Hi, I'm planning on going to the Similan Islands (leaving from Khao Lak) on December 11 and am curious to other people's experiences with daytours or stayover a
#1 Seba has been a member since 28/4/2009. Posts: 54
Hi, I'm planning on going to the Similan Islands (leaving from Khao Lak ) on December 11 and am curious to other people's experiences with daytours or a stayover at the NP headquarter there?
The guesthouse I'm staying at in Khao Lak offers a daytour, but I'd lean towards the latter since I heard so much good about these islands, so the more time the better (even though I don't do any scuba-diving)?
So would it be realistic to e.g. independently take the 8.30 speedboat, independently trek/lie on beaches/snorkeling around Ko Similan, stay a night at the NP,n and the following day take the speedboat back to Khao Lak?
Would I need to book in advance for a stayover? Because the NP's website makes it quite complicated to book in advance (international bank transfer)
#2 Seba has been a member since 28/4/2009. Posts: 54
Yes it is difficult to book using the National Park's system. When I take groups to the Surin s we take the money to the National Park office in Khuraburi to make sure we have booked the bungalows on the Surin Islands.
I'm sure that you can do it all independently for the Similan Islands. Tour providers may be slightly reluctant to give out free advice on how to do it though. I know the local providers in Khuraburi prefer visitors to book the more expensive snorkeling packages.
Also you might want to consider visiting the Surin Islands aswell/instead of the Similans. IMHO Similans are better for scuba and Surins for snorkelling.
There is more information the marine life found in the Surins on my website at
I took a daytrip many years ago. I was a bit disappointed - it is a long way out and back and we seemed to spend a lot of time jammed into a pretty small speedboat. I notice the speedboats they use these days are much bigger, so at least the sardine feeling may not be there.
My second visit to the Similans was with the Poseidon Bungalows' excellent overnight snorkelling trip. This snorkels spots on most of the 8 or so islands and gives some beach time - we called in at the National Park Headquarter island and I thought the bungalows and tents plus the beaches were pretty neat - so I determined next visit to actually go out and spend some time stayig there.
We called in late January which is high season and plenty of the bungalows and tents were vacant, so I reckon you would be okay going unbooked, particularly in the first half of November which is barely shoulder season. One caveat - these island are popular with Thai visitors on weekends and public holidays. Maybe you could go to the National Park office at Khao Lak (it's about 2km on the main road up the headland to the south of Sunset Beach at Lak - nice walk and scenery up there) and check on availability.
There was only accommodation on island #4 when I visited - the places at Doanls Duck Bay on island 7 or 8 were still being rebuilt after the tsunami. That was January of last year - they had just started reconstruction and only had about 4 people working on it so maybe they haven't finished yet.
Anyway, the NP website should show this - if it has reopened I'd be tempted to stay there - the beach in front of the accommodation is one of the most breathtaking in Thailand.