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The name 'Similan' comes from the Malay word 'sembilan' for 'nine' - nine islands.  <img src='http://www.guidegecko.com/images/spyglass1.png' align='texttop' /> Click for full image
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Similan Islands Travel Guide

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The national park of the Similan Islands is in southern Thailand, 50 kilometers west of Khao Lak. The Similan islands offer incredible marine life, great scenery and white sand beaches. The park is considered the best dive place in Thailand.

The park covers 140 square kilometers in total, 14 of those being land in the shape of an archipelago consisting of nine islands. They are Ko Bon, Ko Bayu, Ko Similan, Ko Payu, Ko Miang (two adjoining islands), Ko Payan, Ko Payang, and Ko Huyong. For simplicity they are often referred to by their number instead - 1 through 9 starting from the south.

Taking a break between dives in the Similans.  <span style='white-space:nowrap;'><img src='http://www.guidegecko.com/images/spyglass1.png' align='texttop' /> Click to enlarge</span>
Recently, the park was expanded to include the two remote islands Ko Bon and Ko Tachai, but since "Sembilan" is Malay for "nine", this doesn't seem to stick in people's minds and those islands are not visited as often as the original nine.

There are both tents and bungalows available for rent. These are only available through the National Park headquarters in Taplamu or through agents. On Island #8 you can rent space and put up your own tent. Most people visit on a live-aboards dive trip from Phuket.

High season in the Similans is from December until April, when the monsoon stays far away. The best period to visit is March, when the winds are calm and the water clear. The national park is closed from May 16 to November 15.

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