Photo: Mambang Mosque.


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The low-key provincial capital of Satun nuzzles up close to Malaysia in Thailand’s far southwestern corner and draws few travellers despite its location near Ko Lipe, Ko Langkawi and other splendid Andaman Sea islands. Those who make it here will find some good eats and a few minor attractions.

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Part of the Malay state of Kedah until 1813, Satun wasn’t secured by Siam until a treaty was signed with the British Empire nearly 100 years later. Alongside King Rama V, former Governor Phraya Phuminart Phakdi is credited with negotiating the deal that ensured the province—and its now-lucrative islands—didn’t end up as part of Malaysia.

You made it! Welcome to Satun. Photo taken in or around Satun, Thailand by David Luekens.

You made it! Welcome to Satun. Photo: David Luekens

The broad golden domes of Mambang Mosque rise dramatically in the heart of Satun and highlight the prominence of Islam. A handful of Buddhist temples also mingle with Sino-European shophouses and humble Thai-style homes built on stilts above the narrow Mambang River. Set in a stately colonial-era mansion, the Satun National Museum explains the area’s harmonious diversity.

Some of Satun’s Malay-Thai Muslims and Thai or Chinese-Thai Buddhists have intermarried over the years, resulting in a distinct group known as Samsam. With many signs posted in Malay and Thai, Satun’s ethnically mixed population does not generally support the separatist movement that has fought Thai government forces in Pattani, Narathiwat and Yala provinces since the early 2000s. At time of writing, Satun is just as safe as Trang or ... Travelfish members only (Around 700 more words) ... please log in to read the rest of this story.

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What next?

 Browse our independent reviews of places to stay in and around Satun.
 Check prices, availability & reviews on Agoda or Booking
 Read up on where to eat on Satun.
 Check out our listings of things to do in and around Satun.
 Read up on how to get to Satun, or book your transport online with 12Go Asia.
 Do you have travel insurance yet? If not, find out why you need it.
 Planning on riding a scooter in Satun? Please read this.
 Buy a SIM card for Thailand—pick it up at the airport when you arrive.
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