The Similan Islands are home to some amazing beaches, great snorkeling and the most famous dive spots in Thailand. Marine life is the densest and healthiest in the entire kingdom while the islands themselves remain uninhabited – preserved for visitors only. The underwater scenery ranges from the gentle sloping reefs of the eastern facing dive sites to the dramatic and wild boulder sites of the west. Passing pelagics like Manta Rays and Whale Sharks make visits throughout the year and hundreds of species of reef fish can be found each day (on each dive?!). The scenery above the water makes these islands just as deserving of a visit – with some of the most amazing sunsets and sunrises you will ever experience.
Best Time to Visit
While the park is open from November 1st through May 15th, the most popular time to visit is in December and Early January. However the least amount of rain, and the smoothest water is in Late February through Mid March. Temperatures start to rise, but the seas are very calm and the evenings are nearly perfect! There is always the chance of a bit of rain, and you will certainly need your sunscreen…but this is certainly the best time to join a Similan Liveaboard
At various times in the past – with sea levels fluctuating by as much as 150m with the advance and retreat of the polar ice-caps – these islands have been under water, battered by storms, covered with marine growths, visited by creatures long extinct. More recently the islands were part of the traditional route for Sea Gypsies as they plied the seas from India to Malaysia each year. Only in the 1980′s did the brilliance of the park and the need for protection occur – and they were declared a National Marine Park and have since gained their notoriety.
Weather is a major factor in the life of these islands located in the Andaman Sea. Afternoon thunderstorms and sprinkles occur almost year-round but during the dry season (November through April) this is a welcome respite from the warm days. The Islands themselves receive only 1/3 the precipitation that the mainland gets. Only at the beginning and end of the season as the weather patterns change do we experience storms that can affect the conditions. The annual monsoons render the park closed from May 15th to October 15th of each year. It is illegal to visit during this time – but it’s also a bad idea!