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Beyond the Beaches: The Insider’s Guide to Satun, Thailand

We all know that Bangkok’s a blast – but after a while, the street vendors and tuk-tuk horns start to blend together, right? Last year, I was craving some serious beach time, so I hopped on a bus heading south and discovered the wonders of Satun Province.

Sure, Koh Lipe and its postcard-perfect beaches is a popular spot – but there’s so much more to Satun! Plus, it has some seriously delicious local eats that put Khao San Road fare to shame. 

Trust me, this ain’t your typical Thai tourist trap. Intrigued? Read on and let me tell you why Satun is worth exploring beyond its beaches!

Things to Know

Currency: Thai Baht
(Check the current exchange rate)

Language: Thai (Central Thai)

Calling Code: (+66)

Location: Satun, Thailand

Nearest Airport: Langkawi International Airport (48 km), Hat Yai International Airport (97.9 km)

Best Time to Visit Satun

The best time to visit Satun, Thailand is during the peak season from November to April. During this time, you can experience sunny weather conditions and Tarutao National Marine Park will be open as well.

However, the temperature might be too hot during midday, especially from March to April. That means you can only explore the province comfortably in the morning and afternoon.

How to Get to Satun

Plane and private transfer: The fastest way to get to Satun, Thailand from Bangkok is to book a flight to Hat Yai International Airport. Once you arrive, you can book a private shuttle service to Satun’s town center.

This option is expensive but only takes approximately 6 hours, so you’ll save plenty of time.

Train: Another way to get to Satun, Thailand from Bangkok is to catch a train from the Krung Thep Apiwat Central Terminal to Padang Besar in Perlis, Malaysia. This train ride takes approximately 18 hours and you still need to ride a taxi from Perlis to Satun.

Bus: You can also ride a Transport Company bus from Bangkok Mochit Bus Terminal to Satun, Thailand. This is a direct trip so you don’t have to make a side trip to Malaysia which is nice.

Just know that this takes approximately 24 hours, so this is your slowest option.

Where to Stay in Satun

Satun Sea Balcony

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Address: 327 Moo 2, Hadsaiyao Tanyongpo, Mueang Satun District

Operating Hours: 2 p.m. (Check-in) & 11 a.m. (Check-out)

Contact Number: +66 89 299 2773


Pricing: ฿฿

Our team’s thalassophiles say this is the best hotel if you want to enjoy an incredible ocean view. This hotel has floating suites, so expect to wake up every morning next to the gentle waves of the Andaman Sea. 

These comfy suites also have modern interiors and all the basic amenities you’ll need, which we like. They also have wooden floating decks with hammocks and loft nets so you can relax and get as close as you want to the ocean.

The Gleam Resort

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Address: 61 Sathityuttitham Road, Phiman, Mueang Satun District

Operating Hours: 1 p.m. (Check-in) & 12 p.m. (Check-out)

Contact Number: +66 74 711 909

Pricing: ฿฿

The Gleam Resort is a mid-range hotel in the heart of Satun’s town center, near almost all the popular attractions. It’s also close to a pier, so you can easily get to the province’s beautiful islands.

This property has a lush garden with lines of trees, so it’s perfect for those looking for a nature-filled vacation experience. You can enjoy a pleasant walk along its paved pathways while observing the surrounding greeneries and fish pond.

Satun Boutique Resort

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Address: Phiman, Mueang Satun District

Operating Hours: 12 p.m. (Check-in & Check-out)

Contact Number: +66 74 740 188


Pricing: ฿

This charming hotel is a great option if you’re on a budget. Its rooms are affordable, organized, and equipped with basic amenities, so they’re a great value for your money.

It’s also in the heart of the town center which is perfect for tourists who want to explore its streets and visit the local haunts. For one, Satun Boutique Resort is only a 15-minute walk from the national museum which we think history buffs will appreciate.

An interesting amenity here is an EV charging station, so it’s the best option for tourists driving an electric car.

Where to Eat in Satun

Nong Nee Restaurant

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Address: 3, 3 Sathityuthithum, Phiman, Mueang Satun District

Operating Hours: 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. (Monday – Saturday)

Contact Number: +66 74 723 012

Pricing: ฿฿

This local favorite serves excellent Southern-style Thai dishes which makes it a must-visit for hardcore foodies who want to sample local specialties.

It also has a sizable menu, so you can try many classic dishes popular in the Southern provinces. Nong Nee Restaurant’s specialty is kaeng som, a spicy and sour curry dish with fish and vegetables.

Kaeng som is also the most popular Southern dish, so it’s definitely worth getting if you haven’t tried it before. They also make this with crab and shrimp, which is great if you’re a big seafood fan.

Bobby’s Pizza Satun

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Address: 159/3 Satun Thani Road, Mueang Satun District

Operating Hours: 11:30 a.m. – 9 p.m. (Sunday – Friday)

Contact Number: +66 82 439 5117


Pricing: ฿฿

Bobby’s Pizza is well-known for its pizza, kebabs, and Italian sandwich wraps.

We like that their pizza has a wide range of topping options, so it’s perfect for foodies who like variety. Think vegetables, seafood, chicken, beef, lamb, and duck.

Our go-to dish is the signature doner pizza. This fusion pizza is loaded with a generous topping of beef doner kebab meat, so it feels like you’re getting two dishes in one.

178 Cafe & Seafood

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Address: 178, 13 Sulakanukoon, Phiman, Mueang Satun District

Operating Hours: 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. (Daily)

Contact Number: +66 32 425 707


Pricing: ฿

This small cafe specializes in affordable Thai seafood dishes, so it’s the perfect place to indulge in your favorite seafood while getting your caffeine fix.

Our favorite is their curry crab stir fry. Their version of this rich and creamy curry stir fry uses removed soft-shell crab meat so it’s not a chore to eat.

Aside from that, this cafe also serves excellent kaeng som and stir-fried squid, which were some of the best we had in the province.

What to See and Do in Satun

Visit Tarutao National Marine Park

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Address: 325 Walking Street, Ko Tarutao, Mueang Satun District

Operating Hours: 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. (Daily)

Contact Number: +66 74 783 485


Admission Costs: 200 baht (Adults), 100 baht (Kids)

This idyllic marine park is a must-visit for thalassophiles who want to explore the Satun’s rich waters. It’s a great place for snorkeling with plenty of fishes and corals to observe.

Kayaks are also available if you want to explore the marine park’s stunning coastlines. Aside from that, you can also hike the park’s lush jungle trails which are great for animal spotting.

There are plenty of animals to see here, from mouse deer to macaques, hornbills, squirrels, civets, wild boars, fishing cats, and more.

Catch a boat to Koh Lipe

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Address: Andaman Sea, Mueang Satun District

Operating Hours: 24/7

Koh Lipe is popular – for good reason! It’s a paradise island with pristine white-sand beaches, snorkeling spots, diving spots, and lush nature trails.

The island has many resorts, restaurants, and bars so you have plenty of options for food and accommodation.

Admire the scenery at the Chado Cliff Viewpoint

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Address: Koh Adang, Mueang Satun District

Operating Hours: 24/7

If you like to hike and watch stunning sceneries, Chado Cliff Viewpoint is certainly a must-see. The hiking trail to this viewpoint has markers and rope guides, so it’s forgiving even to casual travelers.

However, the second half of the hike is steep, so it can be challenging if you don’t have strong knees. The nature enthusiasts on our team love this trail since you get to see plenty of local fauna and flora along the way.

The viewpoint is in Koh Adang which is next to Koh Lipe, so it’s only a short boat ride away.

Book a snorkeling trip to Koh Rawi

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Address: Andaman Sea, Mueang Satun District

Operating Hours: 24/7

Koh Rawi is an island near Koh Lipe famous for its snorkeling and diving spots. Here, you can observe numerous soft corals and tropical marine creatures.

Moreover, the only establishment here is a small restaurant and a restroom, so it’s perfect if you want to enjoy a peaceful time in nature’s company. In fact, you can set up a tent on the island if you like to spend the night away from Satun’s more touristy areas.

Explore Thale Ban National Park

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Address: Wang Prachan, Khuan Don District

Operating Hours: 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. (Daily)

Contact Number: +66 32 562 744


Admission Costs: 200 baht

For nature lovers, a trip to Satun won’t be complete without visiting Thale Ban National Park. This vast nature reserve consists of rainforests, mangrove forests, and mountain caves which makes it popular among animal spotters.

In fact, this park is our team’s favorite birding spot. It has over 250 recorded bird species, from banded kingfishers to Asian emerald doves and more.

The park’s notable birding spots are Wang Pra’s ranger station and Ya Roi Waterfall’s hiking trail. Wang Pra, in particular, is a must-see since it has the only known sighting of a dusky eagle owl in the country.

See the limestone formations inside Phu Pha Phet Cave

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Address: Palm Phatthana, Manang District

Operating Hours: 

  • 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. (Weekdays)
  • 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. (Saturday)
  • 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. (Sunday)

Contact Number: +66 74 605 466

Admission Costs: 200 baht

Phu Pha Phet is a large cave that’s popular for its picturesque limestone formations. Since the cave is vast, expect to see plenty of interesting limestone stalactites and stalagmites, plus numerous rooms with different features during your visit.

For instance, the deepest room called Saeng Morakot is known to glow emerald when its green stalactites and stalagmites catch the light from the ceiling. Phu Pha Phet is the cave’s most popular room since it sparkles like flakes of diamonds.

Tour guides are available and they provide you with headlamps.

Enjoy Wang Sai Thong Waterfalls’ cool water

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Address: Nam Phut, La-Ngu District

Operating Hours: 24/7

Wang Sai Thong Waterfalls is a great place for weekend family outings and picnics. It has a gentle multi-tier cascade which looks impressive, especially during the rainy season.

It also creates refreshing pools that are perfect for swimming. The pools aren’t deep and floaters are available to rent on-site, so it’s perfectly safe for small kids.

Also, this waterfall is underrated, so you don’t have to worry about huge crowds of tourists during your visit.

Check out Prasat Hin Pun Yod in Khao Yai Island

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Address: Andaman Sea, Pak Nam, La-Ngu District

Operating Hours: 24/7

Contact Number: +66 74 720 285

Prasat Hin Pun Yod in Khao Yai Island is one of Thailand’s most beautiful natural rock formations, so it’s definitely worth the visit! Its biggest highlight is the eroded rock tips which make it look like a crenelated castle wall.

Also, this place is only accessible by kayak, so it’s perfect if you like sightseeing and water activities.

Tour Satun National Museum Kuden Mansion

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Address: Satun Thani Road, Phiman, Mueang Satun District,

Operating Hours: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. (Wednesday – Sunday)

Contact Number: +66 74 723 140


Admission Costs: 50 baht

Satun National Museum is great for history buffs who are itching to learn about Satun’s important historical events. Here, you’ll find plenty of information about major events in the province, especially during the Rattanakosin Era.

There are also exhibits and displays of ancient tools and artifacts that were discovered in Satun. Aside from that, the museum has dioramas and audio guides narrating the life of the common people in the past.

FAQs about Satun, Thailand

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