The Central Gulf Coast incorporates many popular beach destinations in Southern Thailand.
- 1 Chaiya - historic town with temples and handicrafts
- 2 Chumphon
- 3 Nakhon Si Thammarat
- 4 Surat Thani
- 1 Ang Thong National Marine Park - archipelago of 60 or so islands NW of Ko Samui
- 2 Khanom - spoiled fishing village with some little-visited beaches
- 3 Khao Sok National Park
- 4 Ko Nang Yuan - tiny island near Ko Tao
- 5 Ko Pha Ngan - party island, but also some quiet beaches
- 6 Ko Samui - largest island off the southern Gulf Coast
- 7 Ko Tao - small island neighbour of Ko Samui, one of the best places in Thailand for diving
- 8 Lang Suan - for nature lovers
- 9 Than Sadet-Ko Pha Ngan National Park
There are flights to Surat Thani from Bangkok (both airports, many times a day) as well as Kuala Lumpur and Chiang Mai.
Ko Samui has flights from Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Chiang Mai, Hat Yai, Krabi, U-Tapao and Phuket. In addition, there are flights from Phnom Penh, Hong Kong and Singapore.
The smaller Nakhon Si Thammarat airport has flights from Bangkok (both airports) and Chiang Mai only.
The Central Gulf Coast is served by the Southern Line of the State Railways of Thailand (SRT). There are 10 departures per day for the 9-12 hour journey from Bangkok to Surat Thani, but not all have sleeper carriages. Note that Surat Thani station is also called Phun Phin station as it is half an hour away from Surat Thani city. The best train to take from Bangkok is the express train 85, leaving Bangkok at 19:30 and arriving Surat Thani (Phun Phin) at 07:06. This train has A/C sleepers and seats only. There is one later departure from Bangkok each day but this service (special express 39) does not have sleeper cars. Earlier departures from Bangkok will arrive at Surat Thani between midnight and 06:23. Cheaper options include train 167 (18:30-06:23) which has cheaper fan sleepers instead of A/C. If you prefer a daytime departure, Special Express 43 has only A/C seats departing Bangkok at 08:05 and arriving at Surat Thani at 16:45.
2 of the 10 trains that stop at Surat Thani also stop at Nakhon Si Thammarat, which is on a branch of the main Southern Line. Express train 85 (mentioned above) arrives here at 10:55.
Buses run from Surat Thani station to Khao Sok NP, Khao Lak, Krabi and Phuket.
Head south on the train to the Southern Gulf Coast and Malaysia