Day Trip to Similan Islands and all you need to know about them

similan island rock formation w 900

Nestled in the azure embrace of the Andaman Sea, the Similan Islands are a jewel in the crown of Phang Nga Province, southern Thailand. A mere 50 kilometres from the shores of Khao Lak, this cluster of 11 islands spans an impressive 140 square kilometres, with a land area of about 26 square kilometres.

The islands whisper tales of their ancient origins, born from the fiery heart of the earth during the Tertiary-Cretaceous period, some 65 million years ago. Over millennia, these rugged landforms were sculpted by glacial ice and the relentless ebb and flow of the sea. The surrounding coral reefs, teeming with life, are an astonishing 5,000 years old and hold the title of Thailand’s oldest. In 1982, recognizing their unique ecological and geological value, the islands were designated as Mu Ko Similan National Park.

Today, the Similan Islands are a beacon for adventurers and nature lovers alike. Acclaimed by Skin-Diver Magazine as one of the world’s top ten dive sites, they offer unparalleled underwater visibility and a kaleidoscope of marine life. But it’s not just about what lies beneath. The islands themselves are a paradise of white sandy beaches and lush vegetation. However, their popularity has necessitated protective measures, including visitor limits and seasonal closures to ensure these islands continue to captivate future generations.

Scuba Diving Phuket Similan Islands Thailand with All4Diving 8

Are Similan Islands worth visiting?

Picture this: The Similan Islands, a haven for the nature-obsessed. This archipelago hailed as a global diving mecca, unveils an underwater panorama that is unparalleled in all of Thailand. The vibrant coral reefs, the oldest in the country, are teeming with a dazzling array of marine life that leaves even the most experienced divers spellbound. But the magic doesn’t stop at the water’s edge. The islands captivate with pristine beaches and verdant landscapes that are just as mesmerising.

Yet, the Similan Islands are more than just a picturesque getaway. They stand as a living chronicle of our planet’s ancient past, with roots reaching back to the Tertiary-Cretaceous era. Their designation as Mu Ko Similan National Park highlights their ecological and geological importance. So whether you’re a history buff, an eco-traveller, or a thrill-seeker, the Similan Islands offer an extraordinary expedition that is every bit as rewarding as it is unforgettable.

What is the best time to visit the Similan Islands?

Travelling to such a unique place is not always possible due to maintaining passengers’ safety.

I’d like to share some insider tips for those planning a trip to the breathtaking Similan Islands. The islands truly come alive from December to early January, offering the most idyllic conditions for explorers.

However, do note that Mother Nature takes a break from mid-May to mid-October, as the park closes its doors due to the season’s rough weather (May 16th – October 14th). If you’re seeking the calmest seas and least rainfall, late February to mid-March is your sweet spot.

But remember, the islands follow their own rhythm and are only accessible from November to April. So, before you pack your bags and set your out-of-office email, make sure to check the park’s schedule. After all, timing is everything when it comes to experiencing the magic of the Similan Islands.

What’s the weather like on Similan Islands?

Bathed in warmth all year round, the islands boast an average temperature of a balmy 27°C (81°F) over the next fortnight. The mercury is set to peak on Sunday, October 1st, 2023, at a toasty 29°C (84°F), with the warmest night falling on Friday, September 29th, 2023, at 27°C (81°F).

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Winter in the Similans, spanning November to February, is a delightful affair with temperatures hovering between a comfortable 24° and 28° C. The skies clear up around mid-January, offering unobstructed views of the azure heavens. However, do brace for steady northerly winds in December and early January that whip up waves reaching about 1.5 meters. The water remains invitingly warm at 26°-28°C.

But remember, the tropics can be unpredictable. The weather can flip in a heartbeat, so it’s always wise to keep an eye on the forecast as your trip approaches.

What are the best activities to do on the Similan Islands?

The Similan Islands offer a variety of activities for visitors to enjoy. Here are some of the top things worth doing:

  1. See the nature: The islands are a visual treat with their unparalleled natural beauty.
  2. Check out the Sail Boat Rock: Make sure to visit this iconic spot, a favourite spot among visitors.
  3. Dive into Adventure: With options for both deep and shallow diving, the islands are a diver’s dream come true.
  4. Snorkel at Ba Ngu Island: Don your snorkel and discover an enchanting underwater world.
  5. Unwind at Miang Island: This is the perfect spot for those seeking some much-needed relaxation.
  6. Scale the Heights at Donald Duck Bay: The climb to the viewpoint might be challenging, but the breathtaking view from the top is worth every step.

The Similan Islands are a treasure trove of experiences, catering to thrill-seekers and leisure-lovers alike. So pack your bags and set sail for this tropical paradise!

How to get to Similan Islands from Phuket?

The journey is most of the time only possible with certain travel operators assigned to this route. There are plenty of resellers all around Phuket that will get you tickets to these rides. It is also the easiest and often quite affordable way of getting to Similan islands right out of the doors of your hotel.

You will get picked up by a company’s minivan in the early hours, and travel to Khao Lak, Thap Lamu Pier in Phang Nga province, around 2, 2.5 hours north of Phuket island.

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Upon arrival, you will check-in for the boat journey and wait for its departure. There are clothes and memorabilia shops and some street food stalls available at the pier. The journey by speed boat to Similan Islands takes around 2 hours.

After the journey to Similan Islands, the tour operator will get you back to your hotel, usually by the evening, depending on your hotel’s location.


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