The Similan Islands is a group of nine islands in the Andaman Sea off the coast of Phang Nga Province, southern Thailand. It is a national park which was established in 1982. "Similan" is a Yawi word which means "nine".
These nine small islands have a reputation as one of the world's top ten dive destinations, largely because they offer a great variety of marine life.
The park is the archipelago consisting of nine islands which are Koh Bon, Koh Bayu, Koh Similan, Koh Payu, Koh Miang (two adjoining islands), Koh Payan, Koh Payang, and Koh Huyong.
Aside from coral walls and deep dives with huge sea fans, barrel sponges, and big fish, the bottom topography is also fantastic. Large granite boulders, overgrown with coral and algae, lie jumbled together all the way from the surface to 40 meters (132 ft.) below, providing many interesting swim-through's, canyons, archways and caves. The Similan's also have a rich variety and abundance of reef fish. Deep water creatures like manta rays and whale sharks also visit the area, particularly in season from February to early May when nutrient-rich water cause plankton blooms. The visibility ranges between 15 and 40 meters (50 - 132 ft.). Shallow coral in blue water at white, sandy beaches are the perfect surrounding for snorkeling or relaxed sunbathing. Dive sites such as Boulder City, Fantasea Reef, Deep Six, and Elephant Head are only some of many fantastic dives sites at the Similan Islands.
The Surin Islands are 5 islands located 55 kilometers from the Thai mainland named Koh Surin Nua, Koh Surin Tai, Koh Ri, Koh Kai and Koh Klang. The two main islands in the group are Koh Surin Nua and Koh Surin Tai.
Designated as a marine park, this collection of islands lies Northwest of Phuket, close to the Myanmar border and has been spared any commercial development or crowds of diving trips. It has lovely white deserted beaches, inviting waters and no tourist development.
The Surin National park is home to one of the most famous dive sites in the world, Richelieu Rock. In addition the islands feature pristine reefs, making it home to some of the best snorkeling in Thailand.
Learn more about the amazing dive sites around the Nationalparks of Similan and Surin Archipelago