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Similan Island National Park, Phang Nga, Thailand

This group of nine small islands located 50 km off the west coast of Phang-nga in the Andaman Sea, has been rated by Skin Diving Magazine in the USA as one of the ten most beautiful spots in the world because of its beauty both underwater and on land. From north to south the islands are: Koh Bon, Koh Ba Ngu, Koh Similan, Koh Pa Yoo, Koh Ha, Koh Miang, Koh Ba Yan, Koh Pa Yang, and Koh Hu Yong. The offices of the national park are located on Koh Miang, as there is freshwater on the island. Ta Chai Island between the Similan Islands and the Surin Islands, is also part of the national park. Tourist attractions here in the national park are :

Similan Island

This is the larges island in the national park and has a curving bay resembling a horseshoe, the underwater view here is spectacular with beautiful coral reefs, ideal for diving. The beach on the island is white, fine grainy sand. On the north end of the island are extraordinary-looking rocks. One of them, for example, resembles a boot, another resembles a sailboat. This spot is a fantastic viewpoint.

Puzar Rock

Also known as Skull Island (Koh Hua Kha-loke) or Baby Elephant Rock (Hin Luek Chang), the underwater landscape here is like valleys in a mountain, all of them full of coral and fish. Dolphins can sometimes be spotted here.

Hu Young Island

This island boasts the whitest and longest beach in the national park. During November to February sea turtles come up to the beach to lay eggs.

Miang Island

This is the second largest island in the national park and boasts beautiful beaches. There is also freshwater on the island. The offices of the national park are here.

Koh Ta Chai

This is the island located between the Similan Islands and the Surin Islands. On the island are rock, streams, waterfalls, beautiful beaches, and near-extinct species such as Nicobar pigeons.

How to get there

From Thap Lamu Pier :
This pier is located in Thai-muang district. The trip takes 2-3 hours. Large boats and speed boats are available for rent here, or visitors could contact the national park's office at the pier or buy a tour from Med Sai Tours (tel. 0-7644-3276), Kura-buri Greenview Travel (tel. 0-7659-5068), Phra Nang Tours (tel. 0-7643-3275), Pro Ocean Divers Similan Tour (tel. 0-9800-6342), Jack Similan Travel (tel. 0-7644-3205) and Andamam Leisure Phuket (tel. 0-7635-2088). Accommodations on the Similan Islands National Park Offices, Moo 1 Tambon lamkaen, Thai-muang District, Phang-nga (tel. 0-7659-5045, 07642-1365).

The national park is open to the public during November 16 - May 15 of each year. However, checking the weather conditions before going is recommended. Contact the Weather Department at tel. 0-2399-4566, 0-2260-1502.