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The sleepy but inviting provincial capital of Satun (pronounced Sah-toon) sits near the mouth of the Bambang River a few kilometres from the Andaman coast and a whopping 940km from Bangkok. While officially part of Thailand's "deep south" and home to a majority Muslim population, Satun has largely escaped the strife that plagues some of the neighbouring provinces. Satun is an entirely safe and very friendly place to visit.

Satun is one of Thailand's youngest provinces and don't be confused if you occasionally still see the Malay spelling of the town's name – Satul.

Despite the large modern mosque which dominates the central part of town, Satun is more ethnically diverse than most of the far southern provinces with Chinese and Thai communities mixing peacefully with the ethnic Malay Muslim population.

As with any Thai town, there are enough minor attractions to keep one busy during an overnight stay, including a small museum. If you're a nature lover and are in the area for longer, a trip to explore the waterfalls and wildlife of Thale Ban National Park some 40 kilometres east of Satun is worth the effort.

Satun is also a little-known gateway into Malaysia, with the Kuala Perlis boat crossing and Wang Prajan land crossing.

Wang Prajan border crossing
This border crossing to Malaysia is unknown to most travellers, and only two kilometres further north of the Thale Ban Park turn-off. Once across you can stay in Malaysia or re-enter Thailand to get a new 15-day visa. The border is open daily 06:00-17:00. There's a small market here, but little else.

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Text and/or map last updated on 21st December, 2011.

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