History of Surat Thani

The city received its name, which means City of Good People, by King Vajiravudh (Rama VI) in 1915. The name was given to the city due to the intense devotion of the locals to Buddhism. Previously the city was known as Bandon, meaning Village on higher ground. The name of the city is taken from the Indian city Surat, situated in Gujarat, on the coast of Indian river Tapi. King Vajiravudh (Rama VI) gave this name to his city as he was impressed with the Indian city.

On December 21 1930 Surat Thani became a sanitary district (sukhaphiban),which was upgraded to a town (thesaban mueang) on December 7 1935, with a municipal area of 2.67 km².The area of the municipality was enlarged to 6.95 km² on October 14 1958, and on December 22 1994 it was further enlarged to 68.97 km². On May 4 2007, the town was upgraded to city status (thesaban nakhon).

Since 1969 Surat Thani is the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Surat Thani, responsible for about 6000 Catholic Christians in southern Thailand