Surin Travel Information
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Introduction || History || Administrative divisions || Transporation
Surin Island Surin Elepants

Surin is the capital of Surin province. Its population is small, approximately 43,000, but bear in mind that the province itself is densely populated. It is about 450 kilometers east from Bangkok and 50 kilometers from the Cambodian border. A quiet town, its one claim to fame is its annual Elephant Roundup, which takes place in November (book a room in advance). Surin is well known, locally and international, for its elephants. The gigantic animal of Surin impresses everyone with loveliness, cleverness and creates a unique character of the province. Surin's people have a long relationship with elephants which has become an icon of the province. Plenty of Khmer Ruins, beautiful silk and famous jasmine rice also make Surin an interesting destination.

Surin is the home of the annual Elephant Round-up, having been the breeding grounds for the royal elephants for much of the history of Thailand. Located 457 kms from Bangkok, it is a place of deep rural tranquility, but in the 3rd week of November it comes fabulously alive as it hosts this annual round-up. This exciting and colorful spectacle celebrates the remarkable role elephants have played in Thai history.

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Surin was originally an important part of the ancient Khmer empire. Temple ruins and a substantial ethnic Khmer minority remain part of Surin. In 1763 a village was moved to the location of the modern city of Surin, and was upgraded to a city with the name Muang Prathai Saman. About that time, a local resident named Chiangpum presented a rare white elephant to the Chao Phaya Chakri, future King Rama I. In gratitude, Chiangpum was awarded the royal title Luang Surin Phakdi and appointed the village headman. When Rama I became the Thai monarch, he appointed Luang Surin Phakdi as the province's governor. In 1786, the city's name was changed to Surin in honor of its governor.

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Administrative divisions

The province is subdivided into 17 districts. The districts are further subdivided into 158 subdistricts and 2011 villages.

  • Mueang Surin
  • Chumphon Buri
  • Tha Tum
  • Chom Phra
  • Prasat
  • Kap Choeng
  • Rattanaburi
  • Sanom
  • Sikhoraphum
  • Sangkha
  • Lamduan
  • Samrong Thap
  • Buachet
  • Phanom Dong Rak
  • Si Narong
  • Khwao Sinarin
  • Non Narai

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Surin is a small town, most journeys in the central area can be accomplished on foot. However, there are also sam-lors (rickshaws/'saam-law') and tuk-tuks. The larger hotels also have a car available for hire. Keep in mind that no one considers overcharging a foreigner to be a serious crime. A sam-lor ride around the central region of the town is 40 baht, a tuk-tuk maybe 50/60 baht for foreigners. If in doubt ask your hotel for advice. When 'getting off the bus' always be extra careful not to be taken for a ride while being taken for a ride.

By Car

From Bangkok, head north via highway 1 (Pahonyothin Road) and get into highway 2 (Mittraphap Road) at Saraburi. Use highway 24 (Chok Chai - Det Udom) via Amphoe Nang Rong, Prasat, then turn left into highway 214 to Surin. This route is 457 kilometres long. Or from Nakhon Ratchasima, motorist can use highway 226, en route Amphoe Chakkrarat , Huai Thalaeng, Lam Plai Mat, Buri Ram to Surin. This route is 434 kilometres

By Bus

Scheduled buses leave Northeastern Bus terminal (Mochit 2) on Kamphaeng Phet II Road in Bangkok every day. For more information, call 0-2936-2852-66. Transport Co, Surin Branch tel. 0-4451-1756.

By train

Trains regularly leave Bangkok's Hualamphong and Bang Sue stations for Surin. For more information, call 1690, 0-2220-4334, 0-2220-4444. Surin Railway Station tel. 0-4451-1295, 0-4451-5393.

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