Updated: May 1, 2019
Surat Thani is a hidden gem that many people may not think of when we talk about Thailand. This is a shame considering what this beautiful province has to offer. It’s a small region in the southeast of Thailand known for its spectacular landscapes, exquisite beaches, and amazing nightlife scene. If you’re looking for things to do in Surat Thani, here’s our guide for tourists who are here for the first time:
Enjoy some market hopping
One of the best activities you can find in Surat is night market hop. There’s a night market called “Nightboat Market” located near Bandon Pier that sells fresh produce from all over the country. It’s the place where locals and tourists come together to meet and interact with one another. You can find some amazing food here as well, as there are many famous “tam sung” restaurants that can make some of the best Thai dishes you can find.
They can make all the staple Thai menus such as pad krapao, kuay tiao, and of course, pad thai. These are amazing to have with a cold glass of Chang or Singha Beer, so make sure you give those a try. You can have fresh fruits such as grapes, strawberries, and mangosteens from the north of Thailand since they’re sold in carts down here.
Enjoy the day time market
If you’re looking for a more authentic southern Thai experience, then you need to look for the authentic Surat-style yellow curry with crab meat. This is a famous dish that you will find in many places all over the province. If you ever get a chance to go to Koh Pha Ngan, we recommend that you visit Fisherman’s Restaurant & Bar and give their curry a try. Surat is also known for its sakuu sai muu; a classic savory dessert dumpling made with bean paste and minced pork.
Try the oysters
Another thing Surat is known for is its seafood and the best one being oysters. Surat’s oysters are thought to be some of the best in Thailand -- perhaps in all of Southeast Asia! While they may not be as large as other oysters found in colder seas, but they are sweet, juicy, and they’re packed with the freshness from the sea. Additionally, the way they serve it in Thailand is definitely not like how you can experience it anywhere else.
These fresh oysters come with a local herb called “ka-tin”, fried garlic, seafood sauce, and chili paste. You put all of this together on top of an oyster and you eat it all together. The salty and sour flavor from the seafood sauce combined with the spicy aroma from the chili paste will create a heavenly harmony in your mouth. When you add in the aroma of ka tin and the texture of fried garlic, you get the perfect accompaniment for the sweet and plump fresh oyster. It’s a food experience that we guarantee you won’t soon forget! We recommend you have this slightly before lunchtime, as that’s when the catch of the day is delivered to the restaurants.
Take a stroll around the night market
If you’re ready to have a nighttime street food adventure, Bandon Road is the perfect place for that. There are many different shops that run along the length of the street. One of the most famous restaurants in this road is called Tip Pa Rod; a restaurant that still cooks in a charcoal stove with a bronze wok. This makes a huge difference in terms of how the food tastes, as the smoky notes of the charcoal will infuse with the food, giving it a distinct flavor that you won’t soon forget.
Additionally, the bronze wok will be able to reach a level of heat that no other metal can, which will give the dish a completely different texture. There are also other places on the street such as Raan Leang Faa Mai that serves braised pork with rice called “kao kaa muu”. The decadent and rich texture of the pork combined with the savory and aromatic sauce makes it an amazing texture. When you top it all off with freshly steamed rice, you get a fantastic dish that will be in your memory for years to come.
If you’re looking to come to Surat, Pavaree is the best place to find accommodation. Get in touch with us today to see how we can help.