6 kilometres from the provincial capital, along Highway 4009 (the Surat Thani-Na
San route), the nature and wildlife centre covers 1,162 acres. Many wild animals
are caged. The hilltop, some 200 metres above sea level, offers commanding
panoramic views of the town, the Tapi River and Ban Don Bay.
Located some 13 kilometres along Highway 401, the school trains monkeys to pick
coconuts. Most ‘students’ are gigtailed monkeys captured in local forests.
Training usually takes some 3 months. Would-be visitors are advised to check
with local travel agents for full details.
are concentrated in the estuarine areas of the Kradae Canal and Tha Thong River.
Oysters found there are substantially larger than any found elsewhere. Would be
visitors wishing to see oysters being harvested may hire long-tailed boats which
carry some 8 to 10 passengers. It takes some 30 minutes to reach the farms from
Tha Thong quayside.
Better known as Suan Mok, this 150—acre forest temple is located beside Highway
41 some 50 kilometres north of the provincial capital. Suan Mok’s founder, the
late Bhikkhu Buddhadhasa, was highly respected both locally and internationally.
His ‘back to basics’ form of Buddhism, mirroring that led by the Buddha’s
earliest disciples more than 2,500 years ago, attracted many Buddhist monks and
lay meditators from Europe, North and South America, Australia and Japan. The
enclave is devoid of extravagant ceremonial and elaborated chapels. The forest
tranquility is ideal for a life of contemplation.
Located some 4 kilometres northeast of Suan Mok, and 1 kilometre from Chaiya
railway station, this elaborately restored and revered pagoda is believed to be
more than 1,200 years old. The pagoda contains Buddha relics and provides a
direct link with the Srivijaya Empire. A small adjacent museum houses artefacts
from the vicinity.
Comprising largely jungle with complex mountain ranges, the park contains a
great deal of flora and fauna. The park office is 1.3 kilometres off Highway 401
(Surat Thani-Takua Pa) at Km. 109. Places within the park worth visiting,
largely by foot, include the Sip Et Chan (Eleven Stages) Waterfall, some 4
kilometres from the park office. Bungalows and rafthouses are available. Advance
booking is necessary for food and lodging. Would-be visitors should contact the
Naitonal Parks Division in Bangkok (Tel: 579-7223, 579 5734).
Located some 82 kilometres from the provincial capital, via Highway 401 with a
right turn between Kms. 52 and 53, this scenic dam offers accommodation for
those seeking tranquility.
Contact the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand in Bangkok or the
Ratchaprapha Dam offece for accommodation.
–square-kilometre Samui island is Surat Thani’s major tourism attraction.
Located 258 nautical miles south of Bangkok, and some 84 kilometres east of the
provincial capital, Ko Samui measures some 21 kilometres at its widest point,
and 25 kilometres at its longest. A 51-kilometre ring and largely coastal road
encircles the island, which has numerous lovely beaches and bays, and is almost
literally an island of coconuts and forested hills.
Samui’s best beach line the northern and eastern coasts, the most popular being
Chaweng and Lamai, where generally attractive accommodation can be found.
Besides beaches, other island attractions inclulde the Hin Lat and Na Muang
waterfalls; the phallic rock formations at the southern end of Lamai Bay; a
massive seated Buddha image on Fan isle in Plai Laem Bay; and Na Thon, the
island’s major seafront settlement where shops, restaurants and tour agencies
This comprises some 40 islands about two hours by boat northwest of Ko Samui.
The park covers 250 square kilometres, of which approximately one fifth is land
mass. The most attractive islands include Ko Wua Ta Lap (Sleeping Cow island),
Ko Mae Ko, Ko prayat, Ko Sam Sao , Ko Nai Put and Ko Wua Te. Most islands
comprise limestone masses reaching heights of ut to 400 metres, and fringed by
beaches and rain forest.
An emerald saltwater lake known as Tha-le Nai (Inland Sea) on Ko Mae
Ko is the park’s major scenic attractin, and entails a mildly
strenuous climb. The resultant views are well worth the effort.
Another popular venue is Ko Sam Sao where an extensive span of coral
reef and a huge rock arch offer scenic fascination.
A one –day tour package to Mu Ko Ang Thong is organised by travel agents on Ko
The park office is on Ko Wua Ta Lap where bungalow-style accommodation is
available. Visitors wishing to stay overnight should make advance bookings and
specify whether meal services are required, either through the Ang Thong Marine
National Park office, 145/1 Talatlang Road, Surat thani, Tel: (077) 286025, or
the National Parks Division in Bangkok, Tel: 5612918-21.
This increasingly popular 191 –square-kilomet
island is 60 minutes north of Ko Samui. Attractions include a hilltop
temple, Wat Ljap Tham, ideal for meditation, the Than Sadet waterfall
some 30 kilometres from the district office, the Laem Hat Rin Beach,
some 12 kilometres from the district fooice, and the Phaeng National
Park, some 4 kilometres from the district office.
This small island can be reached within 5 minutes from Koh Phangan. High
jungle-covered hills, a long stretch of golden sandy beach and thriving coral
reefs are some of ist major attractions. Accommodation ins the form of bungalows
This is a small island to the north of Koh Phangan, which can be reached either
from Surat Thani or Chumphon. There are several beautiful beaches and coral
reefs around the island. Simple bungalows are available. Like Koh Tarutao, Koh
Tao was once a place where political prisoners were detained. Nearby Koh Nang
Yuan is a coral island with a high viewpoint and long white sandy beaches.