Similan Islands Information
The Similan Islands marine national park is open from mid October to mid May. It is usually reached by boat from Thap Lamu pier although some tour and dive boats depart from Phuket. The only accommodation (other than on a liveaboard boat) is in the national park tents and bungalows on Koh Miang (island 4) or Koh Similan (island 8).
It’s not easy to get to and stay at the Similan Islands on an independent basis, it’s much easier to join a tour. There are no shops or restaurants (apart from the national park canteen).
National Park entrance fee = 500 baht per foreigner / 80 baht per Thai national.
Diving fee = 200 baht per day
Water temp is between 25-28°C / 77-83°F. Humidity averages 83%.
Similan Islands phone and internet connectivity
There are two phone masts in the Similan Islands, one for DTAC and one for AIS, so phone and 3G internet connectivity is usually possible from November to April, although there are some black spots and we have known the masts to be turned off early in the season.
There is a small Royal Thai navy station on Hat Lek (small beach), koh miang which has wifi. So if you are desperate to connect to the internet while in the Similan Islands you can go there and beg for the wifi password.
Similan Islands flora and fauna
Mu Koh Similan National Park is made up of nine granite boulder islands. Disembark from your boat and walk up the beach and you will quickly be in beach forest. Beach forest soon becomes tropical forest which is home to 39 species of birds making the Similan Islands popular with bird watchers as well as divers and snorkelers. There are resident bird species like egrets and white bellied sea eagles plus migratory birds like the barn swallow.
There are several species of small mammal at the Similans, about half of which are different species of bat. The Similan Islands cannot support large mammal populations due to the limited supply of fresh water. There are also many reptile species including, bush frogs, water monitors, pythons and pit vipers.
The animals that you are most likely to see if you stay at the Similan Islands are crabs and rats. The hairy legged mountain crabs are all over the place, take a torch with you so you don’t tread on them at night. There are four species of rat in the Similan Islands and if you camp in a tent on island number 4 (koh miang) you are sure to hear them, if not see them, scurrying around at night.
There are no mangroves and no mud around the Similan Islands so the sand is almost white and the surrounding waters, part Indian Ocean, part Andaman sea, are very clear.
For more Similan Islands information you can visit the Thailand National Parks Department website here: www.dnp.go.th