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Satun Travel Guide

Satun is a small province in the south of Thailand that borders Malaysia, facing the Andaman Sea. The province possesses renowned picturesque islands with verdant forests and mountainous land. The majority of the locals are Muslim. It is located 973 kilometres from Bangkok and occupies an area of 2,478 square kilometres with 80 kilometres of coastline.

Most tourists head out to the pristine islands of Tarutao National Park. Its landscape is full of underwater peaks, excellent beaches, calm and peaceful coves, jungle and mangrove swamps. Snorkelling can be found at Lipe island, while neighbour Adnag island is stunning with forest, hills and waterfalls.

Around Satun, there are plenty of interesting sights, including dove farms, forest parks and huge waterfall. Thale Ban National Park is famous for its abundant wildlife, with many waterfalls and caves worth visiting.

Ko Li Di Lek is located 5 kms. from the Office of Moo Ko Phetra National Park (Ao Nun), or 7 kms. from Pak Bara Pier. The National Park Protection Unit is located on this island. The island offers a white sandy beach and crystal clear water. The island also has mangrove forests and various kinds of marine animals. Tourists wishing to camp on the island must bring their own tents and food as there are no restaurants. Ko Li Di Yai, nearby Ko Li Di Lek, has bird nest concessions operated by the private sector and is off-limits to visitors.

Mu Ko Phetra National Park The sampan shaped island is situated on the Straits of Malacca, Andaman Sea in the Indian Ocean, west of Thailand. It consists of a long coastline from Tambon Pak Nam, La-ngu district, Tambon Khon Khlan, Thung Wa distict, Satun and Tambon Sukon, Pa Lian district, Trang. The several off-shore islands include Ko Phetra, Ko Khao Yai, Ko La Lo Ban Te, Ko Li Di, Ko Bu Loan, Ko Lao Liang, and Ko Perama. Most of the area consists of steep mountains with plains in the valleys and beaches. The park occupies both land and sea areas, with an area of 494.38 sq. kms. It was declared a national park on December 31, 1984 and is full of forest, mountains, wildlife, and colorful corals. The admission is 100 baht for adults and 50 baht for children. For more information, please contact Tel: 0 2562 0760 or www.dnp.go.th

Tarutao National Park

Tarutao is the first marine park of Thailand. It is famous for its distinguished history and natural beauty. It is located in the Andaman Sea 40 kilometres from town or 22 kilometres from Bara Pier. The park borders Mu Ko Phetra National Park in the north and the Thai-Malaysian sea border in the south. The park occupies an area of 1,490 square kilometres and comprises 51 islands. Seven large islands are Ko Tarutao , Ko Adang, Ko Rawi, Ko Li Pe , Ko Klang, Ko Ba Tuang, and Ko Bit Si. Tarutao was proclaimed a National Park on 19 April 1974 and declared by UNESCO as an ASEAN Heritage Park and Reserve in 1982. The best time to visit is from November to April.

Ko Tarutao is the biggest island in the park that covers an area of 152 square kilometres. The island is teeming with verdant forests and white sandy beaches. There are also camping and diving facility to see corals.

Penitentiary Memorial on Tarutao Island comprises two parts; Ao Talo Udang Prison is at the southernmost bay of Tarutao Island and Ao Talowao Prison, a prison for common and political prisoners which is situated in the south and the east of the island.
The historical six-kilometre road trail was built by prisoners connecting Ao Talowao to Ao Talo Udang and is 12 kilometres long.

Activities on Ko Tarutao
Walking trail from the National Park Office on Ao Phante Malaka is a 12-kilometre walking trail which runs through verdant forest all the way to Ao Talowao. Various types of trees, wild animals like wild boar and mouse deer, and birds, hornbills in particular, are found along sides this trail. An eight-kilometre walking trail begins at Ao Ma Lae ends at Ao Son, passing through virgin forest where various kinds of birds are found.  Bird-watching is ideal here.
Boat rides on a long-tail boat around island for eco-tourism is recommended. The National Park provides boat service with guides for visitors to tour around beaches. The journey could begin with bird-watching on Ao Chak, going to see the longest white sandy beach on Tarutao Island at Ao Son, tracing historical trail on Ao Talo Udang, enjoying natural beauty on Ao Talowao , ending with diving and visiting mangrove forests.  For more information on a one-day trip, contact the tourist centre at the Tarutao National Park.    
 
Mu Ko Adang Rawi is located 40 kilometres from the east of Tarutao Island or 80 kilometres from town. The 30 square-kilometre island possesses beautiful sandy beaches and coral reefs.  There are several small islands around Mu Ko Adang-Rawi including Ko Li Pe, Ko Dong, Ko Hin Ngam, and Kao Yang . Diving can be done around Ko Adang and Ko Rawi. The area of Ko Adang is mountainous and covered with forest and has a large waterfall where water runs all year round. 

Ko Li Pe is located 2 kilometres from the south of Ko Adang. This is where a sea gypsy village is situated. On the 13th-15th day of the waxing moon in May and November, sea gypsies would gather for a traditional celebration for 3 days and 3 nights. They would join in building a boat to float in the sea to in the belief that this would predict that fishing fortunes. The island offers coral reefs, a beautiful bay, and a white sandy beach. Ao Phatthaya is the most beautiful bay on this island.  Privately-owned accommodation is available.  

Ko Hin Ngam is located in the southwest of Ko Adang. It is full of shiny black pebbles along its beaches.
Ko Khai is located in the west of Tarutao Island, 40 minutes from Tarutao. The famous natural stone arch which is somewhat of a symbol of Tarutao National Park is located on Ko Khai. Coral reefs can be found around the island. Camping is not allowed on this island but swimming can be done.
Diving and snorkeling can be done around Ko Cha Bang where light-coloured flower corals lie underneath the sea. Deepwater and shallow-water snorkeling for antler coral and table coral is recommended around Ko Yang and Ko Kata. Snorkeling for hard coral is recommended around Ko Adang, Ko Rawi, Ko Kra, and Ko Dong 

The admission is 200 baht for adults and 100 baht for children

How to Get To Tarutao National Park and its islands
Pak Bara Pier is home to the branch office of Tarutao National Park. It is located 22 kilometres from Ko Tarutao and is the nearest pier to Tarutao Island.

Accommodation in Tarutao National Park
Accommodations are available on Tarutao and Adang islands. For more information contact the Marine National Park, Forestry Department tel: 0 2561 2918-21 or Tarutao National Park, Tambon Pak Nam, Amphoe La-ngu, Satun 91110 tel: 0 7478 1285 and Tarutao unit tel: 0 7472 9002-3.
 

Thale Ban National Park 
 
Thale Ban National Park is at Ban Wang Prachan, Tambon Wang Prachan. The National Park is located 40 kms. from town and occupies an area of 195,200 square kilometers. The Park covers the National Reserve Forest of Ku Pang Pu To and Hua Ka Ming, including Khuan Bo Nam Pu Yu in Tambon Pu Yu, Amphoe Mueang. It was declared a national park on October 27, 1980.

The word Thale Ban derives from Loet Ru Ban in the Malay language, meaning a collapsed sea or a sea that was born out of a land collapse. Thale Ban National Park originated from a land depression between Khao Chin and Khao Mot Daeng. There is a large swamp, which covers an area of 101,360 square kilometers. Most of the area is mountainous and teeming with various kinds of plants and animals, such as water birds, tapir, and Khiat Wak, or Water Dog. The amphibious Khiat Wak resembles a frog or toad, but has a tail and yelps like a dog. Plenty of these creatures can be seen around the swamp in the rainy season. The Khiat Wak is an indigenous animal to Thale Ban. Bird-watchers should not miss a chance to see the different variety of birds here, including red back myna, woodpecker, bulbul, and swallow. Lodges and tents are available in the National Park. The admission is 200 baht for adults and 100 baht for children. For more information, contact tel: 0-7479-7073.

Ko Lipe

Ko Sipe or Ko Lipe is an island located 2 km to the south of Ko Adang. There is a community of Chao Le or sea dwellers here. Most families earn a living by fishing. During the period of three days and nights, around the middle of the sixth and eleventh lunar months, villagers of Chao Le origin will gather at Ko Lipe for a festive fair. Most importantly, the villagers will built a boat from Rakam wood and perform a ceremony to float the boat, according to their belief in the prediction of their fishing. The prominent features of Ko Lipe are natural coral reefs, beauty of a vast open bay, and a powdered-sand beach. Ao Phattaya is a beautiful bay in a curved shape with a white fine beach, which is within a 15-minute walking distance from Hat Chao Le or Chao Le Beach. Accommodation run by private operators is available on the beaches.

How to get there

Distance form Amphoe Muang Satun to Neighbouring Districts :

Khuan Don
Tha Phae
Khuan Kalong
La-nga
Thung Wa
21
28
32
50
76
kilometres
kilometres
kilometres
kilometres
kilometres 

Distance from Amphoe Mueang Satun to Neighbouring Provinces :

Trang
Phatthalung
Songkhla
140
134
125
kilometres
kilometres
kilometres



Car 

From Bangkok, drive on Highway No. 4 past Prachuap Khiri Khan and Chumphon then take Highway No. 41 to Nakhon Si Thammarat and Phatthalung. From Phatthalung, drive on to Amphoe Rattaphum, Songkhla then take Highway No. 4 and turn right to Highway No. 406. It is 973 kilometres from Bangkok.



Bus

The journey from Bangkok to Satun can be made on air-conditioned coaches originating from the Southern Bus Terminal. The coaches, varying in 3 types, depart from Bangkok at the following times:

VIP Bus: 6 p.m.
Standard 1 Bus: 7 a.m., 6.30 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Standard 2 Bus: 6.30 p.m.
The trip takes about 13 hours. For more information, call the Southern Bus Terminal at tel: 0 2435 1199-200 or the Satun Bus Station at tel: 0 7471 1446.

Satun can be reached by van, public bus and taxi from Hat Yai. Taxi is available at the Ratthakan Post Office, van and public bus can be found beside Dr. Somphots Clinic near Hat Yai train station. The van leaves every hour form 7 a.m.-6 p.m. Public bus leaves from Hat Yai bus station every 2 hours from 6.30 a.m. to 4.35 p.m.



Train

There is no direct train to Satun. Visitors can take a Bangkok-Hat Yai train, leaving the Bangkok Railway Station (Hua Lamphong) at 12.25 p.m., 2.20 p.m.,2.45 p.m. and 3.50 p.m. Getting off at the Hat Yai train station, visitors can take a taxi from Ratthakan Post Office to Satun. Vans and public buses are also available. It is 97 kilometres from Hat Yai to Satun. For more information on trains, contact the State Railways of Thailand, tel: 1690, 0 2223 7010, 0 2223 7020 or visit www.srt.or.th



Air

There is no direct flight to Satun. The trip by air can be made via Hat Yai airport then taking a taxi or public bus to Satun for 97 kilometres. For more information on flight schedules, contact Thai Airways, tel: 1566, 0 2280 0060, 0 2628 2000 or visit www.thaiairways.com

 
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