national park of the Similan Islands is in southern Thailand, 50
kilometers west of Khao Lak. It is considered the best place in Thailand
park covers 140 square kilometers in total, 14 of those being land in the
shape of an archipelago consisting of nine islands. They are Ko Bon, Ko
Bayu, Ko Similan, Ko Payu, Ko Miang (two adjoining islands), Ko Payan, Ko
Payang, and Ko Huyong. For simplicity they are often referred to by their
number instead - 1 through 9 starting from the south. Recently, the park
was expanded to include the two remote islands Ko Bon and Ko Tachai, but
since "Sembilan" is Malay for "nine" this doesn't seem to stick in
people's minds and those are not visited as often as the original nine.
islands were created by upwellings of hot magma during the
Tertiary-Cretaceous period some 65 million years ago, then smoothed by
glacial ice and the erosion by the sea. The coral reefs are about 5000
years old and hence the oldest in Thailand. In 1982, the national park was
established and now it is scheduled to become a World Heritage.
2004 tsunami left the islands and the underwater landscape almost
unharmed, since the waters are very deep around the islands.
nine granite islands are postcard perfect images of paradise, covered in
tropical jungle and equipped with beaches of chalk-white sand. As if this
was not enough, the views under the water surface are even more impressive
- this is the best dive site in Thailand. Skin-Diver Magazine has
acclaimed the Similans to be one of the ten most beautiful places in the
Flora and fauna
There is an enormous diversity in species - both in fish and corals. The
visibility is the best you will find in Thailand. You will see plenty of
colorful fish such as lionfish and clownfish (Nemo), and if you're lucky
you may spot a bigger one like a manta or even a whale shark.
Ko Huyong Thai Marines run a turtle breeding facility, but access to the
island is limited.
High season in the Similans is from December until April, when the monsoon
stays far away. The best period to visit is March, when the winds are calm
and the water clear. The national park is closed from May 16 to November