The Similand Islands are a group of nine islands located in the Andaman Sea off the coast of southern Thailand. This archipelago is famous for its incredible beaches, fascinating wildlife, and world-class snorkeling and diving opportunities. Right off the coast of Phang Nga Province, these islands are home to some of the most stunning scenery in Southeast Asia.
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The Similan Islands were first declared a protected area by royal decree in 1982. This designation was made to protect the diverse array of coral species found in these waters as well as their many inhabitants such as sea turtles and dolphins. The name “Similan” actually comes from a Malaysian word meaning “nine,” referring to the nine islands that make up this archipelago — Koh Ba Ngu, Koh Payu, Koh Payan, Koh Miang, Koh Ha, Koh Hin Pousar, Koh Similan, Koh Payang, and Koh Huyong. Each island has something unique to offer visitors, with activities ranging from snorkeling and scuba diving to simply lounging on one of the powdery white sand beaches that have become so iconic to the region.
The Similand Islands have long been admired for their unspoiled beauty and abundance of exotic wildlife. On land, visitors can explore nature trails through lush jungles filled with colorful birds and curious monkeys. In the water, you can observe the vibrant coral reefs and the stunning sea creatures that call them home. From kayaking around the islands to taking a thrilling speedboat tour to go island hopping, there’s no shortage of ways to get out on the water. You can even take a day trip out on a traditional Thai fishing boat to learn all about local fishing practices.
The best time to visit the Similans is between November and April when there are fewer rain showers and calmer seas making it ideal for swimming or any water sports activity you may want to partake in. But even during monsoon season, which usually lasts from May to October, these islands remain beautiful places for a day out at sea if you don’t mind getting wet. Some areas may be closed due to safety reasons during this time, but it shouldn’t hamper your ability to enjoy the islands.