The Similan Islands are one of the top ten diving destinations in the world. They are only open from November to April. The period from December to May is the season when leopard sharks appear. Similan means “nine” in Malay, and the Similan Islands refers to nine islands. The waters around these islands are the best for diving in Thailand. For licensed divers, a few days staying on a boat and diving will no doubt be the favorite way to experience the area. The sand on the islands’ beaches is fine and soft, and shoes are not permitted to be worn in order to protect the environment and maintain a healthy ecological balance.