The sea breeze softly touches your face while listening to the sound of the wave hitting the shore.
The sky now is orange and pink as if to tell us.....
that it's time for the sun to take rest.
With such a tranquil time and this premium atmosphere...
simply sitting there would make me so much happy.
When I'm getting tired of work and Bangkok's life.
Or when I fed up with this rush life where I have to transform myself into a fish canned taking the metro.
Then, I like to bring myself to enjoy the sunset somewhere.
Where it's not chaotic and where the nature can bring peace and relaxation to us.
And Satun Province is where it meets my requirement for this rest.
I have a demand of....wanting to go to Satun Province but not to Koh Lipe. I just want to go to Andaman during monsoon season.
I want to enjoy a local home stay life, stay close to the nature, to learn way of life of sea people, so where can I go....??
Search Search Search..Ok Koh Sarai looks very appealing to me but do they have a home stay service there?
Ban Bakanyai Home Stay and Raklay Homestay. And these two places are exactly what I wanted.
I spend 3 days 3 nights with 2 so chill home stay on 2 nice islands for this trip.
- บากันใหญ่ โฮมสเตย์ เกาะบากันใหญ่ Bakanyai Home Stay at Koh Bakanyai, please contact Bang Adul at 081 541 9448.
- รักษ์เล โฮมสเตย์ เกาะสาหร่าย Raklay Homestay at Koh Sarai, please contact Khun Nit at 085 796 7783.
- On the way there: Take the bus at the Southern Bus Terminal (departs on Friday night) and get off near Ban Tung Rin Pier, Tha Phae District, Satun Province as much as possible. After that, take the taxi or hire a car to Ban Tung Rin Pier because our chill vocation will start at this pier.
- On the way back: Fly with Air Asia where I book 3 weeks before I came and I got the same fare as the bus.
Dtac has such a great signal, the 4G is available at all times including in the island which is located in the middle of the sea.
Ok now, let's get started!
Ban Bakanyai Home Stay
The tranquility in the embrace of the nature while walking on the dragon's spine,
Learning way of life of sea people, laying down while listening to the waves touches the shores with full stars in the sky,
and all of this is the description of Bakanyai that we have experienced.
We get in contact with Bang Adul, the owner of the home stay directly. So we are sure that we can still travel here although it's the monsoon season of Andaman sea.
"Are you Nong Fai from Bangkok?", that was the first greeting from Bang Adul when we first met. He comes waiting for us at the Tung Rin Pier.
We must take the boat from this pier in order to go to Ban Bakanyai, our destination for today which takes about half an hour.
Ok!! Let's get into the boat and go!!!
Today the sky is so super clear and we can enjoy the nice view along the way.
Once we reach Ban Bakanyai Pier, Bang Min is there waiting for us with his tricycle.
He put our bags on the vehicle and head towards our destination right away.
There's no sedan or any type of car here, the biggest vehicle on this island is this tricycle.
"Smiles" is the first thing to show local people's friendship and warm welcome.
Despite different religion and accent, "the welcoming smile" warms our heart.
After such a long journey, we finally reach Ban Bakanyai Home Stay.
It's only us here today so the owner lets us choose to sleep wherever we want.
There's not a lot of houses here, some has the bathroom within while some is not.
For the houses built on the shore, they all come with bathroom within. This is pretty much how they look like. They are facing the sea, looking very livable right?
These two houses are built into the sea and has no bathroom within. If you need to use the bathroom, you need to walk up to the shore (which is quite close).
Since this area is the oyster farm, dirty things will harm the ecosystem.
In addition to strictly practice religion (Muslim), this community is also very serious about maintaining a great ecosystem. It is such a great community that should be a pilot community.
And the last house is away and alone in the sea.
It is far from people, with no bathroom withing. You need to walk about 100 meter to find one and it'd be 200 meter for a round trip. But it's great!
Where do you think lazy people like us would choose?
Of course....this one.
Well!! For the best of the best, I'm willing to run a marathon for the bathroom issue.
Let's get our thing unpack and come out to look at the dragon's spine.
Red Dragon's Spine
It is said that.....
"At the holy Phra Mahasamut Thewa, when the water tide is low, we will see the sand dune which looks just like the dragon emerging from the sea.
It's like the dragon is dancing in the sea.
When you see this.....
Please stand on this sand dunes and receive this pure power from the sea's Feng Shui.
It helps us to fill up our body and mind's energy that might get weak to become strong again."
Credit: "It is said" Project, Tourism Authority of Thailand
Very close to our accommodation, we find this amazing nature where the sea is separated (Talay Waek)....
It allows us to see the long curved red sand which looks like the dragon's spine.....
and about to emerging from the sea.
Red Dragon's Spine......is another highlight of this place.
There are 9 places of dragon's spine Talay Waek in Satun Province.
But Bakanyai is quite special than the other places because it is the red dragon's spine Talay Waek.
It is like a younger, stronger male dragon who takes care of the other 8 female dragons (white dragon's spine Talay Waek).
It's time to actually feel this dragon's spine now.
The pattern of the waves that hit the shore and initiate the Dragon's Spine Talay Waek.
Oh wow.......Mother nature is so amzing, it is truly Unseen in Satun.
Let's get some energy from the dragon's spine.
There're lots of large mangrove apple at the dragon's spine and around the coast throughout the village.
These trees make this place shady and offers us different landscape. It also makes us feel so good simply being here.
The root mangrove apple is very unique just like the below photo.
After getting to fully know about the dragon's spine and before it's dark, let's go cycling around.
Cycling around the island is another great activity here.
"Cycling around, enjoying way of life and houses, visiting rubber plantation"
After cycling (almost) around the island, we are back to our house just in time.
For this quality time, great time, simply sitting there time, it is.....the sunset time.
The orange and pink sky is out here. It's like a painting which is different every single day.
The sun shines its last light of the day, standing there side by side with an endless indigo sea.
When seeing this view, just by simply sitting here has given me so much joy and happiness.
After feeling so much full with the happiness given by the nature, it's time to fill up our stomach.
You get to have crabs regardless of when you come because this village has a crab bank.
There're about 3-4 dishes including crab. The black claw crab is called dumb crab and we will only eat the claw but not its body.
Ok!!! Now it's time for dinner!!!
It comes in such a great quantity.
Usually there's a seafood grilling as a late night dinner too. But because it is a Hari Raya Aidilfitri (important Islamic holiday) where no one works so the villagers at Banbakanyai who are 100% Muslims didn't go out fishing, we miss our late night dinner.
This day is also a public holiday for the southern border provinces.
After the food....it's time to enjoy the view.
I wanted to repeat again that no alcohol is allowed here due to it's a very strict Muslim community.
When we are here, we must respect them, so let's just enjoy the nature and listen to the music...what a chill time.
There's no WiFi here but a very strong 4G signal of DTAC.
At Night Time
Tonight the moon shines extremely bright.
"Wake up!!! Let's go out to take stars shots, and take out the tripod, the stars are all up in the sky."
I think it's such a luck that we choose to stay at this far away villa where there's no restroom and that we need to walk out to find them.
We need to use it at late night time. While walking, we also want to enjoy the stars in the sky.
As soon as we look up, we were speechless for about 10 seconds, OMG!!! It's so beautiful, the stars are everywhere.
And this is how this photo was taken. "It happens at 3 a.m." let's name this photo like this.
Way of Life for Sea People
Bock, bock, bock....it's morning!
Let's see what the local people here are doing. In the morning, the guys will go collect the fish net that they put into the sea yesterday.
For the ladies, they are waiting to collect those fish, shrimp, and crab caught in the net.
We wanted to help but also half scared, haha.
They said that please leave the putter fish back.
And then, that little putter fish gets to go back to the sea again.
Haha.... Please keep the focus at the fish in my hand, not my chin, I'm so shy >.<
None of the kids here keep their attention at the phones but they learn to live life and experience from the nature.
This photo is quite hard to see in today urban city. They are so cute.
After learning way of lives of sea people, it's time for simple breakfast. We have a sticky rice with fried chicken.
Now, it's time to explore the nearby island. We get to go on a boat while also kind of searching for dugong too.
"Look, look, those are 2 dugongs, did you see them?" Bang Min shout out excitedly in his pure southern accent.
"Where is it Bang? I didn't see them." We reply with more excited voice.
Bang Min asked the boatman to slow down and go around that area for a while.
We didn't get to see them, they already swim away, oh no! What a miss!
Moo Koh Sarai has lots of seagrass due to abundant nature. So you could see dugong in this area (but it comes with luck, repeat, luck!)
Bang Min is looking for dugong from the head of the boat.
When missing the dugong, we are heading towards Koh Hin Dam.
Koh Hin Dam
It takes less than half an hour to reach here from Ban Bakanyai.
Here is such the Unseen in Satun but too bad that it's still not famous.
Who would imagine that our Andaman sea used to be a crater mouth before.
Where is it??? Well, it's here....Koh Hin Dam..
We will see lots of strange shaped looking black rocks which make this place look differently beautiful.
This area is called "Hin Tapu" where they usually appear in pairs.
After exploring this island around, we go back to learn from the nature trail at Ban Bakanyai.
Hin Luk Chang is another landmark of this place and it's the place to enjoy shallow corals.
You walk to see them. Literally. Yes, you didn't read it wrong, neither did I type it wrong.
Like I mentioned earlier, we didn't come in the right season. It is subject to when the water is up and down in order to see what we wanted to see.
Since today the water is at its lowest point, we can only do a shallow snorkeling (super shallow) in order to see the corals.
If you come here during the right season, here is what you would see.
Photo Credit: Bakanyai Home Stay, Satun
Giant Mangrove Apple and Mangrove Forest
This is the indicator telling us that the nature here is still abundant.
This is the tunnel of giant mangrove apple that you must not miss, otherwise, you might considered not yet arrive here.
In this tunnel, it is also a living place for bats.
So...how many of them do you see?
After that, it's time to go to Ban Koh Sarai.
Bang Min has the boat drop us at Ban Koh Sarai Pier which takes less than half an hour.
Goodbye now...Bakanyai. See you again if chances allow.
Raylay Homestay Koh Sarai
About 98% of Koh Sarai peple are Muslims and the rest are Buddhist.
This island has both temples and mosques. It is quiet and peaceful, I love it.
This pier is like the gate towards Koh Sarai.
Once we arrive, a tricycle is waiting to pick us up. From the pier, it takes less than 5 minutes to reach our destination today, Raklay Homestay.
Today, there're only two rooms' guests so it's very private. The owner, (Deputy SAO), takes care of us himself.
Like usual, only two rooms are booked and we are first to arrive here so we get to choose wherever we like.
We choose the room at the corner where we can have a great view of the sunset.
After unpacking our stuff and resting for a while, we ride the scooter to tour around the island (it's free of charge, so good!)
Koh Sarai is a small island where you can go around in a short time.
The bridge along the way while the sun is almost set offers such a great atmosphere.
After coming back to the room, we are hungry again. But before our dinner, let's go kayaking (again, it's free.)
And then, it's our dinner time.
It's looking so nice.....while sitting to enjoy the last light of the day, enjoying the smell of the sea, listening to the waves, and breathing in fresh air,
we also get to enjoy delicious food and cool iced tea.
Well, the atmosphere is just so good. The food is very delicious. Everything is just so good.
The room we are staying didn't have the WiFi, but luckily, the DTAC signal is so good so we can upload and update our story and photos anytime we wanted.
Dragon's Spine (White)
This new morning, we are going for dragon's spine (white). We buy this tour package from our home stay.
Soon after taking the boat, we reach this island where it offers the dragon's spine.
Again, this place is the Unseen in Satun.
Most of the area in this island occurred from ancient dry shells fossils tightly clustered and it is located right in the middle of the sea.
It's quite spacious. So Unseen....
And where the dragon's spine would happen is the white sand stretching towards the sea area.
It's curvy just like the dragon's spine dancing in the sea.
But whilst we are visiting, the water is not down so the dragon's spine that we are looking for didn't come.
And this type of wave is the origin of this Unseen. That is to say, it is how the dragon's spine is happened.
Koh Mo Khao (Shell Cemetery)
Soon after the dragon's spine, we reach Koh Mo Khao (Shell Cemetery). This island is totally here due to dry shells fossils.
From what I see, the sand is not part of it. There's no tree as well. I think this is another Unseen of Satun.
Shell fossils are far stretching, looking like a sport cheering stand. The nature is simply so amazing.
The fun time is up. It's time to go home.
The story telling of any journey
would not be as fun as experience it yourself.
For me.....this journey makes me realize that Satun Province has many more places awaiting for us to explore.
And once we are out there, all we can do is 'WOW' of the beauty we see.
Because its beauty and amazingness can't be simply described in words.
Please try it out once, try to see the Unseen in Satun once.
And yo will realize "Satun....is never enough for once"
Thank you Pee Nat and Nong Na, our great friends at Andaman, who always give us warm welcoming.
Thank you so much for always taking care of us and taking us around.
And the most important people...thank you everyone so much for stopping by and reading until this line.
Photo by Puffin Coral
Story by YaiiFai
Thank you so much