Similan Islands: A Perfect Tour to Thailand’s Paradise

The Similan Islands in Thailand is a breathtakingly beautiful group of islands, which lies off the coast of Khao Lak and belongs to the Mu Ko Similan National Park. The waters around the islands are considered thanks to the biodiversity to be the absolute best places in Thailand for snorkeling and diving. But not only that, the fine white sand beaches with spectacular granite rock formations and bright turquoise sea colors are a real highlight of this island world. Especially famous is Donald Duck Bay, which graces the postcards of Thailand and attracts countless visitors from all over the world to the Similan Islands.

In this travel guide, you will find all the important information about the Similan Islands in Thailand. We also share our experience, show you amazing pictures, the best attractions as well as beaches, and what to expect on a day tour to the Similan Islands.

Good to know!

The Similan Islands can only be visited as part of a guided day tour. Really great are early-bird tours, where you are early enough at the beautiful beaches to enjoy them in peace!

Getting to the Similan Islands is usually arranged by speedboat from Tap Lamu Pier or from Baan Nam Kem Pier. The travel time is a little more than 1 hour.

A visit to the Similan Islands is possible from November to April. In the remaining months, the national park is closed for security reasons and for preserving the nature.

Accommodation can not be found on the Similan Islands anymore! The nearest resort is Khao Lak, where you can find many great hotels like La Vela Khao Lak.

General information about the Similan Islands

The Similan Islands in Thailand are a world-famous archipelago consisting of 9 incredibly gorgeous islets. The beautiful archipelago, about 24 kilometers long, is located in the Andaman Sea, 70 kilometers from the mainland. The name comes from the Malaysian word “sembilan”, but today these pearls are known as Similan Islands. Together with 2 other islands, this impressive natural jewel is protected by the Mu Ko Similan National Park. Thanks to the fascinating underwater world, the rich diving areas and the colorful soft corals, the sea around the Similan Islands have become a famous spot for diving but also for snorkeling.

The Similan Islands are among the most beautiful islands in Thailand and are therefore for many a must-see during their round trip. Characteristic and really unique are the snow-white powder sugar-fine sand beaches and the crystal clear turquoise sea, a backdrop that you experience almost only in the Caribbean. A highlight is the imposing granite rocks, especially the famous Sailboat Rock, which make the beaches of the Similan Islands real eye-catchers!


Best Things to See on Similan Islands

A tour to the Similan Islands is a must-do for many visitors to Thailand. No wonder because the Similan Islands with their white beaches and the breathtaking underwater world are unbeatable in Thailand. Especially for travelers from Khao Lak and Phuket a tour to these dream islands is really worth it. Here are the most beautiful beaches, sights, and best things to experience during a trip.

Island Number 8 – Donald Duck Bay

Island number 8 is the largest island of the Similan Islands and usually the first stop on a trip. A wonderful place to swim in the turquoise sea, enjoy the soft white beach and take great pictures. Particularly spectacular on this island is the so-called Donald Duck Bay with the famous Sailboat Rock, a huge granite rock from whose viewpoint you can enjoy an incredibly beautiful view of the sandy beach. The climb to the viewpoint is a bit steep and narrow, but the panorama over this outstanding bay is definitely worth it.

Island Number 7 & Island Number 9

Ba Ngu Island, also known as island number 9 and Payu Island, island number 7 offer the best spots for snorkeling in the Similan Islands. Here you can admire a breathtaking underwater world, many colorful fish species and beautiful coral reefs. With a little luck, you can even see turtles like the hawksbill turtle or the green turtle while snorkeling. Also the beautiful clownfish cavort in the colorful soft corals of the archipelago and even moray eels hide in the reefs. No wonder that Koh Similan Islands are known to be one of the best places for snorkeling and diving in Southeast Asia!

Tip: A waterproof backpack will protect your valuables, camera and mobile phone from wetness and splashing water during a boat trip.

Island number 4 – Miang Island

Miang Island is one of the most beautiful attractions in the Koh Similan archipelago and is usually the last stop on any day tour. Enchanting beaches like the romantic Honeymoon Bay and the picturesque Princess Bay are waiting for you here. Ideal for relaxing, swimming, sunbathing and of course to take spectacular pictures of the Similan Islands. If you feel like it, hike through the jungle and enjoy the lush nature. This area is home to the very rare colorful collared doves, various species of crabs, monitor lizards and even flying foxes, which can be spotted in the forest if you are lucky.

Guided Excursions and Day Tours

The Similan Islands can only be visited via a guided tour. It is currently not really possible to travel there on your own. Most guided excursions and also diving tours are offered at the big vacation destinations like Khao Lak and Phuket. The program usually includes the national park fee of 500 baht, drinks and lunch.

The day tours cost between 50 euros and 110 euros, depending on the provider and quality. A real insider tip are the so-called early-bird tours, where you are always one step ahead of the tourist crowds and can enjoy the spectacular dream beaches in a unique atmosphere.

On the online portal GetYourGuide you can find various amazing excursions to the dream islands. Practical are the reviews, which you can compare before booking.


Tips for Accommodation near Similan Islands

There are no hotels and accommodations in the national park because staying overnight on the Similan Islands is currently prohibited. There used to be a few places to stay in the national park, which have been closed for conservation. The nearest major resort from where excursions start is Khao Lak, where you can find many great hotels and accommodations in every price range. Here are a few tips on where to stay…It’s worth a look!

  • Hotel with huge Pool: The 4-star hotel La Vela Khao Lak enchants its guests with a huge pool, great location directly on the beach, and a pure vacation feeling.
  • Cheap Guesthouse: The Casa Cool is a small and clean guesthouse in an excellent location and at a fair price! Also the hospitality is unique.
  • Fantastic Beach Hotel: Absolutely wonderful is the Moracea by Khao Lak Resort, a fantastic hotel in perfect location on the beach and with terrific breakfast.
  • Amazing 5-Star Hotel: The popular JW Marriott Khao Lak Resort and Spa is a beautiful 5-star hotel directly on the beach and a great choice for a very special vacation.

Find the best accommodation in Khao Lak:

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