Diving and the Similan Islands
The Similan Islands are part of a National Park in the Andaman Sea approximately 60 kilometres due west of Khao Lak; the park is formed of nine islands, which happens to be the number that was used to create the park name. Nine in Malay is ‘sembelan’, the name ‘Similans’ was taken from this. The park is world famous for its tropical flora and fauna, beautiful white sandy beaches and its world class diving. The crystal clear waters offer some of the best visibility during high season months and the sea life that can be seen here is the reason why the Similans are one of the top ten places for scuba diving in the world. Just north of the Similan Islands are the islands of Koh Bon and Koh Tachai; these islands rival the scuba diving of the similans. The Similan Islands National Park is also a great location for snorkelling, and if you are not a diver there are a number of walking trails and spectacular viewpoints to explore.
There is also the opportunity for seeing some fascinating wildlife on the Similan Islands and some great bird watching too. The islands are a habitat for a wide range of exotic animals, reptiles and small mammals. The Thai navy have set up a turtle sanctuary on a few of the islands, so these wonderful creatures are frequently seen on scuba diving adventures. The status of the area as a National Park means that no development is allowed on the islands, but islands 4 and 8 have some modest facilities including camping site, bungalows, restaurant and bathrooms.
Khao Lak: the ideal starting point for the Similans
If you would like to visit the Similan Islands, Khao Lak is the ideal starting point. This small town has developed in the tourist industry as a key location from which to visit the Similan Islands National Park. Walkers Inn is happy to help with any enquiries and bookings for scuba diving trips here. Khao Lak is full of dive companies, so booking through Walkers Inn is easy and convenient, cutting out all the hassle of walking around the town to research different agents.
Reccomended Khao Lak Dive Company
The Similan Islands are increasingly popular with tourists, and consequently are often quite crowded. For experienced divers we recommend Koh Tachai or the famous dive site at Richelieu Rock to the north of the Similans; these sites offer more satisfying diving and underwater sightings. The company we recommend for scuba diving tours is Thailand Dive and Sail; they are the best in Khao Lak for a personal, fun and professional tour. Thailand Dive and Sail will adapt a trip to your requirements, whether it is a day trip or liveaboard, listening to what you would like to get out of your diving experience and planning the trip accordingly. Other recommended dive tours away from the masses include Boonsung Wreck, which is fairly nearby, and their exclusive Khao Sok Lake and Cavern Diving tours. All three of these dive trips are ideal for those wanting something a bit different from the crowded waters of the Similans and for people looking for something budget friendly.