8th – 10th day: Similan Islands – Ko Miang
Similan Islands was my top priority place to see while visiting Thailand. The reason is simple and lays in extreme beauty of the place. I read a lot and I knew that ordinary one-day trip won’t be enough for me. I wanted to enjoy islands in the best way, means when they are the least crowded.
Though we had initial problems with booking, we succeeded staying for 2 nights on our own on Ko Miang (Similan nr 4). Islands are uninhabited and after 15:00 (when tourist boats leave) are very peaceful and enjoyable.
The name of Similan Islands come from Malay word sembilan which means nine – the number of the islands in the archipelago. The secret of the charm of these granitic islands, rising from the Andaman Sea is in the verdant rainforest surrounded by a ring of white sand beaches, coral reefs and turquoise water.
Similan Island were the first place where we met mosquitoes 😦 a lot of them.
How to get there:
Because of problems with reservation of our tents we didn’t have much time to find the best way to get there, we had to take the easiest. With the help of the owner of the hotel where we stayed, we reserved a one-day trip with an open ticket, which means you can stay on the island for up to four days and come back another day. This way, until 3 p.m. first day, we were offered what ordinary tourists are offered – attractions like snorkeling and breakfast & lunch & drinks. The price of our trip was 2500 Baht p.p. (including Park’s entrance fee). When tours left (around 3 p.m.) the island’s main beach was almost empty 🙂
Doing things on your own is much cheaper. Ideally, it’s possible to make a booking via the website of the National Park. We tried and actually failed although we did everything that we should’ve done – still our reservation was canceled. Two days before planned arrival at Similan Islands, we contacted the Main office in Bangkok, they informed us that there is no possibility for us to stay there. What we could do, was just claim our money back. One day before our planned trip to Similans we received an e-mail that they have a tent for us and we can stay. I was extremely happy 🙂 Just we had to quickly organize transport, pack backpacks and be ready for a new beautiful destination to reach!
To be clear, the only accommodation on the island is run by Department of National Parks. In their offer there are bungalows with fan – 1500 Baht per night, bungalows with A/C – 2000 Baht and tents – 500 Baht. We decided to choose tents – I read that in bungalows there is a problem with bedbugs (when we stayed there were some constructions, so maybe in the next year bungalows will be better).
Tent is quite big (for 3 people), clean, equipped with thin mattresses. There is a possibility to rent a tiny pillow and sleeping bag which we used as an additional layer on top of mattress – it was too hot to sleep in it (rental cost: 120 Baht p.p.).
On the area of Ko Miang, there is HQ of the National Park, shop with very basic stuff (you can rent there snorkeling equipment), lockers (we were keeping there our most important stuff, cost: 100 Baht per day) and luggage room. For those who stay there on their own there is a restaurant, nice range of food to choose – but they didn’t have noodles and we were not sure if some ingredients are fresh (there were not many customers) so we ordered only rice with meat or chicken. Although it is shown in the restaurant board that restaurant serves 3 meals per day, when we were there they served only 2 meals: breakfast and dinner. For breakfast we paid 70 Baht p.p. and dinner 150 Baht p.p. Bottled water there is quite expensive – 30 Baht for 0,5 liter. Apart from normal dishes, there was a limited range of snacks (for instance: chips – 40 THB). Meal time is: breakfast: 7.30-8.30, lunch: 11.30-14.00 (not really), dinner: 18.30-20.00
Bathrooms and toilets... it was the least pleasant part of our trip there. Just -quickly- do what you have to do and leave, and use them as little as possible.
What to do there:
Ko Miang has 2 view points and 3 beaches. 2 beaches are widely known but there is also a 3rd hidden much smaller one. It would be my favorite place on the island if not the garbage.
Very sadly, beautiful scenery covered by left overs by tourists… If you feel bored with laying down on the sandy beach you can explore a little bit, viewpoints are the nice way to do some active walking – sunset view point is much more easy to reach. Besides these, swim in turquoise water of Andaman Sea, snorkel and enjoy flora and fauna of the Ko Miang.