2 Days in Surat Thani Thailand
Surat Thani is a province in the south of Thailand and its city is just referred to as Surat. The province is an important transport hub with an international airport (check airlines operating from this airport and destinations here) and piers connecting to the Gulf islands.
Surat Thani does not get a lot of tourists and those that visit only use it to get to and from the nearby and more popular island destinations. Those that seem to have visited the city complain there is not much to do and that Chumphon is a nicer mainland city.
Taking into consideration the negative reviews we decided to stay only for a day having arrived from the islands late afternoon. The plan was to go to the immigration office in Surat Thani early morning, extend our temporary stay and leave after.
Come next day we experienced the authentic Thai vibe and were drawn to further explore this place. On top of that food at the night market was amazing so we decided to extend our stay and we do not regret of having done that.
Things To Do in Surat Thani
Some things to do in Surat Thani would be Tai Rom Yen National Park (which was our highlight) or the vibrant night market. Walking around the city’s streets can be considered an activity in itself. Here we came across a number of temples and shrines with the most predominant being the City Pillar Shrine.
Tai Rom Yen National Park
City Pillar Shrine
The City Pillar Shrine is a must see if in the city centre. The shrine is located across a bridge close to Ta Pi river. At night the shrine is lit up with different colors making it perfect for some nice pictures. Other attractions close by are the night market which is 15 minutes by walk and Ko Lamphu Park.
Surat Thani Night Market
The night market is one of the biggest we have seen so far with a ton of appealing authentic Thai food options. Here we had the best chicken noodle soup from a stall parked at the crossroad. The night market extends over to the nearby grounds surrounding Wat Sai with live music and a historical wooden house.
Surat Thani Immigration Office
2 Days Itinerary
On day 1 visit the Surat Thani Immigration Office in the morning and after lunch head to the City Pillar Shrine and explore the surrounding area including the Ko Lamphu Park and Ta Pi river. Day 2 get out of the town’s centre and head to Tai Rom Yen for a full day at the park.
Map of Surat Thani
The map includes attractions in and around the city and an accommodation option and restaurant.
From Koh Samui to Surat Thani by ferry
This link provides an overview of the different ferry companies and schedule for trips between Surat Thani and the Gulf islands (and vice versa). It’s a good overview although you should always double check to the ferry company website for latest trip details.
From Surat Thani to Phuket by bus
We traveled from Surat Thani to Phuket by a local bus at a cost of 195 Baht per person. The bus ride took almost 8 hours as it left Surat Thani at 11:30 am and arrived after 6:00 pm. On the way the bus makes a number of stops each time picking and dropping off passengers. It made a stop of some time at Khao Sok National Park and dropped off passengers at Khao Lak. The bus had air condition although it was not strong and fans.
Locating the bus that goes to Phuket at the Surat Thani bus station isn’t easy. 2 bus stations located opposite each other serve different purposes. The bus to Phuket is stationed at the bus station in Talad Mai Soi 33 (refer to map marked as ‘Bus to Phuket’).
We went to the bus station twice (once after lunch and the other early morning) to check for tickets and get a schedule. In the afternoon, we did not see any bus going to Phuket and those that tried to help us were either tour agencies trying to sell us a package or an inflated bus ticket or those that seemed genuine did not speak English. It was easier to locate the bus and its driver when we visited the bus station early morning.
We rented a bike from X Motorbike Rentals as their bikes are in excellent condition, do not hold one’s passport but take a reasonable deposit and provide safe helmets. Their website provide also information for other things to do in Surat Thani.
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