|The Emblem of Surat Thani|
The name literally means "city of the good people" and is the former seat of the Sivichaya Empire. It is the largest and most important province of the South, located 644 kms. from Bangkok. It occupies an area of 12,891.5 square kilometers bordering on Chumphon and the Gulf of Thailand to the north, Nakhon Si Thammarat and Krabi to the south, Phangnga and Ranong to the west and the Gulf of Thailand and Nakhon Si Thammarat to the east.
Surat Thani 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. Archaeological discoveries at Chaiya indicate the former empire's splendour.
characteristics of Surat Thani are high plateau and mountains covered with valuable woodforest to the west and low basins in the central and eastern seashore area. There are a tremendous number of islands along the coast and two major rivers: the Tapi River and Phum Duang River. It is administratively divided into 18 Amphoes and 1 King Amphoe i.e., Amphoe Muang, Ban Na San, Ban Ta Khun, Chaiya, Don Sak, Kanchanadit, Khian Sa, Khiri Ratthanikhom, Koh Phangna, Koh Samui, Phanom, Phrasaeng, Phunphin, Tha Chana, Tha Chang, Wiang Sa, Ban Na Doem, Chai Buri and King Amphoe Wiphawadi.