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Surat Thani Province


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Surat Thani (often in short Surat, Thai: สุราษฎร์ธานี) is the largest of the southern provinces (changwat) of Thailand, on the eastern shore of the Gulf of Thailand. Surat Thani means City of Good People, the title given to the city by King Vajiravudh (Rama VI).


Neighboring provinces are (from north clockwise) Chumphon, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Krabi, Phang Nga and Ranong.


Geographically the center of the province is the coastal plain of the Tapi river, mostly grassland and some mangrove. In the west are limestone mountains of the Phuket range mostly covered with forests. The Khao Sok National Park is located in these mountains. To the east the hills of the Nakhon Si Thammarat (or Bantat) mountain range start to rise, protected in the Tai Rom Yen National Park. Many islands in the Gulf of Thailand belong to the district, including the tourist islands Ko Samui, Ko Pha-ngan, Ko Tao, as well as the Ko Ang Thong marine national park. The main rivers of the Surat Thani province are Tapi River and Phum Duang River, which both drain into the Bandon Bay.


Further protected areas are the Khlong Phanom and Kaeng Krung national park, Than Sadet-Ko Pha-Ngan marine national park, the non-hunting areas Khao Tha Phet and Nong Thung Thong and the wildlife sanctuaries Khlong Phraya, Khlong Saeng and Khlong Yan. The Hat Khanom - Mu Ko Thale Tai, which will contain a few small island south of Ko Samui, is currently in process of creation.


In 2004 census, the province was had a GPP about 87,561 million Baht (2,189.03 million US$) and GPP per capita was 92,852 (2,321.20 US$). The main agricultural products of the province are coconut and rambutan. The coconuts are often picked from the tree by specially trained monkey, mostly Pig-tailed Macaques (Macaca nemestrina). The monkey school of late Somporn Saekow is the most famous training center for these monkeys. The rambutan trees were first planted in Surat Thani in 1926 by the Chinese Malay Mr. K. Vong in Ban Na San. An annual rambutan fair is held in beginning of August, including a parade of highly decorated floats on the Tapi river.


The province is crossed by the southern railway, with the main railway station located at Phunphin. Parallel to the railway in north-south direction runs the Asian Highway 2 (Thailand Route 41). The major road in east-west direction is Route 401, as Route 44 in southwestern direction. Two regional airports are located in the province - Surat Thani International Airport in Phunphin and Samui Airport on Ko Samui. The islands Ko Samui und Ko Phan Ngan are connected with the mainland by ferries, which mostly start at Don Sak.


The area of Surat Thani was already inhabited in prehistoric times by Semang and Malayan tribes. Founded in the 3rd century, until the 13th century the Srivijaya kingdom dominated the Malay Peninsula and much of the island of Java from there. The city Chaiya contains several ruins from Srivijaya times, and was probably a regional capital of the kingdom. Some Thai historians even claim that it was the capital of the kingdom itself for some time, but this is generally disputed. Wiang Sa was another main settlement of that time.


After the fall of the Srivijaya it was divided into the cities (Mueang) Chaiya, Thatong (now Kanchanadit) and Khirirat Nikhom. While Chaiya was administrated directly from the capital, Thatong and Khirirat were controlled by the Nakhon Si Thammarat kingdom. In 1899 they were merged into one province named Chaiya. In 1915 also the court of the Monthon Chumphon was moved to Bandon, which received its new name Surat Thani on July 29 1915 during a visit of King Vajiravudh (Rama VI). In 1933 the monthon was dissolved, so the province became the first level administrative subdivision.



The provincial administration was at first located in a building in Tha Kham (Amphoe Phunphin). It was moved to the city of Surat Thani in World War II, but when the Japanese invaded Thailand on December 8, 1941 was building caught fire and burned down. It was reopened in 1954. On March 19, 1982 it was destroyed again by a bomb planted by communist rebels, killing 5 people. A new building was built at a different location in the city, the former site of the provincial hall is now the city pillar shrine (Lak Mueang).


The seal of the province shows the pagoda of Phra Boromathat Chaiya, which is believed to have been built 1200 years ago. The flag of the province also shows the pagoda in middle, placed on a vertically split flag with red color in top and yellow in bottom.


The provincial symbolic flower is the Bua Phut (Rafflesia kerrii), a parasitic plant with one of the biggest flowers of all plants. The provincial tree is the Ton Kiam (Cotylelobium melanoxylon).


The provincial slogan is เมืองร้อยเกาะ เงาะอร่อย หอยใหญ่ ไข่แดง แหล่งธรรมะ, which translates to City of 100 islands, delicious rambutan, big shells and red eggs, center of Buddhism. Red eggs are a local culinary speciality of pickled duck eggs, while the big shells refer to the plenty of seafood available. Center of Buddhism refers to the pagoda of Chaiya.


The province is subdivided into 18 districts (Amphoe) and one sub-district (King Amphoe). The districts are further subdivided into 131 communes (tambon) and 1028 villages (muban).


The province has 3 towns (thesaban mueang) and 19 townships (thesaban tambon). The most important ones are the following 6 (complete list). There are also 119 tambon administrative authorities.


Nr. City - Thai - Population - Notes

1. Surat Thani - เทศบาลเมืองสุราษฎร์ธานี - 124,400 Inh. - Capital of the province

2. Ko Samui - เทศบาลตำบลเกาะสมุย - 48,410 inh. - Touristical island

3. Tha Kham - เทศบาลเมืองท่าข้าม - 20,363 inh. - Main railway station

4. Na San - เทศบาลเมืองนาสาร - 19,851 inh. -

5. Talat Chaiya - เทศบาลตำบลตลาดไชยา - 12,955 inh. - Historic town

6. Don Sak - เทศบาลตำบลดอนสัก - 11,357 inh. - Main port


Extracted from Wikipedia: Surat Thani Province

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  • 11 years later...

Anyone go Surat Thani, without transit to Koh Samui? Anything to do there?

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53 minutes ago, Explorer8939 said:

Anyone go Surat Thani, without transit to Koh Samui? Anything to do there?

I have. Posted about it in this thread (link)

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