10 May - 11 May 2013 Satun

Southeast Asia
Kingdom of Thailand aka The Land of Conditional Smiles
Satun Province
Thanon Samanta Prasit 4 - 6
Rain Tong Hotel +6674711036
Basic but adequate und clean double room (no. 340) with private bathroom for THB 220.- or US$ 7.40 per night. Friendly staff, very limited English.

Beer: 330-ml cans of ice-cold Chang Classic (c. 6.4 % alc./vol.) for THB 28.- or US$ 0.95 per regular can from the friendly Chinese greengrocer opposite the hotel.

Click below for an interactive road map of the Rain Tong Hotel in Satun, which we would recommend, and for directions:

Matt: Overnighting in un-touristy and slightly ordinary Satun (where ordinary Thai 7-Elevens, ordinary Thai night markets and ordinary Thai massage parlours compete with each other to provide cheap and reliable happy endings for visa-running ex-pats from Langkawi/Malaysia) and, the next morning, taking a rugged săwngthăew from the unmarked bus stop on Thanon Sulakanukoona (THB 20.- or US$ 0.60 per person) to the ferry pier aka Tammalang Pier, about 7 km south of Satun, embarking on the thrice-daily a/c ferry “Kenangan 6” from Andaman Ferry Ventures +6049661125 (c. 20 nm, 1 ¼ hour, THB 310.- or US$ 9.60 per person, one way) bound to bus-free and duty-free Langkawi Island, thus leaving a land of frowns and entering a land of smiles, changing my watch from Thailand’s Indochina Time (GMT + 7 hours) to Malaysia Standard Time (GMT + 8 hours) and being issued with another 90-day-visit pass for a “social visit” to Malaysia on arrival, free of charge and without any hassle; "...selamat datang Malaysia Truly Asia!"

Matt: Meeting up with our close Dutch/Kiwi friends and ex-yotties/liveaboards Deena & Jacob (SY “Crimson Tide”) at our favourite vegetarian lunch joint, the superb Chinese-Buddhist Langkawi Vegetarian Restaurant +6049666405, supported by the Vegetarian Society of Malaysia, and thereafter taking an asthmatic Proton Saga taxi from downtown Kuah to Cenang Beach (c. 25 km, ½ hour, flat rate of MYR 24.- or US$ 8.- per ride; there are no buses on Langkawi and the whole public transport is tightly controlled by Langkawi’s price-fixing and heavily politicised Malay taxi cartel).
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From the 2013 Moral Travel Compass for our Grand Children's Journey of Life:
It’s bad to wear any uniform;
It’s good to put on motley stuff.
Keep your bearings!