Similan Islands. The paradise hidden in the middle of the sea northwest of Phuket, Thailand. Nine granite islands covered in tropical jungle, surrounded by crystal clear blue waters of Tropical Ocean. Reefs full of corals and fishes. One of the best world diving spots. Definitely worth of visit.
The islands are nowadays part of Marine National Park, the number of visitors is limited. The name Similan comes from Malay fisherman who named it “The Nine Islands” (Sembilan means “nine” in Malay). Every island has given name in Thai, but the number as well. The visibility is usually very good, in average of 18-25 meters and sometimes exceeding even 40 meters.
Even though you can hire one day trip speed boat from Phuket, I would recommend a liveaboard. The regular trip goes for Similan Islands for 3 Days / 3 Nights, or Similan, Koh Bon, Koh Tachai and Richelieu Rock for 4 Days / 4 Nights. We experienced the longer trip and the Richelieu Rock was just beautiful, so don’t miss it.
There are a huge number of boat providers and travel agencies offering Similans, we experienced West Coast Divers and it was just great. Well organized, good service, nice and friendly stuff. We’ve seen pretty everything which could be seen at the location including Manta Rays (Manta birostris), Pineapple Fish (Cleidopus gloriamaris), Sea Horses (Hippocampus) and Leopard Sharks (Triakis semifasciata).