Did you ever imagine what it would be like to fall asleep on the islands of Similan while stargazing at the Milky Way with the sounds of the jungle in the background? Or what it would be like to wake up next to a beautiful, cristal clear blue sea and lush vegetation? Or did you ever imagine you could live both of these experiences?
Since I managed not to get sea sick, this is what I was daydreaming on my way to Similan Islands, when the following view appeared in front of my eyes:
In our third day in Railay we decided to take this tour to the nature reserve of Similar Islands. The tour was booked through yourkrabi.com and since we were 10 persons, we got a 100 BHT/person discount for the total cost of 2750 BHT/person. We had to leave for the islands early in the morning at 5am so we could make it to our transfer in Ao Nang where we were picked up by a minivan that drove us all the way to Khao Lak, the boat’s departure point.
Towards Similan islands
The road to Khao Lak was eerily similar to scenes from 80s action flicks with Chuck Norris or Rambo. Winding roads, hills, rubber trees, ananas and bananas plantations, all tied together by fog, tropical rain and the Thais’ chaotic driving style.
I heard plenty of good things about these islands, but once you get here you realize that no praise, no travel book and no photo album can truly prepare you for the magnificent nature colors of Similan. If I wouldn’t have already seen the Maya Bay of the famous Phi Phi islands, I would have sworn, hand to heart, that this is the clearest, bluest water in Thailand.
The truth is that it is an impossible mission not to over recommend these islands – often included in Top 10s of the most amazing diving spots in the world.
Koh Similan is an archipelago in the Andaman Sea which includes 9 islands, but we were allowed to visit only 3 of them: Miang, Similan and Tachai. The tour guide was telling us that the islands formed through complex natural phenomena, out of hot magma that has been ground down by eons of erosion and that the coral reefs here are some of the oldest in Thailand. Unfortunately, reefs are extremely sensitive to temperature changes and the high temperatures of 2016 destroyed a significant part of them, therefore expect some restrictions to be in place when visiting the area.
The white sand beaches and the jungle, as well as the warm clear waters surrounding the islands are the main reasons I chose to visit this nature reserve. If you add the immense granite rocks, some allegedly impersonating Donald Duck, this destination can please both travelers looking for a tropical spot to relax and those with too much energy.
The many jungle trails on Similan can take you to secluded white sand beaches or on top of the immense granite rocks overlooking the bay- from here you can see all the way to the horizon and feast your eyes with the unforgettable clear blue sea. You will be told that you are not allowed to use shoes on the island, but if you want to walk the jungle trails, I would strongly recommend that you bring at least some beach shoes because if you’re not used to walking barefoot, your foot soles will hurt. Have fun!
On Koh Miang, the trail that leads to the observation point is intense- a 20 minute climb though the jungle, on a wild path that leaves you breathless if your physical condition is less than optimal, where your only aid is a poorly made rope railing. The way back is equally intense, not because it’s tiring, but because the boat will leave without you! Not that it would be that big of a problem to be left behind on one of these gorgeous islands or the archipelago.
Charming trails take you through the jungle in Koh Miang to the famous white sand Honeymoon Beach. If you look at the forest canopy, you’ll notice thousands of bats sleeping in the shade.
For snorkeling enthusiasts, the water near Similan islands are perfect. The water is so clear, you can easily see 20-30m. As I wasn’t feeling particularly up for it that day, I didn’t jump in the water, but I can tell you the water is clear enough that I was able to see schools of tropical fish, sea urchins and coral reefs from the boat!
If you want to make your dreams come true, Similan islands also offer accomodation for sleeping over and restaurants to try the local cuisine.
On the speedboat, I would recommend taking something against the sea sickness because the ride will be very bumpy and there were a few people with us that got sick and made a mess 🙂 There is some medicine available on board, don’t be afraid to ask.