Surat Thani is one of the largest towns in Southern Thailand with a population of over 128,00 people. Despite the size of the city Surat Thani is one of the less well visited places in Thailand, except for the people visiting whilst travelling to reach the islands of the Koh Samui Archipelago. Surat Thani may not be particularly pretty but there are some great hotels, places and things to see in Surat Thani which you should take the time to see if you have a stop over in Surat Thani on the way to Koh Samui, Koh Phangan or Koh Tao.
Local Transport in Surat Thani
Within the centre of Surat Thani there are three forms of local transport:
- Shared songthaew taxi: Small blue vans running a fixed route for 20 to 40 THB a journey.
- Private songthaew taxi: The same small blue vans hired for private journeys. Expect to pay around 80 to 100 THB for journeys between the city centre and hotels near to out of town shopping malls such the 100 Island Resort and Diamond Plaza.
- Motorbike Taxis: They charge 60 to 80 THB for most journeys within the city and they are quick but not practical if you have lots of luggage.
Things to do in Surat Thani
If you are in Surat Thani for a night then we recommend heading to the several markets which happen throughout the week:
- Surat Thani Night Market
- Surat Thani Saturday Night Market
- Surat Thani Sunday Night Market
These markets are great way to experience the local culture and to eat authentic Southern Thai food which you rarely find on restaurant menus outside of Surat Thani Province. A night in Surat Thani can be a great cultural experience if you take the time to explore the town.
Surat Thani Night Market
Near to the Night Boat Pier is Surat Thani Night Market. This is great small market with mostly food stalls. the range of food from Western style salads through the most spicy and authentic Southern Thai dishes and most things in between. This market is very popular and very lively every night between 18.00 and 21.00.
- Location of Surat Thani Night Market
Surat Thani Night Boat Pier
Both a lively place to eat and drink and the place to get the Night Boat from Surat Thani to Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao.
- All Night Boat services depart at 23.00. The Night Boat arrives in Koh Samui at 05.30, in Koh Phangan at 06:00 and in Koh Tao at 08.00
- The Night Boat is a converted Thai fishing boat with passengers allocated a mattress in a large room with the other passengers.
- There is a lively food market at the Night Pier, where inexpensive Thai food and beer is available until ferries depart.
- Location of Surat Thani Night Boat Pier
Transport Links from Surat Thani
Surat Thani has great transport links to destinations all over Southern Thailand. Click on the links before for more information:
- From Surat Thani Town:
- From Surat Thani Airport:
- From Surat Thani Train Station:
Hotels in Surat Thani
There are four hotels in Surat Thani which we recommend. Three of these hotels are the more expensive hotels in Surat Thani, the fourth one listed below is a budget hotel very close to transport connections to Koh Samui and Koh Phangan:
- Diamond Plaza: Best hotel in Surat Thani 2 km outside of the City Centre. See more information.
- 100 Island Resort: Comfortable hotel with some great features, slightly cheaper than the Diamond Plaza and also 2 km outside the city centre. See more information.
- Wang Tai Hotel: Located a short walk from the city centre, the Wang Tai is a large hotel with fairly good rooms, outstanding restaurant and pool and gym. See more information.
- Thairungruang Backpackers Suratthani: The best budget hotel near the downtown bus station on the Talad Mai Road in Surat Thani. This place used to be of the most best hotels in Surat Thani and it stills retains a charm of faded elegance. See more information.