Diving or snorkelling the Similans

A must while in the area

Photo of , , Khao Lak

What we say: 4 stars

Due to its central location within a day trip from Ko Similan, which is roughly 50 km due west of Khao Lak, the area boasts one of the highest number of dive operations of any destination in Thailand.

While the Similan islands are the main draw, most dive companies can take you to Ko Bon, Ko Surin and Richilieu Rock, and other destinations in the region. Many also have live aboard ships that offer multiple day excursions to a host of sites throughout Thailand's Andaman Sea.

The Thap Lamu pier to Ko Similan is located south of Khao Lak beach, but tour and dive companies are located throughout the area, and Similan may only be visited through a tour company. On a typical day trip you'll be shuttled around by speedboat to a couple of snorkel sites from the boat along with a couple of gorgeous white sands beaches.

There are also some hiking trails and viewpoints if you want to get out of the water. Typical day tours to Similan run between 2,000 and 3,500B, and forking out the extra baht usually means a better allround experience.

It's also possible to book an open ticket and spend as many nights camping or staying in national park bungalows on Similan as you like. As for diving, it pays to remember that more often than not you get what you pay for.

Ko Similan shuts down from May 1 to November 1 every year.

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