Diving Phuket PADI courses Similan Liveaboards - Phuket Pro Dive
The name Similan is derived from the Malay word sembilan, which means 'nine', referring to the number of the islands. The islands contain many beautiful dive sites that are considered as the best areas for diving in the entire world, as it is here that the diver can find many varied and stunning environments in close proximity to each other.
The Similan Islands are located about one hundred
kilometers northwest of Phuket and are part of the Thai
National Marine Park. As well as the underwater landscape
the Islands themselves also have beautiful white sand beaches
and clear warm tropical water perfect for snorkeling. The best
time to visit the islands is between early November and the
end of April.
The Similans are orientated north to south and with the exception of island number five each has its own name. They are commonly identified however by numbers ascending in northerly direction.
The monsoon season is over in November and between December
- April the visibility becomes exceptional but during March,
which is the hottest month of the year, the water becomes filled
with plankton that is food for the pelagic visitors like Whale
sharks and Manta Rays. The Islands are famous for their diverse
fish life ranging from the very smallest to the largest, including
turtles, dolphins and eagle rays.
A noticeable characteristic of the Similans is the huge contrast between the east and west coasts of the islands. The eastern coastlines feature superb sandy beaches and sheltered bays but the western coasts, however, are subjected to the full force of the harsh southwesterly monsoons (which blow May-November) and are characterized by rugged shorelines where weather-beaten granite boulders rise directly from the seabed and this geographical pattern is repeated underwater.
Some of the Similan Islands best loved dive sites are: Elephant Head, Fantasea Reef, Shark fin Reef, Christmas Point, Boulder City and East of Eden. Though each of these locations has its own characteristics, they all share the underwater panorama that is uniquely Similan.
NOTE: the Similan and Surin national park is officially closed between 15th of May and 15th of November.