The Andaman's southernmost region, Satun was until recently mostly overlooked, but that’s all changed thanks to the dynamic white sands of Ko Lipe – a one-time backpacker secret turned mainstream beach getaway. Beyond Ko Lipe, the rest of the province passes by in the blink of an eye, as visitors rush north to Ko Lanta or south to Pulau Langkawi (Malaysia). Which means, of course, that they miss the untrammelled beaches and sea caves of Ko Tarutao, the rugged trails and ribbon waterfalls of Ko Adang, the rustic beauty of Ko Bulon Leh and easy-going Satun itself.
Largely Muslim in make-up, Satun has seen little of the political turmoil that plagues the fellow Muslim majority provinces of neighbouring Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat. Around 60% of inhabitants speak Yawi or Malay as a first language, and the few humble wát in the region are vastly outnumbered by mosques.