Transport to and from Satun/surrounding provinces
If you're wishing to get from Phuket to Satun, anywhere in between or vice versa, this is the way to do it. Satun Center Tour are about the cheapest around. The prices you can see on the sign in the picture include a driver. Other vehicles are also available for private rental.
Satun Centre Tour is located at Thammalung Pier in Satun, which is where the ferry to and from Langkawi operates. They can also arrange tours for you. They are very friendly and helpful people.
Khun Aoy has an email address, which is listed below.
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Travel around the South of Thailand
Khun Luxsame speaks english very well and will be able to arrange any transportation or tour needs for you from Satun through to Langkawi and Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. They have both vans and cars, so can cater for any sized group.
She is very friendly and helpful and will help you in any way she can.
She does not have an email, but you can contact her by phone. The company is based at Thammalung Pier in Satun.
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Land travel to the Malaysian border
For some reason the taxi and moto-taxi drivers seem to have a vested interest in trapping people to stay overnight in Satun. One example of this was I was told, by more than one driver, that the nearby border to Malaysia "closed" at 18:00, and that I would have to stay the night in Satun and catch the first mini-bus there in the morning.
In my case I was stubborn and went to Malaysia that night via Hat Yai. I made it, but that's a long story.
I later found out from friends in Malaysia that it was BS; the border used to be closed early, but this hasn't been the case for years.
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General transport information
I found this information on the Tourism Authority of Thailand's website and I thought it was so informative and comprehensive, I'd add the link here for anyone looking to travel to Satun. It covers distances and some schedule information for cars, buses, trains and planes.
Satun is also the place to which the ferries from Langkawi dock, so there is also that mode of transport to the province.
Tourism Thailand website
Most travellers end up in Satun off the boat from Langkawi. When you arrive at the port you will need to arrange transport to wherever you are going. There will be hawkers waiting for you at this port and as there is nothing else here, it's easy to just take whats on offer. Private taxis offering to take you to Ko Samui, Krabi or Phuket will charge over inflated prices. Jump on a bemo and get it to take you to the bus station where you can get much normal priced transport. Travelling around Thailand is much cheaper than Malaysia and so it's easy to think you've got a good price in Satun, when actually you haven't. Be warned!!
- Budget Travel
Getting to Satun by taxi from Hat Yai
This could be useful for travellers in Hat Yai who are going to Satun to get the ferry to Langkawi.
Big old Mercedes taxis leave for Satun fairly regularly. They leave from Thanon Rattakarn opposite the Post Office. From Hat Yai train station walk along Thamanonvithee Road about 70 yards and turn left into Thanon Rattakarn. Walk almost to the end where you wil see the Post Office on the right and the taxis on the left.
The fare is 300 Baht so not too bad if there are a few of you.
Some of the old Mercs are in a pretty bad state, hardly surprising as they are around 40 years old, but they are roomy and comfortable. I got chatting to the drivers and was interested in the cars. We had a laugh though, looking beneath the bonnet, to find that all of the cars have Nissan engines. Mercedes engine parts are too expensive so the engines have been replaced with Japanese ones which makes maintenance cheaper.
Getting to Satun by ferry from Langkawi
At the time of writing (January 2003) there were 4 ferries a day leaving at approximately 9:30, 10:30, 12:30, and 14:00 but check the times locally. Fare is 18 Ringgits and journey time about 1 hour.
For some reason you cannot buy a ticket in advance so it is necessary to do this on the day of departure and consequently there can be a huge queue. Frankly, it is an organisational nightmare but hey, this is Asia. In order to get through Thai immigration quickly try to get hold of an immigration card before you arive and fill it out on the boat. If you have to obtain and complete one on arrival it will only put you further back in the queue getting through immigration.
Money changers are present at the Satun ferry port to change Ringgits and give an okay rate.
Bargain for transportation.
Bargain with the taxi driver for getting arround Satun or heading to Had Yai or Songkla the third largest city in Thailand. I was lucky as the taxi driver offer to show me arround Hat Yai and Songkla without any charges.