Spotlight on mu Ko Similan diving
The Similan Islands Marine Park (mu ko Similan) has many beautiful dive sites spread over it’s nine islands, there is something for everyone in the Similan Islands. The Similans doesn’t usually have the high adrenaline pelagic encounter dives of Koh Bon, Tachai and Richelieu Rock (although manta rays are seen at some of the more northern Similan dive sites) which is why most Similan islands liveaboards include Koh Bon, Koh Tachai and Richelieu in their schedules as well. What the Similan Islands does have is crystal clear water, Thailand’s whitest sand beaches and the biggest, most abundant marine life.
A liveaboard trip is the best way to dive in the Similan Islands Marine Park although day trips run every day from Phuket and Khao Lak between November and April. Snorkelers can enjoy the Similan Islands just as much as divers can. The Similan dive sites are either gradual sloping coral reefs starting shallow from the east sides of the islands. Or deep dive sites made up of large granite boulders with lots of swim throughs and dramatic underwater vistas. The combination of two completely different types of dive site in one location is pretty unique.
The Similan Islands is suitable for all levels of diver, as there are so many dive sites the diving can be tailored to suit any diver’s experience level. Popular dive sites include Elephant Head Rock, East of Eden, Deep Six, Christmas Point, Snapper Alley and Stonehenge.
The Similan islands are managed by the Similan Islands Marine National Park authorities and islands 1 to 3 are closed to tourists. Island 4 (Koh Miang) has some national park bungalows and tents on it plus a small Royal Thai Navy outpost. Island 8 (Koh Similan) has a nice viewpoint called Sail Rock which is worth a climb between dives. All tourists entering the Similan Islands must pay an entrance fee and there is also a per day fee for diving at the Similans.