A memorable adventure can start anywhere and one of my journeys was in the less crowded part of south Thailand’s famous coastal line, Satun and Trang province. I have to admit that I barely knew about that until I went there and spent time feeling their charms with my own eyes and creating memories with my own hands.
In Trang, no one can resist the tempting smell of foods. Trang roasted pork is among its famous foods. Traditionally roasted in the Trang style, the juicy pork was a bit sweet but got along well with dim sum meal and a pot of hot tea or a cup of coffee, or both since the old-style coffee here is commonly brewed with tea to begin with.
A café called ‘Tubtieng Oldtown’ which I dropped by for a drink was stylishly operated in a former machine shop decorated with splendid photographs from the owners who also are photographers. They served local Thai desserts along with a variety of coffee from espresso to affogato as well as Italian sodas and local fruit juices.
After filling up my stomach, I headed away from the city centre and started to fulfil my heart with exploration. Bo Hin Farmstay was my destination to begin an eco-tour, including sea grass planting and taking a walk in the mangrove forest. Several kinds of crab were spotted around even on small trees.
A big surprise was a strangely beautiful, small, bluish hot spring in the middle of sludge with a natural curvy mud slider. Hawks were another resident in the area and I was lucky enough to observe them closely.
One of the most famous tourist spots was the Emerald Cave. A little effort of swimming was necessary to get through the low-ceilinged tunnel but the amazing small beach surrounded by cliff was worth it, especially when the place was covered in sun rays and the water turned to an emerald green colour.
Not too far away, Satun impressed me with Koh Bulone Mai Pai, which is one of the small islands in Mu Koh Petra National Park with the perfect sea-sand-sun set-up. The pristine beach remained untouched and no proper buildings were allowed on the island.
Tham Le Stegodon is another option. The two-hour long river cave had a beautiful cave formation which dazzled in the dark reflecting small light from head torches. There was a short moment that all the torches were turned off and then the sound of silence was the only thing I could feel in the pitch black vision.
Islamic culture could also be seen in food. Satun-style breakfast was the perfect combination of soft boiled egg, roti (with or without dips), and Cha chuck – Thai-style pulled milk tea. Other foods here, including Thai food, were slightly spicier than those in Trang’s. Yet, the seafood was cheaper and yummy as expected.
Even though Trang and Satun are under the same sky, on the same coastline, the unique charms of them make a big difference. Geography, architectures and cultures combine and create amazing trails for everyone. Don’t judge them with pictures you saw from others but with pictures of the actual place reflecting in your eyes.
Text and photos by Varistha Borkird
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