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Cruises to Similan Islands

Similan Islands, Andaman Sea, Thailand (Photo: Kosin Sukhum/Shutterstock.com)

About Similan Islands

The 11 Similan Islands make up Similan Islands National Park, located in the Andaman Sea, off Thailand's west coast in Phang Nga Province. The largest, Koh Similan, is about 2 square miles, and is made up of huge boulders, including one that seems balanced on the island's highest point. We think it looks like a monkey's head, but it's known as Donald Duck Rock.

There's no dock here and it will be a "wet landing" when you come into the shallow beach. You'll have to hop off a tender or Zodiac into shallow water. You will probably be taken to Koh Similan, which has information placards about the local flora and fauna, as well as restrooms, a couple of vendors selling drinks, snacks and a few souvenirs, and a campground.

From 11 to 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 to 3 p.m., there is a massive invasion of day-trippers to the island -- so it's best to avoid going ashore during those times. If your ship offers the opportunity, go on a snorkeling trip instead; there are also day-tripping snorkelers, but the prime area is large enough that you won't be on top of each other.

  • Why go to Similan Islands?

  • Currency & Best Way to Get Money?

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Why go to Similan Islands?

Pros:

Huge, impressive boulders, clear water and excellent reef snorkeling

Cons:

During midday, the area is mobbed by day-trippers and is a less pleasant place to be

Bottom Line:

These islands are great for snorkelers, divers and rock climbers

Currency & Best Way to Get Money?

Currency in the Similan Islands is the Thai baht. There are no ATMs on the islands. For up-to-date currency exchange rates, visit www.xe.com.

Language?

Thai is the official language, but park rangers and the few vendors should know at least a few words of English. Park signage on Koh Similan is also in English.


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