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Surat Thani province

Statistics
Capital:Surat Thani[?]
Area:12,891.5 km²
Ranked 6th
Inhabitants:907,612 (2001)
Ranked 22nd
Pop. density:70 inh./km²
Ranked 64th
ISO 3166-2:TH-84
Map

Surat Thani (often in short Surat, Thai สุราษฏร์ธานี) is the largest of the southern provinces (changwat) of Thailand, on the eastern shore of the Gulf of Thailand. Surat Thani means City of Good People, the title given to the city by King Vajiravudh[?] (Rama VI). Neighboring provinces are (from north clockwise) Chumphon, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Krabi, Phang Nga and Ranong.

Table of contents

Geography

Geographically the center of the province is the coastal plain of the Tapi river, mostly grassland and some mangrove. In the west are limestone mountains mostly covered with forests. The Khao Sok National Park is located in these mountains. Many islands in the Gulf of Thailand belong to the district, including the tourist island Ko Samui[?] and the Ko Angthong marine national park. To the east are the Bantat hills. The main rivers of the Surat Thani province are Tapi River and Phum Duang River.

History

The area of Surat Thani was already inhabited in prehistoric times by Semang[?] and Malayan tribes. Founded in the 3rd century, until the 13th century the Srivijaya[?] kingdom dominated the Malay Peninsula and much of the island of Java from there. One big archaeological excavation is in Chaiya in the Surat province, which is believed to have been the capital of the kingdom. Only a little is known about that empire, mostly from the writings of the Chinese monk I Ching who visited it in the 6th century.

After the fall of the Srivijaya it was divided into the three cities Chaiya, Thatong, and Kirirat. In 1915 King Vajiravudh[?] (Rama VI) reorganized the administration and merged all three cities into Surat Thani, which gained full provincial status in 1933.

Symbols

The seal of the province shows the pagoda of Phra Boromathat Chaiya, which is believed to have been built 1200 years ago. The provincial symbolic flower is the Bua Pud (Rafflesia kerrii), a parasitic plant with one of the biggest flowers of all plants. The provincial tree is the Ton Kiam (Cotylelobium melanoxylon[?]).

Administrative divisions

Amphoe
(districts)
King Amphoe
(minor districts)
  1. Mueang Surat Thani
  2. Ban Na San
  3. Ban Ta Khun
  4. Chaiya
  5. Don Sak
  6. Kanchanadit
  7. Khian Sa
  8. Khiri Ratthanikhom
  9. Koh Phangna
  1. Koh Samui
  2. Phanom
  3. Phrasaeng
  4. Phunphin
  5. Tha Chana
  6. Tha Chang
  7. Wiang Sa
  8. Ban Na Doem
  9. Chai Buri
  1. Wiphawadi

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