Surat Thani is the provincial capital of Surat Thani Province.
Surat Thani is a gateway to the islands. Though large it has a low density of 7 Elevens and so on. There are many Chinese temples.
You can take the ferry from any of the islands nearby. Koh Samui and Koh Toa. trip takes about an hour. There is food on board and movies as well.
When you get off the ferry there is a bus ride included with the trip. It is a 45 minute bus ride down backroads to Surat Thani.
Being here is different then most cities, the residents here are used to seeing foreigns but don't bother with trying to sell things to forgieners as a living. Most people here are just passing through.
There is a monkey training centre near by and a shiny new temple.
Not a lot to do in Surat Thani. The only travellers that come here are the ones passing through. It is the closest desitnation to the islands. Koh Sumai, Koh Toa, which are great for scuba diving.
There is a market downtown with lots of cart food.
Next to the Sahathai department store there is a Pizza Company outlet and a Swensens for expensive ice-cream.
There's a restaurant called *Lucky*. It was the only time in a 6 months stay that we were disrespected by the locals. The food was also horrible and the owners were very rude.
Southern Star Hotel-650baht a night, many travel agents willing to show high class hotels and places to travel to.