The name of Satun province comes from the Malay word “Setul”, which means “wild mangosteen tree” (source Wikipedia). The famous Tarutao National Park which comprises of 51 islands, including the island of Lipe, is part of the province.
Due to the fact that Saturn borders Malaysia, more than 65% of its population is Muslim. But in contrast to other southern provinces of Sonkla, Phatthalung, Yala, residents of Satun do not support racial separatism and they are more tolerant.
Places of interest in Satun
Lipe island, เกาะสิเป๊ะ
Lipe is an island 2x3 km in size, part of the Tarutao National Park. It is the most splendid and most inhabited of the National Park’s islands. Moken Sea Gypsies that live on the island are mostly fisherman. Looking at the map of the island one might think that the island has many streets, in reality, these are just narrow paths that often run between houses and their garden plots
The island has three main beaches:
Sunrise beach is a beautiful, clean beach in the East of the island, where boats come from the continent. There are many good hotels located slightly away from where the long-tail boats get moored.
Between the beaches, there is a street of bars and restaurants (the sign proudly says Walking Street). It is the busiest place in the evenings.
Pattaya beach is located in the South and has the largest number of hotels and bars. You can spend your evenings here at a bar watching a fire show. One of such bars is Peace and Love Bar.
Sunset beach is the quietest beach with very few hotels.
It is best to familiarize yourself with the map at www.kohlipethailand.com
The paths to this beach are overgrown with vegetation and hotels located here match its chill-out vibe.
Why go to Koh Lipe? Besides its tranquility, everyone finds something here. Some spend nights in a hammock on the beach in Raggea bar watching stars. This is a good place for stargazing. Others spend their time swimming, exploring, taking pictures, only getting back to their bungalow by sea in the evening to fall to sleep from exhaustion.
Almost all hotels on the Island are bungalow style.
! Please, keep in mind:
1. There are no currency exchanges and ATMs, very few places accept bank cards.
2. Throughout the year the number of visitors changes which affect the number of establishments that are open.
From May to October is a quiet season: few people, deserted beaches and few open restaurants and hotels.
October to May is a busy time and a lot more people. Some visitors feel: “the more the merrier”.
There are many small islands around Koh Lipe that you can explore by hiring a boat. You can stop at one of them to enjoy a deserted beach or go fishing and snorkeling.
The most impressive island of them all is Hin Ngam. What is unique about it is that it is covered with shiny black rocks. You can spend hours playing with them but stones are not to be removed from the island. It is believed that if you take even one small stone it will bring misfortune into your life until you return it back to the island.
The flat shape of stones is good for building towers or pyramids and many visitors do that. Lay down on your belly and look toward the horizon and you will see a mysterious city of stone towers.
!Bring your own snorkel and mask or rent them at the hotel before the trip.
In high season boats from Pak Bara Pier (ท่าเรือปากบารา) depart to Koh Lipe twice a day, in low season - once a day. It takes about 2 hours to reach the Island.
The schedule of speedboats and ferries can be found on www.kohlipethailand.com
A ticket to the island of Lipe is usually sold for a round trip with an open date for the return leg. The price depends on the operator and the season.
Where to leave the car — Parking
If you want to spend a few days on Lipe and the nearby islands, leave the vehicle in secure parking near the pier Pak Bara. Car Parking is on the left side, 50 m from the pier.
Satun province Langka hotel (ลังกา)
The unique feature of this hotel is that its bungalows are located right on the beach. While the beach is not good for swimming you can’t beat the view, especially at sunset and the atmosphere is nice. On the horizon, you can see the Islands of Langkawi and Tarutao.
The hotel is close to the pier where ferries and boats depart to the island of Lipe.
Lipe Island Mountain Resort
This hotel features bungalows located on the hill in the north part of Sunrise Beach. Many bungalows have sea view. They offer bungalows with a fan or AC. A staircase leads down to the beach with pure white sand and clear sea.
One of the advantages of this hotel is its proximity (10 min walk heading South) to the pier where you can hire a water taxi to explore nearby islands.
Satun. Muslim restaurant
There are many restaurants, mainly between Pak Bara Pier and hotel Langka. But to truly experience a local cuisine go to where locals eat. That means head to the town where all shops and eateries are located along the only street in town. You can hardly call it a town.
You should try Roti (flat bread) with curry sauce (โรตีน้ำแกง), hot tea with milk (ชาร้อน), sweet Roti (flat bread) (โรตีกรอบ).