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Secluded and far off the beaten path, the Similan Islands lie on Thailand's west coast, north of Phuket and Krabi. Set amidst the fluorescent turquoise of the Andaman Sea, the Similan Islands were declared a national park in 1982. The archipelago, comprising eleven islands (of which the eponymous Ko Similan is the largest), is in the process of being declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Fortunately, this natural treasure was spared damage from the 2004 tsunami, and remains a fantastic diving and snorkeling site, as well as an ideal location to hop from one island to another.
The best months to visit are March and April, and the high season runs from December through April. Please note that between May 16th to November 15th, the park is closed.
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While it is possible to cruise around Similan National Park's 11 islands, visitors are only allowed to land on Islands #4 and #8, which have trails and viewpoints. Traveling on a liveaboard yacht allows one to see more of the islands, even when it is not possible to go ashore.
Diving and Snorkeling
Similan is considered to have the very best diving in all of Thailand. The waters are clear and teeming with sea life, including manta rays and whale sharks. Non-divers can still appreciate the reefs of Similan by snorkeling the shallower reefs.
Diving on the east side features coral reefs with slopes. The west side diving is famous for the giant granite boulders that are to be found under the water. Among the best sites are “East of Eden," a slope featuring a diverse corals; Elephant Head Rock (West Side), though the currents here are known to be a bit tricky; and Richelieu Rock, where whale shark sightings are probable.
Not all nine islands have beaches, but the ones that do have pristine and powdery white sand. One of the best beaches is located on Koh Tachai, on the northern end of the park. Swim in Similan's turquoise waters and have a picnic on the beach.
Some of the islands are covered with beautiful tropical jungle. Hikers and trekkers will enjoy taking nature walks to examine the area's special flora and fauna.
Although very stringent restrictions apply, one can witness turtle hatching and the hatchlings' accompanying rush to the sea on Koh Huyong. There is a turtle breeding facility here which is run by the Royal Thai Marines.
Known for having some of the world’s most breathtaking beaches – the South of Thailand is home to endless white-sand beaches, vibrant corals and turquoise waters. Stay in the most luxurious of hotels as you beach hop and even enjoy a private aerial tour of some of the world’s least explored tropical islands.
Discover the Similan Islands from the luxury of your own private yacht. With Remote Lands you can select the most suitable vessel for your adventure around one of the most beautiful and isolated marine environments in Southeast Asia. Guests can enjoy the privacy of sunbathing on the deck whilst stopping off as they please for swimming, snorkeling, diving or island hopping. Yachts are fitted with modern conveniences such as luxury bedding, large seating areas, air-conditioning and en-suite bathrooms making your stay as comfortable and pleasurable as possible. Yachts come with a full team of staff including a butler and a chef to prepare meals of fresh seafood and aromatic Thai cuisine.