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This page offers advice on how and when to travel to Suan Mokkh.

Map

Travel

Please do not arrive after dark (approx. 18.30) when vis­it­ing the main Suan Mokkh mon­as­tery.

Wat Suan Mokkh (the main monastery) is about 640km south of Bangkok and just west of the Asian Highway (Hwy. 41 or AH2). Surat Thani, 53km south­east, is the nearest city. Chaiya, the nearest village and train station, is about 6km northeast of Wat Suan Mokkh.
The International Dhar­ma Hermitage (the retreat center) is situated about 1.5km (20min walk) away from the Suan Mokkh mon­as­ter­y on the east side of the highway in a quiet location behind a hill.

From Bangkok by train:

Train no.Train TypeBangkok DepartureChaiya Arrival
43Special Express08:0516:17
171Rapid13:0023:33
169Rapid15:3503:10
83Express17:0503:46
173Rapid17:3505:10
167Rapid18:3005:42
85Rapid19:3006:28
39/41Special Express22:5007:37
From Bangkok′s main Hua­lam­phong train station, take any south­bound train (see time­table to the left) and get off at Chaiya, then take a blue song­taew (a pick-up truck) to Suan Mokkh. The price for the train (2nd class sleeper, fan) is about 500 baht, for the song­taew from Chaiya to Suan Mokkh about 20 baht*. Trains tend to be late!

More information regarding travelling by train is available at:
http://www.railway.co.th/home/default.aspx?ID=&lang=EN

From the South, take trains that stop in Surat Thani (Phun Phin) or Chaiya. At Phun Phin station, ask at the bus stop in front for a Chumpon (no. 474) or Ranong (no. 469) bound bus going by Suan Mokkh. (Phun Phin, Surat Thani's train station, is 14km west of the city).
Blue song­taews bound for Chaiya (when you leave the train station go about 200m to the left) will depart Phun Phin about every 30minutes until about 3pm.
Chumpon or Ranong bound buses from Surat Thani bus station depart about hourly until about 3pm. (The price for the bus from Surat Thani or Phun Phin or the song­taew from Phun Pin is about 50 baht*; the ride will take app. 1.5 hours from Surat Thani and approx. 1 hour from Phun Phin).

Some government air-conditioned buses from Phuket to Bangkok will pass Suan Mokkh and let you off in front of the mon­as­ter­y. Please enquire at the gov­ern­ment bus terminal in Phuket.

From Bangkok by bus:
Bangkok′s new and modern Southern Bus Terminal, known as Sai Tai Taling Chan, is on Phuttha­monthon Soi 1 in Thonburi on the western side of the Chao Praya River. It is a bit dif­fi­cult to get to but bus no. 511 will take you there from Democracy mon­u­ment. It is easily iden­ti­fied by the S.C.Plaza building when entering the bus terminal.
Dif­ferent types (24, 32, 40, 50 seaters) of air-con­di­tioned buses depart here for southern Thai­land. Take a bus bound for Surat Thani or Koh Samui (no. 991, 991-1), Nakhon Si Thammarat (no. 981) or Hat Yai (no. 992, 992-1) and ask to be let off at Suan Mokkh; buses will either let you off directly in front (km post 135) or at the nearby petrol station. Most buses going to Phuket (no. 949) will take that route as well.
If you book your journey in advance, and it is worth it during peak season and Thai holiday periods, you must go to the bus station to pur­chase your ticket. If you buy from a travel shop, you will probably end up on a tourist bus and may not get the usual high stan­dard of the national buses. Be es­pe­cially careful with private buses departing from the Khao San Road area as theft has been reported repeat­edly on these buses.
The journey from Bangkok takes about 8 to 10 hours, so a good bus is worth the effort of going to the bus station in advance to book.

More information regarding travelling by bus (the English ver­sion is not working yet) is available at:
http://home.transport.co.th/index.php/en/

Surat Thani airport is about 27km south of Suan Mokkh and 2km west of the highway. It is possible to catch a taxi at the air­port (approx. 500 baht*) or public trans­port at the air­port gate at the highway (approx. 35 baht*) directly to Suan Mokkh without having to go into Surat Thani. It may take up to 1 hour to cover this distance by public trans­port. Public trans­port will cease around 3.30pm.

*  Prices are given as a guide and may not be accurate, changing with­out warning. It is your re­spon­sibi­lity to check prices before you travel to be sure you are willing to pay prices being charged.


Choosing a Date

Map The number of par­tici­pants enrolling in the retreats varies over the year. In the main sea­son (December to April) the retreat may get quite crowded, while from June to Novem­ber it is very peace­ful and calm. If you can choose the time to come, you may want to pick the latter period.

The diagram shows how the number of par­tici­pants var­ies through the year.

Female (47%) and male (53%) par­tici­pants have a fairly even share. For most of the par­tici­pants, a re­treat at the Inter­na­tional Dharma Her­mit­age is their first con­tact with medita­tion. How­ev­er there are usually a few "old friends" (par­tici­pants who have done at least three re­treats at the In­ter­nation­al Dharma Her­mit­age) sup­port­ing the new­comers.