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Published: January 9th 2009
When god made earth he started with the Similan Islands
Very early start this morning , and for us who have been sleeping in until about midday this was really early. We were picked up at 7.30am and driven onto the main land to catch the speed boat to the islands about 2 hours away. So once we arrived and still half asleep it was time to collect our snorkelling gear and board the speed boat. The Similan Islands, located about 50 Kilometres West of Khao Lak, are composed of nine granite islands washed by a clear blue tropical ocean and blessed with some of the world’s finest beaches.
Similan is a Yawi or Malay word, which means nine or a group of nine islands. In 1982, this 128 square kilometres area was declared a marine national park, and in recent years this group of nine small islands has become one of the leading attractions for visitors to Southern Thailand.
With the establishment of stations by the Royal Forestry Department on Koh Miang and Koh Similan, fishing within the national park boundaries was banned and the unwanted visitors were substituted by tourists, especially after 1987, when
leisure boats and dive operators started coming out on a regular basis.
Today Mu Koh Similan National Marine Park and all its reefs have recovered from earlier disturbances. Boats entering the Similan Islands National Park have to follow strict rules imposed and controlled by the national park officials, have to use the moorings prepared by the national park and use closed waste water systems to avoid any pollution. Similan Island Names
The nine Similan Islands are named from South to North. The Southernmost island - Ko Huyong is also known as Similan Island #1 Ko Payang also known as Similan Island #2 Ko Payan also known as Similan Island #3 Ko Miang also known as Similan Island #4 Ko Ha also known as Similan Island #5 Ko Payu also known as Similan Island #6 Ko Hin Pousar also known as Similan Island #7 Ko Similan also known as Similan Island #8 Ko Bangu also known as Similan Island #9 is the Northernmost of the islands.
The Similan Islands are famous for hosting some of
the most beautiful beaches, snorkelling and dive sites in Thailand and are one of the better areas for diving in the entire world. One of the most fantastic characteristics of the islands is that we have two entirely different types of environments in one destination. The rocky slopes of the Western Islands are barren and feature massive boulders and windswept trees. The Eastern Side features the famous white sand beaches and coral reefs.
We finally arrived at Island 9 Ko Bangu this amazing sight to the eyes was greeted with loads of "Wow" & "It’s beautiful". It was now time to snorkel around the bay as you are not permitted to go ashore on this island. So one by one we jumped from the speed boat into crystal clear warm water into the world of colour below the surface. In the bay was about 6 to 8 over speed boats, we were told to return in 45 minutes to the only boat with 4 engines. So with underwater camera in hand l was off to explore this alien world. The minutes went by so quickly and it was soon time to find the boat again, which is fine but
they soon start to all look the same even if one is meant to have 4 engines. Once onboard fresh fruit and cold drinks were served and time to get that sunscreen on again as the temperature was started to get really high (Sorry guys stuck at home in the freezing cold).
Next stop was a quick dart across to Island 8 Ko Similan which was visible from Bangu. Donald Duck Bay is named after a rock on the north side of the bay that resembles the cartoon character - not the most prominent large boulder that balances precariously at a seemingly impossible angle, but another rock in front and slightly further out of the bay. Similan Island No. 8 has a national park camping area and Donald Duck Bay on the North West corner is the most popular mooring spot for day trippers and Similan Islands liveaboards alike. So once ashore and with sand as fine as flour and even whiter it was time to climb the huge boulder. Around the side of one of the rocks on the beach was and series for wooden steps and ladders to help you up to the top. Sometimes this did
Tish in control
Ok before she felt sea sick
mean holding on for dear life or just keeping your eyes closed whilst edging our way across from one rock to the other. Once at the top the view was out of this world and we stopped for some time to take a few pictures, but mainly to just look at the fantastic sight that laid before us.
I will away remember the feel of that pure white sand on my feet and the clear blue water around me as we left to go onto the next island for lunch. Ko Hin Pousar was as beautiful as the ones before and after a few minutes looking around on the beach it was time to join the group for lunch a few metres inland. Lunch was well organised and we soon found our table marked out for our boat and we were served a Thai meal of Rice, Prawns, Chicken and Fish. Once satisfied that we were all full we made our way to another beach on the other side of the island were we were given time to relax or snorkel some more. Yet again the water was pure blue and the fish around us were of every colour,
the colour of the reef below was like a garden of greens, browns, yellow and red. The size of the fish ranged from as small as a finger nail to the size of a small dog. After about an hour it was time to make the journey back home again. This was truly a day not to forget and if any of you are ever in Phuket this is another place you must visit. How to drink and ride the waves at the same time
By now the waves on the boat were getting a bit choppy and when the boat got to full speed the fun we had jumping up and down as the boat throw us in the air. During this time l became thirsty and tried to drink some Pepsi, word of warning don’t, you will only end up wearing it. The journey home soon came to an end and with the thoughts of yet another perfect day we were in the taxi bus making that drive back home.
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