*I'd been exploring Satun Wonderland from 24th - 29th of July, below are my daily post that I'd shared from time to time! Scroll down if you wanna read it from Day 1.
Like, Comment & Share if you love my sharing. I would definitely love your active engagement.
Day 5 Activities
- Monk offering at Little Penang street
- Breakfast at Su Ngai Au Pae & walk at the fisherman village
- Visit to Melon Chim plantation
- Cooking Class - Pitcher Plant Sticky rice
- Lunch at Preeda Homestay
- Making of Lady Shoe orchid
- Tea Break at TanPliw Village
- Visit to TanPliw Souvenir Shop
- Visit to TanPliw Waterfall
- Farewell Dinner at Thungwa Homestaygodon
Monk Offering in conjunction of King's Birthday
Woke up to morning like this, what do you think?
Sawatdee Ton Chao Ka (Good Morning) :)
Its the King Maha Vajiralongkorn's birthday today, therefore we're heading out to do offerings to the Buddhist Monk. This practice is called Tak Bat in Thai. We are required to wear Yellow traditional costume for this ceremony, do you think we look pretty in it? :P
So let's go!
Passing by rubber tree plantations, they're everywhere.
Even messy greens look so calming to the eyes.
We are finally here. This is where the praying ceremony will be held.
It was just opposite Lotus Express
Monk will chant prayers from the stage
Tak bat means to present food to a monk or Buddhist teacher. It's an important part of culture in Thailand. The ritual of giving alms to monks is a way for Thaipeople to give back to Buddhist monks, who in turn dedicate their lives to teaching others about being good and virtuous.
Us with Chief of Thungwa District, monks and other officers
I think we are just half awake. Have been chasing sleep for the past few days.
My special belt to keep my "Pha Thung" in place. At least no chance for wardrobe malfunction. :P
Little Penang Street in a glance. One side was crowded with monks and people. The other side is just so quiet and empty.
Breakfast at Su Ngai Au Pae
Places like this makes me find back my soul
This is where the boats park when they're back at land. Life of a fisherman, have you think what it's like?
The eatery place is the small hut at the end of the bridge. Nothing fancy, just simple providing the basic needs in life. That's exactly what we need isn't it?
Many locals would come here for breakfast, and yes they only serves breakfast as they're closed after that
Still thought that I looked pretty feminine in this :D Locals called it "Pha Thung". Next time, i would go for the full suit. It'll be fun i think.
The hectic life in the kitchen taking orders from customer... Hmm, it's a lot to take in sometimes. But hey, I guess practice makes perfect uh? Btw, they served very good Thai Milk Tea here though. Ordered Shrimp Paste Fried Rice (Khao Kluk Kapi) for myself
and Khao Yum for Pee Aae
A picture with the business owner, humble and friendly :)
So after breakfast, we went for a walk at the fisherman village. Looks like salted fish is in the making!
And incase you didn't know, fresh fish are used to make salted fish. They're rubbed in generous amount of salt before being left under the sun for drying process.
Someone's pet i think. But that's not my point. Did you realized this lil goat is eating durian? *shocked of my life*
Hard work under the hot sun
Fresh flower crabs just got back from the sea
They even have live octopus!
Suai Mak Mak. Too cute I just can't!
This is a hydroponic farm, learning class cum cafe which has been operating for more than 6 years. You may sign up for classes to understand more about the process and/or how to grow the fruits. Or you may also drop by to have a cup of their signature Melon Coffee.
Other than hydroponic plants, they grow Kimoji Melon and tomatoes in their compound.
Chickens are seen roaming free at the compound, stress-free life it seems
Our vehicle parked infront of the cafe overlooking the mountain and blue blue skies
New lives indicating the successful germination of the seeds. Keep going, buddy. Inspire us with your high level of sweetness
Cosy ambience to light up your mood
I can spend hours here with this kind of setting. Just love being near to nature. And that's exactly what Thungwa is all about.
Do you know, the highlight of Kimoji Melon is the sweetness. And the unique patterns that grows on the skin, they're just so special.
In Japan, the sweetness scale of 10 is already considered good enough. But in Thailand, the local love it at 15. And Kimoji Melon at CHIM MELON is reading at 15. Much higher than the sweetness level in Japan.
Kimoji Melon has very thorny leaves, stems and stalk.
Look, I'm not lying..
Can you see the word "GEO PARK"?
You're missing it if you didn't try when you get the chance! Aroy Mak!
Sawadeeka from Chim Melo
Cooking Class - Khao Niao Mo Kao Mo Kaeng Ling
Welcome to Khuan Khong Garden
Looks like the residence were busy with some mass cooking
Let's go get our hands dirty too. (Just keep trying because life never stop teaching, don't they?)
Pitcher plants are several different carnivorous plants which have modified leaves known as pitfall traps—a prey-trapping mechanism featuring a deep cavity filled with digestive liquid. The traps of what are considered to be "true" pitcher plants are formed by specialized leaves. The plants attract and drown their prey with nectar.
The local only uses the smaller and younger ones for the delicacy
This is what we are going to use. They've been washed and trimmed for later use
Ingredients to make blue coconut milk for the sticky rice: Coconut milk, blue peas flower water, salt and sugar
We will first mix the sticky rice with the blue water (which was already mixed with all the ingredients shown earlier).
Stir it well until the glutinous rice is fully coated by the coconut milk (blue)
Hahaha we are so afraid that we'll tear the pitcher plant
Gently stuffed it into the pitcher plant and steam
"I think it's tasty especially with the pitcher plant"
"Really? But i'm not convinced"
It's ready to eat now! Its my first time trying this. In Malaysia, many claimed that Pitcher plant is poisonous but it doesn't seem so here. It actually tasted like paper or bougainvillea flower, not very nice but the reason they're using pitcher plant to steam sticky rice is to add value to the delicacy. Lets support the local business here. :)
Thank you Mak for teaching us how to make special delicacy. Khop Khun Ka
Wanna guess what fruit is this?
It belongs to the rubber tree. The fruit is a capsule that contains three large seeds; it opens explosively when ripe
Yes, you can almost see rubber trees everywhere in Thung Wa. FYI, latex production usually only last between the age of 25 - 30 years. After that the tree will be harvested for furniture making.
Lunch at Preeda Homestay
Deep fried mackerels with ginger
Stir fried paku pakis (I'd forgotten the Thai name :P)
I'd tried these flowers for the first time, eating raw. Guess what, they're quite tasteless. =_=
Fried omelette. I don't know how she did it, but it was so tasty!
Some special soup that uses fried omelette with vegetables and shrimps as ingredients. Thai called it Gaeng Som Kung Cha Om Khai.
Nam Prik, eventhough I do not like brinjal, but i still try it here just to make sure I don's miss out on any good stuff! hehe!
Rong Tao Nari Kao Satun
The above title is referring to the name of the orchid
From direct translation, it means ladies shoe in Satun
We are learning to make one just by using dough made of glue and powder.
These are the only ingredients needed
This is a real orchid btw. The pocket here resembles a shoe, hence the name
So we will start with making the dough, roll it flat and cut out the petal shape before drawing patterns on the it. It's quite an easy skill but you can't do this if you have sense of art. Hahaha. The petal will break or get distorted if you're not gentle enough. Oh how much i miss DIY/ hands on classes like this. :P
After that, just leave it to dry under the hot sun
Oh btw, side track a little bit.. Look what i spotted behind Preeda Homestay?
It's longkong/ dongkong fruits! OMG! It's my first time seeing it still growing on a tree. Hahahah! Really is an eye opening experience to me. Btw, now is the season for fruits buffet in Southern Thailand (mid year). Almost every house hold has an orchard growing local fruits ranging from longkong to rambutan and durian. Oh! And mangosteen too!
Tea Break at TanPliw Village
Let's try something new again. They said it's tasty!
It's a Thai traditional dessert called Khanom Sot Sai
It is made with coconut and palm sugar, and the filling is covered with steamed flour mixed with coconut cream before completely wrapped with banana leaves. It was used at Thai wedding ceremonies in ancient times. And yes, they tasted really good. Soft texture, sweet and tasty.
We also had some rambutan freshly plucked from their tree
What a genius way of using bamboo as a cup and straw made from Papaya stem. Cool and environmental friendly!
Hats for the lass at TanPliw Souvenir Shop
This is Pee Wanna, she make hats from recycled clothes for a living
There are varieties of hats in beautiful local culture's print. So colourful and trendy.
At her souvenir shop, she also provide free waters for passer by. Indeed thoughtful and heart made of gold.
Free water for all - with love
Bang Mam, my local guide is thirsty too :D
So we decided to show some support by buying some hats from her. They're really pretty, I love them. Wanna guess how many I've bought?
I bought 4 hats. I think I'm crazy.. Hahahaha...
We're heading to one of the popular waterfall in Thungwa which for the time being, still new to tourist.
The entrance to the waterfall
The water here is definitely cold but they're so well preserved and clean!
We're having so much fun here! Wished you were here with us.
What a view!
Group photo please! Say Cheese!
Goodbye, till we meet again!
Thank you for these wonderful dinner. The foods looks delicious, but there's also another part in me that felt heavy because today will be my last day here in Thung Wa.
They made us our favourite fresh prawn and crab salad too. All ingredients are raw, they're mixed with fish sauce, sugar, and palm sugar before served for consumption.
Chief of Thung Wa was also here with us on the farewell dinner. Thank you for coming ka :)
This little girl also performed a traditional dance of southern Thailand to all the guest that was there that night. It's called the Manora dance. It is considered a type of entertainment performed at big events like this. As found on Google , hundred years ago in Southern Thailand, people were living in unison with nature and animals and believed in the power of spirits. Especially ancestor spirits. The Manora is a dance performance meant to call on the ancestral spirits who possesses the dancer and through this medium can communicate with the on lookers.
For better understand on this dance, you may also read it from here.
The dancer will curl up and fit herself in the tray at the end of the show. Both man and woman in the picture are her parents. They will carry her in the tray and walk around the crowd to receive donations from fellow onlookers. Interesting culture isn't it. This is totally new to me. I'm just WOW.
This is another dance performed by the local residents. It's something similar to aerobic and all guest are welcomed to join the dancers. We did and we had lots of fun and laughter (because it's hard to catch up to their pace). Hahaha. Dancing blood just didnt run in me unfortunately.
We had Karaoke session too. Thank you for all the wonderful songs dedications. Khop Khun Ka.
Thank you having us. Thank you for your wonderful love and hospitality. It made me feel like home in Thung Wa. I hope more people will visit Thung Wa and discover this hidden gem of Southern Thailand. It's just too beautiful to be here. So much to explore. I will be back.
Day 4 Activities
2. Visit to historical places at Little Penang
3. Visit to pepper plantation and learned to make pepper cookies
4. Lunch at pepper plantation
5. Visit to Saban Island - Little Oyster and Lichen
6. Visit to Ao Phra Island to have tea break and to harvest oyster
7. Experience fish catching with the locals
It's breakfast time with our Thai family. Mak (Mother) cooked us some Thai Laksa (Kha Nom Jin) today. Its available in 3 different types of gravy which you can mix and match according to your liking... Scroll down, I'll explain more...
These are local delicacies for us to try. They're quite similar to the Chinese though. Especially on the layered cake. I didn't manage to try all as I was too full. (Please don't tell me I've gained weight.. Its happy-eating weight btw! :D)
The first gravy on the left (in red is Nam Prik Wan ) is sweet while the other two are salty and spicy (Kaeng Khak Tik & Kaeng Tai Phla) Middle gravy actually tasted like green curry to me, i presumed they're similar but identical? You can choose to mix the "green curry/ Kaeng Khak Tik" with any of the other two. Try it, its a million dollar worth of sharing from the local. :P
You can add all of these ingredients according to your own liking. I prefer the sliced bamboo shoots and greens best.
This is definitely new to me. FYI in Thai cuisine, mung bean sprouts (Thua Ngaok) are usually eaten in soups and stir-fried dishes. Why are they eating it this way? Well, read here on the benefits of these sprouted wonders.
NO, THIS IS NOT WHAT YOU THINK. It's not the "Touch Me Not" plant, but it's just another greens used for Nam Prik (Ulam2/ Greens). It's called Phak Ka Ched, it's a type of herbs.
Little Penang/ Su Ngai Au Pae
These are the remaining houses that was left behind from the days where Satun was still under Portuguese colonial. Some of the residents demolished the house and upgraded it to a new ones, but there are some people who are still living in the same house that was lived in by their previous generations.
The architectural design and concept were similar to the ones in Penang. That was because back then, builders were from Penang and even the materials were bought from Penang.
This huge pillar is a trademark of Penang's architectural concept. If you travel to Satun's Little Penang's street, you'll start to wonder if you're really in Thailand. I mean that's what happened to me. It's just so Penang.
The corridor in which the local guide even called it the "Go Ka Ki", it means 5 feet in English. Exactly the same like how Hokkien said it. The reason of this calling was because measurement was by feet, not in centimetres. Therefore they standardized the corridor size to 5 feet and hence the calling.
Local tour guide sharing with us about the history of Su Ngai Au Pae
Does this view look any Thai to you?
The builders were Hokkien, and they prayed to Ti Gong just like what all Hokkien community practiced.
Thungwa used to be a booming and prosperous town due to the active trading business at the port. Unfortunately, the good times don't last. This photo proves that people those days were rich that they can even afford a photographer.
The Sino-Portuguese architectural design - windows
Stray dog resting at the pavement
Me and Beam ka posing at one of the old-designed gate
One of the old house that was passed down from generation to generation
These old tiles were of the same design that was used back in Penang in the olden days
There are families who can't afford to upgrade their house despite it has been few generations passed, like this family in the picture
4th Generation Coffee Shop in Little Penang
This coffee shop - Kaeng Nam San has been operating for the past 4 generations
. Hot Milk Tea in the making*
The house that they are currently staying are made of old design and architectural. It's long vertically instead of horizontal. In the olden days, space measurement were done based on the width, not the depth (or length). Therefore, designs of houses back then were all long and deep to the end where the toilet is.
Me stepping on the old cement flooring in the house
Just the front area already consists of 2 halls space. There are at least another 8 more halls available.
Ancestral and family tree collections
One of Satun province's three original districts is Thung Wa, whose major industry used to be pepper production. Nowadays, rubber plantations dominate this part of southern Thailand 910kms south of Bangkok
This is how a pepper (black) looks like. Seeds were originated from Penang. FYI, Penang used to be the largest exporter of pepper, cloves and nutmegs.
Still not ripe yet, there's 2 more months to go before it can be harvest. But the local people here do use green pepper for cooking. It's called Prik Thai in Thai.
The owner of the pepper plantation also breeds honey bee for sale
Home to the honey bees
There were also Rambutan up for grab, fresh from tree! :D
Its lunch time!
Our lunch prepared by the owner of the pepper plantation. Slurppp... I can tell it's delicious.
The one in red is another type of sambal belacan while the one in black are crab paste (Man Poo in Thai), probably something like the prawn paste we used for fruits Rojak! They used it for ulam-ulam (greens/veges) though. Interesting!
This is actually Yam leaves' stem. And its edible, green/raw. The local loves it. It's crunchy and slightly sweet. In Thai, it's called Or Dib.
This is another type of raw greens/vegetables that is edible. Local called it Bai Bua Bok.
Meals were always served with fruits. Abundance.
Currently in the making of Thungwa's Pepper Cookies
The onions were pre-fried before mixing it into flour to make a dough
Before going into the oven to bake
TA-DA! It's ready! My first homemade pepper cookies! So "Keang" (smart in Thai) lah!
Thungwa's Famous Homemade Coconut Ice Cream
This ice cream are very rich and creamy. Its a mixture of coconut and milk. I don't usually take milk but I love this flavour though! Must try!
We can add toppings to our own liking. My masterpiece! LOL
The cosy setting at the ice cream place. Better than your Haagen Daaz
Beam ka still choosing what to add on her ice cream
Thank you for your wonderful ice cream! They're soooooo tasty!
This is where we took the longtail boat out to the sea. Its called the Su Ngai Au Pae Pier, also a place where the local work as fishermen.
It's about a 1 hours ride from the pier
Me as usual, enjoying myself whenever i'm near to the nature
But the ride is definitely worth it. Look! We're almost there!
This is the view from inside the hollow rock
The local believes that there used to be residents here as there were drawings and symbols found on the wall
There are abundance of mini oyster here. Its edible and are usually used to cook fried oyster omelette.
This is the special tool that the local used to break the hard shell of the oyster
Look at the freshy flesh! Slurrppp!
Moss growing on the walls
"Hey mate, i think the rock is "falling"... "
"Don't worry, let me show you how to save the day"
We're leaving on a jetplane!
Some said we're crazy, but i'll say we're fantastic happy people! Hahaha!
Some shells are clean...
But some shells are all covered with moss/ lichen
Ao Phra Island
Beautiful view isn't it?
And we had our tea break here at the island. Very private, quiet and relaxing. Having both fried banana and sweet potatoes like what the local like to do.
Our "catch" of the day. These are the mini oyster that we collect earlier. The local here ate it raw with special chili sauce, hmmmm... its delicious!
Mangrove habitat near the island.
OH! The fisherman caught a crab (poo in Thai) too! But its too small to eat, let's it grow bigger first..
Look at the big clams found by the beach! Juicy! Thai called it Hoi Ti Tep
Edible greens called Phak Wan Tha Le in Thai. Its usually served with Nam Prik (Thai special chili sauce).
Us and our local guide, friendly and fun people
Singing and dancing to the local songs - "Satun Wonderland" is like a whole new experience to do especially when we're like in the open sea. Indeed a memorable moments with the right people.
On our way home, we even spotted the Kang Kao Mae Kai (Flying Fox Bat, the largest species of bat which is almost the sized of a chicken). The mountain is the home to this species.
A day with the fisherman
Enjoying the beautiful sunset on our way home. Couldn't even see this in the city. So precious!
Look at this golden yolk. So gorgeous!
We were lucky to witness the fisherman in action and understand the fishing process of their job
It's all hard labour work to be a fisherman. Please appreciate every single food served to you. It came from their sweats and blood.
Casting their nets and wait for the fish to get hooked
Pink pastel for all the love shared in this beautiful village. I'm falling in love with it already.
Our fresh catch of the day - Pla Tu (Kembong Fish). REAL FRESH!
This is the Phak Wan we plucked earlier. Just boil it and its now ready to eat.
We had our dinner at one of the fisherman's house. Look at the dish they have prepared for us.. Omg! It looked so deliciously sumptuous!
I also tried this special dish, its a type of fish stomach soup loved by the local in Thungwa, Satun. It's called Keng Tai Pla in Thai.
Special Nam Prik Kung Sot (Fresh Shrimp Chili Sauce)
Fresh fish do not need to cook with lots of ingredients. Just few stalks of lemongrass and salt will do.
Oooooohhh.. i love Thai's chili sauce. They're always so good with anything! Let alone fresh Pla Tu.
Last but not least, I cannot resist this! Look at those roe!
Even when I'm full, I still have to eat it.. Damn! It was sooooo goooooddddd!
How could anyone say NO right?
Heheee, I think those of you who are reading this should be hungry by now. I'm going to end it with a peaceful view of the galaxy to ease your nights. Sweet dreams :P
Day 3 Activities
- Breakfast at Thungwa Homestaygodon
- Ho See Lang Island, & Sand Island (Dragon Island) and Lao Tong Island
- Water rafting
- Lunch at Tha-Oi Pier
- Local delicacy cooking classes (Bunga Bu Da & Puk Rak)
- Tie-Dyed fabric using natural dye
- Dinner at Thungwa Homestaygodon
- Making of local lucky bracelet
Woke up to a wonderful porridge cooked by Pee Pean. Its Kao Tom for breakfast today! Hmmm.... its super tasty!
These are the ingredients that we can add to the porridge according to our liking. We have crispy pork lard, tamago egg (perfect runny yolk on the inside), minced meat ball, fish slice, ginger strip and blanched shrimps.
Ta-da! My version of Thai porridge. Added some garlic oil, pepper and coriander before it goes all the way down into my happy tummy. Would you like to have one too? :P Now let's eat!
A picture with the Director of Satun Geopark, Mr. Narongrit Thungprue. Thank you for the book, its my pleasure to have it.
A Visit To Ho See Lang Island
Tha-Oi Pier's view from our boat
I'm just checking if something is falling from the sky :D
Wonders from the mother nature
Mangrove rooting from the muddy-sand
The water is rising now, its time to leave before its all submerged underwater.
Great place for Instagrammable shots. :P
Pu Kam Dab - fiddler crab found in the local island. They're abundance here. Like 1000 over in that small island.
Fun Facts: Fiddler crabs are most well known for their sexually dimorphic claws; the males’ major claw is much larger than the minor claw while the females’ claws are both the same size.
Fun times with fun people! I love these bunch. Really!
Sand Island (Dragon Island) & Lao Tong Island
This path is only available during low tide and to catch it, you need to be there at the right time. The local called it the Dragon Island as the emerged sand looked like the spine of a dragon, hence the name.
Other than strolling along the beach, feeling like God walking on the water, you can also enjoy kayaking at the nearby island. Just hop on and kayak your way there.
And the local shared with me this edible young tamarind fruit - Mak Kham. Its sourish and slightly fragrant. Very appetizing. :)
Resting at Lao Tong Island before continue our journey home for lunch.
Fun on the raft!
Travel with adventurous but responsible people, it'll be fun they said. They were right.
Free-style jump into the water. Only for swimmers please!
They convinced me to try the fun! Well, I'm always steady am I? :D
Lunch at Tha Oi Pier
Tha-Oi when translate directly means Pier - Sugarcane. As in the olden days, the resident used to plant sugarcane for consumption. And they love eating it by the pier. Hence, the name.
We had our lunch just by Tha Oi Pier. Which is just next to Tha Oi Viewpoint. Aroy Mak Mak.
Fried Salted Fish or also known as Phla Kem
Yellow Sticky Rice with some duck "rendang". The local here called it Khao Niao Leang Kean Phed...
Seabass (Phla Kra Pong) Gaeng Som, oooohhh... Always my favourite!
Spicy Stir Fried Luffa with Shrimps, Oyster Mushroom, and Egg. In Thai they called it Phad Buab Kong.
This is Chang Kee, or also known as Kee Chang in Hokkien. (I'm not sure who is right or who is confused of the name XD). Its an alkaline dumpling made of glutinous rice.
The right way of eating is to use the string that was tied on the dumpling to cut the dumpling into smaller pieces, for easy consumption. But in fact, this size is good for my mouth. (HAHAHA)
Spoil for choices: Brown(Red) Sugar (Nam Tan Dang)....
Palm Sugar syrup (Nam Tan)?
Meang Kham - which translates to one bite wrap. A local delicacy that uses a "Daun Kaduk" leaves, or aka Piper Sarmentosum to wrap varieties of ingredients that consists of roasted coconut strips, small dried shrimps, shallots, chilies, lime, ginger, and peanut. Lastly, garnished with palm sugar syrup and its ready to eat!
Cooking Class: The making of Thungwa Local Cookies
This is called Bunga Bu Da. Made by the "Ah Chan" (teacher). They're wrapped with baked rice flour (skin) and filled with shredded coconut. The colours are just for decoration purposes, and they're sweet in taste.
This is how Bunga Ba Du is made.
These two are made by us. Well, they do look a lil bit different from the original though. But trust me, it's edible! :D
This is called Puk Rak, their local delicacy and its popular among tourist too. Puk Rak is a Ribbon cookies with fillings (fish/prawn/coconut)
They're also available for sale and order. Packed in both container and/or plastic for customer's convenience. I strongly recommend the fish flavour, tasted the best for me!
Thank you to these wonderful teachers, I've acquired another new skill in the kitchen. Hehehe.
Hands-on on Tie-Dyed Fabric
These are the materials used to make the pattern/ prints on the shirt (fabric)
Unleashed the creative side in me :P I used pebbles (almost round) and broken tiles (rectangular) in my masterpiece. To ensure that the result came out as intended, you need to tie it hard so that the tied part is dry from any dye. Otherwise, it might turned out to be completely coloured (without any patterns).
Orange-brown dye made of a type of fruits which can only be found in the mangrove.
Its called Tak Bun... Xylocarpus granatum, the cannonball mangrove or cedar mangrove is a species of mangrove in the mahogany family (Meliaceae). It is found in Africa, Asia, Australasia and the Pacific Islands.
Soaking the tied fabrics before transferring it into the dye tank
FYI. Tie-dye can be used to create a wide variety of designs on fabric, from standard patterns such as the spiral, peace sign, heart shape, diamond, and the marble effect to beautiful works of art. Mine? FREESTYLE! :P
You can also purchase their ready made tie-dye clothes as souvenirs.
Me posing with the business owner, Pee Rashid and his wife :)
Thank you for your patience in assisting to complete my DIY shawl made of natural dye. I'm now a proud owner of this beautiful art piece.
Thai Fusion Dinner at Thungwa Homestaygodon
What do you think of tonight's dinner? I think its a fusion of some Thai (Gaeng Som) with Chinese (Winter Melon Soup - Fak Keaw) and Malay (Stir Fry Kang Kung - Phak Bung). Interesting...
Stir Fried KangKung...
Winter Melon Soup with Chicken
Gaeng Som (also sometimes spelled kaeng som) in Thai means sour curry or sour soup. And yes, they're spicy too!
Mackerel Salted Fish (Phla Kem)
Fresh mangosteen (Mang Khut) from the orchard. Oh-so-fresh!
DIY Bracelet and Necklace
Waxed cords/ threads and equipments used for the bracelet DIY.
FYI, waxed cords/threats are extremely popular for costume jewelry and crafts because of its lasting materials and wide colours variation.
Its my another first doing this. I mean it always excite me when i get to challenge myself to do something new, something more than my daily routine. I just felt some sense of achievement. The tying structure is not easy, sometimes i lost count and tied on the wrong string, but my "Ah Chan" (teacher) is just next to me to assist me whenever im in need. Very helpful.
Look at the details! And some crooked ones. Oops.... :P
Finally my bracelet is ready. This type of handwork definitely require lots of patience, and I'm glad my patience last throughout. Hahahahah! (You'll understand when you try this someday!)
Thank you Pee Pean for the handmade souvenirs. I love it!
Day 2 Activities
- Breakfast at Su-Ngai-Au-Pae aka Little Penang street
- Chom-Pu-Ni-Mit Temple
- Satun’s Geopark
- Chalermrach Cultural Centre, Tung Wah’s Ancient Elephant Museum
- Lunch & Cooking class at Thungwa Homestaygodon: Learn to make Thungwa Village famous Nam Prik Sambal Belacan Spicy Sauce
- Stagodon Sea Cave
- Dinner at Sud Tee Rak Restaurant
- Dessert/ Supper
It was a beautiful day today. No rain, just sunny and happy :)
We left our homestay (Thungwa Homestaygodon) at about 8am to the local market for breakfast.
This is the scenic view of our car ride :)
Isn't it beautiful? You don't get to see this in the city at all, think about the things you'd missed!
Our chartered transport for this trip! Love its happy-go-lucky colour!
Hehe! And we're finally here at Thungwa's local market
OMG! Look at their chillies.. So fresh and yummyy.... :P
(I definitely need chilli for almost every food)
Cheap Cheap! Only 20baht per kg
Selling herbs by their local indigenous community, whom they called Minak
Durians are cheap here! It's only 100baht for 3
Popular stall for their Belacan
Giant Pumpkins for sale, interested?
Local Salak fruits seller
Pose with the friendly local policeman first before heading to our breakfast place! :P
Famous Khao Niao Kung (just next to the market/ 7-11)
The food hunt has started! Oops... almost forgotten to share the pictures... Alright, scroll down buddy!
Breakfast trying out local delicacy like Nasi Kerabu (Khao Yum which is a rice salad dish that mixes elements of both Southern Thai and Malaysian cuisines. Its fragrant, tasty and assumingly healthier to eat) Not forgetting, their Bak Zhang (meat dumpling) too.
And their popular Khao Niao Kung (grilled shrimp glutinous rice with fresh banana leaves)
Freshly made every day
A picture for remembrance (as requested by the eatery place owner). This is their family business, located just a few shops away from the wet market at the Little Penang street
Fun Facts: This grandma here is already 91 years old, yet she's still being able to live a good health with strong stamina. If only our generations learn to cherish their lives better than chasing for materials and/or monetary happiness.
Trilobite Fossil founded in Tarutao Island
Fusulinid fossils which was founded over 400 over million years ago
The Satun Geopark terrain originated as a sea floor in the Cambrian Period more than 500 million years ago. The oldest fossils of primitive sea life in Thailand were found in the red sandstones on Tarutao Island.
Pose with the friendly yet experienced local guides of Thungwa, Satun
Thungwa Ancient Elephant Museum
Me and my partner, Beam ka. By the way, this museum is opened from Monday to Friday without admission fee and closed on the weekends and official holidays. And the numbers of visitors is about 100,000 visitors a year.
The elephant has had a long association with Thai tradition and history. A white elephant was honored to be a Thai Royal war elephant when the king waged war against an invading enemy in Sukhothai and Ayutthaya period. In Rattanakosin period, elephant was appeared white on Thai red flag and was royal stamp of King Rama V. Therefore, elephant is formally acknowledged as a Thai National Treasure until this present time. The 13th March was declared as the National Elephant Day since B.A. 2506.
For further elaboration, you may also click onto their official link to understand more.
Our in-house guide sharing about the history of elephants species and evolution in Satun, Thailand.
This is how elephant looked like before the evolution. The first elephant. Hmmmm.... hard to believe right?
Elephant jaw (as what I was told), could you believe it?
It was an amazing experience to learn something new today, especially about the elephants. It just never came into my mind there would be unique relation between an animal and a country.
The history and new knowledges I'd learned from this museum are just so inspiring. Everyone should visit this museum and get to know more about the local histories.
Personally born in Penang, when I got to know that Satun is also known as Little Penang, I'm just astonished. Well, now that explains why the architectural here looks very similar to the one back home.
Our friendship pose at the Palm Plantation.
Cooking Lesson - Nam Prik
Learned to make Nam Prik (Sambal Belacan Thai) style the local (Satun) way. We're all excited!
With our lovely chef - Pee Pean, also our homestay owner :)
Yes, you didn't see it wrong, they're using mortar and pestle to make the local chili sauce, no blender is seen in the kitchen!
Nam Prik, almost available in every meals. Must try it when you're here, best eaten with Sambal Belacan.
Check out our home cooked lunch today. They're all cooked by our lovely homestay owner - Pee Pean.
These Cempedak are fresh from the orchard behind the homestay, how awesome! And the local here called it "Cempedak" too! Amazing!
Same goes to the Rambutan :)
Ooo... They have fried cempedak here in Satun too :D
Stegodon Sea Cave
This is the road to Tham Le Stegodon (Sea Cave), surrounded by rubber plantation which these days, most of the local resident here work as a rubber tapper, farmers and fisherman.
This is me trying out rubber tapping for the first time in my whole life despite living near to one (just a 45mins drive away) :(
Who said we need to go Korea for their Nami Island Instagrammable shot? I thought we have the similar thing in Thungwa, Satun :D
FYI: An Incision is made in the bark of a rubber tree, which cuts through the latex vessels that flow between the bark and the cambium. The latex then drips into a collecting cup which can be either plastic or ceramic. Collection would be made approximately 3 hours later.
Posing with the legendary Stegodon Elephant
Used to be known as Tham Wang Kloy. But it has since changed its name to Stegodon Cave after the discovery of the Stegodon fossil in the cave.
The entrance of Stegodon Cave. Yes, the only mode of exploration is Kayak.
And we get to kayak in the cave. Its my first time though! Very honoured to be kayaking in longest underwater cave system throughout the Thai-Malay Peninsula (4km-route, est completion time is about 3 hours)
Tham Le Stegodon is a sea cave in the N-S elongated cliff limestone mountain ranges. The tunnels are 10 – 20 meters wide and 10 – 20 meters high. The stream outlet in the western side is connected with a brackish stream run through a thicket of mangrove forest that needs to sailing boat about four kilometers to get on the land at Ban Tha Oil pier.
Its pitch-black inside if there were no torch. Which can be quite peaceful at times, as you only hear the water dripping sound. What do you think?
Just me and my happy self exploring many new places for the first time.
Nautiloid fossils found on the cave wall
This is the impact/ patterns on walls that were left behind indicating the sea level then, which took place approximately 5000 years ago.
There was also an important discovery of many vertebrate fossils around the ground of the stream along the length of the cave, such as jowls and lower jaw teeth of the ancient Stegodon elephant with an age of about 1.8 million years to 10,000 years ago, the jaw plate of the ancient Elephas elephant, the jaw of the ancient rhino, and antler, etc. It is considered to be an outstanding cave in terms of landform and fossils. Hence, the name; Stegodon Sea Cave.
There are still formations of stalactites and stalagmites in many beautiful and strange shapes, which are stalactite tube, plastered limestone, and stalactite curtain, etc. It is considered to be a live cave.
Us and our local guide from CPS Travel Satun :)
Another Nautiloid Fossil found in the cave
Stalagmites spotted in the cave
Chompu Nimit Temple
Beam ka offering prayers to Buddha
Satun province is one of the Southern provinces of Thailand with the majority of Malay race and religion (Muslim). Bordering with Malaysia, Satun has always been part of the Malay State of Kedah, (bet you didnt know that!' Because even I didn't know too despite living in Kedah for so many years. LOL). It was only in 1909 it became part of Thailand. Hence, that answers to the reason why majority of the population in Satun are of the Malay origin. With utmost respect, there are no discrimination between religions; the temples give way to mosques (vice versa) and wherever you go you will have no problem to find Halal food. The Chom-Pu-Ni-Mit Temple located at "Little Penang" (“Su-Ngai-Au-Pae”) is where we had visited earlier today. It is well known for its highly respected monk (Kan-Chan Monk)
This is Thailand's King Vajiralongkorn. His name means "adorned with jewels or thunderbolts" and he was born on 28 July 1952, the first son and second child of Queen Sirikit and King Bhumibol Adulyadej. Thais have the utmost respect for their monarchy, especially the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
The building may seems a little old from the outside, but when I walked in, I can almost felt the inner peace from within. That special feelings I had was beyond words could describe.
The fine crafting of Buddha at the entrance of Chompu Nimit Temple
Fun Facts: Opposite this temple is a mosque for the Muslims to perform their prayers. How extraordinary can this be?
The picture and painting hanged all over the wall were so much enjoyable to watch and admire. They each have a story to tell and a lesson to teach; that is if you have the right mind and desire to interpret the message.
I had a little talk with Him. I hope he hears. I prayed for my family and love ones to be granted with good health and happiness. And in return, I'll be good and kind as he would want the humankind to be.
Do you believe in God? What is your most inspiring encounter with God so far?
I guess I have more to love Him as much as how he pulled me closer to Him during my cancer days in 2015. I am nothing but thankful and grateful.
Someone once told me, "just believe in God and He will guide you through". And I believed that someone.
Luang Po Kan Chan (Buddha status made of wood)
And then we bumped into a family of indigenous people by the road side.
FYI: The Maniq or Mani (Thai: มันนิ) are an ethnic group of Thailand. They are more widely known in Thailand as the Sakai, but the Maniq dislike the word sakai because it is derogatory, implying 'slave' or 'barbarism'. They are the only Negrito group in Thailand and speak Maniq (also called Tonga, Kensiu or Mos), a Mon language in the Asian language group
The Maniq are a hunting and gathering society. They build temporary huts of bamboo with roofs made of banana leaves. They hunt many types of animals and consume many different kinds of vegetables and fruits. The locals usually donate money to them for daily use.
Restaurant Sud Tee Rak
Food can never go wrong in Thungwa, Satun. We add rice and finished our dishes without fail for the past few days. Im not sure if thats the right thing to do. The demon in me cant resist good and tasty food!!
Nam Prik (Ulam2/ Greens served with Sambal Belacan)
Rambutan, fruits is a must in every meal. Agree?
Khat Na Pla Kem (Stir Fry Vegetable with Salted Fish)
Thod Pla Tu (Fried Kembong Fish)
Yum Sam Krop (Mango Salad With Cashew Nuts)
Kai Jeow Kung (Shrimp Omelette)
Nam (Water) with this special cup (only in Thailand)
Pak Leng Phad Khai (Vegetable Omelette). Pak Leng is the name of the vegetable.
A picture with the restaurant's chef.
Famous Roti in Su-Ngai-Au-Pae
Final food hunt for the day! "Roti" is a must try, insist the local (Its hard to maintain my weight during this trip..)
Hehehe.. and my partner - Beam Ka is trying out the flipping roti for the first time. How do you think she score? :P
Looks like Roti Canai in Malaysia isn't it? But its not.. Its more to Roti Tissue but they don't roll it or make it stand high, they chop it into square and serve to customer for easier dining.
Why this steamship image ? Well, It speaks a million reason for Thungwa. FYI, this ship named Mumbang was the first cargo and passenger ship for the government. Route used back then was between Su-Ngai-Au-Pae and Penang. And merchants/ traders were all Chinese who runs pepper business before rubber tapping and plantation started. Hence, the picture, to reminds every fellow customer of Thungwa's history and why up till these day, it is still called and known as Little Penang.
The rather rustic but comfortable settings at the shop
Thungwa's famous Roti Krop
And Thailand's famous Roti Banana
Kokoa (its the name in Thai for this drink). Ordered a Hot Choc Kurang Manis, but still manis (Wan Mak which means very sweet in Thai).. Hahaha..
(Beware for diabetic patients) :P
Cha (Tea). Equally good as compared to Chatramue Tea
Posing with the store owners. They probably made the best Roti in this small and friendly little village.
Day 1 Activities
- Fly with Thai Smile from Bangkok - Hatyai, and land transfer to Thungwa, Satun
- Lunch at Coxlax Coffee
- Cooking class - Stir Fry Vegetables
- Dinner at Thungwa Homestaygodon
So this is where my dreams got too real. Media people flooding the hall for this special campaign organised by Thailand Tourism - The Village Story by Thailand Village Academy
Yes, its me. I'm representing our home country in this competition as a story curator travelling in Thungwa, Satun, Thailand on a 6D5N trip!
(L-R) Aldi from Indonesia, Nuk and Beam from Thailand and myself! We all qualify ourselves to compete with the remaining 40 people. Wish us best of luck, will ya?
This is my virgin flight with Thai Smile carrier. 😅 The experience was pleasant. The food was beyond my expectation. Because my bench mark was set at the Red Airlines. It's a Tuna (generous filling) sandwich served with a cup of pulpy freshness orange juice. Tasty! The sky today even look blue-tiful with it 💎
Thank you for making my first time wonderful. 🙏❤️💯✈️
OMG! We're finally here in Hatyai! Can't wait to visit Thungwa, Satun
Disclaimer: This picture was meant to show the interior of Thai Smile aircraft, but I can't stop looking at this lady's expression on screen. Can you tell me what is she doing there?
First stop for our lunch at Conlax Restaurant. It's a family run business serving halal food to customer. I rate this shop 4.5/5 for their food and interior. Another 0.5 goes to their toilet that doesn't come with flushing system, but don't get me wrong, they were clean. I just thought better hygiene could be practiced better.
Love the antique, rustic decors.
*Just for decoration purposes only*
Our foodssssss... We had Nam Prik (the ulam & sambals), Green Curry, Fried Fish, Tom Yum Kong and Stir Fried Luffa with Shrimps and Eggs. AWESOME!
Don't care about the kgs. Think bout it later.
Restaurant name in Thai language.
This is probably the trademark of the shop. The so called Transformer or Iron man? Hmmmmmmm.....
First thing first, I'm thankful for a good wifi. :)
Recognition award presented to Thungwa Homestaygodon
The room. Can fit up to 8 people with two separate bathrooms. Aircon is definitely very cold at night. TV is available but I don't think I'll have time for that. Going outdoor is life!
Two bathrooms with hand shower. Laundry space was also provided, but indoor.
The entrance view to the homestay
Our car for the next 6 days... COOL!
Like Tuk Tuk but not Tuk Tuk :D
Cooking Class - Stir Fry Luffa
My partner and I, Beam ka.. We were both assigned to leave our city toxic environment and recharge in Satun Wonderland (Thungwa).
First day arrival, already given a task which I'm so familiar and so in love with; cooking.. Hehehe... My favourite past time! Cheak Cheak (Easy in Thai) :P
Who wants to give it a try. I think its good ;P
Dinner at Thungwa Homestaygodon
Our first welcome meals are already so delicious. I can't imagine if my weight goes out of control. OMG! Alright,maybe I should just focus one thing at a time. Let's Kin Kao (Eat Rice) first. :D