Koh bulon , the unseen tropical Paradise in Satun
Satun is somewhere of the destinations among many tourists both domestic and abroad. This province located in the south of Thailand encompass with the simple life of the people and the beauty of natural properties – clear blue sea and rolling mountain ranges including many attractions such as Lipe Island, Kai Island, Hin Ngam Island, Adang – Ravi Islands, Tarutao National Park, and Thale Ban National Park. However, there are many more tourist spots in Satun that are very interesting, and one of those which is very charming is ‘Koh Bulon‘
Bulon Island or Koh Bulon in Thai is nestled in the Petra Islands National Park that occupied the area of Trang and Satun. The islands are situated at La Ngu district, Satun with a distance about 22 km from Pakbara Pier equally the distance of Tarutao Islands from the pier. Bulon is located in the north close to Trang and Tarutao is settled in the south near to Malaysian territorial water. There is just only one trip of the boat to the island at 1.00pm daily.
In the matter of fact, the Koh bulon have been known among some foreign tourists for a decade, before the mainstream famous Lipe Island at the moment, nonetheless has not been widespread. Koh Bulon, nowadays, still keeps its perfect charm and simple islanders’ life metaphor it likes flashback to the time of Samui in last 30 years or Phi Phi in previous 20 years.
Name of the islands ‘Bulon” believe that it slangs from ‘Buloh’ in Malawi which means “Bamboo.” This is related to some information that mentioned to some part of the islands in the past was rich in bamboo.
About the Bulon Island
According to the information of Petra Islands National Park identifies that the Koh bulon consists of 5 islands and one rock by following;
The 5 islands are the 3-main island where are the remarkable tourist spots – Bulon Lah, Bulon Don, and Bulon Mai Pai or Bulon Bamboo. And two more rest are Bulon Rang (Sa Rang), and Bulon Gai, both are islet without any beach and coral.
And a “Rock” is the ‘White Rock” or so-called is Koh Hin Khao (White Rock Island), although it is not an island a white rock bursting above the sea. The White Rock features the exotic under the sea world that is pretty as “Jabang Pinnacle” of the Tarutao Islands! It is so plentiful deep down to the sea around the rock where the seven-colour coral or colourful young coral reef that is lovely. It is a significant spot for any visitors who come to the Bulon Island for diving activity, even though there are some wild stream and wave in some of the days, and there’s no any barricade robe to support the tourist. So, it is not recommended for anyone who is not able to swim or skilful enough.
the White Rock, currently is not a part of Petra Islands National Park, notwithstanding it does not take too long to form it into the National Park soon to protect it from harm and it’s more convenient for conservation as well.
The highlight spots of Koh bulon
1. Bulon Bamboo Island
Bulon Bamboo Island is about 30 minutes from the Pakbara Pier. Once the boat docked near to the beach, then it is time you will enjoy a striking scene of crystal clear water as the first welcome to this lovely island. This island is the smallest among the three main islands. There is no any dwelling on the island but some National Park Guard.
There are 2 locations on the sand beach on the Bulon Bamboo Island which are the north beach, where the boat is docked. This beach is the 100-meter length and the east shore which length about 500 meters. This beach provides the visitors with water activities – swimming and snorkelling, besides there is a short trail to the hill that offers a viewpoint of the beach.
The tranquil and peaceful island provides a camping area with w/c and staff to take care resulting this is an ideal place for one who loves to relax in sea, sand, and sun.
2. Bulon Don
Bulon Don is the second in size among the Koh bulon is nestled in the Petra Island National Park. The island is resided by the sea gipsies called “Urak Lawoi” more than 70 households. They preempted on the island before the declaration of the National Park. The sea people live the life by the fishery.
The resident on the island is Muslim who live the life so rustic. On the other hand, this is so charismatic to the visitor to experience this lively way of life. Their houses are so rustic but practical. Having doves is trendy among them, and also goats. The community is surrounded by the homey, friendly and sufficient ambience. And there is a local school to educate the children abstemious.
Some people in Satun say that the community of sea people here is so-called the past scenes of Urak Lawoi of Lipe. Unfortunately, the folk community on Lipe today has changed by time, and rapid tourism arrival resulting in the insider (Lipe) has become the outsider.
The rustic charm in the Buron Don Island is somewhere for the foreign travellers who love to travel in cultural and lifestyle orientation in particular photography lover since the place offers you more than hundred opportunities for your shutter. The site may not a dream destination for a luxury type visitor. Anyhow, you may change your idea if you take your chance once to touch a friendship of the villagers and smiling face of the children. Who’s know you would make more trip to this simple island.
3. Bulon Leh
Bulon Leh or Bulon Yai (Big Bulon) is the most significant island and rich in beautiful white sandy beaches of the Koh bulon lae. Urak Lawoi as well resides the habited island before the National Park settlement and also the people from the land that move to the island to make a living on the island.
Apart from that, the Bulon Leh has some small resorts both own by local people and elsewhere invertors which are located within the shady and pleasant nature. Luckily, the natural properties of the island are still flawless, although it has been habited since long time ago. There is some part of the island are rubberwood farming, but there is still some forest space that still plentiful and diverse of species – mangrove, beach forest, and rainforest. Moreover, there are some local wildlife, e.g., Dawn Bat, Black-bearded Tomb Bat, Horsfield’s Leaf-nosed Bat for example. Furthermore, the hornbills are living on the island, too.
On the other hand, the underwater world of the Bulon Leh island is extraordinary as well. In the east side of the island features the shallow water coral reef that provides the visitor for snorkelling activity. There is an array of hard coral such as Staghorn Coral.
The beach and bay on the island are not less attractive to sightsee – Pang Nga Yai Bay, Pang Nga Noi Bay, and Sabai Jai Bay, including Pan Sand Beach where is named follow to the resort title situated in the area. The Pan Sand Beach is long and white powdery sand beach. It is very popular among the foreigners for sunbathing as well as Muang Bay.
4. Mango Bay
Muang Bay or Mango Bay was named follow to a big wild mango tree (Thai called mango is Ma-Muang) that used to be here. Though this bay is not a place for water activities, it is still rich in an appeal from the life of fishing village where is a fishing centre of the island. And if any tourist visits this area on the right time, there is a charming scene of villagers help each other to detach the crabs, fish, squids, etc. from the fishnet.
From the Mango Bay, strolling along the street that crosses over the village leading us to pass the rubberwood plantation, communities, resorts and through to another side of the island called Pang Nga Noi. It is a small in size but a quiet and tranquil place where is a perfect spot to chill out for many tourists.
Bulon Leh is the most potential in tourism among the 3 islands; nonetheless there are some residents face many problems with living and quality of life. Fortunately, the Petra Island National Park incorporate with Prince of Songkla University and Chaipattana Foundation has been working to support in many schemes. They consist of health and sanitation development, promoting in environment conservation, conserve and restore the local culture and tradition particularly Urak Lawoi.
Further, a survey in the water source, develop the quality of water, economic development project, tourism promotion by setting the nature trail on the island together with providing the excellent presentation of signage and information board for example.
One Day Trip to Bulon Island
With its plentiful of tourism properties that are both exotic and rustic to lure many tourists resulting in the islands has become more renowned in particular among the tourist from abroad that visit the island increasingly. And lately, the group of tourism entrepreneurs in Satun with the support by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), Trang Office that also responsible for Satun are collaborating to promote the pilot activity “One Day Trip at Bulon Island. The objectives of the project are to allocate the income and tourist to the island that can reduce too crowded in Lipe Island, also.
The trip is started at the Pakbara Pier to travel pleasantly to the 3 main islands of Koh Bulon which are Bulon Bamboo, Bulon Leh and Bulon Don including the diving activity at the White Rock.
This campaign highlights the advantages of the Koh Bulon Leh into 4 main points which are
- The location is close to the mainland
- Rustic lifestyle
- Peaceful and fresh
- Ideal place for hideaway
These show the progress of tourism development of Koh Bulon; however, it is an essential thing to concern how it tends to be in the future especially the outsider investment that can disturb the rural and local way of life.
The Highlights of Trip
The highlight of trip features significant spots are;
Bulon Leh with its remarkable bays is Na Kae Bay, located in the east of the island, providing the white clean sandy beach that stretching out to the bright emerald water. The bay is perfect for water play as well as its shady beach that is good for camping and sees the sunrise.
The Mango Bay, located in the west of the island, the bay consists of rocks and cliffs, however, there a quiet and still water beach which is suitable for diving. Pang Ka Bay, located in the west of the island. It is a large rock beach and is the most beautiful and outstanding spot to see the sunset on the island.
While the Bulon Don that situated in the east of Bulon Leh spotlights in its sea community with about 300 families who are the first group of the people to lay claim on this island and making the life by fishing. So, the visitors can experience the beauty of their simple and rustic life. Furthermore, Bulon Don also offers the V-shape white powdery sand beach and clear turquoise water. It is some peaceful and pleasant tropical paradise indeed.
How to get to Koh Bulon Island
Travel to the Bulon Island can do by getting the boat from Pakbara Pier. The service is provided daily during the tourism season. For a group, tour recommends going by charter. The office of Petra Islands National Park is settled at Ao Noon before the pier in about 3 km and make a left turn then drive about 1.4 km.