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Surin (สุรินทร) is a town in North East Thailand (Isaan Region) and is the capital of Surin province. It is the site of the annual Surin Elephant Round-up. The town is also an access point for the Khmer temples of Phanom Rung historical park, Khow Preah Vihean and potentially Angkor Wat.

Surin town is located approximately 450 kilometres North East of Bangkok, about half way between Nakorn Ratchasima (Khorat) and Ubon Ratchathani (Lat 14.90, Long 103.50). The population of the town (Amphur Muang) is in the region of 200,000, the majority being of Khmer and Laos decent. Thai is the main language of the area but many, particularly older residents, speak Khmer, Lao, and/or Suway. Surin can be reached from Bangkok by air (to Buriram Airport near Satuk), train (regular services throughout the day) or bus (Mo Chit bus station). By private car or taxi, take the route to Saraburi (route 1), Nakorn Ratchasima (route 2) and via Buriram (route 226).

In historical aspect, Surin’s story can be dated back thousands of year B.C. when Suai or Kuai ethnic group migrated along Mekong River to settle around Dongrek Range. Kuai ethnic people, found in Thailand and Laos, are talented in catching and training elephant.  Some 2,000 years ago, during Khmer Era, Surin town was established. After the fall of Khmer Empire, the town was neglected until 1763, when Luang Surin Pakdi (Chiang Pum) headman of Mueang Thi Village, led his people to settle at Ban Khu Prathai, in present Surin City. He was promoted as the first mayor later. 
Surin covers a total area of 8,124 square kilometers and is divided into 17 Amphoes (districts), namely Mueang Surin, Chumphon Buri, Tha Tum, Chom Phra, Prasat, Kap Choeng, Rattanaburi, Phanom, Si Khoraphum, Sangkha, Samrong Thap, Buachet, Lamduan, Si Narong, Phanom Dong Rak, Khwao Sinarin, and Non Narai.The main industry in Surin Province is agriculture, and the most prevalent crop is rice (khow). The land is very flat which facilitates paddy field construction. It is apparent that around 80% of the provinces population is either farming or at least involved in farming during part of the year (planting and harvesting).
There are basically two seasons in the Surin Province of Thailand; the hot wet season (between April and October) and the cool dry season (between November and March). The average temperature in the hot wet season is 30 degC (but can rise as high as 43 degC) and the average in the cool dry season is 23 degC falling as low as 10 degC at night. Precipitation averages in the region are 20 mm/month in the dry season and 180 mm/month in the wet season. September is normally the wettest month and January the driest.
The Surin Elephant Fair/Roundup is held every year, usually on the third weekend in November, although the elephants may start converging on the town as early as September.

Surin has a substantial population of expatriate westerners married to local women. At this time, there is an estimated population of foreigners (known as farangs in Thai) of 6,000 living in Surin and surrounding villages. These men are mostly married to local Thai ladies they have met in other parts of Thailand whilst on vacation here.

There are four "farang" restaurants located in Surin City Centre, where one could meet local expats having a beer and a chat. They are the Farang Connection, The Sportsman Bar and the Oasis located behind the bus terminal and The Starbeam Restaurant opposite the Majestic Appartments.

"Thais are donning scarves, farmers are scrambling to save their rice crops and snakes are freezing to death.

That is all because temperatures in this normally balmy country have dipped to their coldest in a decade.

The country has been gripped in a cold spell that blew down from China earlier this month and is likely to last until February, the Thai Meteorological Department said Saturday.

Chukiat Thaijaratsathian, an official in the department's forecasting office, said temperatures in the country's capital fell to a low of 14.7 degree Celsius (58.5 Fahrenheit) on Jan. 11 - the coldest in a decade. They have even been colder in the country's mountainous northeast, reaching 4.2 degree Celsius (39.5 degree Fahrenheit) in Nakhon Phanom province."

Source: Associated Press, Bangkok.

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Cost of Living

Royal Road


Thasawang Silk Village, Surin


The Kingdom of Thailand consists of 76 provinces with a total area of 514,000 square kilometres. The country is governed by a constitutional monarchy. The Prime Minister heads the government and is designated by members of the House of Representatives. The Royal Family is greatly revered by the population and the King plays a significant role in the development of the country.

Thailand has a well developed infrastructure, a free-enterprise economy, and welcomes foreign investment. Thailand has fully recovered from the 1997-1998 Asian Financial Crisis and was one of East Asia's best performers in 2002-04. Increased consumption and investment spending and strong export growth pushed GDP growth up to 6.9% in 2003 and 6.1% in 2004 despite a sluggish global economy.

In 2004 some 10% of the population lived on less than a dollar per day and there is a considerable variation in living conditions for the current population of over 65 million people. About half the labour force is employed in the agricultural sector but Thailand is experiencing rapid urbanisation. The population of the capital, Bangkok, is now estimated to exceed 12 million.

Source: Global Road Safety Partnership

Preparing a Khmer meal

Why not try these Surin related sites?

Images of the Isaan Region.
Gallery of cloud formations and sunsets/sun rises.
Take a trip around Surin's markets (with pictures).
Pictures and Videos of the local Sing-a-Song Girls.
The history in pictures of building a house in Surin.
Pictures of the World Famous Elephant Round-up.
The Surinvej Traditional Thai Massage.
The Thai New Year in Pictures. (2007, 2008,2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012)
What to expect when facing local drivers.


Farang Connection

For accurate and up-to-date information on Surin, ask the people who live there:

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