Satun National Museum. The Story of Satun Province
“The more you know about the past, The better prepared you are for the future.” -Theodore Roosevelt The Satun National Museum was built in a European Colonial style mixed with traditional Thai. This restored 100 year-old mansion, with its mint-green and white exterior and sloped roof is stunningly beautiful. It was originally built as a residence of King Rama V the Great and was later used as the Satun City Hall.
The Museum displays the story of Satun province from past to present. The exhibitions tell the story of the indigenous people,their livelihoods, recreational activities, religious ceremonies, as well as art and culture.
The Museum opens with the story of an indigenous tribe of Satun province, called the Sakai, who live simply with nature. We learn how they live based on a sustainable balance between the people and the forest. From their story, we learn that nature is indeed invaluable, supplying the people with resources and nourishment.
We soon recognize that a key element of this museum is user experience. The displays provide us with more detailed information in just one click of a button. We like it very much compared to other museums, where audio guides were offered instead. These were not nearly as modern or comfortable as the Satun National Museum experience and so we are very excited by the digital displays here which allow us to seamlessly enjoy our visit.
The next section of the museum recalls details about the lifestyle of the people of Satun. As a majority of citizens in Satun are muslim, we can experience the local lifestyle in the past from the many interesting and unfamiliar arts as well as local folk and leisure activities.
The following display is part of a traditional rural house. It is simple with compact decorations, but with every element serving some functional purpose. The kitchen, living room, and bedroom are all adorned with the naturalist-style folk crafting equipment. From the pottery used to cook in the kitchen to the simple bedroom decoration, we quickly grasp that the Thai people's creativity is based on simplicity, which is what makes there designs so brilliant and impressive.
We come to the beautiful part of the Kuden Mansion. It is the room of the first Governor of Satun province. A statue of grace towers in the center of the upper chamber. Inside the showroom is a magnificent banquet room. Lavish decorations adorn the bedroom. Here, we experience the beautiful adornments enjoyed by the high-ranking civil servants of the past. We are awestruck by the delicacy of the decorative arts of so many types of Rattanakosin styles which abound here.
The last part of the Museum recalls the ways of villagers in the past, depicting the creative arts made by these people. One of the unique techniques displayed here is of making objects from krachut. This is one of a few places in the world this material is used and the krachut pottery is relatively rare today. It is quite a treat to see this craft here firsthand.
This all is the simple beauty of the life of the Satun community because every life is born to find meaning, so our visit here adds to our own. Learning the meaning of life is the beauty of your own journey. As some say-
“Travel is not a reward for working It's education for living” -The Travel Channel This is our truth!
Thale Ban National Park Where the heart finds peace
Amidst a busy life, we escape from the city to take a rest in nature. We have been craving the refreshment and joy of an escape. Thale Ban National Park is our destination that hides in the peaceful mountain of Satun province.
The experience is entirely aesthetic, filled with the sound of nature's music- a chorus of sounds from native animals surrounds us like an orchestra. The base sound is crickets that chirp like violins - soft and gentle. The birds sing a melody. Then, the most prominent of all is the voice of the iconic animal of Thale Ban- a Grandular Frog that is only found here in this national park. Their sound is similar to a dog like a Shih Tzu. Their pitch is so intense it feels like they control the rhythm of the sound of nature's music.
In addition to the lovely sounds, we find ourselves surrounded by tall, looming trees. Walking in the morning is a great pleasure here and we watch the sunlight peaking through the branches as the day breaks. It is like heaven on Earth! We set out early on a small paved path, which is very easy to stroll on.
The heart of Thale Ban is a lake in the middle of the National Park. Its waters originate from the mountain, winding down from it’s sloping bends, and culminating in a glowing reflective centerpiece. It is the habitat of many animals. The park is known to contain 64 mammal species, 282 bird species, and 40 reptile species! The air around the mountain is remarkably fresh and clean and taking a deep breath feels very cleansing. The lake is long and wide, surrounded by green trees, which are reflected in the water with the refreshing colors of the forest. We feel instantly relaxed and rejuvenated.
To visit the Thale Ban National Park, you can take a van directly from Satun city. The admission fee is 200 Baht per adult and 100 Baht for children. It is possible to book both a house and a campsite online by visiting: http://park.dnp.go.th/visitor/nationparkshow.php?PTA_CODE=1020
The Thale Ban National Park is the epitome of peace. Here, we shut down the city bustle and open up to the serenity of nature. Come and lay your heart down with the soothing wonders of the Thale Ban National Park.
Ban Bakan Yai The small island that makes your heart feel bigger
“Being a tiger is not important. The important thing is for us to have a sufficient economy. A sufficient economy means to have enough to support ourselves... we have to take a careful step backward... each village or district must be relatively self-sufficient.” His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej
The heart of life in the village of Baan Bakan Yai is sufficiency. We know that the sufficiency economy is not easy but it isn’t hard to learn either. With this sort of system, community grows naturally. The attractive attributes of Baan Bakan Yai are the simple way of life of the villagers, their friendly warmth and sincere smiles. When the villagers smile at us we feel their genuine welcome and we feel we can see through to their heart.
The people live simply here because they chose to learn from the simplicity of nature. They have learned even to grow old together with nature. The villagers follow in the King's footsteps, abiding by his teachings that, “If we can maintain this moderation, then we can be excellent.”
We spoke with the people here about their way of life on the island and they explained that nature is their mother and their way of living is to be together with mother nature. They plant the mangrove forests to nurture animals such as the fish, crabs, and shrimp. Their fishing does not harm the ecosystem as they have built a pond to keep the animals that they’ve taken from the ocean to make sure they are suitable for selling. They do not allow catching animals in the sprawling season and if they catch something endangered they will release it to the ocean. Even when building homestays, people are careful not to accelerate their constructions beyond what the island resources will allow, and in doing so they protect and maintain the delicate balance.
In Baan Bakan Yai home stay, there are fun activities to teach about the way of life here, such as growing the mangrove forest, original fishing, or clamshell finding. This is not just a place to stay, but a path to learning to be self-sufficient.