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SATUN AND TARUATO - Wings of the White Belly Sea Eagle

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Wings of the White Belly Sea Eagle
Tarutao Mini-Expedition

This slide show cover the four-day southern sector of the Wings of the White Belly Sea Eagle 7-Day/6nt. Trip, with Tom Jet Kop (7-Turn Cave) breaking up the middle day's 4-hour drive from Satun to Krabi. (Phang Nga Mini-Expedition is the Northern Sector.) The 3-Day Tarutao Mini-expedition includes these Tarutao experiences and Satun's "Secret Cave" but not Tom Jet Kop. Because we stage this trip from Phuket, the 5-day budget costs a bit more than a Phang Nga trip.

Peaceful and friendly Satun sits on the Andaman Coast adjacent to the Malaysian border. From the high mountain stream cave Tom Jet Kop (7-Turn Cave) out to Tarutao Marine National Park in the Andaman Sea, both Buddhist and Muslim residents are typically friendly Thai's who form a pleasant Southern experience.

The Tarutao National Park relief map gives you a feel for the most pristine of all Thailand National Parks, because it's an island far removed from the pressures of Thailand's voracious mainstream travel industry that's destroyed other islands with over development, Phi-Phi being the worst example.

Since this was a private charter "Wing's" Trip with Luci Hurlstone and David Aneston of Darwin, Australia, we start with Tom Jet Kop, the two-kilometer high ceiling 7-Turn Cave with stream paddle in the Satun highlands.

Then we go shopping in the colorful Satun wet market filled with the smiles of both Buddhist and Muslim fresh food vendors while "Ae" shops for the best fresh food before heading to the Pak Bara pier. We emphasize that JGSC overnight trips follow the true spirit of sea kayaking with beach camping, fresh cooked food and your own support boats rather than public ferries. The easy and cheap way is a public ferry, bungalows and bungalow food - low quality and not real sea kayaking.

Then we camp at idyllic Ao Son, complete with bathing in a fresh water stream mouth, follow the 2K Ao Son beach graced with roving wild pigs to Klong Son for a mangrove paddle complete with reticulating pythons, wild pigs, Pacific Reef Egrets and occasional hornbills.

Along the way we visit a surf/percolation cave on Tarutao's North Point and visit the Prison before returning to the Satun mainland for a tidal overhand paddle and Triple-Entry Hong on Koh Yai before our "Secret Cave" somewhere in Satun Province (see companion slide show).

This slide show also covers much of the Tarutao 6-Day Circumnavigation, Thailand's only multi-day coastal paddle short enough for a normal vacation. If you want to hike the interior in hopes of seeing large hornbills and mammals, stay over at the National Park bungalows, far nicer and less noisy than the backpacker's zoo on Koh Lipe.

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124 Soi 1 Yaowarat Rd., Taladyai, Muang, Phuket 83000, Thailand
Tel. (66-76) 254505-7 | Fax: (66-76) 226077
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