Sunday, May 14, 2006
Ko Similan is by far the most beautiful group of dive sites that we have in Thailand and one of the best areas for diving in the entire world. Many people comment that the most fantastic thing about the Similans is that we have two radically different types of environments all rolled together into one destination. Nowhere else in the world will a diver find such diverse topography in such a small area.
The Similan Islands, located about one hundred kilometers northwest of Phuket, are composed of nine granite islands covered in tropical jungle, washed by a clear blue tropical ocean and blessed with some of the world's finest beaches. Similan comes from Malay fisherman who named it "The Nine Islands" (Sembilan is "nine" in Malay) and now the islands are identified by a name–in Thai–and a number; for example, Ko Huyong (Island #1), located at the southern end of the chain or Ko Miang (Island #4) located in the middle. The islands have achieved national park status and thus are fully protected under Thai law. The National Park Authority maintains their presence on two of the islands: Ko Similan (Island #8) the largest, and Ko Miang (Island #4). Recently, the islands have come to the special attention of the Thai Royal Family which further protects them from possible abuse. Currently there is limited accommodation available on the island, but hopefully soon this will be stopped as the island doesn't have the resources to support land-based tourism. There are no resorts on any of the islands and hopefully it will stay this way.
Tags: Thailand, similan, islands, dive, phuket