On New Year’s Eve day we decided to do a tour that was perhaps a little bit outside a backpacker budget but it ended up being the most incredible NYE day that I ever had but the destination: the beautiful paradise Similan Islands . Have you been there ? This is perhaps a less crowded place in Thailand and worth checking out…
Hotel Pick-up / Phuket to Thaplamu Pier
We got picked up by a minivan early in the morning at 6am from the hotel. It was so early but for me it didn’t make a difference because I just got back from partying at Bangla Road. The boys Manuel and Alper (friends we just met) were already in the minivan and so we headed from Phuket to Thaplamu Pier. This was a crazy journey because the driver was driving very fast – it almost seemed like he was trying to be a Formula 1 driver – and during the 1,5 hour journey there I had to be scared ending in an accident – but luckily all good.
Hopping onto the bot / starting the tour
We then went onto the boat and the tour started. The current was very strong today and so it was a very interesting shaky journey to the first island. Once we arrived there, we were all amazed by the beautiful turquoise color of the water – incredible. Michael didn’t feel well and so he laid down in the shade while the boys and me went for a swim. The crew gave us snorkel equipment and so we snorkeled for a little while, spotting some fish but nothing too exciting yet.
Then it was lunch time in the forest where they prepared some catering. The food was good and we actually had to convince Michael to eat because he wasn’t so well – I guess seasick, lad. He actually considered going back to Phuket and not finish the tour that just started but he had no choice. Well I guess he could have got stuck at a more horrible place than one of the islands haha. It also took a lot of convincing power of me to encourage him for a group photo.
Then the trip continued and Michael sad down in the back of the boat where it’s less wobbly because he got really sea sick.
We stopped by Boosa or Elephant Rock and some viewpoint, where we climbed up before we went snorkeling again. After we jumped into the water I threw some swim googles to Michael, which he didn’t see and so the sunk deep. The crew tried to dive but it was very deep and there was no chance to get it. During the boat trip we met a family from Sweden and some other people.
Heading back to Phuket
After this we sailed back to the port and finally got back to Phuket very exhausted at around 7pm. Happily the driver drove normal on the journey back because I complained about him in the morning. It was time to get ready and meet for dinner.
The Names of the Islands
> Turtle Conservation Area (no entry)
Koh. 1 Huyong
Koh. 2 Payang
Koh. 3 Payan
> Similan Islands Marine National Park
Koh. 4 Miang
Koh. 5 Ha
Koh. 6 Hok
Koh. 7 Payu
Koh. 8 Similan
Koh. 9 Ba-Ngu
Are you looking for doing a 1-day trip to the Similan Islands but you don’t know which company to go for ? This should help with regards to price and some side notes. Subject to prices, December 2014:
Different companies / travel agencies research to compare:
- 2sistertour.com (1,800 baht / 56 USD): no idea
- Rak Talay Travel (1,900 baht / 60 USD): Messi flyer
- Seastar (2,300 baht / 72 USD): Second choice, also doesn’t start with island 8 or 9.
- medsye (3,800 baht / 120 USD): Bad recommendation, most expensive
- Go Andaman (2,500 baht / 78 USD):Good choice, apart from driver ! Almost killed us !
- Sarachar Andaman: no idea
How do the islands differ ?
I realised when comparing that most of the tours start with island 9 & 8. That’s why we also decided to pick another one because I didn’t want to go to the same islands at the same time !
I TRAVEL FOREVER’s VIEW & RECOMMENDATION
I don’t think I’ve ever spent my New Year’s Eve day in a better place than Similan Islands. My friends Michael, Alper and Manuel also enjoyed that one very much. I also liked the fact that it was not crowded by tourists and therefore a magical quiet relaxing place. Take your time and stay overnight and spend two days there if you can. Similan Islands is definitely an incredible destination and I totally recommend it. Perhaps if you travel as a couple, you have the option to stay on one of the islands overnight.