For other places with the same name, see Surin (disambiguation).

Surin (สุรินทร์) is a town in Isaan, Thailand.

Prasat Sikhoraphum


Surin is the capital of Surin Province. Its population is small, approximately 40,000, but the province itself is densely populated. It lies about 450 km east of Bangkok and 50 km from the Cambodian border.

Surin is a quiet town. Its chief claim to fame is its annual Elephant Roundup, which takes place in Nov (book a room in advance). Surin's people have had a long relationship with elephants and they have become the provincial icon, epitomizing as they do raw power coupled with intelligence and strong kinship values.

Plenty of Khmer ruins, beautiful silk fabrics, and highly-prized jasmine rice also make Surin a destination worth a visit.


Surin's story dates back thousands of year when the Suay or Kuay ethnic groups migrated along the Mekong River to settle around the Dongrek Range. Kuay ethnic people, found in Thailand and Laos, are talented in catching and training elephants. Some 2,000 years ago, during the Khmer Era, the town of Surin was established. After the fall of Khmer Empire, the town was neglected until 1763, when Luang Surin Pakdi (Chiang Poom), headman of Muang Tee Village, led his people to settle at Ban Khu Prakai, now the town of Surin. He subsequently became the first mayor of the settlement.

Get in

By car

From Bangkok, head north via Hwy 1 (Pahonyothin Rd) and get onto Hwy 2 (Mittraphap Rd) at Saraburi. Use Hwy 24 (Chok Chai-Det Udom) via Nang Rong, Prasat, then turn left onto Hwy 214 to Surin. This route is 457 km long. Or from Korat, motorists can use Hwy 226, via Chakkrarat , Huai Thalaeng, Lam Plai Mat, Buriram to Surin. This route is 434 km in length.

By bus

By train

Trains regularly leave Bangkok's Hualamphong and Bang Sue stations for Surin. For more information, call 1690, +66 2 2204334, +66 2 2204444. Surin Railway Station tel. +66 44 511295, +66 44 515393 or visit .

Get around

Surin is a small, so most journeys in the central area can be made on foot. However, there are also samlors (rickshaws) and tuk-tuks. The larger hotels have cars available for hire. Keep in mind that no one considers overcharging a foreigner to be a serious crime. A samlor 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.


Khmer-era temples

These stretch from the border westwards to Buriram Province. There are few organised tours (tourism is not overly big in Isaan). You can always find an (expensive) rental car, with driver, at your hotel, or it is possible to visit the major temples by using the local public transport system (this is very cheap). Ask you hotel or guesthouse for instructions. (Most signs at the bus and train stations are in Thai, however, the staff are very helpful.)




Surin has a fantastic night market. Be sure to try the Isaan sausage and Laos-style flattened chicken (gai yang), but be careful with the som tam (papaya salad)!

In addition to the night market Surin is liberally endowed with small restaurants, and the usual street vendors. Also the major hotels have reasonably priced menus.


Surin is not known for its many bars, but there are a few places offering drinks and nightlife. Most are located near the Thong Tarin Hotel. Adjacent to the TT are two streets lined with small bars, restaurants, karaoke bars, and go-go bars. The larger hotels also have bars and restaurants. There are also several small restaurants managed or owned by expats scattered around town. The largest is the "Farang Connection", followed by the Oasis, "The Beach in Surin" and N & N's German Restaurant, all near the bus station.


Go next

Paramount Angkor Transport runs buses to Samraong and beyond from O'Smach town. Look for the attap hut with bus advertisements on the highway at the turning to the town. On the Thai side, minibuses run from Chong Chom to Surin (60 baht).

Routes through Surin

Bangkok Buriram  W  E  Si Saket Ubon Ratchathani

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