When do you considering Surat Thani on the map, you can see that it is the largest province of southern Thailand. Most tourists know about it, thanks to the Don Sak area, from which piers are sent ferries and boats to the islands of Samui, Ko Phangan, Tao and dozens of other small scattered across the Gulf of Thailand and administratively included in the province.
Content: Surat Thani Province: General Characteristics Attractions Surat Thani How to get there? Despite the fact that the mainland of Surat Thani is not very popular with tourists, it is not without its attractions.
Surat Thani Province: General Characteristics Surat Thani reminds Thailand of its silhouette: a small part has access to the sea, but the main territory goes deep into the land. The similarity is not limited to external. The noted territorial feature determines the features of the development of the region. Surat Thani is 95% not a tourist province, as well as about the same 95% tourist is not Thailand. The basis of the economy is:
- coconut and heveve plantations;
- Mining and fisheries in the north of the province;
- timber industry.
If we do not take into account the islands, we will see that Surat Thani is an entirely normal province of Thailand with its traditional way of life. Here people live not for the sake of tourists and not in order to earn money for visitors. In this state of things, there are advantages, in particular: low prices for housing and products and "Thainess" in everything.
If we talk about the geographical position of Surat Thani, then it is very convenient. In 3-4 hours drive by land - Krabi, Ko Phangan and Phuket. About 2,5-3 hours will take the way to the islands (taking into account the road to Don Sak, waiting and ferry crossing). There is an airport in Surat Thani (30 km from the city) and a railway station (15 km from the city).
All this makes the province an important traffic hub of southern Thailand that brings together not only domestic flights (eg., Surat Thani-Bangkok), but international (eg., From Surat Thani by plane to Kuala Lumpur or by train and ferry to Penang).
Attractions Surat Thani There are traditional for Thailand attractions in Surat Thani:
- historical and cultural;
- nature reserves.
Among the historical and cultural attractions should be named place Sriwichai Hill, located in one of the central amphe - Phunphin. The place has to do with the period of Thai history, when the territory of modern Surat Thani was part of the ancient Malay kingdom of Shrivijaya (over 1,400 years ago). Until now, artifacts of that time have been found here.
The ruins of the ancient temple of Wat Long and chedi Phra Borom That in the northern amphe Chaiya will also be of interest to those who are not indifferent to antiquities. Despite the fact that the buildings of the time of Srivijay did not survive, the reconstruction of religious monuments and temples of the last centuries are carried out mainly in the traditional for that culture style.
The architecture of Srivijaya is different from that seen in the rest of Thailand: it resembles those that are found in Indonesia, Malaysia, Sumatra. From this point of view, the temples and other places of worship of Surat Thani are of cognitive interest. Among them are:
- Phra That Srisurat (amphe Mueang, near the city of Surat Thani);
- Surat Thani City Pillar Shrine (city center);
- Wat Suan Mokkhaphalaram (amphe Mueang, 50 km north of the city).
- Wat Khao Suwan Pradit (amphe Don Sak);
Among the natural attractions is the national park Tai Rom Yen. Here you can see the cascading 13-level waterfall Dad Fa, the fourth threshold of which falls from the 80-meter height. The huge limestone cave Khamin Cave will surprise visitors with beautiful stalactites and stalagmites. In Surat Thani there is a unique monkey school (Monkey Training College).
Animals from the surrounding forests are trained to collect coconuts. The main subtlety in learning is that animals need to be taught to collect not all coconuts in a row, but only ripe ones. The training lasts from 3 to 6 months, depending on the abilities of each individual. All monkeys in the school are divided into 3 classes: primary, intermediate and advanced.
"Educational institution" is open for tourists. It is located in the ampha of Kanchanadit, about 10 km east of the city of Surat Thani.
HOW TO GET THERE Surat Thani is one of the most easily accessible provinces. More than 10 flights are sent daily from Bangkok to the local airport. The journey time is 1 hour 10 minutes. From the capital of the country to the south, there are a dozen trains and even more - buses. Travel time on the ground is about 10 hours.
Surat Thani is connected not only with Bangkok. Bus, railway and air services are with most major cities in Thailand and even neighboring Malaysia. For example, to get to Penang, you should take the train from Bangkok via Surat Thani to the final station - the Malaysian Batteryworld (12 hours en route) and continue on the ferry to the island itself.
The flight from Surat Thani to Malaysia's capital Kuala Lumpur is operated by the airline AirAsia daily (1 flight). The flight duration is 1 hour 40 minutes.