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Surat Thani

Attractions > South > Surat Thani
 
 

Attractions in Surat Thani province in Thailand

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It lies 644 km. south of Bangkok, and most visitors arriving by bus or train head on to the islands by ferry from here or the nearby Don Sak Pier. The provincial capital of Surat Thani rose to importance during the Srivijaya period (7th -13th centuries) because of its strategic position at the mouth of the Tapi and Phum Duang Rivers. These days its port is important for the trade in rubber and coconuts.

Surat Thani is southern Thailand's largest province, covering almost 13,000 sq. km., including the region of the Gulf of Thailand that contains its most famous beach resorts, on the islands of Koh Samui, Koh Pha-ngan and KohTao.

 

Ao Thien

 

Wat Phra Borommathat Chaiya

 

Wat Phra Borommathat Chaiya

 

Koh Tao Pier

 

Mu Koh Angthong National Marine Park

 

Meditation at Wat Suan Mokkh

 

Chak Phra Festival

 

Koh Tao

 

Major attractions in Surat Thani

Chaiya

Located 54 km. north of Surat Thani, just a few kilometres east of Highway No. 41, Chaiya is one of southern Thailand's oldest towns, believed to have been a centre of the Srivijayan Empire, which was a Mahayana Buddhist sect based in Sumatra, with strong Indian influences. In fact, it is likely that the town's name comes from the second part of the word "Srivijaya." A great number of artefacts dating back a thousand years or more have been recovered here, including a bronze statue of Avalokitesvara Hodhisattva, an acclaimed masterpiece now on display in the National Museum in Bangkok. Chaiya's two main sights are Wat Phra Borommathat and the Chaiya National Museum, located next to each other on the west side of town. The main feature of the temple is its Chedi, which dates back to the ninth century and is one of the few remaining examples of Srivijayan architecture.

 

Khao Sok National Park

Khao Sok National Park

 

Khao Sok National Park

 

Khao Sok National Park

 

Covering an area of over 700 sq. km. in the west of Surat Thani, Khao Sok National Park consists of tropical rainforest draped over limestone outcrops, which form hundreds of islands in Ratchaprapha Dam, resulting in some of the country's most dramatic landscapes. The Park is home to elephants, bears and even a few tigers, though visitors are more likely to hear the raucous whoops of gibbons and glimpse a few of the 188 bird species during a stay in the park. Khao Sok also has the world 's largest flower, the Raffiesia Kerrii, which can grow up to 70 centimetres wide when it blooms for a few days in December or January. There are several hiking trails within the park that are suitable for everyone, though for steep routes hikers must be in good physical condition. A less strenuous, but equally pleasurable activity is to take a canoe trip around the towering rocks that protrude from the dam. Khao Sok is best visited between January and April, when skies are usually clear. There are plenty of places to stay near the visitor centre. National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department Tel. 0 2562 0760 Khao Sok National Park Tel. 0 7739 5139
Website: www.dnp.go.th

 

Special interest in Surat Thani

Wat Suan Mokkh

This forest temple, located 6 km. south of Chaiya on Highway No. 41, means "Garden of Liberation" and was home to the late Buddhadasa Bhikkhu, one of Thailand's most revered monks, famous for his "back-to-basics" approach to Buddhism. Both Thais and foreigners flock here to study meditation courses, which begin on the first day of every month and last for ten days. The technique used is called "mindfulness with breathing" by which mediators keep their attention on their breathing, and return to it whenever the mind wanders.

Foreigners study in the International Dharma Heritage building just a kilometre from Wat Suan Mokkh, and visitors are welcome to drop by any time. Tel. 0 7743 1661-2, 0 7743 1596-7, 0 7743 1552
Website: www.suanmokkh.org

 

Special events in Surat Thani

Chak Phra Festival

"Chak Phra" literally means "pulling the Buddha", and takes place at the end of Buddhist Lent in October when Buddha images from all the town's temples are paraded along the streets, and the most important one is floated with pride on the river. It is a time of great joy, and people offer new robes and daily necessities to the monks, while Tapi River becomes the scene of some exciting longboat racing.

 

Accommodation in Surat Thani

Ask for recommendations on where to stay in Surat Thani at the TAT
Southern Office: Region 5
Tel. 0 7728 8817-9.
Website: www.tourismthailand.org

 

 

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Thailand private tours, Bangkok private tours, Chiang Mai private tours, Ayutthaya..., ..., Thai private tour guide,
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