Narathiwat is one of five southern provinces that border Malaysia. The economic and border tourism centre is at Amphoe Su-ngai Kolok where Malaysians and Singaporeans like to spend their holidays and shop. The area has a constant flow of culture and trading.

The majority of the population is Muslims, with the Yawi language used in speaking and writing (Yawi has roots from the spoken Malay language and uses consonants and alphabets of the Arabic language).

Narathiwat has a total area of 4,475 square kilometres. It is on the eastern coast of the Malay Peninsula. The north borders Pattani and the Gulf of Thailand, the west borders Yala, the east borders the Gulf of Thailand, and the south borders Kelantan in Malaysia. Most of the area is jungles and mountains. The plains where 4 rivers converge are adjacent to the gulf. The rivers are Sai Buri, Bang Nara, Tak Bai, and Su-ngai Kolok. Narathiwat has a tropical climate and has only 2 seasons; summer and rainy. The wettest period is during November to December.


Originally, Ban Bang Nara or Manalo was just a village on the bank of the Bang Nara River next to the sea. In the reign of King Rama I, Ban Bang Nara was under the administration of Sai Buri. It later became a precinct and came under the responsibility of Rangae in Pattani precinct. In 1906, in the reign of King Rama V, Ban Bang Nara grew into a large community, with active land and sea trades. The provincial office was moved from Rangae to Ban Manalo and in 1915, King Rama VI visited Bang Nara and gave it the name of "Narathiwat," meaning "home of good people."

:: Attractions

The Narathud Beach has an expansive stretch of pure, white sand that is approximately 5 km long. The beach is lined with pine trees and suitable for setting up camping tents.

South of town and perched at the summit of the Tan Yong Mut Mountain is the summer royal residence, Taksin Palace, still used by the King and Queen. When the royal family is not in residence, the grounds are open for public viewing. The garden provides a great view of the adjacent beach and contains an aviary.

The main attraction at the bordering village of Tak Bai is Wat Chonthara Sing He. The mixture of Southern Thai and Chinese style temple was a Thai Buddhism outpost in an almost exclusively Malay-speaking, Muslim area. King Rama V erected the temple in 1873 to stake his claim to a region of land that the British wanted to incorporate into Malaya.

About 5 minutes walk from the center of the provincial city is the Muslim fishing village that is a good place to view the traditionally painted korlae boats.

Built entirely from wood, the 300 Years Mosque reflects the artistic fusion of the local Thai, Chinese, and Malay artworks and designs.

Situated on the Khao Kong hills is Thailand 's tallest seated Buddha image with a height of 24 meters and covered with golden tiles.

Formerly resided in by the highly revered monk Luang Phor Daeng, Wat Cherng Khao is widely respected and renowned for housing the head of the deceased monk that doesn't decay, though it was never chemically treated.

The highest mountain peak in the Budo Mountain and Sungai Padi Mountain National Park is the Bukoh Tawe Mountain with nearly extinct plant species still growing there. The park is the origin of many water tributaries and waterfalls, such as the Bacho Fall and the Beechu Fall. Most impressive is the tall, 7-tiered Chatwarin Falls, surrounded by wild durian fruit trees.

The Sunga Kolok Border Checkpoint is a popular tourist attraction and a bustling Thai-Malaysian commercial center, that is conveniently located 1 km from the Sunga Kolok train station.

The Loh Chud Folk Museum contains artifacts dating back 1,000 years and more.

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