Satun

Satun

Don't miss the local iced tea

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. : 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 (Full text is around 700 words.)

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