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Thailand's first ASEAN Heritage Parks and Reserves

Calm and clear will never die on this island

Posted on 07 Aug 12

By WorldTravelJoy

Satun is the most southern province situated in the Andaman Sea, the west coast of Thailand.  The name “Satun” derived from the word “Setoi” in Bahasa Melayu language meaning the fertile ground for tropical fruit Santol.  The province is 973 km. from the capital city Bangkok and is ranked the 12th largest city in the southern part of Thailand following Pattani and Phuket provinces.  Satun is bordered by Trang to the north, Songkla to the east, and Malaysia to the south.   High mountain plateau occupied almost the areas, leaving a small narrow coastal plain that leads to abundant mangrove forests.  Satun has no river pass through but possesses small streams by having their sources in the mountains.  Though, the province has a direct access to several world famous islands, which are under the care of two main national park administrations: Tarutao National Park and Thale Ban National Park.   In 1974, Tarutao National Park was established and listed in 1982 as one of the original ASEAN Heritage Parks and Reserves.  The headquarters of the Tarutao National Park is located between Satun and Phante Malacca Bay.  The park consists of 51 islands divided into two island groups: Tarutao and Adang-Rawi.  The overall park has an area of 1,490 square kilometres; it is renowned for its history and natural beauty of mountainous plains covered in evergreen forest including a variety of birds and tropical fish underwater.  One part of the park is protected by mangrove forest.  Several small and large bays along with gorgeous beaches counting the four endangered species of sea turtles: hawksbill, leatherback, green and olive ridley are scattered throughout Tarutao.  The word “Tarutao” is a misconstrued term from its original Bahasa Melayu name “Taloh Trao” that represents “Old, mysterious and primitive”.   Adang-Rawi is a cluster of islands situated 40 km on the southwest of Koh Tarutao and 60 km from Satun mainland, comprising of Koh Adang, Koh Rawi, Koh Lipe, Koh Dong, Koh Hin Ngam, Koh Jabang, Koh Hin Sorn, and Koh Yang.    The name “Adang” derived from its previous Bahasa Melayu word “Udang” means “Prawn”.  In fact, prawns and shrimps were abundant in the area.  Koh Adang has an area of 30 square kilometres of mountainous forest, containing Jone Salad Waterfall that has water flow all year round.  A famous viewpoint “Pha Chado” is overlooking pine woods and white fine sand beach extensively encircled the island.  It takes approximately 40 minutes to walk up; this site was once the pirate’s observatory before hijacking the trading vessels.   Koh Rawi is one kilometre away from Koh Adang, a little less of a total area, is embraced purely white sand beach, tranquil clear sea - a great spot for swimming and snorkelling.   The most celebrated island in Satun is Koh Lipe, located a little farther about two kilometres from Koh Adang.  It has been sea gypsy community residences, the main occupation of village people are fishery.  During the waxing gibbous of the sixth and twelfth months, the sea gypsy traditional religious belief is a gathering of a descendent of sea folks on this special occasion for three consecutive days and nights, they collaborate with each other in making a wintergreen miniature wooden boat for a leeway ceremony.  The little boat is loaded with all the worries of the village and sent out to sea.  Additionally, the conviction is to predict in carrying on an occupation of fisherman.  Nevertheless, the development of hotels these days has changed Koh Lipe to a romantic getaway destination.  The natural surroundings are stunning coral reefs and white powdery sand beach around the island.  The most dazzling curvy beaches are “Ao Pattaya” and “Ao Chao Lay”; a pathway connects these two bays take approximately 15 minutes to walk in between.     Moved to the southwest of Koh Adang, the impression of Koh Hin Ngam signifies its appearance of various splendid shapes of black stones, in which “Hin” in Thai language denotes “Rock” and “Ngam” stands for “Splendid”.  On the island, there is a noticeable warning sign; it is a written cursed of Tarutao Guardian Spirit saying, “Anyone who dares to take one of these beautiful stones away from this island, a disastrous life will cause you in all respects”.    Jabang Channel is submerged rock, presenting jam-packed colourful soft coral garden dispersed with rock formations. It has good visibility at an average depth of 5m and a good variety of coral and fish.  The current here is typically strong but to catch a glimpse underwater is worthwhile even several divers have quoted as saying that Jabang is one of the world’s top sites.   Shifted away from Adang-Rawi archipelago to a group of islands, about one hour by boat to Moo Koh Dong – peaceful atmosphere, coral reefs are prolific scattered around in the area.  The outstanding island of the group is Koh Hin Sorn. Again, its name expresses the island aspect, the stack of stones.   How to get there:  Satun province is reachable by all means of transportation.   By train – Satun doesn’t have a train station but travelling by train can be done either from Bangkok to Yala or Bangkok to Hat Yai then catch a taxi, private van or public bus to Satun, a total driving distance 97 km.   By car – From Bangkok Highway 4 (Petchkasem) passing Prachuabkirikhan – Chumphon and drive onto Highway 41 through Nakornsrithammarat – Phatthalung then take Highway 4 to Songkla and turn right to Highway 406 to Satun, a total distance of approximately 973 km.   By bus – Daily public air-conditioned bus and private bus depart Bangkok to Satun at Bangkok Southern Bus Terminal (Baromrajchonnee Road).  The driving time would be around 15 hours.   By air – There is no direct flight to Satun.  All flights leave from Bangkok to Hat Yai, continuing the journey by a private car, taxi or van to Satun as in the same practice by train. What you should know:  The closing season of Tarutao National Park that encompasses the principal islands of Tarutao and Adang-Rawi is from May 16 to November 15 of each year.   Special Thanks Adang Sea Tour and Transport Service Co., Ltd. Tel:  +66 (0) 74 783338, (0) 8 16092604 Fax: +66 (0) 74 783077 Email:          

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