There is a city in Thailand that was named after an Indian city. The name of the city in Thailand is Surat Thani; which was inspired by the city in Gujarat called Surat, a major port city of those times. King Vajiravudh (Rama VI), the 6th monarch of Siam, visited Surat and was so impressed by the city that he re-named a city in his own province, Bandon to Surat.
Indeed Surat was the main port connecting India to other countries in the west. Even the British were impressed by the industrious culture of the port city. Surat was the entry point for most major tradesmen of the west and was the main port from where the kings left for their Hajj to Mecca. It comes as no wonder that King Vajiravudh was impressed by Surat.
The name, Surat, means “city of good people” and was given to Bandon as a title because of the intense devotion of the residents there. The city of Bandon was renamed to Surat on 29th July 1915. Another interesting fact about the city is that it also has a river Tapi which flows through it, which was also inspired from the river, Tapi that flows through Surat in India.
So the similarities between the two cities are that they have the same names, they are coastal cities, they lie at the mouth of a river and that the rivers are named Tapi. If we take the title “city of good people” literally then we have yet another similarity as Surat, in India, is also known for the friendliness of its people. The weather is also very similar in both regions.
[Photos Courtesy: Pinkesh Modi]