We plan to spend some time on the hard doing some major refitting to Esper. Unfortunately Malaysia doesn’t really figure as a viable option for the amount of work we’re planning so the obvious alternative is to get the work done in Thailand.
No great shakes since we’re only 200 miles from Phuket where all the big boat yards are, but there’s another option: head 25 miles east from Langkawi to the mainland and check in to Satun’s boatyard, PSS, based in Chebilang (more info, links and map at the end of the article).
Satun is less than an hour away on the ferry from Langkawi and it’s the first stop when renewing your visa for Malaysia. The downside is that you have to spend three days out of the country when renewing your visa this way, but if you’re a curious traveller who enjoys non-touristic spots, you might just like Satun town.
Liz and I spent three nights at the wonderful Gleam Resort, a splendid little spot away from the main roads, staying in a modern chalet, surrounded by beautiful tropical plants and a swimming pool to relax in.
We borrowed bikes fit for children and cruised around the area, peddling with knees touching our ears, stopping off at restaurants aimed solely at the local Muslim population. No English menus, little English spoken but copious amounts of smiles and generous portions of wonderful Thai food. Nice and easy is the theme here.
Satun is quite big as towns go, but it’s easy to get around. Were we to stay we’d hire scooters, but for our three day visit walking was not a problem. It’s fairly industrious and there is a huge ‘wet market’, selling fish, meat and fresh produce. Cat lovers would be in heaven here since they hang around the market, nabbing bits of fish as they fall off ice-packed boxes stacked high on the back of delivery mopeds.
There is a small ex-pat community here, made up chiefly by the yachties working on their boats in the yard. They congregate at On’s Living Room, a comfortable bar with an open front and pool table at the rear. Whilst there we hung out with some friends from Langkawi and got to know Jia, the boatyard manager, who was keen to join in a few rounds of pool with his charming wife, Julie.
For me the highlight was the photography potential. I can see myself getting quite familiar with the back streets of Satun and wandering around snapping the locals on my (rare) days off from boat maintenance. There is a gentle and warm feel to the place and it has the potential for a big photography project. Here are a few shots taken on an afternoon wander around Satun. There’s some useful info at the end.
61 ถนน สถิตยุติธรรม, Changwat Satun, Thailand 91000
Tel: (+66) 81 899 8565
On’s Living Room
14/22 Burivanich Rd, Satun, Thailand