|Satun, Thailand’s first Global Geopark|
The UNESCO Executive Board, in its 204th session in Paris on 17 April 2018, endorsed 13 new sites worldwide that showed distinctive geological, ecological, archaeological, and cultural value as new UNESCO Global Geoparks. The Satun Geopark was among them.
Satun residents rejoiced at this good news. The Satun Governor cited the endorsement of the Satun UNESCO Global Geopark as a gift for Thai people around the whole country. It is the fifth location in Southeast Asia to be given this status by UNESCO. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment nominated the Satun Geopark to UNESCO in 2016.
He said that Satun province is preparing more information for tourists wanting to visit various sites in the Geopark. Next year, a tourist service center will be established for visitors to the Satun Global Geopark.
The Geopark covers four districts: Thung Wa, La-ngu, Manang, and part of Mueang Satun, including two national parks and one wildlife sanctuary. The area of the Satun UNESCO Global Geopark has a population of about 113,110.
It also boasts an abundance of fossils and has great potential for being developed as a world-class destination for sustainable tourism. Satun is a peaceful province where Buddhist and Muslim Thais live happily in harmony.
Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand Yuthasak Supasorn said that Satun is attracting new visitors, inspired by the prospect of myriad local experiences and the province’s rich natural beauty and cultural diversity.
The UNESCO website describes the Satun Geopark area as a peaceful place with renowned natural beauty. It stated that the area celebrated, in both Thailand and the whole of Southeast Asia, for its abundance and high diversity of fossil species, as well as for the oldest succession of fossils.
Prasat Hin Phan Yot is probably the most important geological site in the Geopark. The outstanding geological features of this site are characterized by a spectacular pinnacle karst landscape, including a stunning sea cave and hidden lagoon, which tourists can visit by kayak.