Mention Thailand and without a doubt one of the first things that will come to mind are the blissful and romantic islands. Come to Surat Thani, where just a short boat ride away will take you to the amazing islands of Thailand’s Gulf Coast. Whether you choose to spend your time dipping in the crystal clear waters of Koh Samui, going deep sea diving at Koh Tao, or partying your heart out in Koh Phangan at the world-famed Full Moon parties, you can be sure that your island escapade here will be filled with fun memories and panoramic pictures to bring home.
Best of Surat Thani
1. Khao Sok National Park
Thailand’s oldest virgin forest is filled with lush greenery surrounded by towering limestone cliffs. Its booming eco-tourism of many hiking trails, elephant trekking, deep caves, myriad of wildlife, floating raft houses and the most exciting river tubing experience ever promises many days of fun!
2. Monkey Training School
The playful creatures are well-trained and tamed! The monkey school is where you’ll see the professional coconut collectors and their funny antics, coupled with special demonstrations. You can even stay overnight at the school! Who said “monkey business” is a bad thing?
3. Surat Thani night markets
After a little fun in the sun, shopping at the night markets in Surat Thani is always intriguing! You’ll never know what kind of creative handicrafts or unique local cuisine you’ll find. Every location is like a bag of mixed sweets with different offerings and specialties!
4. Oyster Farm
The most sought-after seafood aphrodisiac is cultivated in the rich waters of Kadae and Tha Thong rivers, making the oysters bigger (and more succulent) than usual. A visit here usually entails a boat ride with a short farm tour, ending with you choosing your own oyster for lunch.
5. Tapi River Cruise & Koh Lumpo
The Tapi River is the pulse of life to the province. By day, the locals travel along the river on long tail boats. Once the sun sets, the river becomes an eco-nightlife hotspot, where locals meet up with friends while visitors come to watch fireflies put on a show in the mangrove forest.
From the mega rich to the young and independent, Koh Samui is the melting pot that attracts all. The island offers new experiences, from kiteboarding to ladyboy cabaret shows and Muay Thai boxing, with a dose of culture as the sacred Big Buddha coexists with the irreverent Hin Ta and Hin Yai rocks.
World-famous for the monthly Full Moon Party on Haad Rin Beach where the crowd can swell up to 30,000 people on New Year’s Eve, the island has backpackers and flashpackers continuing what the hippies left off. How about wakeboarding or archery to beat the post-party blues?
Known as the diving capital of Thailand, Koh Tao is a great starting place if you’re looking to get a scuba diving certification as the prices here are affordable and the weather is good almost all year round. Plenty of great dive sites around the area including White Rock, Sail Rock, Twins, or if you’re lucky, you might even get to see the whale sharks that sometimes hang out near Chumpon Pinnacle or Southwest Pinnacle!
Koh Nang Yuan
If you have no underwater plans, the splendid sandbar beaches of Koh Nang Yuan – a private resort with a unique topography – will leave you breathless. The best way to experience Koh Nang Yuan is by hiring a longboat to take you there early in the morning or late in the afternoon to avoid the crowds. Try the zipline between islands for a different perspective!