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Yala Province shares borders with Songkhla, Pattani and Narathiwat. Yala is the only land-locked province in the south of Thailand. The southern part borders Kedah and Perak of Malaysia.
In March Yala holds the ASEAN Barred Ground Dove Cooing Competition, here you enjoy viewing the processions of international Barred Ground Dove keepers from Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Brunei, and Barred Ground Dove keepers in Thailand participating in this competition, sales of products and equipment for keeping the Barred Ground Dove, also there is the 3 Southern Provinces Famous Food Festival where you can enjoy local food contests, food from well known restaurants of the 3 Southern border provinces and other various forms of entertainment and many other fun activities.
Bang Lang National Park located in Yala Province, has fertile forest made wonderful view of waterfall, cave, viewpoint upstairs reservoir and there is Sok Kai home. Including, there are historical war area to vie with Ma La Ya communist and Phu Lo ambuscade robber gang. The national park's attractions are Bang Lang Dam, ThanTo Lake, ThanTo, La-ong Rung, Tomo Waterfalls.
The Sakai live at Mu 3, Tambon Ban Rae, about 80 kilometres on the road to Betong. The Sakai is an ancient nomad tribe who exists on hunting and gathering, is an expert on herbal plants and using darts for hunting. Their dwellings were originally made of bamboo, with thatch roof. Recently the Department of Social Work has developed the village by segregating the Sakai in one area and introduced rubber planting as their occupation. The Department also asked the Princess Mother for the naming of the group with the family name of Si Than To. At present, there are a few of the Sakai left at this village, the rest of the group has moved to other areas.
Suan Khwan Mueang
This public park is located on Thanon Thetsaban 1, about 300 metres from the City Pillar Shrine. Its vast area of 207 rai has a separate sportsground and a 69 rai pond, landscaped with sandy beach and sea pines to remedy the landlocked problem of the province. Furthermore, singing bird contest (Nok Kao Java) is often held at this Park since it is the largest and the best ground for such contest in the south.
At dusk the swifts would fly about the city centre and come to rest at houses, on buildings and on electricity lines, especially on the Bell Tower that is well-lit at night. They have become one of Betong's symbols, although they are there only during the cool season when they flee from the cold weather of Siberia once a year, usually from September through March.
The Largest Mail Box in Thailand
The Largest Mail Box in Thailand used to be located at the Bell Tower intersection of Betong. It was built in B.E. 2467 before World War II as the communication post for the townspeople, through the radio implanted on top of the box, and the mail slot below it. At present a new box had been built in a larger size (nine metres tall), and is located at the City Convention Hall (Sala Prachakhom). The new mail box attracts a large number of tourists who come to take the photograph.
Piyamit Tunnel is at Ban Piyamit 1, Tambon Tano Mae Ro. Take the same route as the Hot Spring for four more kilometres. This area is the village of the Thai Development Participants and was once the base of Malaya Communist Division 2. The tunnel was built in three months in B.E. 2519, winding through the mountain for about one kilometre, about 50-60 feet wide with multiple entrances. It was used as the air raid shelter and food storage area. At present there is an exhibition about its history including the way of life in the forest. It is open to the public from 8 a.m. to 4.30 p.m.
The word Betong is Malay, meaning bamboo. This district is at the southernmost point of Thailand, about 140 kilometres from Amphoe Muang Yala, on Highway 410. The road between Amphoe Than To and Amphoe Betong winds on the hillside, affording the scenery of the lake, forest, and rubber plantations. The Betong city centre is surrounded by mountains, resulting in cool climate and high rainfall with frequent fog in the morning. It is therefore dubbed The City in the Fog with Beautiful Flowers. Betong is a large developed district. Malaysian tourists often visit the area because of its proximity. The food is outstanding and has a lot of tourists attractions.
Betong Municipality Park
Also called Suan Sut Siam, this park occupies an area of about 120 square kilometres on a hill in the middle of Betong city centre. It is the overlook for the city, consisting of ornamental plants and flowering plants garden, avarium, health garden, a sportsground, a swimming pool, and a playground. It is suitable for recreation and exercising. If one travels on Tanon Sukyang for seven kilometres from the Park, one will reach the southernmost point of Thailand that has a road connection into Malaysia.
Betong Hot Spring
Betong Hot Spring is situated at Ban Charo Parai Village, Tambon Tano Mae Ro, about five kilometres before reaching the Betong city centre, turn right from Highway 410 for another eight kilometres into the village. At the hottest spot, eggs are cooked in seven minutes. Hot spring shower is also available. It is believed that hot spring can cure muscle pain and minor skin irritation.
This is a lush rainforest with many rare plants and wildlife, especially birds. It is also the habitat of the Sakai. This forest occupies a large area at the boundary of Yala and Narathiwat. It is the headstream of the Bang Lang Dam. Tourists can take boat trips to enjoy the scenery from the 445th Division of the Border Patrol Police, Thanon Sukkhayang, Amphoe Betong.
This cave is located at Ban Ka Sot, Tambon Bannang Sata, about 50 kilometres from Amphoe Muang Yala on Highway 410, passing the entrance to Bang Lang Dam then turn left onto a dirt road for 1.5 kilometres. The scenery is that of the mountains, the stream, and the cave, with the stream running through. During the dry season, one can walk along the stream through this cave to the other side and into an open area surrounded by mountains and lush forest.
Yala Central Mosque
Yala Central Mosque is the main mosque of the province, completed in B.E. 2527, in western architectural style intertwined with the unique mosque frame. The front has about 30 wide steps leading to the upper terrace. The roof is square with a dome in the middle.
Also known as Wat Na Tham, this temple is one of the three most revered places of the south, along with Phra Borommathat at Nakhon Si Thammarat and Phra Borommathat Chaiya at Surat Thani, signifying the importance of Buddhism in the area since the Srivijaya Period. This temple is located in Tambon Na Tham, about eight kilometres from the city centre, on the road to Amphoe Yaha. A stream runs through the ground of the temple. A figure of a giant, made in B.E. 2484 and named by the villagers as Chao Khao, protects the entrance of the cave that houses the reclining Buddha. Inside the cave is a large chamber that has been converted into a religious area, with an opening in the roof of the cave that lets in the sunlight. The reclining Buddha has been estimated to have been made in B.E. 1300, around the Srivijaya Period that is 81 feet and one inch long. It is believed that the sculpture was in the Sleeping Narai posture but later modified into the Hinayana reclining Buddha.
Phra Mahathat Chedi Phra Phutthathammaprakat
This is located on a hilltop in Betong city centre, on the ground of Wat Phutthathiwat, Thanon Rattanakit. The chedi is built in the modern Sivijaya style, covered in gold color. It is 39.9 metres high, built to commemorate the 69th birthday anniversary of Her Majesty the Queen. From the chedi one can see all of the temple ground and part of Betong city centre.
Namtok Than To
Namtok Than To is situated in Tambon Tham Talu, on the Yala-Betong road (Highway 410), turn right at the 47-48 kilometre stone for about one kilometre. It is a large waterfall with cascading water running through seven levels with pools for swimming. The surrounding forest is lush with many interesting species including Si Yala with yellow blooms in February.
Namtok La-ong Rung (Rainbow Waterfall)
This is situated on the boundary between Amphoe Than To and Amphoe Betong, about 90 kilometres on the Yala-Betong road from Amphoe Muang. Turn right onto a dirt road at about 40 kilometres before reaching Amphoe Betong, for about 100 metres. The slippery trek leads along the stream from the waterfall calls for precaution. During the rainy season, the waterfall has the effect of the rainbow, hence the name.
Namtok Inthason is about 15 kilometres from Betong city centre, or about two kilometres further from the Hot Spring. It is a small waterfall with lush forest and pools for swimming and relaxing.
Namtok Chaloem Phra Kiat Ro Kao
This is in Tambon Ai Yoe Weng, turn right from Highway 410, between Amphoe Than To and Amphoe Betong at the 32-33 kilometre stone, onto the dirt road for three kilometres. The waterfall is more than 30 metres high, surrounded by lush forest.
Yala Hotels & Guest Houses
Betong City Plaza
1 Thamwithi Road, Amphoe Betong, Yala
Tel: 0 7323 0441-3