Surat Thani is 685 km from the south of Bangkok. It’s a former capital of the Srivijaya Empire, the province covers an area of approximately 12,891 sq km. 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.
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, Thailand’s 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-sq km 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.
Festivals & Events
When: July – Auguest
Location: at the front of Srisurat ground and The bank of Tapi River
This annual fair is held in August. The first rambutan tree was planted in Surat Thani in 1926, and this fair celebrates the delicious fruit, which now grows widely in the area. Highlights include exhibitions of local products and ornamental plants, floats adorned with rambutan and other fruits, and demonstrations of trained monkeys who harvest coconuts.
Chak Phra Festival
Location: District Office of Surat Thani
This festival is held in October every year. Surat Thani celebrates the official end of the annual 3-month Buddhist Rains retreat (Phansa) with the Chak Phra Festival (literally 'the procession of hauling the Buddha image'). The tradition stems from the belief that the Buddha ascended to Heaven during Phansa to preach to his mother. The festival marks the Buddha's return to Earth, and is an occasion for religious merit-making and general celebrations. Local people organize dazzling land and waterborne processions of revered Buddha images (to symbolize the Buddha's return to Earth) and boat races on the Tapi River where long boats, each manned by up to 50 oarsmen, are ebulliently raced. Religious devotion, spectacle and merriment combine to make Surat Thani's Chak Phra Festival a memorable annual event.