Wings of the White Belly Sea Eagle
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
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
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.