water area near the island is a place for experienced divers.

  • Bangu

One of the best islands for snorkeling: a beautiful underwater world and the absence of strong currents.

Where to stay

Since the islands are considered part of the Similan National Park, the construction of any objects here is strictly prohibited. Therefore, travelers who wish to stay overnight have only three options:

Tents
Tents on the island of Similan

This is the most inexpensive way. Tents have already been installed on the islands of Miang and Similan in Thailand, so you do not need to carry a huge hiking backpack. They stand close to the coast, which allows Similan guests to enjoy sea views at any time. The minuses of such housing include good audibility (tents are very close to each other, and you can’t move them) and stuffiness at night.

As for sanitary facilities, they are practically nonexistent. There is no hot water in the showers, there is a small toilet, which you can get into, having stood a long queue. There is no electricity, but there is Wi-Fi.

The cost of living in a tent: 450 baht per day. Sleeping bag – 150 baht.

Bungalow
Bungalow on Similan Island

Bungalows are located only on the island of Miang. They are much more comfortable than tents, because they are equipped with air conditioners that will save from the heat of the day, and fans that will refresh the air at night. Also on the plus side are fairly spacious rooms and a separate toilet with shower.

However, there are enough minuses: firstly, you can use electronics only from 18.00 to 6.00 (the rest of the time there is no electricity). Secondly, hot water, as in tents, is not provided here.

Cost of living: 1,500 baht per day.

Cabin
Boat near the Similan Islands

This is the most expensive, but without a doubt the most comfortable option. You will have to live on a sailboat, which will be moored near the coast. The advantages of such housing include the availability of hot water, a separate cabin with a shower room and a toilet, as well as an uninterrupted supply of electricity. Cons: this type of housing is not suitable for those who suffer from seasickness.
The appearance and size of cabins may vary from company to company.
Cost of living: 2200 baht per day.

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Things to do

There are a number of natural attractions on the Similans, the inspection of which will take no more than an hour. The rest of the time is worth spending at sea.

Diving and snorkeling
Snorkeling in the Similas Islands

The Similan Islands in Thailand are an ideal place for diving and snorkeling. The water here is crystal clear, and the underwater world is bright and varied. The most suitable place for beginners is the coastal area off the island of Bangu. It is here that the largest number of fish lives, there are many picturesque stones and corals. There are no strong currents, there are no obstacles in the form of rocks and huge boulders.

The water area near the island of Hin Puzar is suitable for experienced divers. Under water there are many caves, grottoes and rocks. Here you can see stingrays, jellyfish and even reef sharks. The main difficulty lies in the fact that in this place the current and the difficult relief are quite strong.

Turtles near Huong Island

The most interesting area is near the island of Huong. Large turtles live and lay their eggs here. In order not to disturb the inhabitants of Similan, the authorities forbade tourist groups to be brought here. But nothing prevents to swim to the beach and look at the huge turtles under water.

The rest of the islands (Payu, Payang, Payan, Ha) are also excellent for snorkeling and diving. The main thing is for beginners to remember the safety rules and not go on a water trip alone.

Bathing

The Similan Islands in Thailand seem to be created for swimming in the sea and relaxing: there are practically no waves here, and the weather is always good.

Any island and any beach are suitable for swimming. However, the best reviews of Princess Beach, located on Similan Island – the water here is turquoise, and there are fewer tourists than, for example, on Honeymooners beach.

Princess Beach
Princess Beach

The nameless beaches of the islands of Bangu and Hin Puzar are also popular – in the afternoon there is no one here, since all sightseeing groups leave for Similan island.

Weather and climate when it’s best to come

The climate in southern Thailand is tropical monsoon with an average annual temperature of 22-25 ° C. From late April to November, the country has hot weather, and this time of year is considered the worst for visiting resorts.

Also, the year in Thailand is conditionally divided into 3 parts: dry (January-April), rainy (May-August) and hot (September-November).

Guests of Similan are allowed to visit the government-protected park from November to April, when the average air temperature is + 27 ° C. The most preferred time to relax is from January to April. Sunny weather is at this time, there is no rain at all.

Temperature in the Similan Islands

But in the period from May to October, travelers are not allowed on the island for good reason – this is the rainy season and strong winds, and a trip to Similan can be life-threatening. Photos of Similan taken at this time of the year are not encouraging: many beaches are flooding, there is no electricity.

Due to the fact that you can visit the national park in Thailand only at certain times of the year, the demand for excursions and accommodation is very large.

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Excursions to the islands from Phuket

Ships near the Similan Islands

The tour and the number of days spent on the island are entirely dependent on the desire of the tourist. There are package tours for 1,2,3,4 and even 7 days. A standard excursion program from Phuket looks like this:

  1. Landing in a mini bass at 4.00-5.00. The distance to the ferry crossing is 100 km.
  2. 5.30 – arrival at the ferry and breakfast in the neighboring dining room.
  3. 6.00 – boarding the boat.
  4. 7.00 – arrival at the Similans in Thailand.
  5. Donald Duck Bay
  6. The first stop is at Donald Duck Bay. From here the most beautiful and recognizable view opens. It is here that tourists take the best photos of the Similan Islands. The guide will take guests to the observation deck on the mountain and tell you why the bay has such a name.
  7. 9.00 – departure to the island of Hin Puzar. Here travelers are given free snorkeling masks and given time to swim.
  8. 10.00 – arrival on the island of Miang (the second largest). There will be much more tourists here than on the neighboring islands.
  9. 11.00 – lunch. After travelers, a walk around the island and a visit to the beach of Princesses and Honeymooners await.
  10. 14.00 – departure to the neighboring island. Here the guide again offers to go snorkelling or diving.
  11. 16.00-17.00 – departure to the hotel.

Also, tour operators in Thailand often offer the following program:

  1. 07.00 – boarding the bus.
  2. 8.30 – a small breakfast and boarding the boat.
  3. Arrival to the Similan Islands
  4. 9.30 – arrival on the island of Bangu. Snorkeling
  5. 11.30 – trip to the island of Similan in Thailand, rest.
  6. 12.30 – lunch (buffet).
  7. 13.00 – departure to the island of Ming. Free time.
  8. 15.00 – departure to the port.

Thus, the standard program lasts from 8 to 11 hours. If you want to have few people on the beaches, buy a ticket for the earliest departures, which will start at 4.00 – 5.00 in the morning. If you leave 2-3 hours later, the beaches on the Similans will be filled to capacity.

You can also purchase an extended tour for 2 days: on the first day, one of the above programs awaits the guests of Similan, and on the second – relaxation on the selected island (either Similan or Miang).

Miang Island, Thailand
Miang island

You can buy a tour for any number of days at any travel agency. Prices in one day start at 2500, and the average price is 3000 baht. Most tourists who visit the Similans advise buying an excursion from one of the Russian companies that provide a Russian-speaking guide, free meals on board the boat and additional equipment (snorkeling masks, goggles). In most cases, the boat has a free shower, comfortable benches for relaxing and hot water.

If you want to stay overnight on the island, then the cost of such a vacation will be about 4000-5000 baht (depending on the chosen accommodation).

Signing up for excursions should be done at least 4 days in advance, and preferably in 1-2 weeks. Since you can visit the national park only from October to April, there are a lot of people who want to go to the islands. It is especially difficult to find places in Thai travel agencies – usually all places are occupied by tourists from China and Thailand.

Crowded beach on the Similan Islands

It should be borne in mind that due to rain and strong winds, a trip to the Similan Islands from Phuket can be postponed for several days or canceled altogether. Bad weather on the islands is rare, but you should be prepared for such events and not plan a trip on the last days of your vacation.

Cost of visiting the islands

A ticket to visit the Similan National Park can be purchased at any of the Thai travel agencies or at the ferry crossing. Prices are quite high, so many travelers prefer organized tours from Phuket: adult – 3500 baht and child – 2100.

The ticket price includes a transfer. The rest (masks for snokling, food) will have to buy at your own expense.

Transfer to Similan Islands

Before the trip, be sure to look at the weather forecast for the next few days. The wind and rains in Asia are much stronger than in Europe, so you should never sail to the island in bad weather. Even if you can get to your destination, it’s not a fact that you can survive there without electricity and basic necessities. It is not for nothing that tourists are forbidden to visit Similan from April to October.

Useful Tips

  1. Since there is a problem with electricity on the islands, bring a portable charger with you.
  2. Take sprays from mosquitoes and other insects – there are a lot of them.
  3. Flying foxes in thailand
    Flying foxes
  4. If you decide to spend the night in a tent, stock up on earplugs: there are many flying foxes on neighboring trees who love to shout at night.
  5. Tour operators advise against taking too small children and pregnant women to the island.
  6. When boarding a boat, shoes are taken away from all tourists – this is done so that guests of Similan do not violate the ecosystem of the national park (however, many experienced travelers hide an extra pair of shoes).
  7. You should not bring food and water with you – you can take everything you need on a boat that will bring you to the island. But do not forget about wet wipes, toilet paper and medicines.
  8. Before the trip, always watch the weather forecast a few days in advance.
  9. Throughout the tour you must go for a guide. If you get lost or lag behind, they can even make you pay a fine, since the Similans are a specially protected area.

The Similan Islands is a good place for those who want to be alone with nature.

Video about the trip to the Similan Islands:



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