When thinking of taking a trip to Phuket and the surrounding areas, destinations that usually came to mind are the internationally recognised Koh Phi Phi, Krabi and Maya Bay where the movie “The Beach” was shot on location.
As this was going to be our second visit to Phuket, we decided to move on from there to another Thai island destination. After some Internet research we agreed to spend some time in the Similan Islands.
We arrived in Phuket in the late evening and stayed there overnight before continuing our trip to the Similan Islands the next morning. However, not wanting to miss the opportunity while in Phuket’s Pathong area we had dinner that night at the Number Six restaurant. Situated just 300 meters away from the famous Bangla Road, this restaurant looks very ordinary, but they have been serving one of the best ranges of Thai food for years. So popular is the restaurant that there usually queues but one shouldn’t be put off by this because the food is well-worth the wait.
The next morning a shuttle van of our tour operator picked us up at 6 am from the hotel and took us to the Tap Lamu Pier. A 90-minute boat trip later we arrived safe and well at Koh Ba Ngu; island number 9 of the enchanting Similan Island group.
The name Similan is taken from the Malay word of sembilan meaning nine and the island group was declared a Marine National Park in 1982. Each of the Similan Islands has a name and number and recently two more islands have been added to the Similan National Park, making a total of eleven within the group. Each island boasts breath-taking views and stunning white sandy beaches that fold into the island bays and from the beaches fish can be observed swimming below the water’s crystal clarity. Most of the islands are uninhabited while two islands; Koh Miang (island no.4) and Koh Ba Ngu (island no. 9) provide tourist accommodation for overnight stays.
Here on Koh Ba Ngu we were mesmerized by the lovely beach, we didn’t waste any time and donned snorkelling gear for a colourful look at the reef and its display of marine life. After snorkelling we walked up the island’s rocky heights.
This took a little bit of effort but the visual rewards as we arrived at the top were well worth the exercise. From our vantage point we took pause over a panoramic view of islands and beaches on a glistening sea.
After Koh Ba Ngu we took a 30 minute boat ride to Koh Miang (island no. 4) just before landfall we did some more snorkelling over a reef close to the island before heading to our overnight accommodation. Before retiring that night we took in an incredible sunset from the top of the island’s hill.
The next morning we took an exploratory walk and discovered what we named as our own private beach cove on the west side of the island.
We were both very glad to have chosen this destination with its enticing beauty and for us, perfect weather. The Similan Islands are only available to visitors from November through to April as May to October is the monsoon season making the sea too rough for safe small-boat trips.