Similan Islands: A Perfect Tour to Thailand’s Paradise

Similan Islands, also known as Koh Similan, is an archipelago of 9 islands which is located about 60 kilometers from the coast of Khao Lak. Since its part of the Mu Ko Similan National Park, the area around the islands is considered to be one of the best places in Thailand for snorkelling and diving. The turquoise blue sea and the fine white sand beaches with the mighty granite rock formations are a real highlight of this archipelago. Through these breathtakingly beautiful landscapes and a spectacular underwater world, a day trip to Similan Islands from Phuket or Khao Lak is a must-do for many.

This blog post we will share all about a perfect tour to the Similan Islands. Additionally, you will get lots of info about the best time to visit, bungalows & camping and where are the best places for snorkelling at Koh Similan.

How to get to Similan Islands

Getting to Similan Islands can be easily organized by joining a guided tour from Phuket or Khao Lak. The boat tour to the Similan Islands takes place with speedboat cruise, usually starting from Tap Lamu Pier. The port is located approximately 10 kilometers south of Khao Lak and approximately 70 kilometers from Phuket Airport. On a trip to the Similan Islands, the journey to the pier and often also the pickup from the hotel is included in the price. The trip by speedboat to the islands takes about 1 hour, because from Tap Lamu Pier to the Similan Islands 60 kilometers distance must be covered.

The nearest airport to the Similan Islands is the Phuket International Airport. Cheap flights from Bangkok to Phuket can be found at Skyscanner.

Day Tour to Similan Islands

A trip to the Similan Islands is a highlight for many Thailand travellers. No wonder, because the Similan Islands with their white beaches and the breath-taking underwater world are unbeatable in Thailand. Especially for tourists from Khao Lak and Phuket taking a tour to these beautiful islands can be interesting. The price for a trip to the islands is around 4,000 baht, but the costs include mostly national park entrance fee, food and drinks.

We started our trip from Khao Lak, but there are also excursions starting from Phuket or even from Krabi! The tours are all quite similar, so we will show you the beautiful places and beaches that we visited during our tour to the dream islands:

Island number 8 – Donald Duck Bay

The island number 8 is probably the most famous island of  Koh Similian and usually always the first stop of excursions. The Donald Duck Bay is a wonderful place to enjoy the soft white sand beach and take amazing pictures. Especially popular is the unbelievably beautiful view from the viewpoint on the huge granite rock, which is also known as “the sail”. The climb is a bit steep and narrow, but the panorama over the Ao Kuaek bay is definitely worth it.

Island number 9 – Ba Ngu Island (Snorkelling)

This islet is one of the best places for snorkelling on the Similan Islands. Here you can admire a breath-taking underwater world, many colorful fish species and beautiful coral reefs. With a bit of luck, you might even spot on your snorkelling trip turtles, such as the The Hawksbill Turtle or the Green Turtle.

Island number 7 – Payu Island (Snorkelling)

Payu Island is another great snorkelling spot. Again, you will discover beautiful reef inhabitants and maybe you can even see the pretty nemos (clown fish). Here you can take wonderful pictures of the corals and the many colorful fish. No wonder that Koh Similan Islands are known to be one of the best places for snorkelling and diving in Southeast Asia!

Island number 4 – Miang Island

This island is another highlight and top attraction of every Similan trip. Here, are the Honeymoon Bay and Princess Bay, two incredibly beautiful beaches. Ideal for relaxing, swimming, sunbathing and taking amazing photos. Also, you can take a short walk through the jungle and enjoy the lush nature. With some luck you can see some wild animals and birds. Around that area live the very rare and colorful Nicobar pigeons, which we could easily discover during a walk through the forest.

In our experience, it is really worth booking one of the so-called Early Bird Tours. Here you will start pretty early in the morning and have the advantage to escape the tourist streams and definitely gain more from your trip.

Here you can book an unforgettable trip to the Similan Islands:
  • Early Bird Tour from Phuket to the Similan Islands
  • Early Bird Tour from Khao Lak to the Similan Islands


When to visit the Similan Islands

The best travel time and thus the opening times for the Similan Islands are from November to April. In this period, it rains much less and so the National Park can be opened for excursions. In February and March, the optimal climate is expected. In the following months, such as May, June, July, August and September, the Similan Islands are closed. At this travel time a visit is impossible.

Where to stay

Actually, there are no hotels or accommodations stay on the Similan Islands. Staying the night on the islands is currently prohibited. In the past, there were a few accommodations in the National Park, but these were closed because the high numbers of visitors.

Otherwise, all the Khao Lak holiday destinations offer some great hotels and accommodations which can be found in every price range. We especially loved our stay at La Vela Khao Lak, a wonderful hotel right on the beach.


Conclusion: The Similan Islands are, although now many tourists visit the island, a great spot for snorkelling and diving. The powdered sugar fine white sand beaches, the picturesque stone formations, the turquoise blue water colors, but also the beautiful forests of the islands have inspired us. All in all, a tour to the Similan Islands is really worth it and with an early bird trip a unique Thailand experience!

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