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||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.
|Nakhon Si Thammarat
||Nakhon Si Thammarat, the second largest province of the South and the land of predominant Buddhism during the Srivijaya Period, is 780 kilometres from Bangkok. It occupies an area of 9,942 square kilometres consisting of high plateau and mountains in the west then sloping down towards the east and becoming a basin along the coastline of the Gulf of Thailand.
In addition to its great history, Nakhon Si Thammarat boasts pristine verdant jungles abundant with luxuriant vegetation and is also noted for picturesque beaches and beautiful waterfalls.
||Located approximately 814 kilometers from Bangkok is Krabi Province, one of most attractive destinations in southern Thailand. Encompassing an area of 4,708 square kilometers, the western border of Krabi is the Andaman Sea, the northern borders are Surat Thani and Phang-nga Provinces, the southern borders are Trang Province and the Andaman Sea and the eastern borders are Nakhon Si Thammarat and Trang Provinces. Krabi is an ideal getaway destination teeming with natural attractions including white sandy beaches, fascinating coral reefs, numerous large and small islands and verdant forests with caves and waterfalls.
Krabi's topography is mostly mountains and highlands separated by plains in some parts. Flowing through Krabi City to the Andaman Sea at Pak Nam Sub-district is Maenam Krabi which is 5 kilometers in length. In addition, there are several canals originating from the province's highest mountain range, Khao Phanom Bencha including Khlong Pakasai, Khlong Krabi Yai and Khlong Krabi Noi. Lush mangrove forests line the canals and the banks of Maenam Krabi particularly before it empties into the Andaman Sea. The provinces sandy soil conditions are suitable for growing various agricultural products, particularly rubber trees, palms, coconuts, cashew nuts and coffee.
Due to the influence of the tropical monsoon, there are only two seasons in Krabi; the hot season from January to April and the rainy season from May to December. Temperatures range between 17 °C and 37 °C.
Krabi is administratively divided into 8 Amphoes (Districts): Amphoe Mueang, Khao Phanom, Khlong Thom, Plai Phraya, Ko Lanta, Ao Luek, Lam Thap, and Nuea Khlong. The provinces jurisdiction covers not only in-land districts and sub-districts, but also extends to more than 130 large and small islands including the world famous Phi Phi Islands.
In addition, Krabi is the location of two world class beaches Ao Nang and Hat Rai Le which offer numerous diving trips, restaurants, shops etc. Additional attractions in the province are stunning limestone cliffs and rock formations which make it a heaven for rock climbers and a National Park located approximately 40 kilometers outside of town with lakes, caves and spectacular natural scenery.
||Located approximately 828 kilometers from Bangkok, Trang Province covers an area of 4,941 square kilometers. The province borders on Nakhon Si Thammarat Province to the north, Satun Province and the Indian Ocean (Andaman Sea) to the south, Phatthalung Province to the east and the Indian Ocean and Krabi Province to the west. Trang is considered a magnificent coastal province as it long, beautiful coastline stretches 199 kilometers along the Indian Ocean. In addition, the province has two major rivers flowing through it, the Trang River, which originates in the Khao Luang Mountain Range and Maenam Palian from the Banthat Mountain Range.
Despite the fact that Trang City plays a key role in facilitating trade and communications to Nakhon Si Thammarat, Thailand's southern commercial hub, Trang is a province less traveled to by tourists. It was only recently that Trang has been poised to establish itself on the international travel map.
Trang has geographical advantages similar to that of Krabi and Phang-Nga. This includes breathtaking islands and astounding beaches along the coast as well as awe-inspiring inland limestone- propped mountains. The province consists of an archipelago in the Andaman Sea with over 46 islands. Of these, 12 are in Amphoe Kantang, 13 in Amphoe Palian and 21 in Amphoe Sikao. The best time to visit Trang is between December and May.
Trang has both mainland beaches and a whole string of offshore islands. For visitors interested in light-adventure activities such as cruising coastal waters, visiting notable sights such as the enchanting Emerald Cave, which is accessible only by water, will prove to be remarkable experience. Additional attractions include the Mu Ko Petra National Park with beaches and islands lapped by the warm waters of the Andaman Sea. Some of the dive sites in the National Park are world-class. There are also wildlife sanctuaries such as Namtok Khao Chong and Khlong Lamchan Park with waterfalls, nature trails and caves. For those looking for a relaxed, tranquil ambience, Trang is a perfect place to unwind amidst stunning scenery.
With an abundance of blissful attractions mixed with cultural heritage, Trang Province is truly an emerging fascinating tourist destination with numerous jungles, mountains and waterfalls.
The City also has numerous attractions. Walking around Trang City, visitors will be amazed at the mixture of Western, Chinese and Thai cultures reflected in the architecture that range from the Sino- Portuguese shop houses to the Chinese temples and shrines. The Pan-Ya House is the local style of houses in Trang, which offers an insight into the architectural heritage of this town. In addition to architectural attractions there are many parks to stroll through and markets to explore. The main two markets in Trang are Ta Klang and Municipal markets.