THE Department of Rural Roads this morning (June 12) invited tourists to visit the tiny Koh Rat island that is now linked to mainland Surat Thani by the 500-metre-long Chalerm Siriraj Bridge – a project initiated by His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great and built by the department, TV Channel 7 said.
Living amidst the petite island’s beautiful scenery is a community of Thai fishermen of Hainan Chinese descent who came here 200 years ago with there now being around 90 households. Most of them have converted their houses to homestays for tourists.
Upon reaching the island visitors will see the Guan Yu and Thapthim Goddess shines venerated by the islanders ever since they settled here two centuries ago. Looking from the left of the island they will also see Wat Khao Suwan Pradit, Laem Thuat where Donsak Pier is located and Wang Hin Beach on the mainland.
To fully appreciate the lifestyle of fishermen they could rent a boat to take them around and also try catching some mullet. If they are lucky some dolphins could appear to likewise catch some fish and this would be a great opportunity to take some good photos.
Tourists will also get to enjoy eating an unlimited amount of fresh seafood prepared in both traditional and Chinese styles with some fish recipes having been passed down over 50 to 60 years.
Getting to Koh Rat is not difficult, if visitors are already at Surat Thani city they should take Route 401 heading towards Nakhon Si Thammarat and turn left at Ban Nai T-junction – straight down 10 kilometres from here is where Chalerm Siriraj Bridge is located with a parking lot also available.
Those who need more travel information may call Surat Thani Rural Road Office at 0 7740 5292 for assistance.
Top: Chalerm Siriraj Bridge linking mainland Surat Thani to Koh Rat. Photo: Department of Rural Roads
Front Page: The bridge to Koh Rat at night. Photo: Surat Thani TAT Office