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Surat Thani

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For other places with the same name, see Surat (disambiguation).

Surat Thani (สุราษฎร์ธานี) is a city on the Central Gulf Coast of Southern Thailand. At approximately 125,000 residents, it is the eighth largest city in Thailand. It is also the capital of Surat Thani Province.

Understand[edit]

Surat Thani city pillar shrine

Surat Thani (often shortened to Surat) is the largest province of south Thailand. Surat Thani means "City of Good People", the title given to the city by King Vajiravudh (Rama VI). It's a gateway to the islands of Thailand's Gulf Coast: Ko Samui, Ko Pha Ngan and Ko Tao. They are much-visited destinations, as well as Ang Thong National Marine Park. Otherwise there is not especially much to do or see in Surat Thani, which means there are not many international travellers, which means it is a great opportunity to see a more real Thailand with local foods, prices, chaos and friendliness.

Get in[edit]

  • Visa extensions. You can extend a 30 day visa exemption, or tourist visas, for 1,900฿ for an additional 30 days at the Surat Thani Immigration Office, located approximately 16m outside of the city centre. The extension goes on top of the time you already have, so you don't lose days if you go early.  edit

From Bangkok is it possible to buy a train and bus combined ticket from Bangkok to other destinations (Ko Phi Phi, Krabi, Phuket....) to avoid scams in Surat Thani. As soon as you get off the train in Surat Thani they will point you to the right bus (price included) to the city and from there change buses to your final destination. The price from Surat Thani to Krabi is 250Baht (dec 2014) added to the train ticket.

By plane[edit]

Surat Thani Airport (IATA: URT) is about 20km west of the city in the Phun Phin District. Thai Airways, Air Asia, and Nok Air operate daily flights to and from Don Mueang International and Suvarnabhumi Airports in Bangkok. There are also direct flights to Chiang Mai and Kuala Lumpur on Air Asia. Phantip Travel ☎ +66 77 272230, +66 77 282331 on Taladmai Rd has a bus service connecting with all flights to the airport from Surat Thani. The price one-way is 100 baht. Also Pha Ngan Tour will get you to the airport for 100 baht. The buses leave from outside the agent on Taladmai Road, next to Soi 27 and some 200 metres from Soi 31. Buses arrive at the agent from the islands at 09.00 11.00 14.00 17.00 21.00. A bus to the airport is available for the first four, and takes about one hour. The agent is open from 05.00 to 21.00. If you want to go quickly to the airport, a tuktuk should charge about THB400, which is reasonable for a foreigner considering the distance. But you can try to bargain it down, or try another tuktuk.

Domestic[edit]

  • Nok Air [25] Flights to/from Bangkok (Don Mueang Airport).
  • Thai Lion Air [26] Flights to/from Bangkok (Don Mueang Airport).
  • Thai Smile [27] Flights to/from Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi Airport).

By train[edit]

The Surat Thani train station, despite its name, is located in Phun Phin (พุนพิน), about 15 km west of town centre. Most comfortable are the overnight trains from Bangkok, which arrive in early morning.

There are regular orange non aircon buses to the left as you walk out of the station. these take you to to Bus Station Number One in Taladmai Rd (see below). Cost is B15 for the trip. A taxi to the city center from the train station (Tapee hotel used as reference - advertised on big blue poster where taxi drives sleep) is 160baht, however on exiting the station most touts will try to push the same taxi for 300baht.

If you arrive from Koh Samui or Phangan on one of the later ferries (240 baht combined ferry and bus ticket to Surat Thani town center) in order to catch a train to Bangkok (they start about 9pm) or Hatyai/Butterworth then the ferry company buses (both SeaTran and Raja ferry buses) will terminate in the city center (usually outside a travel agent), from there you need to negotiate a songthaew ride to the station, from repeated experience this is about 180-200 baht per songthaew, but your bargaining power will be initially in the hands of the travel shop when you disembark the bus so don't be surprised to be initially offered a per person price that can result in the songthaew effectively costing 400thb and up. In these scenarios walk away (or if on the seatran bus stay on another 0.5km until it terminates at the main seatran sales office - not the travel agent) then you can find a lone songthaew and acquire the correct price. Even though the private Songthaew is usually 200thb per songthaew, do agree the price per person, i.e. 200 divide by however many in your group to avoid any "confusion" on arrival.

Alternatively, if you arrive in Soi 31, cross the road to Bus Station 1 and take the B15 orange non aircon bus to the station. If you arrive after the buses have stopped running, you have the above option, or a wandering tuktuk, or - Pha Ngan Travel have a bus to the railway station at 17.00 and 21.00. The bus leaves from outside the agent, who is open until 21.00. It takes 20 minutes to the station, and will cost you 60 baht. This agent also sells train tickets at an honest price. (see above to where they are, close to the bus station 2)

If already in possession of your train ticket (always a good idea to book ahead) and you have some time (e.g. a 1am train etc.) then head towards to the night market (where the slow boats to Samui/KPG go from - lat 9.143838, long 99.322768 - google map the cordinates) and enjoy a few outdoor beers + music and food, there is very little to do in Phun Phin except watching backpackers get increasingly angry due to delays and lack of facilities. You need safely at least about 20 minutes from Surat Thani centre to train station, depending on your mode of transport.

By bus[edit]

The new Surat Thani (long distance) bus terminal is located a bit outside the city (about 5 km); however if you plan to go directly into the city, it is usually possible to ask for a stop before. If you are coming from Phuket, it takes about 6 hours to reach Surat Thani. The bus station is actually located close to the four way intersection of the main north/south road, and the road into town in one direction, and to Phuket and the train station in the other. See below in "Get Around" how to get to and from. There may also be tuktuks there.

Buses from Krabi actually stop in the city centre (see below)

If you are coming in from Phang Nga, a non aircon bus from there is B150 and takes 2.5 hours. It stops at the train station on the way and terminates in Soi 33 in the city.

If you come with the company Songserm (fairly priced joint tickets, not too bad normally), be warned: if (e.g. on their pier in Don Sak) you say that you want to go to the city center, they will put you with travelers to Bangkok, Krabi, Hat Yai and drop you at their private hub station some 15 km out of town in the middle of nowhere. After they told you that the bus ends here, your only chance apart from walking is a songthaew for 80 baht, awaiting you with a big grin. You might be better off getting on the bus to Phun Phin and take the public 15 baht bus from there.

If you come with the company Seatran from Donsak pier, the bus will stop at Soi 35 in Taladmai Road, just a couple of hundred metres from Soi 31, where is the number two bus station.

By boat[edit]

You can take the ferry from any of the islands nearby, taking about two and a half hours. There is food for purchase on board and movies on some boats as well. From islands such as Ko Samui, Ko Pha Ngan and Ko Tao, a ferry ride takes between 2 and 9 hours depending on whether you take the fast or slow boat. The slow boat from Ko Tao is overnight and features mattresses for sleeping. The skipper is especially friendly. The Seatran ferry at Nathon, Koh Samui leaves almost every hour until 6pm and costs about 240 baht to Surat Thani centre. The ride will generally cost between 200 and 600 baht depending on the season. Be wary of black market tickets as people will try to sell you tickets for over 2,000 baht promising food and DVDs included in the price. Always go to a TAT approved travel agency.

  • Lomprayah, [1]. Lomprayah High Speed Catamaran provides service to/from Muang Surat Thani and Donsak to Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, Koh Tao, Koh Nanguan, and Angthong National Marine Park  edit
  • Seatran, [2]. Seatran Ferry provides service to/from Surat Thani to Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, and Koh Tao.  edit
  • Raja Ferry, [3]. Raja Ferry provides service to/from Surat Thani to Koh Samui and Koh Phangan.  edit

Scams[edit]

Please be careful in this city! Scams appear to be a way of life here, although they seem to have eased at Feb 2018.

The following are some of the usual:

1) If coming in by train, especially the overnight ones from BKK which arrive early morning. There may be numbers of touts who try to sell trips to Surat and the islands directly. Usually, the most aggressive are the most expensive. Ignore them,and take the bus into the city as below.

2) If coming in by bus. Especially the long distance buses. It is possible, or even likely, that at some point in the city outskirts, the bus will stop, and some people will board the bus. They will ask foreigners where they are going, and if to the islands,they will strongly insist that you get off the bus at this point to get transportation to the required destination for this. Apparently, their behavior will not be the same as that of the politeness and calmness of Thai people.They may try to unload your luggage from the bus to make you follow them. If you take them up on the offer, you will be taken several Km distant by songteow, which is promised to be free, to a travel agent in the city centre. You will be charged a ridiculous price to Koh Samui, and if you refuse, will then charge an equally ridiculous price for the songteow ride. Do NOT leave the bus at all!

3) The travel agents - many of these are scammers, and will charge two or more times the correct price for travel, whether to the islands or elsewhere. In Soi 31, are several travel agents, and this is where the local minibuses, buses to Krabi, and buses to the islands (may) go from. Until recently, assorted touts greeted stopped buses to try and entice travellers to a particular agent, but this appears to have eased at Feb 2017.

About half way along the Soi on the right hand side,is another travel agent who charged a British couple B490 for a ferry to Samui (each). This was Dec 2013.

The hotel travel agents appear to be honest if you are staying in the city. They do charge a little extra, but not hugely so.

There is an agent located next to Soi 27 on Taladmai Rd. This is to the left as you come out of Soi 31 (No 2 bus station), about 300 metres distant. They sell tickets to just about anywhere, and there are Thai people sitting inside waiting for transport. This agent is Pha Ngan Tour, and they are honest, as prices are advertised on the window (also the Writer has discussed prices with them, and obtained a brochure which is available to anyone who goes there). The agent is open from 05.00 to 21.00. See below in Get Out the correct prices for boat trips to the islands. (they use Raja ferry to Koh Samui and not Seatran, which means you end up on the southwest of the island and will be dependent on a taxi from there as the main road is some three Km from the pier)

Also, Phantip Travel, on the corner of Taladmai Rd and Soi 10 (where the orange buses come out), is definitely an honest agent. This particular agency has undergone an office remake (at Feb 2018), and they are totally honest in their pricing. They use both Raja and Seatran ferries, and have their own buses to take you to and from. The ferry price is mostly B250, but this will depend upon the ferry time as some cost more.

4) Transport drivers. A tuk tuk driver slurred "two hundred" into "twenty" really well. And then took the writer to a travel agent,where double the correct price to Krabi was charged. The bus conductor gave a knowing smile and did not even ask to see the tickets. It appears that bus Drivers and Conductors are in on some of the scams, as above and also as in -2) above (or why does the bus stop where it does?

Get around[edit]

This city is a little difficult to work out. There are three bus stations, and an airport and train station both roughly 15Km distant. You usually come along the road into the city from the train and distant (new) bus station. The road crosses a river,and then becomes Taladmai Rd.

By bus[edit]

To work out where you are inside the City - with Bus Station No 1 on your right (and No 2 directly across the other side of the road)- directly ahead on Taladmai Rd is the way out to the train and distant bus station -also the roads north,south and west,some 5Km distant. Some 300 metres along the road (towards the out of town bus station) is the intersection with Chonkasem Rd (ถนนชนเกษม) To the left, the buses from Krabi come, and to the right is the Tapee Hotel, some 100 metres along. Another 100 metres along Chonkasem is Namuang Rd (ถนนหน้าเมือง)and on the corner is the Suratthani Hotel, also known as the Central Business District Hotel. It appears to be upmarket. To the right in this road (Namuang - is parallel with Taladmai Rd)) appears to be the main shopping strip. The street eats are in a Soi off this road, to the left if you are walking in this direction. (see below) Further along Chonkasem rd you will come to the river, in about another 300 metres. To the right there appears to be night time action on weekends.

BUS STATION NUMBER ONE:

This is located in Soi 8 (in) and 10 (out)in Taladmai Rd. It is named "Downtown Transportation Hub Talad Kaset 1" (there is a large blue sign at the entrance) From here go the local songteows, plenty of tuktuks, and the orange non aircon bus to the station for B15. Many of these buses have "train station" in English on the front, but all go there. On the way there,they turn right out of Soi 10 and continue several Km to the main out of town four way intersection (highway 401) Then they turn right into the road to Chumphon, and stop at the Big C,(for local shoppers), then go a little further before turning left, and meandering a little, before coming to the out of town bus station (on the left) It will then go a couple of hundred metres, before turning right into the main west road (from the abovementioned four way intersection), and will continue to Phun Pin. On return, it will turn into the bus station road, do a U turn at the bus station for any passengers, before going back out to the main road. It will then turn left towards Chumphon,and stop at the Big C, before continuing and doing a U turn at the Homepro,then turning left into the main road into town and terminating at the terminal. These buses stop running at 6.30pm, and the terminal becomes deserted. After this time, you are at the mercy of the random tuktuks. A reasonable price to the train station would be 300 baht (Dec 2014). In addition from here goes an aircon bus to Nakhon Si Thammarat. It goes roughly every hour, is blue in colour, and is located behind the orange train station buses. Cost is B100, and pay on the bus. Also in this bus station are the songteows which travel to various destinations around the city, as well as tuktuks which can be hired (discuss the price first).

BUS STATION NUMBER TWO:

This is located in Soi 31 of Taladmai Rd, almost directly opposite bus station number one. It is named "Downtown Transportation Hub Talad Kaset 2"

In this Soi are some Travel Agents (see scammers above).

As you walk into the Soi from Taladmai Rd, on the right is the Bus to Krabi, and behind it goes a minibus to the same place. Buy your tickets from the bus agent, which is four doors down the Soi, with prices advertised. Bus is B150, minibus B170. they go regularly through the day. If the agent is not open, buy your ticket on the bus only and not anywhere else.

About halfway along the Soi, also on the right are minibuses to Trang and Phuket. At the end of the Soi,on the right are minibuses to Chumphon for B170. In these places, you will see the prices advertised on the wall, and Thai people sitting inside and waiting for their minibus. Buy your tickets here only!

The bus and minibus from Krabi arrive (as at 2015) at the entrance of Soi 10 on Taladmai Road.

In the centre of the Soi, which connects with Soi 33 on the left as you walk from Taladmai Road, are many minibus and bus stops. Look for the sign and buy your ticket only from here and not a travel agent. You will usually see Thai people waiting for buses/minibuses here. The buses here go to Phang Nga, Phuket - timetable first class is 6.40, 8.40, 18.00,and second class is 7.30, 10.00, 14.00, 16.00 (is on the Soi 33 side of the centre); and Hat Yai.

BUS STATION NUMBER THREE:

This is located some 5km out of town close to the four way intersection of the main highways north, south, west, and east into the city. To get from here into town,there may be tuk tuks, but there are plenty of non aircon orange buses which stop here. Cost is about B15. The one you want comes from the left on the opposite side of the road and does a U turn at the bus station. It will take you into the city. The one which comes from the right takes you to the train station. See in "Bus station number one" above the actual route these buses take to and from the terminal.


The city center with everything you need (city pillar shrine, night pier, post office, temples, all the markets and good street eats) is within walking distance - if you're a bit fond of walking.

By motorbike[edit]

If you would like a motorbike to ride around town or explore the sights nearby, you can rent from X Motorbike Rentals. Managed by a Thai-Canadian couple, they are extremely friendly and helpful. They are always more than happy to help out any way they can and to offer suggestions and advice for things to do, places to go, or food to eat in the area. The motorbikes are automatic and new and since X himself is a skilled mechanic, they are in excellent condition. If for some reason you run into any trouble, X will be out to help you immediately. He sells motorbikes as well to the local expat community.

  • X Motorbike Rentals, Soi 9 Karunrat Road, Muang Surat Thani, 083 968 7298 (), [4]. Open Daily: 8am-8pm. Offers motorbike rentals and full time mechanical services. Free delivery and pickup. Free motorbike riding lessons and help with Thai licensing also availabe.  edit

By car[edit]

Car hire services are available at the airport.

  • Avis, 85 484 8010, [5]. Open: 7am-9pm.  edit
  • Budget
  • Hertz, 77 441323, [6]. Open: 8am-8pm.  edit
  • Sixt, 81 453 6611, [7]. Open: 7am-8pm.  edit
  • Smile Carrent Suratthani, 087 837 4555, 081 272 1576, [8].  edit
  • Surat Thani Carrent, 093 767 5479, [9]. Open: 7am-10pm.  edit
  • Thai Rent A Car, 1647, [10].  edit

See[edit][add listing]

  • City Pillar Shrine (ศาสหลีกเมือง), Talad, Muang Surat Thani. Daily: 7am-6pm. Former site of the provincial administration building. The building was first destroyed when the Japanese invaded Thailand on December 8, 1941 and landed in Surat Thani. The building caught fire during the short battle and burned down. It was reopened in 1954. On March 19, 1982 it was destroyed again by a bomb planted by communist rebels, killing 5 people. Admission: Free. (9.13908,99.3216) edit
  • Phra That Si Surat (พระธาตุศรีสุราษฎร์์), Muang Surat Thani. Srivijavan-style stupa built in 1957. Contains Buddha relics donated by India. The hill has an elevation of about 210 m and offers a good view of the city.  edit
  • Rama 9 Park (สวนหลวง .9), Talad, Muang Surat Thani, (). City park with walking and cycling paths around a large pond. Admission: Free.  edit

Monkeys[edit]

  • Monkey Training College, 24 Moo 4, Tambon Thungkong, Amphoe Kanchanadit, 84290 Surat-Thani (8 km from town, in the direction to Don Sak.), +66 77 227351, or +66 84 7455662, [11]. An interesting place to visit. The owner trains monkeys to become coconut collectors. The training is done in an animal-friendly fashion. No punishments are given, only rewards. Also offers home stay ("home stay" is a word frequently used to indicate basic accommodations, and joining the host for meals) in two basic bungalows.  edit
  • Wild Monkeys at Khun Thale Swamp. A troop of wild monkeys live south of Khlong Tha Kruat, east of Khun Thale swamp. They are best observed in the afternoon at around 5pm. From Khun Thale, take the road east, over the bridge. From there, follow the road along Tha Kruat and you’ll go over two more bridges. After the last bridge, you’ll see a two story house on your left. The monkeys are approximately 100m from the house and can be viewed from the road. Admission: Free.  edit

Elephants[edit]

  • Sonchana Farm (Sonchana Farm & Elephant Sanctuary), 095 242 8600, [12]. Sonchana Farm is a family owned and operated grassroots business about 90km from Muang Surat Thani. They have one elephant, Somboon, a 56 year old retired trekking elephant. No riding, but you can cook for, feed, and bathe with him.  edit

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Nakwaree Shooting Association (สนามยิงปืน นาควารี), Makham Tia, Muang Surat Thani (Located across from Tesco-Lotus). Shooting range with a variety of pistol and rifle rentals. Very reasonable prices. Memberships also available.  edit
  • Khun Chaba's Mulberry Farm (สวนมัลเบอรี่คุณชบา). Pick-your-own mulberry farm (packaged berries and mulberry plants are also available for purchase). Other fruits such as pineapples and jackfruit are also grown on site. Be sure to bring a hat, sunscreen, and lots of bug spray with you! .  edit
  • Sinmana Farmstay (สินมานะฟาร์มสเตย์), Kanchanadit, Surat Thani, 08 1597 7575. Famous oyster farm with accommodations availabe.  edit
  • Wang Kho Resort (วังโขรีสอร์ท), Ban Na San, Surat Thani, 077 404 260, [13]. River tubing, hotel, restaurant, and camping.  edit

Cinema[edit]

  • SF Cinema Central, located in Central Plaza. Regularly shows (EN/TH) & (TH/EN) films.  edit
  • Major Cineplex Sahathai, located in Sahathai Garden Plaza. Regularly shows (EN/TH) & (TH/EN) films.  edit
  • EGV Lotus, located in Tesco Lotus. Mostly (TH/--) but will screen (TH/EN) and (EN/TH) occasionally  edit
  • ESF Cinema Coliseum, located in Coliseum. Mostly (TH/--) but will screen (TH/EN) occasionally .  edit

Swim[edit]

Water Parks[edit]

  • The Pirates Park (สวนน้ำ The Pirates Park), Muang Surat Thani, 077 380 999 (), [14]. Large outdoor waterpark with inflatable slides and jumps. For both adults and children.  edit

Public Pools[edit]

  • Praram Suratthani (Mushroom Pool). 100฿ pp. Nicknamed 'The Mushroom Pool' for its mushroom waterfall structure. Popular swimming spot for the local expat English teachers  edit
  • Pool Koff. 120฿ pp  edit
  • Provincial Sport Centre. 20฿ pp. Olympic size swimming pool.  edit
  • Sport Club. 20฿ pp  edit
  • Suratthani Rajabhat University (SRU) Sport Complex. 60฿ pp  edit

Hotels[edit]

  • 100 Islands Resort and Spa. Beautiful outdoor pool surrounded by plants and trees. 150฿ for a family of 4 (2 adults, 2 children)  edit
  • Diamond Plaza. 60฿ per person  edit
  • Naraya Riverside Resort. 180฿ pp. 3 month membership also available  edit
  • Siam Thani Hotel. 50฿ pp  edit
  • Tawan Anda Garden (ตะวัน อันดา การ์เด้น). Admission: 50฿ pp  edit
  • Wangtai Hotel. Membership: 3,000฿ per year  edit

Buy[edit][add listing]

Groceries[edit]

  • Tops Supermarket, (CentralPlaza Suratthani). Good selection of Western foods, including bakery products, cheese, wine, beer, and sweets. Also carries 'Waitrose' products imported from the UK.  edit
  • Tesco Lotus, (Highway 420). One of the larger grocery stores in Surat Thani. Good selection of meat, produce, and grocery items. Also carries 'Tesco Finest' products imported from the UK.  edit
  • Big C, (Highway 420). One of the larger grocery stores in Surat Thani. Good selection of meat, produce, and grocery items.  edit
  • Makro, (Chonkasem Road). Most items sold in bulk. Cheap meat and vegetables. Large selection of spices as well as some imported products. No membership needed, pick up a pass from the customer service desk on the way in.  edit

Malls[edit]

  • CentralPlaza Suratthani, Highway 420, 077 963 555. Modern mall with 4 floors, including 2 food courts, banks/ATMs, multiple restaurants, and a multi-screen cinema.  edit

Markets[edit]

Night Markets[edit]

  • San Jao Night Market (Surat Thani Night Market). Open nightly  edit
  • Wonderland Night Market. Open nightly  edit
  • Diamond Night Market. Open Monday and Friday nights  edit
  • SahaThai Night Market. Open Tuesday and Thursday nights  edit
  • 100 Year Old Bridge Night Market. Open Saturday and Sunday nights  edit
  • Transport Station Night Market. Open Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday nights  edit
  • CentralPlaza Night Market. Open Wednesday and Thursday nights, and the last weekend of the month  edit
  • Talad Nam Bandon Night Market. Open Saturday and Sunday nights  edit
  • Sampaothong Night Market. Open Tuesday and Thursday nights  edit
  • Donnok Night Market. Open Wednesday and Sunday nights  edit
  • Courthouse Night Market. Open Tuesday and Saturday nights  edit

Eat[edit][add listing]

  • BaanBonKhao ViewSuay (บ้านบนเขา วิวสวย), Muang Surat Thani (Take the soi across from Index Living and follow the signs. BaanBonKhao ViewSuay is located a few hundred metres past Sky Koff.), 0993643299, [15]. Located on a hill, BaanBonKhao ViewSuay has amazing views of nearby mountains and the surrounding rubber tree farms. Has an extensive menu of Thai food including hard to find local specialties. Menu is in Thai only.  edit
  • Sky Hill Bar & Restaurant (Sky Koff), Muang Surat Thani (Take the soi across from Index Living and follow the signs.), 091 526 5888, [16]. 10am-9pm. Amazing views of Muang Surat Thani. Sky Hill offers local Thai food as well as Western, such as Caesar salad and spaghetti carbonara. A bit on the pricey side but definitely one of the better restaurants in town. Menu is in English and Thai.  edit
  • Kampan (กำปั่น), Amphur Rd. A romantic garden setting makes Kampan a great spot for a dinner date. It's classy and not too expensive. Massaman curry with chicken, 80 baht.  edit
  • Sweet Kitchen, Bandon Rd.. Ideal location across from the pier, they serve Thai food and foreign food. The pasta with curry is delicious, and they even have mashed potatoes and ice-cream milkshakes.  edit
  • Tanyapon (ธัญพร), Talad Mai soi 43 (Go down Talad Mai past Thaksin hospital on the left. Soi 43 will be on the right. Go down until you see the Thai sign on the left, about 100 meters (there is no English sign).). If you want a change from Thai food but not western food, this is a great place to eat. It's small so there might be a wait. It appears to be set in a house. The service might be a little slow, but the owners are extremely friendly and accomodating. They serve a variety of spiced and grilled cuts of meat, along with salads and fries. Prices are extremely reasonable.  edit
  • Good Health, Amphur Rd.. On Amphur Rd. towards Donnok Rd., right past the intersection of Amphur Rd. and Chalokrat Rd. They serve a variety of Thai foods, but use less oil and no MSG in an effort to make healthier food. They also serve good salads, which can be rare to find. Another favorite among expats.  edit
  • Earth Zone, Chalokrat Rd.. On Chalokrat Rd., a little east of the intersection with Amphur Rd. A charming restaurant with a great vibe and atmosphere. They have a large menu with delicious drinks and cocktails. The food is a bit pricey relatively speaking, but the food is good.  edit
  • Night Market (Talat Sanjao - ตลาดศาลเจ้า), Tri Anusonn Rd at Namuang Rd.. Walk the block and pick up whatever treats catch your eye, or grab a table at one of the restaurants and watch the market scene as you dine. Freshly juiced fruits, corn on the cob, squid-kebabs, fried chicken, saffron rice, pad Thai, sushi plus much, much more. On Namueang Rd. across from the Family Mart. It's hard to miss after 5pm due to the crowds.  edit
  • Night Pier (ท่าเรือกลางคืน). A popular spot for tourists to eat and drink beer before boarding the night boat to Ko Tao or Ko Pha Ngan. Lots of food carts selling seafood and noodles and standard Thai fare at only slightly elevated prices. If you walk further down the road toward the bridge, you'll find fruit vendors galore.  edit

Western breakfast is rather difficult to find in the city centre.

  • Patongko Plus Restaurant, 20 metres left of the Tapee Hotel. This restaurant has an extensive menu of either Thai or Western breakfast. The menu is in both languages. You get a good feed for under 100 Baht, including tea or coffee.  edit
  • BJ Hotel, 17/1Don Nok Rd (heading down Donnok Rd. from the river, it's about 100 meters on the left). This restaurant has an small menu of either Thai or Western breakfast. They have pancakes and eggs with meat, along with teas and coffees.  edit

Jok is a rice porridge that's popular for breakfast. It's usually served with dim sum. There are a variety of locations around Surat, including Donnok Soi 1/1, Amphur Rd. next to Karunrat Rd., adjacent to the Taekwondo gym and pharmacy, among others.

There is a Central Plaza on 401 on the way to Phunpin and the train station. You can find many regular Thai, western, and otherwise foreign chain restaurants there, along with a Tops supermarket that stocks some foreign groceries. There is a McDonald's, Starbucks, KFC, a variety of shabu-shabu and sushi restaurants, along with a Sizzler to be opening soon.

Vegetarian[edit]

  • Vegetarian, Namueang St. There is more than one vegetarian restaurant on Namueang Rd. Look for the yellow banners with red Thai writing. One vegetarian eatery across from the fire station offers a range of traditional Thai curries, soups and snacks as well as a range of its own unique bottled juices. Prices are unbeatable and the food is excellent. On the north side of Namueang St, a little up from Trianuson Alley, across from a large temple. There is another one on the way towards the bridge on the left hand side across from the fire station. As with most Thai vegetarian restaurants, they open very early (around 6am) and close early in the afternoon. Selection of curries with rice, 30-40 baht. Drinks 15-25 baht.  edit
  • Jay Wa Wa (อาหารเจวาวา), (Located across from the fire station).  edit
  • Jae Tom Vegetarian Restaurant (านอาหารเจเจ๊ต้อม).  edit
  • Jay Hong Vegan Restaurant (ร้านอาหารเจ เจ๊หงษ์), Talada Mai 34 Alley, Muang Surat Thani.  edit
  • Vegetarian Cafe, (Corner of Si Wichai and Si Wichai 55 Alley).  edit
  • SuratThani Vegetarian, (Off Karunrat Road).  edit

Halal[edit]

  • Madube, Chalokrat Rd.. Go down Chalokrat Rd. towards Highway 401. Go past the Kickoff Stadium on the left and keep your eye peeled for the crescent moon banner on the left. A Muslim restaurant where they serve a variety of curries and rotis. A favorite among the expats in town, a popular dish to order is roti with Massaman curry on top, served with pickled vegetables on the side. Around 40 baht for a serving.  edit

Drink[edit][add listing]

Coffee[edit]

  • Chao Doi Coffee, 199 Rungruang Rd. 10:00-21:00. A great place to hangout while waiting for your bus/boat/train connection. 5 min walk from where the Ko Samui ferry bus drops you off in Surat Thani. Coffee prices are between 30-40 baht and there is free Wi-Fi. Homey atmosphere and friendly owner. Look for circular brown/green sign from the road. 30 baht.  edit
  • Eat Drink Coffee, Namueang St.. On Namueang St. between Premchitpracha Alley and Chonkasem Rd, opposite the unmissable green Kasikorn Bank, is the cafè Eat Drink Coffee. Friendly owners, delicious drinks, fresh ground coffee, air conditioning and wi-fi are all on offer - along with some excellent banana cake. 35-50 baht.  edit

Bars & Pubs[edit]

  • mouth2mouth, Amphur Rd.. One of the most popular places to have a drink in Surat, this was as modern as it got in Surat when it opened in 2014. They have a good variety of foreign beer, good cocktails, and a large menu with a selection of foreign foods that cannot be found elsewhere in town. It comes with a higher price than other drinking locations. Closes at midnight.  edit
  • sit-นี่ (Sit Nee), Wonderland Night Market, 091 036 8597, [17]. 5pm-12am. Outdoor beer garden  edit
  • Masuk Bar (มาสุข บาร์), Amphur Road, Muang Surat Thani, 088 760 8893, [18]. 5pm-12am. Signature shots, cocktails, and fire shows  edit

Sleep[edit][add listing]

Budget[edit]

  • Ban Don Hotel, (close to Ban Don Rd and Na Mueang Rd.). A place for really simple and clean rooms, and tuk-tuk drivers will try to take you there, but don't expect anything fancy. Most rooms don't have air-con or hot water and the entrance is through a shady looking restaurant. But, if you're looking for a place just to stay a night while passing through, it will do. Fan rooms 350 baht, A/C, 550 baht..  edit
  • Chayo Bar, (Talad Mai Rd near the entrance Talad Kaset 2 Bus Station). Free accommodation in a limited number of rooms, but do not expect anything special: mattress-on-floor rooms, fans and shared bathrooms. Run by Chayo and Toto who will look after you well but do not suffer fools gladly. Also serves food.  edit
  • Journey Hostel, (Located across from Diamond Market), 062 216 6615, [19]. Clean and modern rooms.  edit
  • [email protected] Hotel, 247/5 Namuang Rd (not far from the Tapee Hotel, a couple of minutes walk from river and night market.), +66 77 272288, [20]. Clean, good-sized rooms. Friendly staff. Free Wi-Fi. Favoured by the locals for its cheap-and-chirpy nature. But it is quite a noisy place, especially the top floor with shared baths. 199-500 baht.  edit
  • Phangan Guesthouse & Hotel, 402/7 Taladmai Rd, +66 77 205799. Clean and convenient, near the minibus station and between the two bus stations. Basic and friendly. The owner is really nice. Each room is named after a Surat Thani provincial city. Fan for 300 baht, A/C room for 400 baht..  edit
  • Tapee Hotel, [21]. Here there is a bright entrance, staffed desk, and it is a short distance to the market and bus stations. The rooms were older, very clean and the A/C worked quietly. There are two English-language channels on the TV (Al Jazeera and Star Movies), one Spanish, and one Cantonese, in addition to local channels. and it had a hot water shower. Can book to Koh Samui from the front desk at B300, which includes pickup about 7am. Located on Chonkasem Rd, (Taladmai Rd is about 100m distant to your right, and if you turn left into it, you will see the old bus station Rd about 100 metres further along.) It's about a 10 minute walk from the two bus stations and five from the waterfront and night market, which you should not miss. Turn left from the lobby, right at the next main road and follow your nose. The walk home later in the evening is interesting, as many of the short-time hotels have their ladies out, but the area is safe. The hotel "restaurant" out front does not do breakfast. To get this go to the left as you walk out to the Patongko Plus about 20 metres further along (see above) 550 baht as at 2018.  edit
  • Thaireungruang Hotel, (from the number two bus station in the middle of town as you come out onto Taladmai Road go right two streets (about 300 metres) to the traffic lights, and on the left is a sign above. The hotel is a couple of hundred metres along on the left.). Business hotel. Relatively nice, quiet, clean and good-sized rooms. Some have TV and hot water (probably just the AC rooms). Wi-Fi available via username and password for 100 baht for 24 hours. The hotel staff are very helpful and polite and speak enough English to answer your questions. This hotel also has a free shuttle service to the bar, Chilling Out. A lot of prostitues are hanging around the streets close to this hotel. To get to the night street eats from here, turn left, and walk to the main shopping street. Turn left and walk about 300 metres until you see a Family Mart on your left. The street eats are opposite. Fan single from 280 baht, air-con double 450 baht.  edit
  • Surat Guesthouse. ducked right behind the above mentioned, rents basic fan rooms for 200 baht (small bed, without window) or 250 baht (large bed), private shower, shared toilets. Great free WiFi and a fast and well equiped computer in the lobby.  edit
  • CBD, +66 77 281 999. Great location near the river on the corner of Chonkasem Rd. and Namueang Rd. A large new hotel, the rooms are spacious and clean. One of the better hotels in town, the price is mid-range for Surat. A room for one or two people is as cheap as 590 baht. There is an even newer and larger location on the opposite side of the river  edit
  • Sabye D resort @ Surat, +66 77 285 262. Located on the other side of the river, immediately on the left as you cross over the bridge. Nice and quiet, and very nice, rooms start at around 400 baht a night.  edit

Mid-range[edit]

  • 100 Islands Resort and Spa, [22]. Clean, spacious rooms. Wide range of facilities and amenities including air conditioning, mini-fridge in the room, a pool, spa and restaurant on site. It's located slightly outside the city centre. If your taxi driver doesn't know where it is, they should know where Tesco-Lotus is, the hotel is near there. To reach the city centre, there are 20 baht tuk-tuks driving past the hotel every few minutes. 770-1,200 baht.  edit
  • Grand Thara Hotel, 1/144 Donnok Rd, +66 77 273 740-3 (fax: +66 77 287 185). 450-550 baht, including simple breakfast.  edit
  • Princess Park Hotel, 19/19 Leangmuang Rd, +66 77 405 989-92, [23]. This is a muslim hotel. Good food, good staff, no alcohol served. 650-900 baht.  edit

Splurge[edit]

  • Diamond Plaza Hotel, (It's on the outer edge of town as you enter from Phun Phin station. You can take any of the orange train station buses to get there.). This is the best hotel in town.  edit

Stay safe[edit]

  • Tourist Police: 1155
  • Police (General Emergency Call): 191
  • Ambulance and Rescue: 1554
  • Fire: 199
  • National Disaster Warning Centre: 1860
  • Crime: 1195
  • Emergency Medical Services (EMS): 1669

Get out[edit]

Most travellers in Surat Thani are on their way to or from the islands: If travelling from Surat to anywhere, please read the travel agent scam report above.

Correct prices to and from the islands as charged by Pha Ngan Tour, (Raja ferries from Donsak Pier to Koh Samui some 40Km south of Surat - bus transfer is included). (but note that the ferry stops in a place well away from the main road, and you will need to hire transport from the terminal) To Koh Samui 250 baht, to Koh Phangnan 320 baht, to Koh Tao 870 baht (except on the 11.30am ferry, which is 1100 baht, as it includes a speedboat). Ferry times (departing on the bus from Surat), are 05.30, 08.30, 11.30, 14.30, 16.30.

Phantip Tour prices to Nathon Pier are mostly B250, and takes three hours from Surat. A bus leaves from outside the agency every hour from 0830 to 1730.


To get out of the place, the old bus station is in Talatmai Rd Soi 8, and the current one for buses to Krabi,and minibuses to several other cities is in the Soi almost directly opposite, Soi 31. (see above)

To get to the out of town bus terminal, train station and airport, please also read above.

  • Ang Thong National Marine Park
  • Khao Lak — coastal resort region and diving centre just north of Ko Phuket
  • Khao Sok National Park — jungle adventures
  • Ko Pha Ngan — home of the infamous Full Moon Party
  • Ko Samui — backpacker paradise gone up-market.
  • Ko Tao — popular diving spot and a good place to get certified
  • Krabi - Both buses and minibuses go from Soi 31. The minibus from the agent about 100 metres along the Soi, on the right, and the bus from the centre of the Soi. The minibus cost is B180 and takes three hours.


Routes through Surat Thani
BangkokLang Suan  N noframe S  PhatthalungButterworth
BangkokLang Suan  N noframe S  Nakhon Si Thammarat
BangkokLang Suan  N noframe S  Trang


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