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Similan Islands

The Similan Islands are a paradise located in the south of Thailand, just a few years ago, it is beloved by tourists. The untouched nature of Southeast Asia is still preserved here, the beauty of which is a must-see.

The article will give you useful and important information regarding sights, excursions, food and lodging prices, infrastructure, beaches, peculiarities of life in Similan, and how to get here.

General information about the Similan Islands

General description of the Similan Islands in Thailand

The Similan Islands are a mountainous archipelago located at the bottom of the Andaman Sea. It is in the south of Thailand and has been a national park for several years. According to tourists and travel agents Similan is one of the most beautiful places in the world.

60 kilometers east of the archipelago begins the mainland of Thailand, called the Khao Lak coast. And 120 km southeast of the islands is the famous resort of Phuket in Thailand.

The Similan Archipelago originally consisted of nine islands. “Simil” in Thai means “nine. But in the late 20th century, two more small islands were added to the archipelago, and now there are eleven of them.

The Similan Islands on a map of Thailand

The Similan Islands on a map of Thailand

Similan Islands on the World Map

Similan Islands on the World Map

The largest island is N8, a little smaller is N4. Most of the islets are accessible to tourists, some are closed to them in order to protect wildlife, in particular the endangered turtle family.

Periodically, the islands are closed for several years from tourists, restored, and then reopened. This is the right choice because. millions want to get to the most beautiful place in the world, and it’s bad for the local flora and fauna.

Even the officially open islands are only really available during the High Season, i.e. from November to April in Thailand, the rest of the time they are all closed. More exact dates can be found on the website of this wonderful national park.

Cost of visiting the archipelago

Visiting Mu Ko Similan is on a paid basis. Its cost is already included in the tour, so you do not have to pay more on arrival.

If tourists came on their own, privately, they need to pay to visit the national park:

  • for foreign tourists – 500 Thai Baht or $15;
  • For children 300 Thai Baht or $9;
  • for Thai adults – 100 Thai Baht or $3.

As you can see, the cost of visiting this natural attraction in Thailand is relatively low, as is the cost of living in this country. No one takes pity on tourists from abroad. And Vietnam equates locals and foreign visitors.

Ways to reach the Similan Islands

How to get to the Similan Islands

You can arrive at this paradise place by boat or pleasure boat. There used to be a big pleasure boat from the mainland to the islands, but it hasn’t been seen for a few years now. But there are no problems with transportation.

From the Taplamu Pier in Phuket, the boat leaves for the Similan Islands, traveling about 4 hours by sea to the northwest. Boats go between the islands as a cab, the cost of their transfer is about 300 Thai baht or $9.

Taplamu Pier occupies a significant place in Thailand, in general, and around Phuket, in particular. It is intended for fishing boats, Thai navy ships, and is also the main pier from which tourists get to Similan and Thachai.

The boats depart from the pier for the Similan Islands at 09:00 am. You can take it to the magnificent beaches of Khao Lak, located on the west coast of mainland Thailand, or you can turn to the islands.

The boat can transfer 30 people per voyage. During the trip, you can sunbathe on the front deck or hide under an awning in the back of the boat. Experienced tourists run to the chairs closer to the captain.

Please note! The road is long enough, so even in the doldrums can be very seasick. Pregnant women are strongly advised not to swim, all others need to stock up on medication for nausea and motion sickness.

Lodging in the Similan Islands

The park carefully preserves the wildlife in a completely unspoiled form, so there are almost no hotels on the islands, especially with five-star. But there are tent camps and bungalows.

Tents can be found on the island of N4 and N8, and there are bungalows only on the island of N4. It is forbidden to bring your own tents and set up here. This prohibition is also related to the protection of the environment.

Cost of renting bungalows or tents in Similan

  • Tent rental is 500 Thai Baht or $15 per day;
  • Renting a bungalow with a fan is 1,000 Thai baht or $30 per day;
  • Renting a bungalow with air conditioning is 2,000 Thai Baht or $60 per day.

You can pre-book lodging for yourself and companions in the national park. If you do it on the site for several days at a time, expect significant bonuses and discounts, up to a third of the rental price.


Accommodation in tents in the Similan Islands

Tents on the island of N4 are a large camp on the beach near the sea. They are set up in a beautiful grove rather clustered near each other. The tents are quite large, easily accommodating 3-4 people.

It’s best to live in a tent for two. There’s a soft mattress, mosquito nets and a shower. You can take a light blanket with you to the islands. During the night during the High Season it is quite hot and stuffy in the tents.

The tents on the island of N8 are set far from the sea, so it’s even hotter in them. People who are not adapted to the tropical climate will not be very comfortable in them. But you can take a risk and try to spend the night in the national park here as well.


Bungalows in Similan Islands - accommodation, prices

The bungalows on the island of N4 are a great place to rest and spend the night. They stand on high stilts on an elevated site, have a large veranda, a significant interior area and necessarily air conditioning.

From the large windows of the veranda you can watch the beautiful seascape around the clock. But not every tourist will like the high stairs, which have to climb to the bungalow. Otherwise, they’re great houses.

Several bungalows stand right on the beach near the sea, it is considered by tourists to be one of the best beaches in Thailand. Minus these bungalows: during the day there is too much noise from holidaymakers.

On the island of N4 built a large and long house with many rooms and a large common veranda. Every room in this house has fans that are well refreshed at night. The sea and the beach are very close. Minus – the rooms have a small area.

Also, in this house, only cold water flows from the shower. There are electricity grids here, but the voltage in the outlet is very low, so appliances take a long time to charge.

Infrastructure in the Similan Islands

The most developed infrastructure is on the island of N4. Here was built and operates a dining room, where you can eat a meal of local cuisine and drink coffee to all who came as a group on a tour or just relax on their own.

Here they eat strictly according to the schedule. You can also drink coffee, other drinks, eat different sweets and goodies at any time. You won’t find hungry tourists on the island.

Meals in Similan islands are represented by cheap outdoor canteens

On the island of N8 there is also a room for cooking and eating, but it serves only travelers who came to Thailand to Similan as part of a tour group.

The prices of the dishes on offer are quite democratic, and for Russians it is quite inexpensive. Here is their value in U.S. dollars:

  • Tom Yang Soup – $0.3;
  • Rice and meat – $0.45;
  • Scrambled eggs – $0.24;
  • French fries are $0.3;
  • Pancake – $0.24, etc.

If you came to the islands with friends “savage”, for a week, remember that there are no refrigerators. We recommend that you bring food stored for a long time in the heat, without a refrigerator. Drinking for the entire vacation will be lukewarm.

But fruits and vegetables, juices and compotes in general is better not to bring to the islands. In this climate, they will deteriorate quickly, begin to rot or go sour. The best thing to do in Similan is to switch to dry rations and warm water.

The park has its own administration on the island of N4. Next to the administration building is a luggage room, where you can leave your bags and large things for the entire period of free. Metal safes cost 20 Thai baht per day.

For those who choose to live in tents, showers and toilets have been built on the island. Note that not all of them are sufficiently equipped. And the Thais are generally arrogant about hygiene, which is why the islands have not washed public toilets for a long time.

The infrastructure of the Similan Islands is quite primitive

But the Similan Islands have free WI-FI. Or rather, you can enter the Internet on the phone without a password. This output via WI-FI is from the mainland west coast of Thailand, but it is extremely unstable.

And electricity is available here from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. During the day, air conditioners and fans are completely useless, inoperable. For lack of electricity and no refrigerators on the islands.

Excursions to the Similan Islands

Excursions to the Similan Islands - prices, options

We advise you to buy an excursion to the islands or a ticket for a boat without a specific date of travel in advance. All this is sold in any travel agency in Phuket. No tickets are sold at the Taplamu pier, and the boats leave for the islands almost full.

When deciding to buy such an excursion, remember that in Similan tourists are taken by several different travel companies. It is important not just to buy a tour, it is equally important to choose the right operator.

Talk to tourists who have already been to the Similan Islands, find out how the guide worked, what they liked and what they did not. And then decide which operator is better to buy an excursion.

In Phuket is popular operator “Sea Star” (or SeaStar), it is considered the best in the market of tourist services in this niche. We also recommend contacting this operator, his professionalism is already proven.

When exploring the natural beauty and sights of the Similan Islands, it is important that the tour is well organized, the food is delicious, and the boats move quickly, giving travelers a romantic sense of pioneering.

It should be noted that in Phuket you can easily find excellent guides who speak Russian. In Thailand today there are many Russian-speaking citizens from the former Soviet Union who have a good historical and/or geographical education.

Types of excursions

Excursion to the Similan Islands lasts from 1 to 3 days

Today there is a mass of excursion routes, on their passage you can fully enjoy the fabulous flora and fauna of this place and relax on the beach with great sand, clear sea water and glorious dali.

This is the place to come:

  • for the day;
  • for two days with an overnight stay;
  • for three days with two overnight stays.

We recommend that you immediately pay attention to the excursion of medium duration. You’ll have time to learn a lot of interesting things about the islands, but you won’t get tired of the drastic change in lifestyle. Many people take a three-day excursion right away, though.

Fans of the Similan Islands from all over the world come here on their own for a week or more, enjoy lounging in this unique earthly paradise and dream to go there again.

Where are the tours sold?

Excursion tour to Similan can be bought in any travel agency in Thailand, but more often it is bought in nearby resorts around the Cape Tuplamu: in Phuket, Krabi, Khao Lak, etc.

How much does the tour cost?

Prices for a tour to these islands in different travel agencies in Thailand may differ by an order of magnitude. This is the East, and Thais love and know how to haggle. A buyer who does not haggle looks ridiculous and arouses ridicule and suspicion.

The price of the tour depends on the workload of the agency on the date that suits you, the proximity to the Taplam Pier resort, where it was purchased, the peak season, etc. In Khao Lak it will be noticeably cheaper than in Phuket.

How much does it cost to go to Similan

The Similan Islands are a popular sightseeing destination. Buy tours in Similan a good operator is not easy, you have to methodically bypass the agency to get the real pleasure of traveling to the island.

Today, many tours can be booked in advance online on the Internet. We recommend looking for the “last minute” tours, which suddenly refused to tourists, that would be a real saving in the budget.

The average cost of an excursion to Similan per person:

  • for 1 day – from 2,100 Thai Baht or $64.4;
  • for 2 days – from 4,700 Thai Baht or $142;
  • For 3 days – from 5,700 Thai Baht or $172.

What is included in the cost of the tour?

Usually the organizers include:

  1. Transfer from the hotel to the Taplamu Pier and back by minibus;
  2. The work of a guide or tour guide;
  3. Exploring all 11 islands, landing on island 4 and 8;
  4. Snorkeling in the sea near the islands;
  5. Hot meals three times a day + snacks;
  6. Snorkeling equipment (mask, snorkel, flippers);
  7. Overnight in a tent;
  8. Medical insurance for the duration of the tour, etc.

In different travel agencies in the price of the excursion may not include equipment for snorkeling or health insurance, they are paid separately. In each case, you need to talk to their staff all the components of the total price.

An excursion to the Similan Islands will be an unforgettable experience

Carefully review the meals, food, and beverages offered from the tour operator. Tourists often bring cookies, candy, cold water in thermoses, etc. as a “home-cooked meal.

What is paid separately?

If you want more comfort, you can pay separately for the night in the bungalow. The price varies depending on whether it is a bungalow with a fan or with air conditioning. The prices above are for two people, not each tourist individually.

Some tour operators include in the price of the tour breakfast on the shore of the ship, diving in the coral reefs, climbing the mountain “Sail”, lunch in the traditional Thai style on the beach, etc. Read their offers carefully.

Travelling to the Similan Islands on your own

A “wild” trip costs more than a guided tour, but you’ll have more fun. You will not face the difficulties that Fedor Konyukhov overcame, but you will have to take care of lodging and food.

The most comfortable and equipped for human life – the island number 4. Free tents are available year-round, but bungalows must be booked in advance. And you have to pay for the reservation two months before your trip to the islands.

How to book lodging?

Thailand has a website dedicated to the country’s national parks, including. Similan Islands: nps.dnp.go.th. You need to go to its first page and in the menu under “Reservation” find the park Mu Ko Similan (Mu Ko Similan).

Reserve accommodation in the Similan Islands

This site is translated into Russian, so the search for housing will not be difficult. There are many national parks in Thailand, do not be confused, otherwise you will book the wrong bungalow.

Then you need to choose a year and month of vacation in Thailand, check the availability of accommodation in the park for that time. Remember that all bungalows are booked immediately by travel agents, so hurry.

Reserves free accommodation in national parks in Thailand online exactly 2 months before you visit them offline. And you have to start doing it exactly at midnight Thai time, otherwise it will be taken apart in 10-15 minutes.

Often tour operators are greedy, because. Upon arrival at the park, it turns out that many bungalows are unoccupied. Therefore, you can safely move into their place, paying extra money, if you do not like the exotic tent.

If you were able to book a bungalow on the site, then you will receive an email invoice with the details of the national park. This bill must be paid immediately at the nearest bank.

Hurry up, after three days without proper payment the reservation will automatically become invalid and someone else will reserve the accommodation of your choice at the next midnight.

A receipt for payment of the housing bill is sent to the email address from which the bill was received. With Viber and WhatsApp is better not to experiment, there are facts when paid and confirmed through these applications, the reservation was withdrawn.

Remember that the prices listed on the website for bungalows correspond only to Saturday and Sunday. On weekdays and days the cost of accommodation in Similan Islands is reduced by exactly one-third.

On this site you can also find a lot of useful information for the tourist on other organizational issues that arise during your vacation in Thailand. The site will be an indispensable assistant for you in this happy time.

How to get to the islands on your own?

How to get to the islands on your own?

After booking accommodation can safely relax and look forward to the holiday. Upon arrival from Russia to Thailand, you need to decide how to get to Similan on your own.

In a travel agency in Thailand you can buy a ticket for an excursion to the Similan Islands without a date. The price of the ticket includes transfer from the hotel to the Taplam pier, a boat ride to the selected island and lunch, then you will be provided for yourself.

You can live in a pre-booked bungalow or in a tent – at your discretion, enjoy the local beauty and attractions, buying food in the canteens on the islands N4 and N8.

Before departing back to the mainland, you need to find a guide who is also leaving on a boat with a tour group back to the Taplamu Pier and let them know you want to join their company.

At the agreed time, you will be picked up from the island, brought to the pier by boat, and then sent to the hotel by minibus. This tour is not much different from a sightseeing trip, but here you are more in control of your time.

Remember that medical insurance is not included in the price of such a ticket. Tour operator for the health of the “wild” tourist is not responsible, all the problems arising during the trip are on the shoulders of the camper.

Similan Islands in Thailand - an exotic vacation at the edge of the planet

Buy no-date tickets if you have already been to the Similan Islands many times, you know their infrastructure and life, so you do not suddenly feel like Robinson Crusoe with Friday on the wild shore.

Some tour operators do not sell tickets without a date because of fears for the health of the tourist who went to Similan without a guide. But you can get them at SeaStar. Tickets cost 2,500-3,200 Thai Baht or $76-$97 per person.

Frequent Questions

Where do I leave my suitcases and backpacks before the tour?

Many tour operators have their own lockers at the Taplamu Pier. It happens that tourists come on a two-day excursion with things, as if they were going to the Pole for the winter.

Sometimes the guides manage to persuade them to leave some of their belongings on the pier. The rest of the unneeded vacation property is stored in a room near the Similan Park administration building.

Where can I get cleaned up after my tour of the islands?

The Taplamu Pier has excellent showers with hot water, toilets and changing facilities. There you can also buy all the necessary toiletries.

On the Taplam tourists are sure to offer food, ice cream and a little rest, then they go by minibus to their hotels in Phuket and other resorts, closer to modern civilization.

Is it possible to get from Similan to other parts of the country?

First of all, you should immediately go to Phuket, from there by tuk-tuk to the international airport, and then take an evening flight to Bangkok or any other cities and resorts in Thailand.

Is it possible to go to Similan with children?

Infants and children of preschool age will be a little difficult there. And from the age of 6, the child may well be able to bear all the “burdens” of life on the islands. Take your seasickness medication, panama pants, sunscreen and sunglasses, water, etc.

Is it better to go alone or with a tour?

The first time – necessarily with a tour to get used to the area. Then – at the discretion of the tourist. For an independent tour fee is one and a half times more, and you will not enjoy the charms of a collective vacation – snorkeling, dinner on the ship, etc.

If you do not like the constant control and supervision, it is better to go on a one-day tour “savages”, and for a few days we recommend buying a collective tour. Less worries, all arising problems solved by the tour operator.

An excursion to the Similan Islands is the most amazing experience of Thailand. They will stay with you for many years to come. Here you will truly feel and understand this country and fall in love with it forever.

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