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Monday, March 19, 2007

Recommend: Similan Island National Park

Similan Island National Park

Comprising nine granite islands covered in tropical jungle, washed by a clear blue tropical ocean and blessed with fine beaches, the Similan Islands (Similans) provide the most beautiful and diverse dive destination in Thailand. Liveaboards to these islands are some of the most popular diving cruises in the world. They lie in a 25 km long north-south chain, 65 km offshore from Phang Nga Province in the Andaman Sea, about 100km from Phuket. The Similan Islands achieved national marine park status in 1982.There is no mud at all along the beaches, so the sands are very clean, white and very fine. Some islands do have hills in the area, which are usually quite tall with the highest top of 244 meters above mean sea level, while some islands are of flat area surrounded by sand dunes and coral reefs.

The eastern fringes of the Similan islands feature pretty hard coral gardens in the shallows and sloping reef banks down to thirty meters. At some dive sites such as East of Eden, large bommies (coral heads) rise from the sea bed and are blanketed with soft corals, fan corals, and swarms of smaller tropical fish. East coast Similan Islands diving is relatively easy-going, allowing you plenty of time to explore the sites at your own leisurely pace.

The western side of the Similans along with the north and south points can offer more exciting diving as currents swirl around huge sunken granite boulders, which form a series of arches, tunnels and swim-throughs at sites such as Christmas Point and Elephant Head Rock. Growing on, and between, these enormous rocks you find a tapestry of colourful soft corals. In the channels between the boulders, sea fans can grow to some three meters across, and in such numbers that you cannot possibly swim through. The contrast between the east and west coasts and the variety of underwater topography is one of the reasons the Similan Islands are so popular - every dive offers you something different.

High season in the Similans is from October until May, but diving is possible all year-round. The water tends to be clearest in the summer and in the fall, but then again, the visibility is almost always good in the Similans, averaging approximately 18-25 meters and at times exceeding 40 meters!.Although the tsunami of 2004 did affect a few of the reefs here, most are in excellent condition and many divers in the last season have commented that they could not see any reef damage.


Comments on "Recommend: Similan Island National Park"


Blogger Sbipk said ... (January 23, 2013 at 10:03 AM) : 

Thank you nice article.
your next trip…Phuket is the best choice for you!!
I love here Surin Beach Phuket This hotel is very nice clean and the people are friendly. VERY nice hotel with helpful staff.
And I really love white sand, crystal clear waters at Surin Beach too.
Thank again.


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