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Chalermkwan Tulyasita / Similan Islands / Thailand

Photographer Chalermkwan Tulyasita got up close and personal with a sea turtle in the Similan Islands, one of Thailand's most biodiverse national marine parks.

Published on Jun 8, 2017

Siliman Island

Below the surface of the ocean in the far reaches of Thailand's west coast, you inhabit another world, one far from the popular beaches and islands so close by. Because the Similan Islands are a national marine park, the scene is well preserved. It is the home of sea turtles who glide effortlessly through the water often as curious to see humans as we are to witness them. Islands one, two and three—the southernmost trio—are set aside as breeding grounds for turtles and, as part of reef conservation projects, are closed to the outside world. Still, above water the Similans are a pristine getaway in a country that defines modern tourism.

Here are shades of blue with no name; crystal clear waters mirror the tropical skies above. Wind- and sea-swept granite boulders poke out of the sea along the coral beaches, dense greenery sprouting up above them. This must be what the Asian tropics looked like a century or three ago.


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