The largest province of the South located 685 kilometers from
Bangkok is Surat Thani the province with a name that literally means "City
of the Good People". A former capital of the Srivijaya Empire, the
province covers an area of approximately 12,891 square kilometers. Surat
Thani Province borders the Gulf of Thailand to the north and east,
Chumphon Province to the north, Nakhon Si Thammarat and Krabi Provinces
to the south, Phang-Nga and Ranong Provinces to the west and Nakhon Si
Thammarat Province to the east.
High plateaus and forested mountains are located to the west of the
province, while there are low basins in the center and along the eastern
coast. This topography has created 14 river basins including Tapee, Pum
Duang, Tha Thong, Tha Krajai, Chaiya, Tha Chang which are the most
important basins. All rivers in Surat Thani flow east of the province to
the Gulf of Thailand.
The numerous islands along the coast makes Surat Thani (often known as
Surat in short) a perfect hideaway for vacationers from around the
world. The ideal destination for many is the Penang-sized Ko Samui,
Thailands third largest island, and its neighbour Ko Pha-ngan a
celebrated island that hosts the biggest beach full moon party. North of
Ko Pha-ngan is Ko Tao, renowned for its excellent coral reefs. To top it
all is the dazzling 250-square-kilometer Ang Thong Marine National Park,
where a stunning archipelago awaits to greet visitors with their
charming palm-fringed beaches, crystal clear water and colorful coral
reefs. The best time to enjoy one of these islands to the fullest is
from April to November.
History of Surat Thani
Surat Thani is a city with a long history. Archeologists believe that it
was once a community of prehistoric tribes of indigenous people
including the Saemang and original Malays who built their communities on
the Tapee River Basin and Ao Ban Don. Later on, the Indians migrated
into the area and gradually spread out their culture, as evidenced in
the discovery of ruins of ancient communities in Tha Chana and Chaiya
In the 13th century, the city became a part of and, as some historians
might claim, a center of the glorious Srivijaya Empire the kingdom that
dominated the whole Malay Peninsula and much of Java. It was during this
period that Mahayana Buddhist reached its height of influence. The
empires grandeur can still be admired in many areas of Chaiya District.
When the empire hit the bottom, it was divided into 3 main cities namely
Chaiya, Tha Thong and Khiri Rat. They were all under the jurisdiction of
Nakhon Si Thammarat until King Rama IV decided to move Tha Thong City to
Ban Don and required that it report directly to Bangkoks administration.
The name Ban Don was, at the time, changed to Kanchanadit. It was with
the establishment of the Monthon, a former administrative unit, that all
three cities were merged into one under the name Chaiya. In 1915, King
Rama VI changed the name Chaiya to Surat Thani.
The seal of Surat Thani says a lot about its history. Featuring the
pagoda of Phra Boromathat Chaiya, the seal is proof of the influence of
Mahayana Buddhist on Surat Thani. Phra Boromathat Chaiya is the most
revered and important historical place in the province. It is believed
that the pagoda contains Buddha relics.
Today, Surat Thani is an important commercial and shipping hub for
rubber and coconut trading.
Amphoe Muang (Surat Thani Town) To Other Districts:
|Ban Na Doem
Ban Na San
Ban Ta Khun