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||Ranong is the first southern province on the western coast, located 568 kilometres from Bangkok. It is known for the long rainy period, which lasts for 8 months each year. Ranong occupies an area of 3,298 square kilometres and is bordered by Myanmar and the Indian Ocean to the west. Within its compact area, Ranong contains various natural attractions and is blessed with hot springs and unspoiled mangrove forests.
A mountainous and heavily forested province, Ranong is best known as a fishing and trading port. It was settled by the Hokkian Chinese, and their strong influence is evident in the town. Ranong town is a gateway to Myanmar, with colourful longboats ferrying produce and people across the narrow divide that separates the two countries. The traffic is even heavier these days since a casino opened at Victoria Point. The famous hot springs are just outside of town, where an arboretum and various first-class hotels cater to visitors eager to benefit from the medicinal properties of the mineral waters.
||Chumphon is a sea coast city parallel to the Gulf of Thailand. It is the gateway to other southern provinces. Along more than 200 kilometres of Chumphons seashore, there are many beautiful and picturesque beaches. Still maintaining the natural beauty, the province is best for those who seek relaxation in the natural and uniquely quiet atmosphere.
Historical documents state that Chumphon was continuously the locations of many communities since the pre-historic period, especially in the area near Tha Taphao River banks. Chumphon was also one of the leading trading centers of Siam (former name of Thailand).
Due to being the frontier city, the name Chumphon is believed to derive from Chumnumphon, which means the accumulation of forces. Whenever there were movements from the army, the soldiers would gather their forces here at this province.
The other source believed that it should be derived from a local plant named Maduea Chumphon due to its richness in this area. Therefore, naturally, this plant has become a symbol of the logo of Chumphon Province.
||The province of Phang-nga is located some 788 kilometres from Bangkok. It covers an area of 4,170 square kilometres.
Phang-nga is a province with two characters - land and sea - and packed with national parks that guard magnificent scenery with immensely different attractions.
Most famous is Ao Phang-nga National Park, a geological wonder filled with islets, sunken caverns and startling rock formations rising sheer out of the sea. The bay is extremely sheltered ideal for expeditions of sea canoes to explore the many fascinating caverns with their own eco-systems.
Phang-nga's andaman coast offers parks of a different kind. The island groups of Surin and Similan are renowned for their beautiful unspoilt beaches and spectacular underwater scenery, attracting divers from around the world. Khao Lak is a coastal park full of birds, mammals and scenic waterfalls, with a number of hotel developments after Tsunami disaster in December 2004.
||The largest province of the South located 685 kilometers from Bangkok is Surat Thani the province with a name that literally means "City of the Good People". A former capital of the Srivijaya Empire, the province covers an area of approximately 12,891 square kilometers. Surat Thani Province borders the Gulf of Thailand to the north and east, Chumphon Province to the north, Nakhon Si Thammarat and Krabi Provinces to the south, Phang-Nga and Ranong Provinces to the west and Nakhon Si Thammarat Province to the east.
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, Tha Chang which are the most important basins. All rivers in Surat Thani flow east of the province to the Gulf of Thailand.
The numerous islands along the coast makes Surat Thani (often known as Surat in short) 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 beach 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 their 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 November.