Created 65 million years ago from outpouring magma and smoothed over the millennia by glacial ice, the nine granite islands of the Similans have been transformed into the minds image of paradise. Established as a national park in 1982 and now scheduled to become a UNESCO World Heritage Site the Similans and their neighboring islands of Koh Bon and Koh Tachai offer unforgettable experiences for all who stay on the west coast of Phang Nga and Phuket province.
Derived from the Malay (Yawi) word ‘Sembilan’ meaning ‘nine’, the Similan Islands are covered in lush tropical jungle with stunning rock formations and, of course, picture postcard white sand beaches – the Islands in themselves are something to behold. Home to the endangered Nicobar Pigeon (the closest relative to the now extinct Dodo) the Islands play host to a variety of wildlife, and if that wasn’t enough, the scenery below the surrounding clear blue waters offers what is considered to be the best dive and snorkel sites in Thailand.
The small town of Khao Lak serves as the perfect destination for anyone wishing to visit the Similans Islands. Nestled between the long, uncrowded beaches and the tropical forests of Lam Ru National Park the town treats its guests with the best of Thailand. The down-to-earth feel of the town and people who live there create a welcoming and relaxed environment for anyone wishing to get away from it all. With accommodation ranging from basic rooms to 5 Star resorts you are guaranteed to find somewhere that suits your budget. Khao Sok National Park is just an hour away where you can surround yourself in some of the oldest rainforest on the planet.
Tap Lamu Pier is situated just 15 minutes from the town center and serves as the main port for all boats leaving for the Similans. The 60km journey out to the Islands can take anything from 1 ½ to 3 ½ hours depending on the type of boat you wish to take. Dolphins and whales are often spotted on the way to the Islands and, once there, you can visit Island No. 8 (Koh Similan) and its famous bay of Ao Guerk. More commonly referred to as Donald Duck Bay, its name derives from a huge boulder that when viewed from the side looks just like a cartoon duck’s head (whether it looks more like Duffy than Donald is a regular point of discussion). The view point from Sail Rock is another incredible feature of this bay and, once climbed, presents magnificent views across the bay and over to the neighbouring islands.
For Divers and Snorkelers the abundant sea life will delight and amaze as the countless variety of species display their kaleidoscope of colours and hues, whilst the possibility of swimming with Whale Sharks and Giant Manta Rays in the northern islands of Koh Bon and Koh Tachai is a chance not to be missed! Pirate Divers International can arrange Day Trips and Liveaboards for anyone wishing to dive, snorkel or just simple experience the beauty of the Islands.