The huge granite boulders that form the Similans are clear evidence of an entirely different geological process to that which left us with Phang Nga Bay. Smooth, weather-worn rocks the size of cars and houses tumble down the islands' shorelines looking like some ancient giant's left-behind marbles.
Continuing their interesting formations to the seafloor, these rocks create a wondrous underwater world that helps support a sizeable liveaboard diving industry. Water clarity here is legendary, and the coral reefs are considered the most colourful and diverse in Thailand.
These offshore islands are therefore the first destination on the way to the Burmese dive sites and are constantly busy with liveaboard vessels during the high season.
The waters surrounding the Similans are teeming with tropical fish, colourful coral, and offer exceptional underwater visibility at most times of the year. The diving is certainly the best in Thailand, and compares favourably with some of the best in the world. The Similans, along with the islands and rocks to the north, are now a recognised feature on the world diving map, and are particularly noted for the regularity with which divers meet Whale Sharks and Mantas.
The continental drop-off is only a few kilometres west of the Similans, and this attracts the occasional game fishing boat to venture out from Phuket, invariably seeking the legendary huge, Black Marlin that are reputed to pass there.
The entire group is patrolled by the National Park launches who collect 200 Baht per visiting vessel and another 200 Baht for each passenger.
- Phuket FantaSea Cultural Theme Park
- Phi Phi Islands Tour with Express Boat
- James Bond Island Full-Day Tour via Big Boat
- Coral & Racha Islands Full-Day Tour
- Whitewater Rafting & 4-Wheel-Drive Adventure
- Sea Kayaking at Ang Thong Marine Park
- Flying Hanuman Ziplining Experience
- Canoeing Excursion in Phang Nga Bay with Thai Buffet Lunch
- Introduction to City Tour
- John Gray's Cave Canoeing Tour in Phang Nga Bay
All commercial operators are required to purchase vouchers in advance for vessels and passengers and report to the National Park HQ at Koh Miang upon arrival to have their tickets verified. This is currently not applied to independent yachts but may change in the future as Thailand becomes more eco-conscious of this tremendous tourist asset in the Andaman Sea. The rangers also check to ensure that no one is trolling, bottom fishing or spear fishing within a 5-mile limit of the islands. Hefty fines are levied for offenders.
Basic accommodations are available at the HQ, reservations can be made by phoning the Phang Nga Office (+66 0 76 959045 or +66 0 76 421365).
Cruising to and among the Similans is not recommended during the southwest monsoon season, due to heavy swells and squalls together with a scarcity of protected overnight anchorages.