Surat Thani is a city in southern Thailand. Known as the “city of good people”, it lies 651 km south of Bangkok. The city itself has a long history dating back to the 5th century. It’s the gateway to Koh Samui and its neighbouring islands Koh Phangan, Koh Tao and the Ang Thong archipelago.
In the Gulf of Thailand and a short ferry ride away from The Surat Thani province, is Koh Samui. Popular for its palm-lined white sandy beaches, luxury spas and resorts and iconic Big Buddha statue at the Wat Phra Yai temple, Koh Samui is a great destination for families, couples and for those looking for a lazy beach holiday.
The island of Koh Phangan is a well-known backpacker party destination for its full moon parties. Also home to Than Sadet-Ko Pha Ngan National Park, which boasts a beautiful waterfall and good hiking routes.
Koh Tao island (known as Turtle Island) is a recreation lovers paradise. It is a favourite among scuba divers, rock climbers and adventure seekers. It gets its name from being a special breeding ground for hawksbill and green turtles.
One of the most popular destinations in Surat Thani province the ancient Khao Sok National Park. Believed to be as old as 160 million years and covering a huge 739 square kilometres, it features rich rain-forests, wildlife sanctuaries, limestone structures, and the scenic Cheow Larn Lake in the heart of the park. A highlight for visitors is staying overnight in a floating bungalow on the picturesque lake. The park’s climate and weather remain consistent throughout the year making it a must-see destination at any time. Surat Thani which is the closest airport to Khao Sok. From there it is very easy to drive the 120 km route to the park and takes about 2 hours.
Things to do in Surat Thani include seeing Tham Khao Wang Thong, an impressive cave located in Khanom district with its iron and copper walls, stalagmites and stalactites, Wat Phra Borommathat Chaiya an eye-catching white and gold Chaiya temple from the 8th century, the tranquil Khanom Beach and other beaches around Khanom bay for relaxation, visiting the provincial the Pillar Shrine, shopping in the busy night market, take a river cruise along the Tapi river to enjoy the rich surrounding vegetation, or visit the Namtok Vibhavadi waterfall.
Surat Thani Thailand is a province that is a popular gateway to the southern coast and surrounding islands in the Gulf of Thailand like the Ang Thong Islands. Other things to do in Surat Thani include seeing Tham Khao Wang Thong, an impressive cave located in Khanom district with its iron and copper walls, stalagmites and stalactites, Wat Phra Borommathat Chaiya an eye-catching white and gold Chaiya temple from the 8th century, Khanom Beach and other beaches around Khanom bay are less touristy and great for relaxation. Believed to be as old as 160 million years and covering a huge 739 square kilometres, Khao Sok National Park features rich rain-forests, wildlife sanctuaries, limestone structures, and the scenic Cheow Larn Lake in the heart of the park where you can stay overnight in a floating bungalow.
From Lomprayah Tapee River in Surat Thani city, you can take a 1.5-hour ferry to Koh Samui Nathon Pier and then transfer to the ferry heading to Koh Phangan Thong Sala Pier.
Another option is to take a ferry from Don Sak pier in Surat Thani which is the closest pier to the nearby islands. The ferry to Koh Phangan is direct and takes about 2.5 hours. There are no direct buses from Surat Thani train station to the pier. Instead, you could take a taxi with the trip duration being around 1 hour and 15 minutes, or alternatively catch the public bus from the main Surat Thani station to Surat Thani Talad Kaset station (40 mins) then transfer to the bus heading to Don Sak pier which takes one hour.
Surat Thani city offers a selection of budget mid-sized hotels, guest houses, flashpackers rather than large resorts.
November through to February is the cooler season and best time to visit, with clear blue skies, light winds and sunny days.
Multiple domestic carriers operate flights between Bangkok and Surat Thani. Flight time is 1 hour 15 minutes. By train, the trip takes approximately 9.5 hours to reach Surat Thani city from Bangkok. Taking a bus is slightly longer at around 10-11 hours of travel time. To self-drive or go by taxi, the overland trip takes about 9 hours.
Surat Thani city means City of Good People and dates back to the 5th century. Surat Thani city has a bustling night market popular with visitors to try all kinds of exotic treats. Wat Phra Borommathat Chaiya is an ancient white and gold Buddhist temple believed to have been constructed around the 7th century and contains a relic of the Buddha. The city also contains an impressive white pillar shrine that was built as a guardian to the region. A popular practice to do when visiting the shrine is to pray or make a wish and tie a piece of coloured cloth around any of the four pillars surrounding the shrine.
Surat Thani airport services both domestic and international flights. Surat Thani International Airport is a busy southern Thailand airport, connecting many travellers to the region.
The distance from Bangkok is approximately 415 km. and you can travel either by plane, train or bus. The overnight train via Chumphon will take 11 hours or take a train via Surat Thani for 19 hours, the bus takes around a 9-hours, or take a 3.5-hour flight. All these options will include a ferry ride from Koh Samui or the mainland to the island.
There are some international flights will arrive into Surat Thani but these are mainly from other countries in Asia such as Malaysia or China.
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