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Changwat Surat Thani

Here you’ll find travel reports about Changwat Surat Thani. Discover travel destinations in Thailand of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.
  • Day92

    It's been too long since we were last at a beach so enough was enough and we packed up our things and headed south to the island of Koh Samui. Our flight wasn't until 4pm so we made the most of the 12pm check out and did some research and booking for our Australia part of our trip. When 12pm came we said a farewell to our hostel and only had to speak to two taxis before we found one who would use a meter. The journey was incredibly long and the heavens opened once we were in the car luckily. Once we arrived at the airport we couldn't see our flight on the board so went to check and turned out it had been cancelled. Luckily they could put us on an earlier flight which worked perfectly for us when we were there early anyway. The flight was only 45 minutes but we got a free on flight meal so that was a great perk. Once we landed we saved money by getting on a mini bus to our hotel instead of a taxi on our own. Turns out we were quite far from the airport so this really worked out well for us in terms of money. The hotel is pretty lovely and right on the beach with a pool and bar on offer. We booked some excursions to do over the next few days and also a ferry to the next island before we headed out for some dinner on the beach front. Our reception told us a fire show was happening on the beach ronight outside our hotel so we headed to watch that after food. It was incredible. A little disorganised but amazing what these men and boys can do, one boy looked only around 13! They used all manner of devices to swing the fire around pulling off many stunts and tricks. Our favourite was two huge balls of some sort of fabric on chains that once lit and being swung just disintegrated creating a sea of sparks. They preformed these on high platforms or with two at once, one on the platform and one on the beach. We had a front row seat and they kept coming up to the end of our loungers performing the tricks. The heat was so overpowering, I'm not sure how they stand it for so long! At one stage they had the boy on a guys shoulders with another guy hanging off the front of him all swinging their own chains of fire. The show went on for 2 hours which did drag a little but it was so worth seeing and a great perk of the hotel. Hopefully more shows like tonight will happen while we are here.Read more

  • Day93

    One of the tours we booked onto yesterday was an island tour that shows you the main sites on the island. We opted for the half a day tour as the only thing extra you got with the full day was visiting a town over the other side of the island and for the additional money it didn't sound worth it. Our first stop was a very picturesque temple that was surrounded by a small lake. The sun was shining brightly which made many of the mosaic tiles on the temple glisten in the light. I had brought my wrap around skirt and shirt to put on before entering but another girl we were with was quite disrespectful and went inside in shorts when it states no to. Our next stop was to a huge golden Buddha on top of a tall mound with 75 steps up. The level of detail on the Buddha was very impressive as he sits on a bed of lotus flowers. We had a brief stop at a view point that overlooked the clear blue oceans below. Even though it was super hot by this point we were never out of the air conditioned van for more than 25 minutes so we were not overheating as much as we have been in the past. We stopped at a rather odd place which we didn't know what to expect in terms of looks. The site is called grandmother and grandfather rocks so we were naively expecting some traditional story with two tall rocks standing next to each other. This was not the case! They are called these names because the people believe they look like genitalia! Not so lovely to see I tell you! We'd specifically opted for a tour that did not include an elephant ride or a monkey show, the picture for which was literally a monkey riding a tricycle. I don't agree with these kind of things and never have, even sea lion shows at the zoo! This one however did have a stop to what they called a monkey show but our receptionist reassured us that on this island monkeys are trained and used to pick coconuts as it's safer and easier for the locals. We felt that if this is something that does happen then we could have a look and find out. Unfortunately we were too optimistic. We saw two monkeys changed to the bottom of trees, we pull up and get out and a man shouts at one until it goes up and picks and drops coconuts down. It then climbs down and is brought to stand on a post and demonstrate how it uses its front and back foot to twist the coconut until it breaks off. The money then returned to its area and that was that. We saw no water for them under their trees and there were huge bundles of coconuts picked together with a knife near by. It all felt staged and set up. The monkey also split 2 out of 4 coconuts when dropping them so it does not seem a logical method anyway. Luckily we weren't their long and we headed off to see another temple with a mummified monk before our final stop at a waterfall. We didn't swim in the waterfall but instead climbed over to the other side to a nice secluded spot to take in the amazing sounds and sight of this fall. Upon heading back we chilled out for a while and went and got some antihistamines for my bites before hitting the beach. It felt so good to get in the sea! We chilled out and had dinner there before coming back to look into accommodation for our next island. We managed to see so much by doing the tour and I'm so pleased that I can say that I've seen a pickled Pope in Rome and a mummified monk in Thailand!Read more

  • Day94

    Today has been fantastic! We booked onto a tour that takes you to Ang Thong National Marine Park, a collection of islands off the North West coast of Koh Samui. We were picked up from our hotel and happened to be in a mini bus with a girl we met previously at the airport when she was in our bus to go to the hotels. We drove to the pier and took a long boat ride to the first island. We had a light breakfast provided which was great and so nice to have coffee! At the island we were greeted with blue clear waters, white fine sand and stunning jungle covered cliff faces creating a dramatic beach scene. Our first task was to climb to a view point which we all did in our own time. There were 5 platforms along the 500 metre climb to stop to see the view and come back down if you wanted to. The climb was steep stone steps and in the 34 degree heat it was torture. Every time we do these climbs I realise how unfit I am! We pushed on higher and higher passing the many platforms until we got between the 3rd and 4th and I started to feel sick and faint which really didn't help. We took it slowly and finally made it to the top and boy was it worth it! The view was incredible. After soaking it in we made our way back down slowly. We saw monkeys, two huge processions of termites and some weird insects along the way. Back at the beach we changed and got into the sea which felt amazing after the climb. We got snorkels and gave that a go and it's harder to get the hang off then you think. We wished we had just brought our goggles. Unfortunately we didn't have long in the sea before being called back to the long boats. Once back on the big boat we had lunch which was also provided. Our next stop was for anyone who had paid more to kayak. Nick hasn't done it before and I only have at guides and in year 8 at school which was so long ago so it felt like a new experience to us and to do it in the open sea was brilliant. We saw all the islands up close, the overhanging rocks and small caves and cracks that had formed. We managed to get ourselves stuck on a rock at one point but luckily after a minute or so we pushed ourselves off without capsizing. We kayaked to the next beach where the other members of the boat had been dropped off. Here we were able to climb up to see an emerald lake which is so named because of the algae that blooms there turns the water green. It was a much easier climb than before and didn't take as long so it gave us an hour in the water to snorkel. Unfortunately we realised that this is actually coral and that a lot of it is ruined and covered in debris. I remember learning in school that coral dies if you touch it so it wasn't that nice seeing what had happened because of the tourists coming here. I swam further out and the reef was so alive and clear which was reassuring as not many people ventured out that far so hopefully this part continues to thrive. Seeing as they had a nice sign that says "take only photos, leave only footprints" it didn't really fit into that motto. After chilling at the beach a while it was back to the boat to head back. We had chocolate wafer snacks and sat back up on the top deck with the people we had been talking to all day. The ride back was long, 2 hours in total but the views did make up for that. Even though we applied factor 50 twice we felt like we'd burnt so covered up as we sailed back in the afternoon sun. We have burnt a bit but the whole day was definitely worth it! So many amazing memories created today.Read more

  • Day17

    Welcome to Koh Phangan, welcome to party central.

    The 1st night:

    In the jungle, the mighty jungle... the lion is definitely not sleeping tonight!

    Fancy a pre-party before the main one? Well you have come to the right place. In Koh Phangan there seems to be a pre-party almost every night!

    Waterfall party? ...check...
    Blue moon party? bet...
    Half moon party? ...yup...
    Some other party? ... absolutely!

    My visit happens to coincide with the Jungle party, which as it sounds is a party under the canopy of trees - pretty cool, but how many times can I say 'party' in this post!? Probably a few more times.

    After spending some time at the hostel meeting and greeting the various reprobates (people) who have descended on the island for the carnage, we bundle into a taxi on our way to the jungle. As we near the entrance to the forest, the bass reverberates under our feet. The music is heavy; trance and drum & bass, there are psychedelic colours everywhere, the trees are decorated with illuminated paraphernalia and the DJ booth is made to look like a massive golden lion - it all looks pretty awesome. People are in the distance dancing the night away - a few already look worse for wear. One guy is attempting to climb a tree, amusingly to little success.

    We stay for a few hours and I lose my fellow roomies amongst the crowds and darkness. I chat to various others and by about 4am feel I have had a good primer before tomorrow. I jump on a moped taxi to get back and the guy takes me to the wrong accommodation as it has a similar name. Before he can dissappear and leave me stranded at admittedly a very fancy hotel, I hop back on and eventually arrive at the right place. The driver says "Mai pen rai" (no worries) and heads off to pick up more stragglers from the jungle.

    The 2nd night:

    The the full moon cometh. The reason we're all packed on this island and why prices have been hiked up for a couple of days.

    History lesson - in about the late 80s it's said that a small group of travellers head to a picturesque, but fairly nondescript beach in Haad Rin, Koh Phangan. They play music, drink, smoke questionable substances and dance the night away under the light of the full moon until the sun rises. The following month they return with more and word spreads of a monthly gathering that all are welcome at. And so began the origin of the now legendary Koh Phangan full moon party, the backpackers rite of passage in Thailand and often attracting over 20,000 party seekers every month.

    Fast forward nearly 30 years and I'm sitting in my hostel having my face and arms painted in various neon colours, tunes are blasting, people are merry from booze and the night is getting started. One guy has covered himself in so much orange paint, he will probably be mistaken for a radioactive version of the actual fruit. We head to another hostel for various boozy games and a chance to meet other revelers before the taxi driver squashes us in to make our way to the beach.

    We arrive and you can hear it a mile away, loads of stalls are set up on the walk down selling the ludicrously strong sprit buckets, we share a first bucket and it may as well all be alcohol with a couple of shots of mixer thrown in for a laugh! As we grimace, the Thai servers chuckle. We finish one on the way down and buy another which seems ever so slightly more tasty to take to the beach.

    There are tons of bars, each with their own music blaring out, and you're free to move between them on the sands as you see fit, picking up drinks on the way through. Some are more mello, others are like a rave, and a few cater to commercial genres - it's a great mix. There's a bar at the bottom of the beach where you can look out over and see all the shenanigans below and there's also a place called the reggae bar which ironically didn't play a single (or even close to) reggae tune! Instead choosing to blast out trance music - call me petty, but the name seemed a little off here.

    I wisely skipped the fire rope, opting to view from a safe distance. It's a ridiculously stupid (albeit intriguing to watch) idea, where you attempt to jump a massive rope that is on FIRE! It's doused in petrol and set alight - and you try not to get hit in the process while it's swung around - madness! Once again, health and safety is well and truly out the window here and a number of people are always burnt attempting this. The combination of drunkenness and fire is probably not the best! 'Stay in school kids' 🤓

    The night continues and you dance on the sands and you dance some more. The crowds are lit up in luminous colours. Regardless of age, class or race everyone dances together and problems are momentarily paused. It's pretty epic, the buckets continue to flow and the music continues to blare.

    As the night draws to a close and the cracks of sunlight begin to appear, the massive crowds slowly start to disperse. The music is still blaring and the hardcore are still out in force dancing like loons on the beach or messing around in the sea, and now in the light of the sun looking a little bit ridiculous.

    Thai volunteers are busy cleaning around the ravers - some who are chatting, sleeping or passed out, some licking their fire wounds and others contemplating their very existence, having probably sampled nefarious goods. In a few hours the beach will be like new again, friends and families will come to enjoy, and remarkably they'll be little to no evidence of the craziness that went on just hours before.

    It's around 8am, I have made it the night, I've lost a couple of people but managed to stick with a few others. As we make our way to the taxi's vying for business, the moon is still visible and full. The sun starts to shine brighter and hotter and the journey back to bed is welcome.

    Next month the moon will once again complete the cycle to reach it's full state and the reveleries will begin again... I survived one and I think one is enough! 🌘🌗🌖🌕
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  • Day12

    On my morning walk this morning I met a girl from Washington who's living here. She said her favorite beach is Chalok beach. So that's where I went today. It was a nice relaxing afternoon of swimming, reading, cold drinks and my first motorbike ride!
    The ride was my "taxi" back from the beach. They charge a standard fare of 300 baht, but on the way there I talked the driver (there it was a truck) down to 150 Baht. So, on the way back was also not going to pay 300. I said 200 or I'd walk. And they said ok, 200 on the bike. And I said ok, sure! It was an older guy that I was making the deal with. Once we agreed a younger guy was like "Oh! I'll take her!" Haha! At least that what it looked like they were was all in Thai.
    It was fun way to get back to my hotel. I'm not sure I feel comfortable driving one myself yet though.
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  • Day81

    Time is running fast...

    I still have more than for 4 weeks in Asia, but it already feels like the last days are finishing quicker🙈 the last couple of days I spend on the beautiful island Koh Phangan.

    As soon as I arrived on the island, Daniela picked me up and I felt kind of home from the first second. I met her in January in north Thailand. She showed me around and introduced me to all of her friends, she visited the island for a few times already... we had great days and great nights! Will definitely go back to this island when I am around. Unfortunately I don't have a lot of pictures from there, maybe I was too busy😜

    Next stop: Bali🌴💜 🏄‍♀️
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  • Day14

    Hallo ihr lieben, heute haben wir den ersten vollen Tag in Koh Tao verbracht und er war toll ✌
    Heute morgen ausgeruht aufgewacht und gemütlich frühstücken gegangen.. man war das heute morgen lecker 😍 es gab einmal Crêpes mit Bananen und Schokolade, ein Omlette mit Tomaten und Zwiebeln, ein Früchte Teller und zwei leckere frisch zubereitete Shakes 🙈👌😃 genial!!
    Dann haben wir unsere Sachen gerichtet, eine Runde Wäsche gewaschen und uns fürs tauchen fertig gemacht!
    Kalina hat dann noch kurz mit unsrem Dive Instructor Patrick die Abschluss fragen durchgemacht, da sie heute ihren Deep Dive absolviert hat und jetzt offiziell 30 Meter tief tauchen darf 😍 sprich sie kann jetzt auch easy mein Buddy sein 😁😊👍 yeah ❤
    Dann gings auch schon raus mit dem Boot.. ca 30 min Fahrt und wir waren an unserem ersten Dive Spot am oberen Ende der Insel angekommen!!
    Alles fertig gemacht und dann gings runter 😍 es ist und bleibt einfach etwas absolut geiles 🙈😉✌ den Tauchgang genossen und kalina ist auch endlich über ihre 9 Meter,die sie davor nur tauchen könnte (Riff bedingt), hinaus gekommen!👌
    Dann wieder auf dem Boot angekommen sind wir nochmal ein Stück gefahren um an unseren zweiten Dive Spot zu gelangen.. Wreck dive war angesagt!
    Ein ziemlich gut erhaltenes und interessantes wreck! Diesmal ging es sogar noch tiefer und wir kamen nah an die 30 Meter Marke heran! 28 Meter tief waren wir 🙋🙏
    Auf dem Rückweg noch an einem direkt neben an liegenden Riff Stück vorbei geschaut und dann langsam wieder ab nach oben ! Toll wars und riesig Spaß gemacht hat es auch 🙆😍
    Und Kalina hat ihre erste Schildkröte gesehen 🤘😊
    Dann haben wir noch gemütlich die Tauchausrüstung gewaschen und uns mit unsrem Dive Instructor zum logbook schreiben zusammen gesetzt!
    Ein gemütliches Bierchen bei Sonnenuntergang getrunken und uns ein wenig verquatscht so das wir beinahe vergessen hätten für morgen die Tauchgänge zu reservieren bzw zu buchen!!
    Aber wir waren dann doch noch schnell genug 😝 heißt morgen geht's weiter 😀😊
    Dann kurz abgeduscht, umgezogen und dann gingen wir was zu Abend essen!
    Jetzt sitzen wir noch in der Bar unsres Dive Centers, lassen den Tag Revue passieren und genießen in kurzer Hose und Tank Top den Abend!
    Wie wir nämlich mitbekommen haben musstet ihr in good ähm sorry cold old Germany die Winterboots, Jacken/Mäntel, Schal und Mütze wieder rauskramen 😯😨
    Nene wir genießen lieber unsre Sonne, den Strand und das Meer ❤
    In diesem Sinne schicken wir euch mal Warme, Sonnige Grüße, villt hilft es ja ✊
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  • Day7

    Heute morgen das erste mal gelernt was es heißen kann zwei Minuten zu spät dran zu sein!! 😵😡😬
    Ich im 7-11 Shop stehend noch was zu trinken kaufen.. Kalina draußen samt Gepäck wartend .. um den Bus zu bekommen!
    Man muss dazu sagen hier funktioniert das etwas anders als daheim!! Hier stellt man sich an den Straßenrand und winkt sich den Bus heran wenn er vorbei fährt!
    Naja mit thailändischen Schriftzeichen hab ichs leider noch ned so(das wird sich auch nicht mehr ändern!!😂), aber die Nummer auf dem Bus der vorbei fuhr, als ich noch im Shop gerade bezahlte, konnte ich leider zuu gut lesen!! Das war nämlich unser direkt Bus nach khao sok 😤😥
    Nachdem wir von den locals die Info erhalten haben das ca jede Stunde einer fährt, standen wir nun in der prallen Sonne bei ca 30°C am Straßenrand und warteten.. und haben uns beide sooo geärgert nicht 2 sch*** Minuten schneller ausgecheckt zu haben!! Aber so spielt das Leben eben manchmal!!
    Nach gut 50 Minuten kam dann der nächste..*Happy*.. doch zu unserer Enttäuschung nicht unser gewollter direkt Bus, sondern mit Umsteigen!
    Nicht weiter schlimm dachten wir, wenn wir nicht 2 Stunden an nem überhitzen Bus Terminal hätten vor uns hin vegetieren müssen 😂
    Nach 2 1/2 Stunden kam er dann und hatte sogar noch zwei Plätze für uns frei, Gefühlt jedoch im Gepäckfach! Der Bus war etwa ausgelegt für 30 vielleicht mit gutem Willen 40 Personen.. wir waren so um die 60!! Von Oma und Opa bis hin zu Neugeborenen .. alle Altersschichten waren vertreten!!
    Fotos waren leider keine möglich da der ganze Bus durchgehend unsere einstündige Fahrt drohte auseinander zu fallen und dementsprechend wackelte 🙄 naja iwann sind wir dann doch in khao sok wohl behalten angekommen.. der Schlussspurt war nach einem knappen 5 Minuten Walk geschafft!
    Endlich angekommen in unserem tree house🌲🏠 resort ✌ coole Baumhäuser, recht schick gemacht.. aber natürlich darf man bitte nicht vergessen wir sind jetzt in einem Nationalpark, in der Natur und dementsprechend auch die Unterkunft und Tiere um einen herum.. was nicht heißt das wir mit der Unterkunft unzufrieden sind.. aber es kann einem dann eben mal passieren das so ein Tausendfüßler dir Gesellschaft leistet beim Toiletten Gang😂🙈
    Eingecheckt und erstmal versucht die Dusche zum laufen zu bringen da unsre Körper einem Wasserfall gleichten 😁 naja iwie wollte kein Wasser kommen.. dafür im Waschbecken!!
    Dort wiederum wollte es aber iwie nicht ablaufen xD der Supergau war fast perfekt 😋 doch fragen kostet bekanntlicherweise nichts..(oder nicht viel!!) und uns war "schnell" geholfen!
    An der Dusche mussten nur 3 Hebel in die richtige Richtung gedreht werden!! Und nein es gab nicht nur eine mögliche Richtung pro Hebel 😂 und beim Waschebecken sind die hier im Ur-/Regen- was auch immer Wald/Dschungel schon so modern das es Push Stöpsel gibt!! Sprich in den Abfluss drücken um sie zu schließen und wieder drücken das er dir entgegen schießt 😎😌 da wären wir natürlich niemals drauf gekommen!!!
    Nach dem ganzen hin und her schnell abgeduscht und dann haben wir uns erstmal einen Moment auf dem schönen Bett ausgeruht!!
    Ehe ein kurzer Sprung in den Pool erfolgte 😏 leider nicht all zu lange da wir gefühlt einem Massen Angriff von Stechmücken uns ergeben mussten!
    Trotzdem sehr erfrischend gewesen !👌
    Danach noch lecker zu Abend gegessen und für morgen einen Tour gebucht.. welche.. das seht ihr dann morgen 👆😜
    Und jetzt gehts ab ins Bett denn der Tag war nicht nur erlebnisreich sondern natürlich iwo iwann dann auch anstrengend 😀 aber uns geht es deshalb trotzdem sehr gut 😊 und wir sind Happy hier zu sein 😍😄
    Eure Weltenbummler 😚
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Changwat Surat Thani, จังหวัดสุราษฎร์ธานี

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