Thani is southern Thailand’s largest province, covers
some 12,800 square kilometers, and has an extensive
coastline lapped by Thai Gulf waters. The provincial
capital is 685 kilometers south of Bangkok.
Surat Thani boasts some of Thailand’s loveliest islands
namely the Penang-sized Koh Samui, Thailand’s third
largest island, stunning 250-square-kilometre Ang Thong
Marine National Park.
Suratthani once formed part, and may have been the
centre of the Mahayana Buddhist, Srivijaya Empire which,
steeped in legend and mystery, dominated the Malay
peninsula and much of Java some 1,500 years ago.
Srivijaya was best described by the itinerant Chinese
monk I Ching after a pilgrimage he made to India during
the late 600s.