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 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 of the area is mountainous, with plains in the centre near the coast. Brooks lie in the east of Satun, mangroves can be found along the coast and there are more than 100 offshore islands. Famous islands are Ko Tarutao Ko Adang and Ko Rawi and Mu Ko Phetra.

:: Attractions

The province's Matsayit Klang (Central Mosque) has a modern architectural design and is centrally located in the provincial city.

A mixture of western and Islamic designs can be seen in the structure of the former provincial hall, the Kuden Mansion.

The Tarutao National Marine Park is the most southwestern part of Thailand, and is only 8 km from the Malaysian island of Langkawi. Tarutao is renowned for its superb diving sites, considered to be among the best in the world. Offshore sightings of whales, dugongs, and dolphins are common. There is a rich concentration of fish life, with about 92 species of all the coral fishes in the world here. For many centuries, the islands had a sinister reputation as a pirate's lair that was finally curtailed by the British Royal Navy in the 1960s. In 1974, it became Thailand 's first marine national park, containing spectacular, unspoiled scenery and marine ecosystem, and a wide variety of wildlife and marine animals. The park is only accessible during mid-November to mid-May because of the monsoon season. Consists of 51 islands, the major attractions are Tarutao Islands, the Adang-Rawi Islands and Lipey Island.

The largest island in the group is the 26-km long Koh Tarutao. It offers the greatest scenic variety, with semi-evergreens covering most of the surface and wonderful, pristine beaches on the western coast, where most accommodations and facilities are located. Popular excursions include a visit to see the remnants of a large, former Thai prison camp, the half-hour climb to To-Bo Cliff to watch the sunset and a boat trip to stalagmite-filled Crocodile Cave, though no crocodiles inhabit the place anymore.

Situated 40 km west of Tarutao Island, rugged Koh Adang is thickly forested and has many year-round waterfalls. On the southwestern coast, the spectacular Rattana Falls has a freshwater rock pool that overlooks the sea. Within that group of islands is the tiny, coral-fringed Koh Kai (Egg Island) where sea turtles come to lay their eggs on the fine sands annually. The famous rock arch seen in many postcards is also located on this island. The smaller island of Koh Lipey, 2 km south of Adang has coconut plantations with pleasant footpaths and pristine sandy beaches. It also contains a sea gypsies community, who were displaced from Koh Adang and Koh Rawi when the park was created. For excellent corals, visit Koh Kra off Lipey's eastern coast and Koh Yang, located midway between the Adang and Rawi Islands. Of those mentioned, rudimentary accommodations and food can only be found on Adang Island and Lipey Island.

The unusual beach of Koh Hin Ngam, located southwest of Adang Island, is filled with many smooth, oval-shaped rocks. When the tide washes in, the bathed rocks produce an impressively striking, colorful appearance plus a melodic rustling noise. It is believed that anyone who takes one of these rocks from the island will encounter various forms of disasters and accidents, which is why the beach is still full of these rocks.

The 2 islands that make up the Mu Koh Salai (Seaweed Island) contain fishing communities that have retained their traditional lifestyle, and a beautiful shell beach.

Back on the mainland, the Thale Ban (Ban Lake) National Park is a lush expanse of water within the Banthat Mountains close to the Malaysian border and surrounded by dense tropical rainforests. Covering an area of 102 sq km teeming with a variety of wildlife, it offers some marked trails, scattered waterfalls, bathing pools, grassy meadows, and a cut-through cave accessible by boat.

Khao Tho Yakong is a small hill with a cliff, a cave and the Chao Kak Shrine highly respected by the locals.

Many fishing villages inhabit the area of Tun Yong Po Cape, located at the Satune Delta, which also has pristine, white sandy beaches and dense coconut groves.

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