Thursday, 20 February 2014

Suratthani Airport

Surat Thani is a small regional airport. Most of the flights are to and from Don Mueang airport in Bangkok.

The airport is about 20 minutes outside of Surat Thani Town. There are 3 ways to make this journey: bus service by Phanthip company (100B per person), by Tuk-Tuk (200B per person) or by private taxi (600B). Do bear in mind that the Phanthip bus needs to be booked in advance and runs at fixed times (including 12 noon and 3 pm). Ask at your hotel or the Phanthip office on the Taladmai Road. This is the main road where the buses drops off and pick up for the ferry terminals for Koh Samui and Koh Phangan.

The airport has two storeys. Arrivals are on the ground floor and departures on the second floor. On the ground floor there are three coffee outlets and a counter for buying bus tickets onwards. Otherwise there is not much at the airport in terms of retail outlets in the arrivals section. Upstairs there are shops and two restaurants. The BB cafe is small and serves snacks and coffee. The other restaurant is larger and is run by the Sawasdee Group. They have a full menu range and serve alcohol and other drinks. The prices aren't cheap compared to the rest of Thailand, but fairly cheap as far as airports go. The noodle soup costs 100 THB, the American sandwich 110 THB, a fruit juice 50 THB and a small Singha beer is 100 THB.

Suratthani Airport is a small regional airport that is not big and not particularly busy. This is the main advantage of the airport – it is free of the stress associated with big airports. However, it lacks facilities. The good news is that it is relatively close to Suratthani City - indeed closer than the train station (which is in fact in another town!). The Air Asia flights between Suratthani and Don Mueang in Bangkok are only 2,000 Thai Baht and much better value than the Bangkok Airways flights from Koh Samui. Until Koh Phangan Airport is built Surat Airport will remain the best value airport for getting to and from the island.