Planning a trip to the Similan Islands? If you are looking for the most beautiful islands in Thailand, the Similan Islands may be it! They are known for their vibrant blue waters, unique rock formations, and diverse marine life. Located in the Andaman Sea, the Similan Islands are amongst the most beautiful islands in Thailand. With their turquoise water, fine white sand, and rich marine wildlife, they fulfill every traveler’s beach paradise checklist
However, please be aware that you can not visit Similan all year round. That’s why in this blog, we’ll cover everything you would need to know to plan your trip to Similan including an overview of the islands, the best time to visit, the potential costs, and where to stay when you come.
Composed of eleven islands, each one as magnificent as the next. With its crystal clear waters teeming with marine life and spectacular rock formations and coral reefs, it’s no wonder that this destination is a haven for diving enthusiasts and explorers alike.
Is exploring remote and desolate places full of wildlife your thing? Escape the bustling crowds of Phuket and discover these exotic gems for yourself.
The Similan Islands
The Similan Islands are located in the Andaman Sea on the West Coast of Southern Thailand. There are a total of 11 islands, all numbered for easy identification.
Although there are 11 islands, you will not get to visit them all. Islands 1-3 are just for sea turtle conservation so tours do not go there. Islands 10-11 are just for scuba divers and have some of the top-ranking diving in the world if you are an avid scuba diver.
However, for most travelers taking an island-hopping day trip where you can explore islands 4-9 will be the best option. These boat tours make it easy to take in the views of the beautiful blue water and see the fascinating marine life under the sea.
It is also possible to stay on three of the eleven islands in a bungalow or a campsite. If you are interested in camping out on these islands, more information can be found here!
Ko Miang or Miang Island is one of the popular boat tour stops because the waters here are so brilliantly blue that you might not believe that they are real. The view is surreal!
This island also has accommodations and facilities to have lunch
Similan Island nr 8
The most famous and biggest island of the eleven is named Similan Island. This island is best known for its unique rock formation. This top rock is the symbol of the Similan Islands and makes for a great viewpoint of the island. Climbing to the top of this hill only takes ten minutes and offers gorgeous views of both sides of the island. A must-do activity when you come to Similan!
Best Time to Go to the Similan Islands
The Similan Islands are a protected national park that focuses on the conservation and preservation of the wildlife there. In order to prevent damaging the coral reef from mass tourism, the Thai government closes these islands to tourists for 6 months out of the year from May-October. You can only visit the islands during the high season between November and April. This limited travel season truly makes going to Similan a special occasion, so be sure to plan your dates accordingly so as not to miss your chance to go.
How to Book a Similan Boat Tour
There are a few companies that travel to Similan and most of them have similar itineraries. Sea Star and Love Andaman are the most popular tour companies going to Similan.
We used both of them and think Love Andaman is the best choice as they use Speedboats and Seastar has 2 Catamarans and speedboats that will drop you off at the beach at the same time so the beach will be fully packed.
Furthermore, if you book with a reputable agency (we recommend Viator which we also used for our tours in Thailand), you have the option to cancel any tour up to 24 hours in advance. It’s also easier to get a refund in case of any problem
We took a Similan boat tour from Khao Lak. Khao Lak is a coastal city in Phang Nga province and has the closest pier to the Similan islands. You can also arrange a transfer from Phuket, but the pick-up time from Phuket is 6:45 am. If you prefer a much more reasonable 8:00 am pick-up time, we recommend staying in Khao Lak, so you can be closer to the pier.
We stayed in Khao Lak Emerald resort which is only 10 minute ride to the pier and had a perfect stay! We loved having a beachfront hotel with a gorgeous pool and garden. The food and service were also excellent and many restaurants on the beach to watch the sunset during dinner.
What to Bring to Similan
One good thing about taking a boat tour is that the tour company will provide all of the food and water that you will need. They also provide snorkel equipment, towels, and flippers by request.
Your tour company really will take care of most things, but the most important things to bring on this tour included sunscreen, an underwater camera, a beach bag, sunglasses, and a power bank or extra batteries for your phone or camera.
Here are some resources to help you get your trip going:
Travel Essentials what's in my bag: To help you get started on packing, here are my essential travel and photography gear
Flights: WayAway to start looking for cheap flights and great deals from your home country.
Accommodation: Hostelworld, Booking.com, and Agoda.com are the ultimate go-to platforms to search for amazing hostels and hotels at affordable prices.
Car Rental: DiscoverCars.com is a great and reliable platform to find rental cars all over the world.
Internet: Airalo is the best way to get a sim card and has reliable internet access for your trip. All you need is an Esim-compatible smartphone, install it on your phone prior to your trip, and you are all set.
Day Trips & Tours: Viator, and GetYourGuide, are great platforms to search for activities to do
Tickets & Deals: Tiqets is always my go-to website when I want to find cheaper deals for entrance tickets to tourist attractions
Klook to find the best deals for trips in Asia, somehow they are 30% cheaper than when you buy them at a local agency
Train, buses, and ferries 12Go to find your travel route for local buses, and ferries, we use them all the time as you can easily see the reviews, and the vouchers are everywhere accepted. tickets are sold for more than 5,000 destinations in 100+ countries worldwide.