Monday, April 15 2024

Surat Thani, whose name means “City of Good People”, gains most of its visitors due to its close proximity to the islands of Thailand’s Gulf Coast. The seaside town itself has a few noteworthy landmarks to visit but its main attractions lie in the surrounding areas including tropical islands and a marine national park. If you happen to stop by en route to these islands, give Surat Thani a chance as this will probably be the last slice of “real Thailand” you will see until you return.

Islands

You can easily find ferries that can take you to tropical getaways such as Ko Samui, Ko Phangan or Ko Tao. The most popular is, of course, Ko Samui with its lavish seaside resorts, dreamy beaches and excellent opportunities to yoga and meditation. Ko Phangan is a close second and very popular for its annual Full Moon party. In Ko Tao, you’ll be able to explore the underwater creatures and even get certified at one of the many diving schools.

surat thani islands photo
Photo by lovelysunny_b

Ang Thong National Marine Park

The rich marine life, wealth of islands and beautiful waters in the area have been protected as a national marine park for the past +30 years. Sprawling over 250km2 and encompassing some 40 different islands, Ang Thong National Marine Park is undeniably worth some of your time. Spend the day taking a tour through these balmy waters and stop along the way for snorkeling, kayaking and even some hiking.

surat thani photo
Photo by AmazingThailand.ch

Longtail Boat Cruise

When you’re feeling romantic, a sunset river cruise on the Ta Pi River is your best choice. Boats can be chartered at the Bandon pier and they can take you just about anywhere you like, including the charming hidden mangroves en route to Wat Thong. Just be sure to negotiate a price before you board so you’re not caught off guard upon arrival.

surat thani river photo
Photo by Assawin Ritter Knight.

Monkey Training Centre

The Monkey Training Centre can be a unique pit stop during your stay in Surat Thani. Here at this animal-friendly center some 10km outside of Surat Thani, monkeys are trained to become coconut collectors. They learn how to pick up coconuts and do some other tricks, without the use of punishment. You can visit to watch the monkeys in action or choose to spend the night at the center’s homestay.

surat thani monkey photo
Photo by The First Monkeyschool

Surat Thani City Pillar Shrine

In Thailand, the city pillar shrine is a spiritual place of respect and ritual. Traditionally, this is the building that houses the city’s ancestor spirits and Surat Thani is no different. Locals visit the shrine daily to make their offerings and pray. The Surat Thani City Pillar Shrine is a great place to visit and learn about the locals’ way of life and admire the grand architecture.

surat thani night market photo
Photo by -AX-

Night Market

surat thani night market photoPhoto by RedChris1979

Every night, Surat Thani puts on a small show on Th Ton Pho and hosts a small food market. Its main stars include fresh juices and some Thai delicacies such as marinated meats, noodle dishes and delicious desserts. The market’s smaller size makes it quite easy for visitors to have a thorough look around before making their pick.

Related: Best place to visit in Thailand

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