The largest province of the South located 685 kilometers from Bangkok is Surat Thani, meaning "city of the good people". A former capital of the Srivijaya Empire, the province covers an area of approximately 12,891 square kilometers.
High plateaus and forested mountains are located to the west of the province, while there are low basins in the center and along the eastern coast. This topography has created 14 river basins including Tapee, Pum Duang, Tha Thong, Tha Krajai, Chaiya, and Tha Chang.
The numerous islands along the coast makes Surat Thani (often known simply as Surat) a perfect hideaway for vacationers from around the world. The ideal destination for many is the Penang-sized Ko Samui, Thailand’s third largest island, and its neighbour Ko Pha-ngan a celebrated island that hosts the biggest beachside full moon party. North of Ko Pha-ngan is Ko Tao, renowned for its excellent coral reefs. To top it all is the dazzling 250-square-kilometer Ang Thong Marine National Park, where a stunning archipelago awaits to greet visitors with charming palm-fringed beaches, crystal clear water and colorful coral reefs. The best time to enjoy one of these islands to the fullest is from April to November.
Surat Thani is a city with a long history. Archeologists believe that it was once a community of prehistoric tribes of indigenous people including the Saemang and original Malays who built their communities on the Tapee River Basin and Ao Ban Don.