The bay on the northwest side of Koh Similan (Island #8) is the best protected overnight stop in the group. Inside the bay, on the 8-12 metres sand and coral outcrop shelf, the government has installed moorings for general use.
Other moorings laid by dive shop operators can be used if vacant. However, dive boats often return in the late afternoon to use the moorings. If all moorings are taken, anchorage is only possible on the outer edge of the bay in 15-30 metres.
The bay has a beautiful white sand beach and interesting forest walks. The climb to the top of the distinctive rock formation called Donald Duck, overlooking the north end of the beach, is worthwhile. There is easy access from the beach or the boat to excellent snorkelling and diving around the rocks on the north side of the bay.
There is National Parks campsite, bungalows and a small restaurant ashore on the beach.
Dive operators invariably refill their tanks in the late afternoon or early evening. If you want to avoid the noise of the compressors, anchor away from this crowd – that probably means you’ll have to move deeper.
In the high season there are numerous ferries that arrive daily before midday and depart for Phuket during the mid afternoon. This is helpful for yachts needing crew changes or pick ups, or needing to return to Phuket in the case of emergency.
Anchorage is in 12 metres, as the sandy bottom starts to fall away to deeper water. Completely open as it is to the northeast, it is not a good overnight anchorage when the monsoon is strong or unpredictable.
Beautiful white sand backs fringing coral gardens which extend some 200 metres off the beach. In the trees behind, the national park headquarters for the Similan Islands offers some basic bungalows, tent camping grounds and a small restaurant.
There is great snorkelling and shallow diving on the east and west sides of the bay. Ashore you’ll find easy trails for forest walks. The trees that overhang the beach here, including the ‘poison fish tree’, named for the effect its seeds have on fish when ground-up, are attractive and noteworthy.
A better anchorage, one sheltered from both the northeast and the southwest, is between Koh Miang and the small islets to the east in about 10-15 metres on a sandy bottom. Though a strong current runs through the channel, the holding is good.
Closer to the beach on Koh Miang, anchorage can be found in 8-10 metres on a sandy bottom.
Access either to the park headquarters beach or to a smaller beach opposite is easy by dinghy. There is a trail from the smaller beach to the park headquarters.
Excellent snorkelling and diving is to be had around the small islet and among the coral heads which appear indigo against the intense blue-green of the deep, clear water.
While every effort has been made to ensure that the information contained in this book is accurate, the charts of anchorages are based on personal experience and satellite imagery and are intended as a guide only. They should not be used for navigation. Please refer to Official Hydrographic Charts of the respective countries.
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