Exploring the friendly and low-key country town Satun, one of the gateways to Thailand's southern-most islands in the Andaman Sea and a place where mixed marriages between Thai people and Malay Muslims have been common for centuries, with many of Satun's townsfolk being samsam (meaning: "mixed person"), and discovering the town’s humble architectural highlights: (i) the modern, parachute-domed Bambang Mosque, (ii) the Satun Watin the northern part of town with a giant Buddha statue still under construction, and (iii) the few old, dilapidated Sino-Portuguese shophouses along Thanon Buriwanit.
Enjoying life’s simple pleasures in Thailand, thus (i) sipping crisp Thai Chang Classic beer (c. 6.4 % alc./vol.) in On’s up-market bar and terrace +6674724133 for THB 50.- or US$ 1.60 per small bottle, (ii) devouring colourful and delicately shaped Thai sushi, all of them masterpieces of art, for only THB 5.- each, on the lively Saturday night market on Thanon Buriwanit, and (iii) frolicking with the experienced, freeboobing Thai masseuses in their no-name massage parlouron Thanon Bureevanich during what they call a full-body massage (THB 300.- or US$ 9.60 for 1 ½ hours).
“If the world were merely seductive, that would be easy. If it were merely challenging, that would be no problem. But I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.”
Taking the local bus from Satun to Hat Yai (95 km, 2 ¼ hours, THB 63.- or US$ 2.- per person), southern Thailand’s commercial centre, the kingdom’s fourth-largest city and very much a Chinese town at it’s centre, with tons of gold shops, loads of noodle restaurants (for you and mee) and Cantonese/Mandarin/Singlish-speckled conversations, lah!