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Home to the luscious Koh Samui, Koh Tao and Koh Pha Ngan, Surat Thani is famous as a major gate to the Gulf of Thailand. Yet, the huge Southern city has much more in store for those in the know. From stunning marine park to ornate pillar shrine to the acclaimed Thailand’s Guilin national park, Surat Thani could easily become your next favorite city in Thailand. The best time to visit the city is between March to the end of September, when the sea is calm and the sky is clear. Find local-recommend things to do in Surat Thani here.
Ang Thong Marine National Park
Just 30 kilometres away from the famous Koh Samui lays the dreamy national park with 42 stunning islands. As there aren’t many inhabitants and accommodations on these islands, the easiest way to explore these beauties is by taking a day trip from Koh Samui. Please note that you will only be able to cover a few breathtaking spots, as hopping on and off all these islets would take weeks.
Khao sok National Park
Nicknamed the Guilin of Thailand, Khao Sok National park does live up to its name. The multitudinous limestone cliffs, one of the world’s oldest rainforest and stunning waterfalls encompassing over 700 square kilometres are the main draws for both locals and travelers from across the world. Plus, Khao Sok has another must-see highlight right in the heart of the park - the Cheow Larn Lake. You can laze around in your floating rafts, kayak in the afternoon sun, go animal watch and stargaze the night away. The best and driest time to visit Khao Sok is between December to April.
Wat Suan Mokkh
Much revered by the locals, the modest yet grandiose Wat Suan Mokkh lets foreigners experience a silent 10-day meditation retreat at its sparse and serene lodge. Besides the hands-on learning on awareness, you will also learn the core basics of Buddhism with the monks.
Surat Thani City Pillar Shrine
Almost every Thai city has its very own pillar shrine, or the house of the holy spirits. Thais believe the guardian angels were once the inhabitants of the city and are now looking over their kin. Surat Thani city pillar shrine is special in its pristine and ornate decoration, as well as the quiet and calm ambiance it exudes.
Not exactly what you're looking for? Check out our selection of private 1-day tours in other cities in Southern Thailand.