There are many opportunities to explore the picturesque Similan Islands, set in the Andaman sea. Even if you are not into scuba diving, a snorkelling experience of the Similan Islands is just as rewarding.
Being a trainee Divemaster, it is often my job to lead snorkellers to places of interest and to point out some of the beautiful, however sometimes strange, creatures who share the beautiful world under the dormant-looking crystal clear Andaman sea. It is my first season here in Thailand, both for scuba diving and snorkelling, but i must say it has lived up to, if not exceeded, my expectations.
There are endless options for snorkellers here in the Similans, from day trips to a wide range of liveaboard experiences. Having just returned from being a snorkel guide on board MV Hallelujah, followed by a day trip to Koh Bon, I can surely say that the snorkellers I had been guiding were absolutely thrilled.
Similan Snorkelling on MV Hallelujah
We began our first snorkel at Anita’s Reef. As the name suggests, this is a live coral based structure, full of colour and life at any depth. There we saw schools of Angelfish and a few Moray Eels hiding amongst the coral, their mouths agape as we swum over.
Our second snorkel took us to West of Eden. Here we decided to follow the divers as they would be right beneath us. This site mainly consists of giant boulders that appear to be flowing down from the surface. As this is not a coral based structure, it was not a great place to see little things, however we did see large schools of fish, and the fish tended to be larger and brighter in colour, such as the Parrot fish, which gets it’s name from its beak-like mouth piece and neon-like colouring.
We then went out to the other side of the island, where all the guests on the boat headed out on the dinghy over to the beautiful white sand beach awaiting over shallow turquoise waters.
On our third snorkel, we headed over to Koh Bon, an island to the north of the Similans. There again we decided to follow the divers, which proved to be rather difficult as the current was strong in the opposite direction in which we were going. However, the snorkellers handled it well and we were able to get into a sheltered bay and began snorkeling around there.
We ducked under the surface to witness many schools of small fish feeding and chasing each other in and out of the rocks and around us.
Similan Snorkelling Further North
The fourth snorkel was located in Koh Tachai, another island further north in the Similans. Here we boarded the dinghy to be taken around to a bay the other side of the island. The sea was quite choppy at this point, but with current, comes life. This site is said to be one of the best for turtle sightings. We ended up drifting from one side of the bay to the other, making for an easy snorkel as we just watched the events unfold beneath us as we were calmly carried by the waves.
This site was a mixture of rocks and brightly coloured corals, so it was packed full of life. We came across crustaceans of many different kinds, White-eyed Moray Eels hiding in crevices beneath rocks, and a very large school of Parrot fish that congregated around the coral that had our attention for a good ten minutes.
Our final snorkel was at the infamous Richelieu Rock, known by divers for its diverse array of life, sightings of whale sharks and manta rays, and the occasionally challenging conditions. We snorkelled around one of it’s pinnacles.
You could tell this coral reef is relatively untouched by human impact and it just boasts life. Rocks were covered in coral, and in turn loads of different species of fish, both large and small, including the odd Barracuda congregate around this spectacular site.
All in all, the trip was very much enjoyed by everyone. If they were not snorkelling and exploring the wonderful beaches, they would be taking in the beautiful ocean views from the boat’s sun deck. Similan snorkelling is an experience to remember, and it is so easily accessible for anyone to take part in and to have a glimpse of what lies beneath wonderful waters that surround us.
If you are interested in Similan snorkelling there is a brand new page on our website which covers day trips, over night trips and also snorkelling at other great destinations in the Andaman Sea.