The Similan Islands, a chain of islands that form a national park, are well known for magnificent coral reefs, white, sandy beaches, and crystal clear tropical water. This makes the islands perfect for snorkeling while you are on vacation in Thailand.
Similan Islands National Park contains nine islands, and is one of the most attractive marine areas in the country. “American Diving” magazine recognized the islands as one of the top ten diving zones in the world. Along with the under the sea beauty, you’ll also find stunning beaches with very fine, golden-white sand bordering paradise evoking waters. All people should be lucky enough to visit a beach like you’ll find here on the Similan Islands at least once in their lives.
Similan means “nine” in Yawi, the Malaysian language, and this name refers to the nine islands that it encompasses. The islands were classified as a national park in 1982 and are highly protected. The only residents allowed on the islands are Park Rangers and support staff, who live on either Ko Similan (island #8), the largest island, or Ko Miang (island #4), the island in the middle of the chain. The islands, from north to south, are called: Ko Bon, Ko Bayu, Ko Similan, Ko Payu, Ko Miang (two adjoining islands), Ko Payan, Ko Payang, and Ko Huyong.Fishing and harming wildlife is illegal, and the first three islands are closed to the public as they are protected turtle nesting grounds.
The beautiful reefs have seen their share of damage from illegal fishing as well as diving, and are being nursed back to health and recovering more and more each year. Boats entering the park’s waters must adhere to strict rules, such as using the regulation moorings and using a closed waste water system so that no pollution escapes into the water. With proper monitoring, and strict observance of rules, the reefs will return to their former glory.
These islands have a multitude of fun activities for tourists, including diving and snorkeling, and above water fun such as birding, camping, and just relaxing on the pristine beaches. When you choose to visit the Similan Islands, you know that you’ll be surrounded by beauty, wildlife, great weather, and memories for the making.