Similan and Surin Island Yacht Charter
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The Similan and Surin Islands are a group of islands located 55 miles NW of Phuket, Thailand. An archipelago of nine islands, the Similan Islands Group is a luxury yacht charter destination known as one of the world's top dive destinations. Only a few miles north of the Similans, Surin is a beautiful group of islands, made up of five islets. Asia’s Similan and Surin Islands offer not just a yacht charter paradise but also a diver's paradise. The beautiful landscapes above the water are balanced and untouched tropical ecosystem below. The waters around The Similan and Surin islands are teeming with fish and surrounded by coral. If you are interested in diving in Asia, while renting a yacht, the Similan Islands are a must see and is in close cruising distance to the major yachting hub of Phuket.
The Similan Islands area a group of 9 small islands which have a deserved reputation for having the best scuba diving in Thailand and also have some of the world’s finest beaches. Many yacht charterers have been cruising to this amazing natural wonderland for years and in recent years this group of nine small islands in Asia has become one of the leading attractions for yacht charters to Southern Thailand.
The Similan Islands are comprised of Koh Bon, Koh Ba Ngu, Koh Similan, Koh Pahyoo, Koh Miang (two islands), Koh Pahyan, Koh Payahng and Koh Hu Yong. The largest island in the Similan archipelago is Koh Similan Island.
Koh Similan features a large granite horseshoe shaped outcrop overlooking the Andaman Sea and surrounding islands. For yacht charterers who enjoy hiking and snorkeling, Koh Similan is an excellent charter destination. Its long curving bay with white powdery sand beaches and underwater scenery are just stunning. Beneath the crystal clear and shallow water, you can explore sea fans, plume worms and spiny lobsters in rock crevices.
Christmas point is one of the most dramatic sites in the Similan island group. Christmas Point is a dive site with impressive, weird and unique topography, dominated by the enormous granite boulders, arches and swim-through that make diving here unlike anywhere else in the World. Using the walls as substrate, huge sea fans and soft corals thrive and act as the backdrop to the passing sealife such as jacks, sharks and fusiliers.
Elephant Head Rock is another dive site worth visiting on your luxury yacht charter. The inspiring underwater scene features spectacular topography where resident sea-life including groupers, turtles, trevallies and reef sharks prevail.
The Surin Islands are located only a few miles north of the Similans and are virtually on the Thai/Burmese (Myanmar) border. Surin is a beautiful group of islands, consisting of five islets (Koh Surin Neua, Koh Surin Tai, Koh Ri, Koh Kai and Koh Klang) and was declared a national park in 1981. The main attractions within the national park are Surin Islands and the Sea Gypsies. Mu Koh Surin is the closest marine boundary between Myanmar and Thailand. When chartering a luxury yacht or a superyacht, you will be taken back by the breathtaking beauty of the area with mostly deserted beaches and lush rainforest.
Scuba diving in Surin is mainly on hard coral fringe reefs, similar to the east side of the Similans. The coral reefs on the South Surin Islands are quite narrow (only 100 to 200 metres wide), but they have more diversity than those of the North Surin Island.
One of the best diivbing sites in the Surin Islands, Thailand is Ao Phakkat. Angelfish is often found and there is no less than seven species. The area has a rich diversity of corals, especially foliose corals. The rocks in the shallower waters are home to hermit crabs, urchins and cleaner shrimps, and are rich with colourful featherstars. This is one of the few locations in Thai waters where large numbers of bumphead parrotfish are still frequently seen.
The famous Richelieu Rock, is one of the only sites in the world where whale sharks are encountered regularly. This limestone pinnacle is carpeted with a thick covering pink and purple coral. Richelieu is a wall around a main outcrop, which is surrounded by smaller pinnacles whose peaks range in height from 3m to 10m below the surface.
The Similan and Surin Island Group are also home to some rare and exotic birds. The Nicobar Pigeon and the White-tailed Tropicbird are extremely rare. Also look for Sea eagles and Kingfishers.
In addition to the birds keep an eye out for Flying Foxes, the largest fruit bats in the world and native to Asia, they only feed on fruit and insects, however they can reach an impressive 6 foot wing span. Other Similan residents include Hairy-Legged Crabs, Mangrove Monitor Lizards and many more amazing species
Between the months of November to April, entry is allowed to the National Park subject to payment of entry fees. The Similan National Park is closed from May 1st until November 1st of each year.
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