Similan Islands, Thailand: where are they, what to see and when to go

Similan Islands – a real paradise in Thailand, Similans, tour from Phuket

Similan Islands (Similan Islands) or Similan – this stunning beauty islands that are located in the Andaman Sea and are among the ten most beautiful places on the planet. Most tourists go on a tour to the Similan Islands it is from Phuket – this tour is one of the most popular tours of the nearby islands from the island.

Similan Islands Phuket Thailand

General Information

Similans – it’s snow-white beaches with fine sand and crystal clear turquoise water, as well as a variety of underwater life.

Similan Islands are located 70 km from Phang-nga and 100 km from Phuket.

The name of the islands – Similan Islands is derived from the word “Similan” and means “nine”, equal to the number of islands. Nowadays the number of Similan Islands is 11, as in 1998 two more islands were added to them – Koh Bon and Koh Tachai. The word “Koh” in Thai translates as “island”.

At the moment Similan includes the following islands:

  1. Ko Huyong
  2. Ko Payang
  3. Ko Payan
  4. Ko Miang
  5. Ko Ha
  6. Ko Hok
  7. Ko Payu
  8. Ko Similan
  9. Ko Bangu
  10. Ko Bon
  11. Ko Tachai

The Similan Islands were formed 65 million years ago by the eruption of submarine volcanoes and since 1982 the Similans are a National Park and are to be added to UNESCO. Many islands are closed to tourists in order to preserve the pristine nature and underwater world.

Tours from Phuket and other islands mainly offer visits to two islands – these are Islands 4 and 8 – Ko Ming and Ko Similan. You can not buy a standard tour with accommodation on these islands, as there is almost no infrastructure. Tourists come here mostly as part of tour groups from nearby islands for 1 day or stay overnight for 1-3 nights.

Where can I rent a car in Phuket?

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I recommend Myrentacar, Economybookings – they have a lot of cars, all the conditions are always transparent on the site, there are minimum prices. We often rent cars from them.

Where to buy insurance for Thailand?

The most popular site for insurance is There you can compare 14 different insurance policies and choose the best one for you in terms of value for money. Use promo code yulatrip5 to get 5% discount (promo code is valid from 1000rub). Also one of the best insurance is sold at

Where can I book my airport transfer?

We book at On the website you can order a transfer online – a good choice of cars, you can choose the class of the car: economy, comfort, minivan, minibus with a capacity from 4-19 people. Meet at the airport with a sign and comfortably bring you to your desired location.

Similan Islands Phuket Thailand

When are the Similan Islands open for visits?

The Similan Islands are open to visitors during the tourist season from November to April. It is at this time of year in Similan has good sunny weather, calm and clear sea, in which you can do snorkeling and diving.

Between May and October, the Similan Islands are closed to tourists due to the deterioration of the weather – there are often strong winds and storms. The sea is rough and that is why Similan is closed for the safety of tourists at this time of year.

Similan Islands Phuket Thailand

Excursion to the Similan Islands from Phuket

As I wrote above, in Phuket one of the most popular excursions to the islands is the excursion to the Similan Islands. This excursion is offered in different options – from 1 to 3 days.

The tour usually includes transfer from your hotel to the pier and back, speedboat to the islands, tours of the islands with a Russian guide, disembarkation at Islands 4 and 8, swimming, snorkeling and diving around the Similan Islands, breakfast, lunch and dinner on the islands, and snacks on the speedboat including fruit and drinks, insurance, and overnight stays in bungalows or cabins if the tours are longer than 1 day.

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We chose the 1 day tour because we decided to spend the remaining money on another excursion to the Phi Phi Islands. And we had enough time to enjoy Similan and its underwater world.

Similan Islands Phuket Thailand

Description of our trip to Similan

We were supposed to go to Similan Islands for 1 day on April 1, but it just so happened that they forgot about us and the driver didn’t pick us up at our hotel It was very frustrating, we purposely got up very early, packed our things and yeeh… They forgot about us! A real April Fool’s joke. We ended up touring the whole island of Phuket, visiting the southernmost point – Promtep Cape, and then the northernmost point – Sarasin Bridge. The next day we did go on a tour of Similan, our driver picked us up at the Oscar Boutique Hotel, put us in a mini bus and we set off on a 3 hour trip to the pier, from which the speedboat sails tourists to Similan.

The marina has restrooms, you can change your clothes, and you can sit and drink tea or coffee with cookies. You can also buy things like head bandanas, hats, shorts, goggles, and rent flippers here. Masks are usually included in the price of the tour. We rented flippers, by the way, highly recommended, so you can swim much farther and get less tired. We listened to a mini-instruction before the tour, then all took off shoes (they stay on land and are issued on arrival back to the pier) and already barefoot we went to the speedboat. We were offered motion sickness pills, and there was drinking water on the speedboat. If you get carsick, I recommend to sit near the middle instead of on the bow, even though there are wonderful views over the islands, but it gets carsick very strongly, and you can get burnt in the sun.

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2 hours on the water and here we are at our first stop – snorkeling around one of the islands! Our snorkeling time is 40 minutes, we put on our masks and fins, take our action cam and go and explore the underwater world of Similan islands!

Similan Islands Phuket Thailand

We swim near huge boulders, trying not to get close to them, as the wave can nail to the stones. Underwater is very beautiful, but deep. Here, if you are lucky, you can see turtles, various fish and other inhabitants of the underwater world. We only saw large colorful fish.

Visit to the island of Ko Similan

Next we sailed to the most famous island of the Similan Islands – Ko Similan. Already visible from afar is its calling card and the main attraction – the rock “Sail” height of 25 meters.

Similan Islands Phuket Thailand

We were dropped off at Donald Duck Bay and had an hour and a half to explore the island or swim. The first thing tourists do is go to the observation deck on Sail Rock – the climb is not very high and not difficult. Although, if there are a lot of people, and here, imagine, there are queues, the ascent can take a large amount of time, and in the heat is difficult enough to walk, it is better to take water, a hat and something to put on your shoulders, so as not to burn.

Similan Islands Phuket Thailand

There are a lot of people, but believe me, the ascent to the rock “Sail” is definitely worth it – the views from the observation deck are fantastic!

Similan Islands Phuket Thailand

At the top we spent about 20 minutes, we had to catch the moment when no one disturbs the photos and make beautiful pictures to remember .

When you look at the rock from below, it seems that the stone can slide down, and in order to strengthen it, the locals have a belief that the stick, attached to the base of the rock will strengthen it even more, and help you stand in a difficult situation. Many people take any stick, even the smallest one, and place it at the base of the rock, while making a wish. I did my part to help this rock too .

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Similan Islands Phuket Thailand

Most of the time we spent on the rock, and very little time to bathe in the turquoise water, as well as take pictures with large boulders on the beach.

Similan Islands Phuket Thailand

I hadn’t seen such huge boulders anywhere yet, so I ran around them and just enjoyed the views.

Similan Islands Phuket Thailand

Unfortunately, time ran out quickly and we went to another island, no less popular – island number 4. There we planned to fully enjoy a beach vacation on some of the most beautiful islands in the world.

Visit to island number 4

We didn’t just come to Island 4 to swim and sunbathe, we also came for lunch By this time we were hungry and looking forward to lunch. There is a special place on the island, the dining room, where they bring tourists for lunch. There is a buffet – the food is simple, but varied and everyone will find a meal to his liking.

Similan Islands Phuket Thailand

There are also equipped toilets and places with benches where you can relax in the shade of trees. We ate quickly and went to enjoy the clearest Andaman Sea.

Similan Islands Phuket Thailand

Yes, Similan Islands – this is a real paradise in Thailand, it can only be compared with the also beautiful islands in El Nido in the Philippines. But it has its own atmosphere, its own natural beauty. The sea is very warm, white sand, views around the stunning!

Similan Islands Phuket Thailand

People around, of course, also a lot, but where without the tourists It would be great to come here for a whole day, but “no harm in dreaming” The island we stayed about a day.

Similan Islands Phuket Thailand

On the island we stayed for about 1.5-2 hours. It was very hot, and there was almost nowhere to hide from the sun on the beach, all the places under the trees and by the bushes were occupied. After this island we had another 40 minute snorkeling and headed back to the pier. On the way back, many fell asleep, arriving at the pier, we were given our shoes and seated in buses, and after another 3 hours, we were in our hotel Oscar Boutique Hotel.

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In conclusion, though the road to Similan Islands takes a large part of the tour time, but it is definitely worth it – you will see some of the most beautiful islands in the world!

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