First of all I would like to say hello to everyone, normally when people talk about "Satun Province", they will firstly think of Ko Lipe but actually Satun also has many places that are not well known. This review will recommend you to visit one of the best attraction place in Thailand which I can't believe that there are 3 places and I don't want to waste your time anymore. Let's see the places that I will take you to. This review will emphasize each place's detail that we are going to visit. GPS code will also mention here, for anyone who would like to visit the place like me, you can search for the GPS and drive directly to the point.
The recommendation for this review : This review is quite long, please use a WiFi signal for those who use smart phone to read this review because there are a lot of pictures here, taking up around 40 MB . For those who uses a top-up money system, you may use FUP system also. I don't want to reduce too many pixels because it would affect the mood of reader.
Tham Phu Pha Phet
It is the biggest cave in Thailand and top rank of the world large cave.
The original name of Tham Phu Pha Phet is called " Tham Lord,Tham Yao or Tham Phet" it is an Eco-tourism place, located in the Khao Banthat Wildlife Sanctuary with an area of over 20,000 Kilometers. inside the cave which is known as the biggest cave in Thailand and it was ranked as one of the world top large cave due to the distance in the cave is devious and separate into many parts. Inside the cave is stalactites and stalagmites, when it interacting with the light, the cave wall becomes sparkling like a diamond. So, this is the source of the name Tham Phet in the first place. After the name has formally changed to "Tham Phu Pha Phet". Tham Phu Pha Phet is located 27 kilometers far away from Manang district. It is macadamized road, the same route to Tham Phu Pha Phet ( a road sign is provided along the way, keep following the GPS then you would definitely not lose your way) and when driving to the end of the road you will see a big entrance sign of the cave.
Tham Phu Pha Phet opens at 08.30 am.- 15.30 pm. everyday. Before we go on to visit the cave, we have to pay the ticket fee for 30 Baht, a very cheap price for normal visitor, a children price is a lot more cheaper. Here is an information describes in detail about how money spends to maintenance the place. I am thinking about the tour fee when visited Son Dong Cave, the biggest cave in Vietnam which I really disagree with it because it is 3000 USD or 100,000 Baht, the price is totally different from here.
The way to the cave is painless, the staff has already built up a ladder to walk comfortably but it must be many steps to the destination, around 300 steps, a pavilion for taking a rest on the way is also provided. This picture is taken when the rain is going to fall. You don't have to step hurriedly, just a moment to reach it. I used to visit one place, I have to step on the rock instead. I admit that this place make me feel more thrill , in some part there is a swamp so you just walk around, that's all.
"Uncle Nil",who pioneers Tham Phu Phet since the year 1997 and taking care of us while visiting inside the cave. Uncle Nil use a small hatchet ( you can see at the cave's mouth, the uncle has put it there for tourist to take a look), opens the cave mouth and walk in it before we make a survey. Please read and follow the instruction when visit the cave such as smoke and food prohibition or even taking a drink or beverage into the cave,etc. also, including conduct one's behavior while you are inside the cave too.
This picture takes after we have already ducked through to the hole at the cave mouth to the inside. The hole that the uncle opens for us to see is not quite wide and not quite long, just a moment to the get inside cave .
It quite dark inside the cave ( flash light is turning on so you guys can see the picture) previously there is a light but since it increases the cave temperature and it would affect inside environment. But, we can rent a torch and walk at the down floor before going to the cave mouth which the price is 20 Baht only ( I recommend you to check the brightness of the torch first, because I am afraid that it will not light up along the route ) Inside there is a wooden bridge to walk conveniently.
The condition inside is full of stalagmite and stalactite, the shape looks strange depends on one's imagination. The cave is divided into around 20 different rooms according to the imagination.
Like this picture, it looks like Naga so this room is named The Head of Kin Snack room. It is a big stalactite room and the next picture is showing how stalactite originates. Stalactite is originated from the water dropping down to limestone and gradually form this stalactite. The germination ratio is 1 millimeter/year ( really little )
This room is named " Marn Phet room" It is a wide stalactite room, there is a color rock that when it touches with the light, its appearance looks like a curtains adorned with diamonds. Actually inside is quite dark and I takes lots of time to get this picture.
At some point we have to walk through stalactite arch. At that time I set my camera here and wait for other tourists to walk away, there is a Malaysia tourists waiting here for taking a photo too but they also touch and chip the arch so I warn them once. For anyone who passes through this area, please don't touch and looks at it with eyes only if you want to see a natural beauty to remain with us for a long time.
I want you to see how widen and big the cave is, comparing to the walk way. I recommend you to keep a spare time because it takes time to visit the whole cave.
Uncle Nil has told us that there are many points he hasn't explored yet, it is a point that no bridge is built to and right now he is in charge of being a tour guide so he has discontinued exploring it. What I amazed is when thinking of these stalactite, it takes more than hundred million year to connect stalactite together, and the elegant of the stalactite that it seems like that it is built naturally to bear the cave and some are shape totally dissimilar to the rock like a corduroy hanging down from the top.
Continue walking for a while you will see a fairly wide yard. There is one beautiful stalactite, this room is called Korm Si La Phet room which water is running from the top and the period we go there is raining so we can see that the water is running down and touch with the rock. There is a warning sign indicates that the area seem to be weaken.
After that Uncle Nil leads us to see another point of stalactite that a drop of water still dropping down from the 10 m. height ceiling. Previously this rock is a natural growth but there still a believe that this rock is originated from a running of metal charm so they destroy it and it becomes a broken stone pillar in which a water drop is always running out. I feel disappointed about those people's thought. Uncle Nil has pointed out the point in which the water is dropping down, it is really high (I can't take picture of it).
After that uncle Nil also leads us to the next point, he has managed the time very well but there are still many points we haven't visited yet.
Next is a Highlight room of this cave which is "Emerald yard" it is the only point of this cave that the light can passing through naturally. It is a wide yard that surrounded by a growing of green algae and Moss. Uncle Nil tells us that previously it is a wide yard with many green rocks settling here.
Actually a suitable time to visit this area is around 15.00 pm., the light will shine into this angle that makes this area totally brighten out. The instruction and regulation are you should not destroy green algae and Moss area because it might disappear if you touch it and you should not climb up too high to the entrance of the light as it may seem like climbing up there but many people are falling down because they don't believe in the warning instruction.
Taking some photo of the adventurous in this trip... definitely not including me in this picture (T_T).
After that we walk a little bit deeper from this point, Uncle Nil has pointed out the stalactite that stop growing because someone touch it even it can grow longer because the water drop is always running out.
Appearance of stalactite - when it stop growing, I have taken a closer picture of it that the touching area becomes black, only once it get touch, the stalactite will stop growing.
Walking not far into the area but no light is shine through this area, you will see a big hall. This hall name " King Naga Pan hall ". And uncle Nil has pointed out the surrounding area that the stalactites have formed up to the same level around the room which looks like King Naga is lapping the room. It may occurs due to the confined of water and then gradually lowered its level but no one knows how long it might takes to make this thing occurs.
Staying there for a moment then uncle Nil asks for cooperation to turn off the light and keep calm for a second, this gives us a sense of living there alone in the middle of the dark, can't measure even the distance of hand, can't see even you open your eyes. If no noise is made, you would not acknowledge people standing beside you. There is one thing I have to tell every reader that during we are leaving from King Naga Pan hall, uncle Nil has pointed out a track of violators who climb into the rail of Emerald yard to closely take a photo of the stone ( at the place I make a circle) They don't listen to the instruction and also arguing that they are educational person ( educate one but can't read the sign). Their action make a green algae, moss that attach to the stone because of the balance of moisture at this area will gradually disappear and pass away. All this problem occur because of the careless people's action that only think about their advantage. Me, as a representative of tourists, I am asking anyone who is doing or planning to do like this and reading up to this point to please consider to quite this action for public advantage. Please visit the place creatively and do not come to destroy, and then go away.
And before we are leaving, uncle Nil has pointed out another strange area which stalactite rock has appeared on another rock, the shape looks similar to the coral reef in the sea. It is not originate from the dripping like other those previous one you have seen. Uncle Nile assumes that it occurs because of a high water pressure inside that push out a rock from the existing base, it would be better for Geologists to have a look.
We take around 3 hours from the cave's mouth to walking inside the cave. We spend a lot of time because our group take time on photo taking but we can say that we want to visit it once more. I have to take a picture so there are many points that I can't follow them. Every picture I take is consuming not less than 10 seconds to get a very clear picture like this. I have to bear the camera steadily,to avoid shaking, and waiting there alone because it is one way, wooden side walk, it is shaking even few people step on it. There are many rooms I haven't visited because I mainly focus on taking a pictures. For those who has a chance to visit Satun, I recommend you to add this place into your tourist program. I guarantee that you would really appreciated with this place.
San lang Mang Korn in the middle of the sea, the longest sea in Thailand.
The place I will take you to see is a land in the middle of the sea or Thale Waek (separated sea) that is known as " San Lang Mang Korn". We take a car to the boat at fisher village. The village is named Tan Yong Po (GPS code is : 6.592759, 99.965650), located near Tan Yong Po school . Actually this village, is a peaceful fisher village with a white sand beach which is suitable for relaxing, surrounding by rubber plantation which is a local people lifestyle.
Let's see what San lang Mang Korn means, if we look at this picture from the Aerial photographs, we will see a long beach along the sea, located between 2 groups of island which are Ko Hua Man and Ko Sarm. The ridge has around 4 km. long which Thale Waek is not always appear here all the time. The land appears around 7 hours which depends on Lunar's Phases.
Now let's get on the boat. It is a big boat same as the picture, it can carry around 20 people, we takes not so long time to get there because it's not far away from an offshore. During the way, I can see a pink dolphin in a moment but can't take picture of them, maybe they just play a trick on me.
Just a few minute floating on boat, you will see San lang Mang Korn starts to appear on the sea just in time.
Some people may think that there is nothing interesting and it's just a common separated sea but actually the separated sea is not only a special point of this place. The land appears in the middle of the sea is not a sand, it's like a shattering of a sea shell. According to tour guide explanation, San Lang Mang Korn is formed by many determinants. One determinant is a tide and currency that convergence and brings a sea deposit gathering as a row like in this picture and the most important is that it is a very long sea shell edge with a 4-5 meters width along the way and looks uncommon when look at an Aerial photographs ( I am pity that I hadn't taken a finely picture of the sea shell because there is an accident occurs and what you see in the picture is not a coral but it's a piece of aground foam so I then take it as a background object in the photo)
San Lang Mang Korn used to be a rehearsal place of a beautiful lady in the competition, we don't have that beautiful lady in this trip but they also looks beautiful in a similar imitate posture. A recommend material that you should bring to this place is a beautiful cover-cloth, use for waving during the shooting.
We can walk along San Lang Mang Korn. There is only one part that deep and bend and have to be careful. You may fall down if you are neglect but luckily a boat driver has piloting along the way with us. You may get a picture that look like you are walking on the water surface if you have enough photo shooting skill.
I just take a photo and walk to another side of the island but haven't got a chance to walk across to another island because the sky starts to get dark and I am feeling so pity that the time San Lang Mang Korn appears is not in the afternoon, so we have only a short period walking there.
While we are about to go back, I then see a big familiar islands and when I see the pole on the island, I then recall that it's Langkawi which we just visited that place, very near to the beach.
When the boat is nearly to reach the shore, I also see that there is a sea mist occur near the forest and coast side. This can be called as a real sea mist because there are both a mist and sea here.
Tham Lay Stegodon
It is the longest steam cave in Thailand.
I would like to recommend a brine steam cave that a fossil jawbone of Stegodon elephant is found, the elephant that live longer than a well-known Mammoth elephant in the primeval period. Before going through to cave, I would like to briefly describe "Thungwa Ancient Elephant Museum". The museum is originated from the collection of a jawbone Stegodon elephant which is found inside the cave. Moreover, an information , knowledge of elephant in Thailand and the history of Thungwa district is also provided here.
A full picture of ancient elephant's jawbone. Stegodon elephant's jawbone is discovered when villagers are searching for a lobster inside the cave and find out this bone so the exploring begins and they have been found many fossils there. Some people may not know the age of Stegodon elephant. I can summarize that mammoth is a mammoth elephant lives in an ice age era for around 20,000 years ago but Stegodon elephant is older than a mammoth. They live in Pleistocene period or around 1.8-0.01 million years ago and it has a big age gap between two kind of elephants.
From the ancient elephant museum to the Stegodon Cave takes not so long around 10 minutes to reach the cave mouth. A sculpture replica of Stegodon is settled in front to welcome us. Actually Stegodon cave is named Wang Kluang Cave and the sea water is flooding depends on the sea water level so it is also called Thum Lay which is more than 4 Kilometers long.
Today the water level is quite high, I feel spasm because I just take only a camera with me ( I would be very sad if it fell down) but the water-mans are quite professional here. Before enter to the cave, the staffs have distributed a life jacket and hat for our own safety. If you have taken anything important with you, they will give a waterproof bag or you can bring your own waterproof bag and put in it, no problem.
When everyone ready, now let's get on the canoe. One canoe can carry 3 people including water-man. The water flow slowly and the water level is not too shallow and not too high.
I feel spasm when entering the cave for a while because there is a small watercourse. I am thinking that if I go there without taking the camera with me, I would still sailing with them but I don't want to take a risk so I decide to get off for a while (actually, I can let them hold a camera for me but they advice me to get off, so I listen to them) There are only 1 spasm area and after that it's just a common water way and water level is only at my shin but it's walk with difficulty because it's like a clay.
After that we continue paddling, inside is a big boat, the ceiling is quite high and you are not necessary to bend down the head or lying down like other stream caves do .
Beauty of the cave is depend on each people imagination like a picture that I post here because I have no idea when I take this picture at the first place but when I see it in detail, it looks similar to the picture in the valley but in the inverted way.
Let a picture of stalactite inside the cave tell its own story and this is only part of my pictures that I have taken.
We have taken a long sailing and staffs have pointed out the shape of the stones periodically during the way. Up to the point that bats are hanging on the wall is now nearly to reach the exit.
The end of the exit way is the way to a mangrove forest and sea. Mouth of the cave has a distinct character which looks similar to the heart shape so it becomes the definition of this cave "Follow your heart at the end of the tunnel". I am so pity that too much water here so it's not clearly look like the heart.
We take a canoe for a while to a big boat and get on a car at the port after getting out of the cave. And this is the end of exploring Thum Lay Stegodo.
Actually I really don't like stream cave because I feel uncomfortable and afraid that I will get stuck in the cave (I feel a little mental disorder) It's my first time going through the stream cave since it is my duty so I have to try it once and it makes me feel really good. Before we leave, I have one more things to recommend to those who is going to travel to Satun and should not miss it which is "Cha Chak" with a soft and delicious Roti. It forces me to eat it every time when I am at Satun. His making style posted below is a special show, normally he makes it at the back of the counter.
Roti and Cha Chak
Ka Buenk Roti, a big special Roti and crisp whole sheet.
For those who want to taste Cha Chak and Roti at this restaurant " Thank You Satun" GPS code of this restaurant is 6.623056, 100.073333. It is located on the Parnchooramluk Road at the road corner. This review is so long but I don't want this trip to be defectively so I intend to add some detail that I think it is useful to you guys. It is considered to be a good experience of travelling in southern area this time of me which I really feel appreciated and pity for miss visiting many areas.
Lastly, I have to say Thank You to those benefactors which arrange this trip to be occurred.
- The Tourism Authority of Thailand, Southern Market Division also has their own page, you can search for detail of tourist attraction, including a good accommodation at https://www.facebook.com/letsgosouththailand
The Tourism Authority of Thailand, Trang office (Trang, Satun) which have joined an adventure trip with us. If anyone want a detail for travel, visit the page below
-A president Narongrit Thungpruep, a chief executive of the Thung Wa District which gives a great welcome and information about Thum Lay Sataegodon.
- A warm welcome from staffs.
- the most important thing is Nok Air which take us safely to the destination.
Thank You everybody for reading my review. For those who have any suggestion or inquiry, you can ask me directly or follow my trip at my fan page written below.
See you in the next review.