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4D3N in Surat Thani & Koh Samui: The Ultimate Muslim-Friendly Itinerary

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Ili  •  Jan 06, 2020

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Known in Thai as ‘City of Good People’, Surat Thani is an unfrequented city that flies under the radar for many. Though it may seem like your average transportation hub, a closer look at the city will prove that there’s more to this charming province than meets the eye. 
Go off the beaten path and discover the city’s hidden gems where you can just spend 24 hours touring Surat Thani! With its ideal location, you can continue your adventure on the sandy beaches of Thailand’s famous islands such as Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao - all of which are a ferry ride away.  Getting around Surat Thani 
  • For travelling to and from the airport, shuttle buses are available and you can book them in advance to be dropped off or picked up at your hotel. 
  • For travelling around town, you can ride songthaews (red pick-up minibuses as pictured above) take a Grab or hire taxis.  
Day 1: Fly to Surat Thani  Have lunch at Bismillah Restaurant Muslim Halal Food (1h) 
  • Before embarking on your adventure, savour delicious local flavours at Bismillah Restaurant Muslim Halal Food. From a savoury bowl of beef soup to Thai fried rice, indulge in a spread of Thai cuisine to your heart’s content. 
  • While you enjoy your lunch, enjoy the view of Surat Thani’s river situated right in front of the restaurant. 
Halal status: Muslim-owned Opening hours: Open daily; 6AM-6PM Address: Talat, Mueang Surat Thani District, Surat Thani 84000, Thailand Visit Surat Thani City Pillar Shrine (1h)
  • After a hearty meal, make your way to the city’s most iconic landmark - Surat Thani City Pillar Shrine. Located in the central city, the shrine is widely treasured by the locals as it symbolizes Surat Thani historically, culturally and politically.
  • A visit here will give you a peek into the lives of local Budhhists and how they practice their faith. Since this is an active place of worship, do remember to be respectful of those who are carrying out their prayers.
Admire Cheow Lan Lake andRatchaprapa Dam (2.5-3h)
Credit: AirAsia
  • Bring your journey to the heart of Khao Sok National Park where the stunningly beautiful Cheow Lan Lake lies. Contained by the Ratchaprapha Dam, this lake is one of Surat Thani’s most popular natural attractions with a diverse wildlife to boast and lush greenery as a backdrop. 
  • Besides its wondrous nature, you can also participate in the various activities offered at Cheow Lan Lake such as canoeing, bird watching and jungle trekking.
Credit: AirAsia
  • Go on a longtail boat cruise to further soak in the view of the magnificent man-made lake.
  • As you glide through the crystal blue waters, keep your eyes peeled for wildlife sightings such as the Macaque monkey, Sambar deer or if you’re lucky, the Malay sun bear - the world’s smallest bear! 
  • Before heading back to downtown Surat Thani, head to Ratchaprapa Dam and the viewpoint for a brief stop to capture photos of the Khao Sok’s emerald jewel. 
Experience Surat Thani Night Market (1h) 
  • As night falls, head to the lively Surat Thani Night Market along Soi Tonpo and tuck into some local delights like Khao Mok Gai, a Thai-Muslim version of chicken biryani.
  • You can also opt forother Muslim-friendly options like grilled prawns and som tam (papaya salad).
  • After dinner, get a good night’s rest as you’ll be making your way to Koh Samui!
Day 2: Take a ferry to Koh Samui
Credit: AirAsia
  • Start your day bright and early by boarding a ferry from Surat Thani City heading to Koh Samui. 
  • Koh Samui is famed for its stunning palm tree edged beaches and crystal clear waters. It is also the third largest island in Thailand!
  • Once arrived, check into your accommodation and let your exciting island adventure begin 😄
Visit the golden Buddha at Wat Phra Yai (1h)
  • Also known as Big Buddha Temple, Wat Phra Yai is one of Koh Samui’s cultural highlights that cannot be missed. Standing at 15 metres high, the sheer size of this statue is sure to impress you whether you’re admiring it from afar or up close. 
  • When visiting the attraction, do remember to dress modestly (clothing that covers your knees and shoulders) and take your shoes off before entering the temple.  
Enjoy the island vibes at Chaweng Beach (2h)
Credit: AirAsia
  • Now it's time for some fun in the sun at Chaweng Beach 😎 This is one of themost popular tourist spots on Koh Samui boasting a pristine beach filled with sports and leisure activities!
Credit: Koh Samui - Koh Phangan - Koh Tao on Facebook
  • Have a blast at Aquapark Samui - an exhilarating water park where you can slide, jump and climb your way through various inflatable devices!
  • Enjoy this activity for 300 baht an hour or, if you’re content with spending the rest of your day here, 500 baht for half a day. The park has lockers on the beach where you can stow your belongings safely while you have a good time out at sea. 
  • Don’t miss out on the other cool activities at this beach as well such as bungee jumping, jet skiing, golfing and even Thai boxing. You can also treat yourself to a soothing spa session and Thai massage at any one of Chaweng’s many luxurious spas. 
  • If you prefer to just kick back and soak in the view of the ocean, lounging on the beach is the perfect way to go. 
Indulge in seafood heaven at Melayu Samui Seafood Restaurant (1h)
Credit: Melayu Samui Seafood Restaurant and Resort
  • Worked up an appetite after spending all your energy on the beach?Satiate your hunger at Melayu Samui Seafood Restaurant with yummy seafood dishes such as grilled prawns, calamari, pomfret fish and crabs.
  • As one of the more popular spots for a halal meal, you can expect to see the restaurant filled with Muslim travellers dining here 😊 
  • If you’re looking to perform your prayers before heading back to your accommodation, Koh Samui Central Mosque is conveniently located just a 2-minute walk away from the eatery. 
Halal status: Muslim-owned Opening hours: Open daily; 10AM-10PM Address: Maret, Ko Samui District, Surat Thani 84310, Thailand Day 3: Spend the day at Ang Thong Marine National Park
  • A day trip to Ang Thong Marine National Park is one of the absolute must-dos in Koh Samui. Comprised of 42 islands, this protected archipelago is one of the most beautiful natural wonders that Koh Samui has to offer. 
  • You can choose to visit the park by either booking a group excursion or a private charter. 
  • #HHWT Tip: If you’re on a budget and don’t mind mingling with strangers, the group tour is the perfect choice for you. Alternatively, opt for a personalised charter if you want to have more control over your day.
  • For the larger grouptours, make sure to ask about their designated itinerary as some may vary in places that they’ll stop at.
  • One of the spots that you’ll most probably be visiting upon your arrival is Koh Wua Ta Lap. It is one of the main islands in the area and also an amazing spot to capture beautiful photos of Ang Thong Marine National Park.
  • Snorkel through the clear, blue waters here while admiring the marine life of butterflyfish, groupers, angelfish and parrotfish swimming around you. 
  • Another location with an equally fantastic view is Koh Mae Ko Island where most, if not all tours will stop at. Admire its gorgeous beach and the island’s inland saltwater lagoon called Emerald Lake. 
  • Hike your way to the peak of a nearby mountain through a series of pathways and staircases for a magnificent view of the shimmering green lake.  
  • If this place seems familiar to you, it might be because you’ve seen the famous movie ‘The Beach’ starring Leonardo DiCaprio which was filmed right at this very lake!
  • Most tours will include some free time, so go ahead and soak in the island vibes by swinging on hammocks, lounging on the sandy beaches or kayaking throughthe calm waves along massive rocky cliffs.
  • As the evening starts to set, the tour boats will then take you back to the shores of Koh Samui. 
Roam around Fisherman’s Village Bophut (1h) 
  • Wander the peaceful streets of Fisherman’s Village at Bophut where you’ll find various boutique stores, hotels, and several hipster cafes offering a gorgeous view of the sea facing towards Koh Phangan. 
  • If you’re fortunate to be here on a Friday from 5pm to 11pm, enjoy the weekly night market and its lively atmosphere that attracts crowds from all over the island! This is the perfect place to be if you’re looking for souvenirs to take home or want to try yummy local delicacies like the traditional Thai dessert, mango with sticky rice 😋
Day 4: Time to head home
  • The trip has finally come to an end and it’s time to bid farewell to Koh Samui. Get on board a bus from the hub of Koh Samui that takes you directly to Nathon Pier. From there, take a ferry that will take you straight to Surat Thani International Airport.  
So, if you’re enticed by a Surat Thani trip filled with unique attractions, tasty food and beautiful naturethatincludes a visit to the wonderful islands of Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao, then make sure to book with AirAsia which flies directly from Kuala Lumpur to Surat Thani 4 times weekly (Mon, Wed, Fri, Sun) departing at 12.30pm 😃 All-in one-way fare starts from RM69 for BIG members. Book from now till 26 Jan 2020 so you won’t miss this awesome promotion! (Travel period: From now till 31 Aug 2020)  Excited for your trip already? Log on to Airasia.com to book your flight now!
This article is brought to you by AirAsia.