This part of the chapter deals with all the islands and mainland points of interest north of Phuket and south of the Burmese border. The two main island groups are The Similan Islands, approximately 50 miles northwest of Patong, and The Surin Islands, a further 50 miles north.
These groups of islands offer a beautiful contrast to the towering limestone monoliths of the Phang Nga / Krabi region. The huge granite boulders that form the Similans are clear evidence of an entirely different geological process from that which left us with Phang Nga Bay. Smooth, weather-worn rocks the size of cars and houses tumble down the islands’ shorelines looking like some ancient giant’s left-behind marbles.Read more
Continuing their interesting formations to the seabed, these rocks create a wondrous underwater world that helps support a sizeable liveaboard diving industry. Water clarity here is legendary and the coral reefs are considered the most colourful and diverse in Thailand.
These offshore islands are therefore the first destination on the way to the Burmese dive sites and are constantly busy with liveaboard vessels during the high season.
The Similan and Surin islands are closed to visitors for roughly five months between May to October (dates may vary). This is partly due to the weather conditions, but also to afford an opportunity for nature to recover from the tourist onslaught.
From time-to-time, individual islands may be closed for long periods.
Approximately 15 miles northeast of Koh Similan is Koh Bon. Surrounded by very deep water, anchoring is not possible.
On the southwest side orange National Parks moorings are available for shelter from the strong winds. There is a blow-hole cave that runs right through the northern part of the island.
Koh Bon has become a famous dive site because mantas are almost guaranteed here in the high season. If you’re lucky enough to secure a mooring, the etiquette is to allow another vessel to tie off your stern.
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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