Did you know that the province of Surat Thani is the largest province in the southern region of Thailand? It may seem small on the map, but it surely is not! This province is famous for its islands and natural attractions that you may not be able to forget once you set foot on them. It is the dream for anyone who is looking for a great vacation!
General Information about Surat Thani
The province itself is located near the Central Gulf Coast of Thailand with approximately 125,000 people living in here. Fun fact about name of the province, the name actually means a city of good people and most Thai people does not know about it either. The name was given by King Rama VI and it is an honor to use it. Some people also say that this is a gateway to the southern islands of Thailand which include Ko Samui, Ko Pha Ngan, and Ko Tao.
There are various attractions for you to see and you might not be able to see them all in one trip. So, it is best to plan your trip wisely with the use of my introduction! To get to this province, there are quite a few options for you to consider. The first option is by plane which will take you to the Surat Thani Airport and it is about 20 kilometers from the city. If you want to observe the scenery while you are traveling here, you could take the train here as well. However, it would take you around eight to ten hours to get here. One of the most convenient choice here has to be the bus itself. If you are coming from Bangkok, this mean of transportation will take around eight hours of your time which is also quite comfortable.
Surat Thani is a home to countless islands that are worth mentioning. However, as I cannot mention them all here, I have picked the best and the most famous ones for your consideration! I guarantee that you will not be disappointed by what these islands can offer. You will most certainly delve into Thailand’s places of dreams! One of the most famous places in this province is called Ko Samui
Ko Samui/ Koh Samui or Sa Mui Island
It is the second largest island in Thailand while Phuket is the first. This island has a huge reputation among tourists in terms of white sand beaches with coconut trees that are situated along the clear water of the sea. This island also has the perfect amenities and facilities to serve your vacation. Not only that, you can get on a Jeep car to observe the culture of the people here and visit many attractions such as fruit farms, nature, and waterfalls. Also, do not forget to visit the grandfather rock and the grandmother rock which have a weird shape to the eye, but very familiar in some senses. It also represents the symbol of the entire island.
Ko Pha Ngan, (เกาะพะงัน)
Ko Pha Ngan is an island that every tourist has the same thing in their mind which is the full moon party. It is party that held on every full moon throughout the entire year. However, I would like you to come here when there is no full moon party. You will experience the peacefulness like you never have before. You will also realize the characteristics that this island has such as the white sand beaches, crystal-clear water, undisturbed coral reefs, and a beautiful moon.
Next is Ko Nang Yuan
which is famous for being one of the most beautiful islands in Thailand. It is basically small three islands that connect together by white sand hills. This island contains the only beach in Thailand that you can watch the sunrise and sunset all in one beach. It is a beach that is suitable for sunbathing, swimming, and diving to see the coral reefs. This place also has a spot where you can do some beautiful sightseeing which is really worth it for you to go up there and take pictures.
Ko Tao (เกาะเต่า)
Lastly, Ko Tao is an island with well-preserved and large coral reefs. This is the best place to dive in both shallow and deep waters on the side of Thai Gulf. There are also many spots for you to dive in! Furthermore, there is a bay on the island that you can relax at many different places on a beautiful white beach.
Natural resources are always crucial to the land in the southern region of Thailand. Surat Thani is a province that contains more than just islands, but abundant nature for tourists like you to explore. You will be able to walk through mountains, gardens, and get some valuable experiences from your time here with the places that are recommended by the locals!
The first place to be recommended by the locals is known as Khao Sok. While the name sounds like it is a mountain, it is actually a large lake located above Cheow Lan Dam which has many limestone mountains across eight kilometers in distance. It is a beautiful sight that I really want you to see! There are also raft houses near the lake for you to stay in and you could go into the water as well. While you are at it, why not enjoy doing some kayaking? You will be indulged with the views for sure! Other than that, you can visit several caves and waterfalls here. If you want to be a bit adventurous, you can take the boat to see wild animals and abundant nature. The highlight of this place is the forest near the dam which has a flower called Rafflesialerri Meijer. It is the largest flower in all of Thailand with a diameter of 70 to 80 centimeters!
The next place is a farm named Sinmana with a concept of a farm and homestay combined together as one. This is a farm that produce oysters and cockles that are really famous in this province and I think you should definitely try them! They are fresh and extremely delicious! Of course, you will be able to eat them here, including learning how to farm these produces and harvest them. As it is a place that has a function of a homestay, you can rest a night right at this place. You can even sleep in the middle of the sea! You will fully experience the atmosphere of the sea and watch the sunrise and sunset. At night, there are countless stars that filled the beautiful night sky.
Suan Mokkh Phalaram (สวนโมกขพลาราม)
Do you want to learn how to meditate, find peace, or learn about Buddhism? If so, I would highly recommend this place called Suan Mokkh Phalaram or Wat Tharn Nam Lai. It is a famous place that teaches and provide knowledge for foreigners and Thais. The place is built by Phuttha That Pikku who is a monk that dedicated himself to the spread of the Buddhism as a religion. UNESCO has honored him as the world’s significant person. If you want to meditate your mind and learn some Buddhism teachings, this would be the right place for you and these characteristics are mentioned in the motto of the province as well.
Chaiya Salted Egg
which is a way to preserve an egg since the ancient times is famous in this province. The egg yolk is ridiculously red, and the overall flavor is delicious.
School’s Rambutan, as the locals called it, is a type of rambutan that is also really famous here. It is juicy with pearl-like color and the taste is sweet. If you are here at Surat Thani, I highly recommend eating these two things!
The motto for this province is “The City of 100 Islands, Delicious Rambutan, Big Shells and Red Eggs, and The Center of Buddhism”.
To get around this province
It is quite difficult to grasp the options you can choose to travel. There are bus stations around the province which you can take. Also, you can ride a motorcycle or hire a car service to take you around.
There are many budget hotels for you to stay in. The price can start as low as 250 baht per night to about 600 baht per night. There are also some mid-range hotels and luxury hotels around which could get pretty expensive. I hope you enjoy your trip here!