Central Mosque (Majid Mambang)
The religious centre of Satun is located right in the heart of the city (Buri Wanit Road and Satun Thani Road). Built in 1979 to replace the old wooden Mosque that was falling apart, it’s decorated with white marble and colourful mosaics. To get to the mosque, just look for the white minaret with the golden tip and head straight there.
Khao To Phaya Wang Park
For a relaxing afternoon or a peaceful jogging session head to Khao To Phaya Wang Park (open daily 8m – 5pm). Bring some bananas with you and keep your belongings – like phones and shining or dangling items – safe. Right after the entrance there’s a company of monkeys who are normally overfriendly with people as they are used to the locals feeding them all the time. For this reason the park is known among foreigners as Monkey Park, but don’t try to ask for directions with the English name: more than likely you will not be understood. To get there take a motorbike taxi or a tuk-tuk for THB30/60.
Ku Den Museum
Built in the 19th century, the museum is worth visiting even for the building along. It was used as the Japanese headquarter during WWII and as the city hall after that. After a beautiful restoration it has been recently opened to the public as a museum and nowadays displays weapons, head-shaped kites and a 4-centuries old boat plus provides information on Koh Tarutao’s history and Koh Lipe’s original inhabitants (Chao Lay).
The museum is located in the city centre close to the mosque (Satuntanee Soi 5, open 9am – 4 pm, closed on Monday. Entrance fee THB30)
Tarutao National Park
Tarutao National Park has been established in 1974 as the first marine park in Thailand. It consists of 51 islands with Koh Lipe being the major tourist destination in the park. All the other islands are completely uninhabited and basic accommodation options (fan bungalow or tent) can be found only on Koh Tarutao or Koh Adang.
Koh Tarutao is the biggest island in the park and one of the most beautiful Thai islands with its steep mountains and cliffs diving straight into the ocean, green vegetation, beautiful beaches and wonderful crystal water. Some of the common species you can see on Koh Tarutao are wild boars, civet cats, macaques, deer, hornbill, languor and if you’re lucky (or unlucky) pythons and king cobras. Saltwater crocodiles, once quite common in the area, are now considered to be extinct.
The best way to explore the island is to rent a mountain bike (THB250 a day, really good bikes). Good snorkelling is available just off the beaches while if you want to dive, diving shops are available only on Koh Lipe.
There are ferries from Pak Bara to Koh Tarutao (THB1200 round trip). Once you get to Koh Tarutao you’ll be asked to pay the park entrance fee (THB200).
Tarutao and Koh Lipe are the only islands that can be visited all year round. The rest of the park is closed form May 15 till November 1.
Thale Ban National Park
This park covers the mountainous area in the south of the province on the border with Malaysia. Established in 1980, it is filled with numerous waterfalls and lakes with scenic mountain landscapes and is a true paradise for nature lovers.
A large variety of wild animals can be found there including monkeys, gibbons, elephants, serows, wild boars and many reptiles and birds among the others. The park is open every day from 8am till 6pm and there’s the camping ground inside the park’s headquarters (bring your own tent or rent one there). The entrance fee is THB200. To get there hire a songthaew in Satun for THB800 round-trip.