by Melinda Gallo

Similan Islands

The one trip that Alessandro wanted more than any other during our stay in Ao Nang, Krabi was going to Similan Island. He had been there before and raved to me how amazing it was. He said the islands were surrounded by clear water and had white sandy beaches. And, most of all, he told me how peaceful and amazingly beautiful the islands were.

Living in Florence :: Similan Islands

We had initially thought about spending the night on one of the islands, but when we looked through the brochure and read about the tents and sleeping bag, I wasn't thrilled to leave our rather luxurious hotel room for one night to rough it.

Today, the van came at 6 a.m. to pick us up at the hotel and were driven about an hour and a half to go to the port. We were the only ones in the van, so we relaxed as much as we could even though the driver drove very fast down the highway and through windy roads.

We arrived at the office along the port where many local and Thai tourists were waiting to board the speedboats. We were assigned a speedboat and asked to drop our shoes in a bag because we didn't need to take them with us.

The speedboat ride took another hour and a half. I didn't think much about seasickness until I saw a large glass jar filled with pills in plastic packages with a sign that said, "For seasickness." I didn't take one because we were on a similar boat for an hour when we went to the Phi Phi Islands, so I knew that I'd be fine.

Our first stop was to a spot where we could snorkel. There were a few other speedboats in the small area. The water was rather rough and after I jumped in with my gear and tried to look down at the fish, I kept moving up and down quite erratically. The water was a little murky and after only twenty minutes, I went back on the speedboat. Alessandro stayed in until the end of our time there and when he boarded the boat, we were all enjoying fresh pineapple and watermelon.

We took off to one of the islands and were led to picnic tables where food was waiting for us. We ate and then quickly walked through a wooded area without our shoes where we saw a hermit crab cross the path and reached Honeymoon Bay, which is where I took the picture. It was a small beach with only a handful of people, so we swam and played in the water. I had wished that I brought the snorkeling gear because there were some remote areas where there were countless fish. In all actuality, the fish, on all the islands that we've been to, could be seen with the naked eye in a foot of water.

After we boarded the speedboat again, we were taken to another spot to snorkel. The water was still a bit rough, but I tried to keep snorkeling until the 45 minutes were up.

On the way back to the port, almost everyone slept as the speedboat quickly traversed the water.

I was impressed with the Similan Islands, which are famous for snorkeling and diving, and hope that our next trip to Thailand that we will stay overnight. The number of tourists that come for the day is so high that it must be truly magical to be there in the morning and early evening when fewer people are around.

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