Tapi River, Surat Thani
(26 December 2003)
is a city in southern Thailand. It is also the provincial capital of Surat Thani Province
, which includes major tourist destinations such as Ko Samui
and Ko Phangan
. The town of Surat Thani itself is a provincial capital with a population of close to 130,000 people.
Wat Tham Kuha, Surat Thani
(26 December 2003)
The history of human habitation in the area around Surat Thani goes back to prehistoric times. The Srivijaya kingdom flourished in this area from the 3rd century AD, dominating much of the Malay peninsula and as far as the island of Java. Ruins of the Srivijaya kingdom can still be seen in the city of Chaiya, a small town not far from the provincial capital.
Surat Thani was originally known as Bandon. It was part of Chaiya province until 1915, when the provincial court was moved to Bandon, and it was renamed Surat Thani, meaning "City of Good People". For a period between 1926 and 1933, Surat Thani was made a part of Nakhon Si Thammarat, but today it is a province of its own.
The city of Surat Thani is located on a coastal plain of the Tapi River, a river that meanders through a mangrove swamp. Further inland are rubber and coconut plantations as well as limestone outcrops. Most visitors head directly to the islands off the coast of Surat Thani, but those who visiti the provincial capital will discover a distinctly Thai town untainted by massive commercialisation.
Angthong National Park
(1 May 2004)
Travel to Surat Thani
Budget travellers can fly AirAsia to Surat Thani from Bangkok. The Surat Thani Airport (URT) is about 20 km to the west of downtown. Other airlines flying to Surat Thani are Thai Airways and Nok Air.
You can also get to Surat Thani by train from Bangkok and Hatyai. There are buses from the Surat Thani railway station to the town centre.
Travel within Surat Thani
There are plenty of tuk-tuks in town that you can hire.
Lak Muang, the City Pillar of Surat Thani
(26 December 2003)
Places of Interest in Surat Thani
- Oyster Farms
Farms built on stilts in the Gulf of Thailand, with stalls where you can taste fresh oyster.
- Tapi River
River that flows through Surat Thani. You can take a boat ride in the evening to watch fireflies in the mangrove swamp.
- Wat Tham Kuha
Cave temple with ancient Buddha images inside.
Islands in Surat Thani Province
- Ang Thong Marine National Park
An archipelago of some 40 islands of varying sizes off the mainland of Surat Thani.
- Ko Nangyuan
Small, pristine island comprising three islets linked by sandbars, with just one resort managing the area.
- Ko Phangan
Resort island famous for its Full Moon Parties.
- Ko Samui
The third biggest island in Thailand and major tourist destination in Surat Thani.
- Ko Tao
Island to the northwest of Ko Samui, popular for snorkelling and diving.
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