If you are heading to Thailand, this is something you shouldn‘t miss. Similan Islands is a group of 9 low granite islands covered with tropical forests and white sandy beaches, surrounded by crystal blue sea. They are situated in the Andaman Sea, about 80 km North-West from Phuket. It is one of the best places for scuba diving in the world – one can find canyons, caves and coral gardens, with plenty of colorful fish species between the particular islands.
I spent my last 20th birthday here and the best present was swimming with a turtle :).
We got to the islands from Phuket. Early in the morning, the minibus picked us up at the hotel and brought us to the port, where we had a short breakfast and we got in the speedboat. After 45 minutes of ride, the speedboat stopped for about 20 minutes of snorkeling – all was provided. It was amazing to observe the colorful life in the sea. It was here where I met the turtle – amazing!
Back to the boat, direction first island, where we had some sunbath and swim, as well as lunch in the forest.
The lunch took place inside the forest, in the shade of trees – there were tables and chairs made from wood. It was kind of buffet prepared and served by the guys from our speedboat and they had also a veggie option, lovely! Behind the “restaurant” were normal toilets and showers, but probably not maintained every day.
We stayed on the island for about 2 hours in total and then continued to discover another one. Getting off and on the boat was quite funny as people were balancing in the water with their stuff above their heads (well probably I wouldn’t laugh if my camera touched the water ;)).
We arrived to the second island where we stayed for about 1h30‘. Sun was so intense here and the sand incredibly hot. But the colors of nature were amazing!
Around 4 p.m. the speedboat took us back to the port where the minibuses were already waiting for us. I read somewhere that there were mangrove forests on Phuket, and actually saw one when the speedboat was approaching the port.
Before going to the Similan Islands, you should know that the islands are part of natural maritime reserve and so they are opened for tourists only from mid-October to mid-May. Tours can be arranged from almost any of the main resorts on Phuket, so if you are staying by some of those main beaches, you will definitely run into them.