Surat Thani Airport Mini Guide
Another airport for Koh Samui
Surat Thani is known as a “hub” for visitors to the south of Thailand, it is in the same region as Koh Samui and may be used to arrive in the area instead of the main Koh Samui Airport
. It is, however, very small in comparison, handling domestic flights from Bangkok
and virtually nothing else. If you should choose to arrive in the region this way and wish to visit Koh Samui, then it can be reached from there by ferry.
Although Surat Thani is more usually known as a transit city, if you have the time, stay for a day or two, just to experience life in a smaller Thai city than Bangkok, yet somewhere which is not just a beach resort. The city was named Surat Thani during the visit of King Rama VI in 1915, it means the “city of good people” in Thai and today is an important export region for coconuts, rubber and rambutan – a delicious fruit with a red hairy skin – give one a try during your stay. You will not find any luxury hotels in the town itself, but several smaller guest houses cater for the independent traveller. If you want luxury then head along the coast or to Koh Samui.
Explore the south of Thailand
One slightly different way of spending a holiday in Thailand may be to visit Koh Samui, then pick a hire car up at Surat Thani Airport to drive around the mainland south of the country and explore what it has to offer – perhaps drive back to Bangkok for your flight home, it's around 644 km, not too bad at all if spread out over a few days.
The most famous of these is Koh Samui, however there are several smaller ones such as Koh Tao which is the snorkeling “mecca” of the Gulf of Thailand. Koh Nang Yuan which is very close to Koh Tao, consisting of three idyllic small islands all joined by a beautiful double sided beach, diving and kayaking are the two main attractions at this very picturesque resort. Or what about visiting Mu Koh Ang Thong? This marine park is situated in the Gulf of Thailand between Surat Thani and Koh Samui, visit to swim, snorkel and relax in the beautiful clear waters.
Surat Thani is a commercial port and outlet for the area’s rubber and coconut production. For tourists it’s also the departure point for trips to the islands of Ko Pha Ngan, Ko Samui and Ko Tao. The boat journey is an adventure in itself lasting up to nine hours.
To Ko Tao, the boat is overnight and involves sleeping on makeshift mattresses. The islands are quiet and unspoilt being so remote from the mainland. Another popular trip is to take a hire car to the coast to catch a boat trip to Ang Thong National Marine Park.