The Similan Islands is a small archipelago located about 66 Km out at sea off Thailand’s west coast at Khao Lak. Nine islands made of granite blocks forming a chain of nine islands that stretch just about north to south.
1982 the islands were declared the status of a national park, attracting countless visitors since then.
The coral reefs of the Similan Islands have suffered repeatedly in the recent decades. In the mid-nineties, the first scientifically testified coral death occurred in this region. After the Similans had recovered from it the Indian Ocean Tsunami of 26.12.2004 hit the large coral structures without affecting the overall health of the reefs. During the summer months of 2010, the latest coral bleaching occurred, which killed about 80% of the corals in shallow water (above 10 meters) – the deeper regions at around 20-30 meters were largely unaffected by this event.
Since 2012 growth conditions for corals and the reefs are very good and currently the reefs recover on a surprising speed. Since 2013, the sea creatures have to deal only with the increasing number of snorkelers, as the daily limit for visitor to the area was raised.