Is Surat Thani worth visiting?
Surat Thani is a city located in southern Thailand, mostly known as a jumping-off point to other attractions rather than for its own activities.
To answer the question of whether the city is worth visiting, it’s best to look at your own itinerary.
For travellers on a tight time frame, Surat Thani is probably best suited as just a transportation hub and entryway to the popular islands on the Gulf of Thailand (Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao) or the Andaman coast (Krabi, Phuket, Koh Phi Phi).
However, for those with a bit of time to spare it may be worth setting aside some time to get a glimpse of the ‘real’ Thailand that is slowly becoming buried by tourism.
That’s why Surat Thani’s location also makes it a great spot for day trips to explore the surrounding areas.
Also read: Top 5 Things to Do in Surat Thani
How to get around in Surat Thani
One of the main reasons why travellers come to Surat Thani is due to it’s transport links, so it’s no surprise that getting around is fairly easy.
Once you’re in the city, Surat Thani is a relatively easy city to walk around or even more fun, hire a bicycle for 100 baht/day. If you prefer the bike to do all the work, then you can also hire a motorbike for around 300 baht/day.
Equally, there are plenty of tuk-tuks, songthaews and taxis roaming the streets, waiting for their next customer.
How to get to your next destination from Surat Thani
Most people arrive at Surat Thani train station, located 14 kilometers from town. Here, you’ll find plenty of travel companies offering you transportation for your onward journey.
You’re nearly there if your destination is one of the islands in the Gulf of Thailand. Most travel companies offer a package deal with a bus taking you to a nearby port, either Donsak or Tapee River, followed by a boat journey to your chosen paradise.
Surat Thani railway station
If you’re planning to stay the night, the small town has taken the stress out of travelling with their orange buses. Costing just 20 baht, they will take you from the train station into town. For those with a big enough wallet, a taxi will set you back around 140 baht for the same journey.
Surat Thani Airport
If you’ve chosen air travel, the cost to get from the airport to town is slightly higher. The bus ride takes around 40 minutes and will cost you 100 baht, whilst a taxi can cost somewhere in the region of 1500 baht!
Surat Thani to the Gulf of Thailand (Koh Samui, Koh Phanghan and Koh Tao)
Ferries heading from Surat Thani to the Gulf of Thailand
See here a quick overview of travel times to the Island in the Gulf of Thailand from Surat Thani:
- Surat Thani – Koh Phangan (2hrs 30m)
- Surat Thani – Koh Samui (3 hours)
- Surat Thani – Koh Samui (4 hours)
Surat Thani to the Andaman coast (Krabi, Phuket, Koh Phi Phi)
For those looking to head west, hop on a bus and enjoy the blur of Thailand as you pass through unsullied countryside.
See here an indication of travel times to the destinations around the Andaman coast:
- Surat Thani – Krabi (2hrs 30m)
- Surat Thani – Phuket (4hrs 30m)
- Surat Thani – Koh Phi Phi (4 hours)
How to get to Surat Thani
|Leaving from||Duration||Prices from||See details|
|Bangkok||1hr 15m-13.5 hours||from 500 THB ($14.00)||Bangkok to Surat Thani|
|Krabi||2.5-5 hours||from 270 THB ($7.50)||Krabi to Surat Thani|
|Phuket||4-5 hours||from 250 THB ($7.00)||Phuket to Surat Thani|
|Surat Thani Airport to City Centre||50 minutes-1 hour||from 150 THB ($4.20)||Surat Thani Airport|
|Surat Thani Railway Station to City Centre||30-50minutes||from 20 THB ($0.50)||Surat Thani Railway Station|
DD Modern House - Budget Friendly
DD Modern House, as the name suggests is a modern, clean and bright hotel that will make you feel instantly at home. It’s amazing value for money with king rooms costing just $14 per night. The beds are huge and the room comes with everything you could need.
The rooms even have their own balcony overlooking Surat Thani. Plus, you won’t have to go too far to find a number of restaurants and shops. This place books up fast, so don’t miss out!
- Huge and comfortable beds
- Spacious and clean rooms
- Private balcony
- Good location
Private rooms start at $14 per night.
Garden Homestay - Budget Friendly
Looking for authentic Thai culture and a welcome like no other? Garden Homestay is the best choice for you! The hosts are known to be extremely friendly and enjoy spending time with guests, showing them around town and taking them to the sights.
A wonderful Asian-style breakfast is included every morning and the homestay is centrally located.
- Extremely friendly and welcoming hosts
- Breakfast included
- Very comfortable beds
- Garden area
Private rooms start at $20 per night.
Blu Monkey Hub and Hotel Suratthani - Budget Friendly
Set centrally in Surat Thani, the Blu Monkey Hub and Hotel Suratthani is a quirky monkey-themed hostel/hotel. It’s a great place to meet other travellers as the place offers free activities and also free bike rental. All day there’s complimentary drinking water and juice to enjoy.
And don’t forget about the delicious Asian breakfast that’s included in your stay. In need of coffee? They have an onsite coffee shop.
- Very comfortable beds
- Onsite coffee shop
- Walking distance to the night market
- Delicious breakfast included
Private rooms start at $23 per night.
Bangsrai Cottage - Mid Range
Enjoy the stunning river views from the terrace at this centrally located cottage in Surat Thani. The outdoor swimming pool is the perfect place to cool down after exploring the area and the cottage gardens.
There is also a shared lounge, free Wi-Fi and free bike rentals for guests to enjoy. A delicious continental breakfast is included with your stay too.
- Delicious breakfast included
- Swimming pool
- River views
- Centrally located
Private bungalows start at $41 per night.
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Kate is a writer, (ex)Management Consultant and avid traveller. She recently returned from a 2-year career break exploring the world and decided corporate life wasn’t for her. She’ll soon be testing life as a digital nomad. She’s visited over 40 countries and fell in love with Latin America in particular. Her travelling has inspired a passion for yoga, salsa, hiking and Spanish.
Based in Bali, Maarten’s passion for travel is undeniable. In 2016, he decided to quit his job as a stock analyst and started doing what he always dreamed of: travelling through South East Asia and helping other people plan their trips. When he is not working on Gecko Routes, you’ll find him surfing in the ocean or exploring the best gems of Indonesia.