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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Surat Thani Province

Surat Thani (also popularly shortened to just Surat) is the largest province in Southern Thailand. Surat Thani literally means, "City of the Good People." In the 13th Century, it was declared as a central capital of the Srivijaya Empire. When the Empire collapsed Surat Thani was divided into 3 main cities; Chaiya, Tha Thong and Khiri Rat. Each of these cities were placed under the jurisdiction of Nakhon Si Thammarat. This continued to be the case until, King Rama IV decided to move Tha Thong to Ban Don - under the direct control of Bangkok. All three cities were then later merged under one name, which was Chaiya. In 1915, King Rama VI changed the name of Chaiya to - the modern day name still in use today - Surat Thani.

Surat Thani covers approximately 12,891 square kilometers. It is situated exactly, 685 kilometers from the Thai capital of Bangkok.

On the northern border you will find the Gulf of Thailand
On the Eastern border you will find the Gulf of Thailand
On the southern border Nakhon Si Thammarat and Krabi Province
On the western border Phang-Nga and Ranong Province

The topography of the west of Surat Thani is typically mountainous, while there are low basins in the central and eastern areas of the province. There are 14 river basins, which all flow east out into the Gulf of Thailand. These include; Tapee, Pum Duang, That Thong, Chaiya, Tha Chang, Tha Krajai.

Surat Thani is home to numerous idyllic islands dotted along the coast. The tropical paradise is a luxury holiday haven, for visitors from around the world. Two world famous islands are located within the Surat Thani Province. Those are Ko Samui, Thailand's third largest island and it's neighbour Ko Pha-ngan. Ko Pha-ngan is legendary for it's Full Moon Parties. North of Ko Pha-ngan you will find the beautiful Ko Tao, especially noted for it's wonderful coral reefs. The jewel in the Surat Thani crown is the stunning Ang Thong Marine National Park. Visitors flock here, in their thousands, to experience the exquisite palm lined beaches, white sands, sapphire-blue waters and to explore it's plentiful coral reefs. The islands are best visited from April to November, when you can experience the full beauty Surat Thani has to offer.

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