One of Thailand's islands is famed for its stunning seascapes. Because of its location as an archipelago of nine islands in the center of the Andaman Sea, this location is distinguished by its clean seawater, gorgeous blue hue, and undersea marvels. Therefore, this place is another destination for scuba divers to explore the underwater world of the Similan Islands.

Similan Islands is a national park in Thailand that covers 128 square kilometers. It was declared a national park on September 1, 1982, with the word Similan meaning nine in Malay, which corresponds to the Similan archipelago, and consists of nine islands: Koh Huyong, Koh Payang, Koh Payan, Koh Miang, Koh Ha, Koh Payu, Koh Hua Kalok, Koh Similan, and Koh Ba Ngu islands.

There is no lodging on the island; therefore, you are unable to stay there overnight. You can only travel to the island for a one-day trip. Most tourists choose to schedule excursions because they are simpler and more convenient. There are many tour companies that provide services from Khao Lak, Phang Nga, and Phuket, with some taking the boat straight from Phuket. Most tour businesses, however, embark their boats at Ban Thap Lamu Pier in Phang Nga Province. If you are staying in the Khao Lak area, there is a complimentary shuttle service from the hotel to the pier. However, if you want to be picked up and dropped off in Phuket, there may be an additional charge, which I recommend discussing with the tour company you reserved.

This holiday, I took a trip to the Similan Islands with the Fantastic Similan Travel Company. I drove my own car to its pier, which is close to the Thap Lamu pier. The advantage of having its own pier is that it is less crowded. It was extremely comfy. And the staff served everyone with kindness and warmth.

Upon arrival, there is a check-in point in front where we must indicate our name and submit a reservation form. I forgot to mention that I booked with because I received a discount from the points I had in my membership account. After checking in, I got a wristband divided into color categories. At first, I did not know the color division until I later learned that it was a grouping of tourists, divided into groups based on the color of their wristbands. Today I was on the blue team and had to check in at the blue counter, where a tour guide waited to welcome me. A blue basket was given inside, along with a snorkeling mask, mat, and towel for use on Similan Island during the trip.

The company also serves food, drinks, tea, and coffee before leaving on the trip. When I finished eating, the tour leader would gather the group to explain and inform us of today's journey. Each team would be assigned a guide and an assistant guide to offer facilitation services.

The tour guide told us about today's activities, where we would go, and how long it would take. Learn about the various safety and tourism regulations that are in place in the area of the Similan Islands National Park.

Once the briefing was completed, it was time to depart for Similan Island. My blue team only had two Thai tourists; the rest were international tourists, signifying that Similan is well-known across the world.

The speedboat left Tao Than Pier and went to Similan Island. Along the journey, you will see fishing villages and the Phang Nga Naval Base. At this point, the speedboat will slow down to avoid making noise and disturbing the local people. The guide said that it was out of respect for the residents, who were fishermen and may have just come from fishing, relaxing, and sleeping. The sound of the boat may disturb them. Next to the fisherman's village is the Phang Nga Naval Base, where we noticed the HTMS Prachuap Khiri Khan docked.

Beyond here, the speedboat accelerated again as we traveled out into the wide Andaman Sea. Our destination is the Similan Islands, which takes approximately one hour and fifteen minutes to get there. Along the way, a school of dolphins appeared to be swimming around.

It took a while to get to Similan Island. The first thing I noticed with my eyes was Sailing Rock, the Similan Islands' recognizable symbol. The sea water here is stunning, like blue sea glass, and you can see the sea-bottom and coral rocks underwater. When the ship docked at the pier, everyone did not hesitate to experience the beautiful atmosphere, like a precious gem of the Andaman Sea.

Similan Island, also known as Koh Paed (meaning island no. 8), is one of the islands in the Similan Islands National Park. The location of the National Park Protection Unit is at S.L.2, which is the tourism center of the National Park and the largest island of the 9-island archipelago. The highlight here is Sailboat Rock, a symbolic image of the Similan Islands. The speedboats stop at the pier for tourists to explore the island. This area, called Sailing Rock Bay or Horseshoe Bay, is characterized by a curved bay resembling a horseshoe with nice white beaches and crystal-clean seawater. You cannot miss snapping a shot with the Similan Islands symbol, the Sailboat Rock.

The Sailing Rock Nature Trail is another must-see attraction, where the distance is around 150 meters. The walkway is shaded and tree-covered throughout. Climbing up to the viewpoint should be done with caution because the ground is rocky and sandy, which may make it slippery. However, there are ropes to hang onto and separate paths up and down. 

When I reached the viewpoint, I was amazed at the sight in front of me: a crystal-clear blue sea and a pristine white sandy beach. It makes my heart feel very delighted. The atmosphere at the viewpoint was filled with smiles from people admiring the beauty of the Islands.

We spent around an hour exploring Similan Island. It was time to leave, and we were heading to a snorkeling area. Today's journey took us to two snorkeling sites. I would like to remark that Similan's underwater sea is magnificent. The water is extremely clear, the coral is incredible, and there are gorgeous fish swimming around. If you are lucky, you may even meet sea turtles. This location is very popular for snorkeling and scuba diving. After snorkeling, it was time for lunch. Today's lunch place was Koh Miang Island.

Koh Miang is like a stopping point for food before returning to the shore. There is food accessible for travelers. Each tour package includes a complimentary lunch. Food is served in sets. Today's meal included shrimp curry, seafood tom yum, fried chicken, stir-fried mixed veggies, watermelon, and water.

Koh Miang is an impressive island nestled in the middle of the Similan Islands. It is the location of the park ranger unit on Sor.L.1 (Koh Miang). Princess Beach is located in front of the island and has around 400 meters of outstanding white sand. It is regarded as having some of Thailand's finest white-sand beaches. The charming sea waters are suitable for swimming and snorkeling. Corals are dispersed in bunches, leading to the stony reef.

Around Koh Miang, we may see the Nicobar pigeon, a protected wild species that is on the verge of extinction and serves as a symbol of natural richness in a protected region. It has the appearance of a pigeon, yet it moves and scavenges on the ground in search of food, just like a chicken.

After finishing my meal, I took a mat given by the tour and laid down to relax on Princess Beach before returning. The Similan Islands are regarded as a must-see destination. It is one of the most recognizable islands in the world.

"Similan Island is another must-visit destination. Beautiful beach, crystal-clear sea, and pristine nature. It's enjoyable to go snorkeling or simply observe nature. I can tell you that I will surely return."

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