Mu Ko Similan National Park

Mu Ko Similan National Park

Where : Located in  Ko Phra Thong, Amphoe Khura Buri, occupying an area of 32,000 acres

Category : Travel / Attractions

Updated by : Admin

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Fee : Admission Fee: Adult 400 baht and Child 200 baht

Activity :

Snorkel and scuba dive

 

How to go :

By boat: Take a boat from Thap Lamu Pier, located 70 kilometers north of Phang-nga at Amphoe Thai Mueang

- By Car
There are daily bus services from Bangkok to Phang Nga (approximately 788 kilometres) Standard bus fee is 357 Baht, air-conditioned bus fee is 459 Baht, and VIP air-conditioned bus fee is 685 Baht. Then another 65 kilometres from Phang Nga to Thap Lamu District, it cost 35 Baht. for Motorbike can then be taken to continue on to Thap Lamu Pier (another 5 kilometres) at 30 Baht.

- By Plane
Flights from Bangkok-Phuket operate daily at 2,300 Baht. From Phuket, take a bus to Thap Lamu Pier, Phang Nga province then take a ferry to Mu Ko Similan National Park.

 

What / Why :

Mu Ko Similan National Park has been rated first by the U. S. publication Skin Diving of the top ten dive sites in the world. The Similan Islands in the heart of the Andaman Sea are indeed unparelled in their exotic beauty. If planning a visit, keep in mind that anytime between December to April is recommended, with the best month being March, because the monsoons are over and the water is clear.

The national park is established in 1982 and located in Ko Phrathong Sub-distreict, Khuraburi District, Phang-nga Province and covers 128 square kilometers, 80,000 rais, of area, 14 square kilometers of which is land composed of all the islands put together. Located along the western coastline of the Andaman Sea and in the Indian Ocean, rest these nine exotic granite islands created by upwellings of hot magma during the Teritiary-Cretaceous Period some 65 million years ago, then smoothed by glacial ice and the wave action of the sea.

Similan is really the Malaysian word for nine, as there are nine islands in the Similan group: Ko Bangu, Ko Similan, Hin Huwagralok, Ko Payu, Ko Ha, Ko Hok, Ko Miang, Ko Payan, Ko Payang, and Ko Huyong. In 1998, the park boundary was expanded to cover Ko Tachai which is located further north of Ko Bon and the Similan group. Then the park area becomes 140 square kilometers.

Flora and Fauna
Types of forests can be divided into 3 main characteristics.
- Beach Forest
open forest with scattered plants at approximate height of not over 15 meters such as Terminalia catappa, Barringtonia asiatica, Callophyllum inophyllum. Small perennials and large shrub not exceeding 10 meters in height found are Xylocarpus gaugeticus, Herltiera littoralis, Hibiscus tiliaceus which is a smaller shrub found are Capparis micracautha, Breynia vitris-idaea Fischer, Pandanus odoratissimus. Grounds covering plants common in the area are beans, Vigna sp., Spilanthes sp., Ischaemum barbatum, Lophatherum gracile, Hoya parasittrica, Asplenium nidus.
- Scrub Forest
Habitat for shrubs which can develop on grounds with soil depth of not exceeding 30 centimeters. A few cacti can be found while more common shrubs found are Cercus spp., Dracaena spp., Memecylon caeruleum, Cleistanhus polyphyllus.
- Primary Forest
Habitation for perennials at a height of 20 meters or above such as Dipterocarpus costatus, Dipterocarpus boudii, Shores spp.,. Lower perennials at 15-20 meters in height are palaquium obovatum, Eugenia denaiflora, Wrightia sp., 10-15 meters in height are Hydnocarpus ilicifolius, Semecarpus curtisii, Diospyros wallichii. Bambusa sp., Calamus longisetus, Plam, Amydrium medium and Bauhinia glauca are also found with other creepers and parasites such as betel pepper, bauhinia and orchid.
The most unique vegetation found only on Ko Yai in the Andaman sea are sapodilla and Nguang Chang Talay while edible plants are Manilkara sp., Toumefotia argentia, Bouea oppositifolio, Lepisanthes rubiginosa, Diospyros wallichii, Neang and Copparis micracantha.

Islands within the park:
- Ko Huyong (Huyong Island)
Huyong Island or Island 1 is the closest to Phuket with the longest clean white sandy beach of all the islands, making it an inviting place for turtles to come lay their eggs. Huyong Island has the easiest dived at a depth of 10 to 15 meters. With hard and soft corals and an abundance of sea fans. The shallowness of the area allows sunlight to penetrate to the bottom resulting in a region teeming with marine life.
- Ko Payang (Payang Island)
Payang Island or Island 2, The area is full of rocky mountains with cliffs and rocks formation round the island.
- Ko Payan (Payan Island)
Payan Island or Island 3, The area is quite rocky with cliffs; there are no beaches on this island.
- Ko Miang (Miang Island)
Miang Island or Island 4 is the next largest island in size to Similan Island and is the site for the headquarters of the park. Here are two white powdered beached, the large beach, in front of the island and the small beach, which is about 20 minutes walk away through evergreen forest. This is the best site for viewing wildlife and for an overnight stay in Mu Ko Similan National Park. By venturing further inland from the beach you may catch a glimpse of the Nicobar Pigeon or the hairy leg mountain land crab (Pu Kai in Thai, because it makes noise like a baby chicken). If all you want to do is snorkelling, try viewing off the beaches of Miang Island, in the channel between Miang Island and Payu Island, and also off Similan Island.
- Ko Ha (Ha Island)
Ha Island or Island 5, It's a small island but interesting location for diving. The main attractions and uniqueness for this island is Garden Eels (white and grey eels) can be seen stretching their necks from holes in the sandy floor. There are so many of the place called “Suan Pla Lai”. Moreover, the area is also full of soft coral and stony coral.
- Ko Payu (Payu Island)
Payu Island or Island 6 has a very stunning snorkelling and scuba diving site on the eastern shore. Many divers prefer this site to any other because there are both hard and soft corals, sea fan and many species of schoolling fish. A minore site is found to the west, and another to the north has rocks covered with sea fans. The island has no beach.
- Ko Hin Pousar
Hin Pousar Island or Island 7 or Hin Huwagralok is the rock with the elephant head shaped-rock outcrop. Beneath this curious rock structure you will find caves, swim through and unique underwater formations to delight your eyes. This island is a rock of approximately 30 metres in width with piles of rock around it at a depth of 20-50 metres. Soft corals can be found along the cliffs and there are many types of fish around such as rabbit fish and wrasse. Further away from the piles of rock to the south, there are many sea fans scattering around at 30 metres. Manta rays and sea tortoises can also be found a little deeper.
- Ko Bon (Bon Island)
Bon Island or Talu Island, there is a beautiful white powered beach on this island but no accommodation. The waters are suitable for scuba diving, and Whale Shark is often found here.
- Ko Tachai (Tachai Island)
Tachai Island is located at the northern most tip of the park. There is a beautiful white powdered beach on the island but no accommodation. The water are suitable for SCUBA diving, and Whale Shark is often found here.

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Author :

There are bungalows and tents as well as restaurants available on the island.

For More Information :

Contact : Mu Ko Similan National Park
93, Mu 5, Ban Thaplamu, Phetkasem rd, Lamkaen Sub-district, Amphur Thai Muang Phangnga Thailand 82210
Tel. 0 7659 5045, 0 7642 1365 Fax 0 7659 5210 E-mail reserve@dnp.go.th

Site : http://www.dnp.go.th

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