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PHATTHALUNG TOUR

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Phatthalung is an ancient city in southern Thailand. It is a land of mountains. In town is Khao Ok Thalu, which is clearly visible from afar. Phatthalung is regarded as the birthplace of the shadow play and the Nora dance. From ancient times to the present, Phatthalung has been closely linked to Songkhla Province, particularly in terms of geography, history and migratory settlements through many ages. During the Srivijaya period (13th-14th Buddhist century), the Phatthalung community received Indian cultural influence in the way of Mahayana Buddhism. In the reign of King Ramathibodi I (U Thong) of Ayutthaya, Phatthalung became one of twelve royal cities. Later during the reign of King Rama I in the Rattanakosin period, the king had the Ministry of Defense oversee Phatthalung, upgraded it to secondary city status and moved it to the mouth of Pam River.

When there was an administration reform in the reign of King Rama V, Phatthalung prefecture came under Nakhon Si Thammarat prefecture until 1924, when King Rama VI relocated the city to Tambon Khuha Sawan where it has been ever since. Upon the abolition of the prefecture system in 1933, Phatthalung became a province outright.

Phatthalung city is situated on the west bank of Songkhla Lake, about 846 kilometres from Bangkok. It has an area of 3,424.473 square kilometres and is divided into 10 districts and 1 sub-district, as follows: Mueang Phatthalung, Khuan Khanun, Pak Phayun, Kong Ra, Tamot, Khao Chaison, Pa Bon, Bang Kaeo, Si Banphot, Pa Phayom, and the sub-district of Srinagarindra.

Boundary

North – Borders Chauat in Nakhon Si Thammarat and Ranot in Songkhla.
South – Borders Rattaphum and Khuan Niang in Songkhla and Khuan Kalong in Satun.
East – Borders Songkhla Lake, Ranot, Krasae Sin, Sathing Phra, and Singhanakhon in Songkhla.
West – Borders Nakhon Si Thammarat (Banthat) mountain range, Huai Yot, Mueang Trang, Na Yong, Yan Ta Khao, and Palian in Trang.

Phatthalung Attractions Tour

Phatthalung Art,Culture and Heritage

Handicrafts village

Attraction Details :

Ban Khok Wua, Tambon Chai Buri, is about 6 kilometres from the city on the road from Sai Yuan intersection. The village is famous for making products from coconut shells, now called the Million Baht Coconut Shell Village. The community leader, Mr. Plum Chukhong, pioneered the idea of getting villagers to make products from coconut shells that can be found locally. Products include kitchenware, household items and decorations. Eventually over 100 households began such an industry and later received support from the Industrial Promotion Department. Popular items are spoons, coffee cups, mugs, ladles, plates, bowls, lamps, and other decorations sold domestically and to 16 countries worldwide. Visitors interested in seeing demonstrations and buying products can contact Mr. Plum Chukhong, No. 42, Mu 1, Ban Khok Wua, Tambon Chai Buri, tel: 08 1465 5751.

Shadow Play Handicrafts Village

Attraction Details :

This is at Mu 1, Ban Bang Kaeo, Tambon Tha Madua. It is about 9 kilometres from the Phetchakasem-railway intersection and 200 metres from the railway to the centre. The total distance from Phatthalung city to the village is about 36 kilometres. The village has 25 members, all of whom make shadow play figures from hides in various styles made to order. The work is delicate and beautiful. The products are sold nationwide and exported to about 16 countries. For persons interested in seeing and buying shadow play products, please contact Mr. Im Chanchum, the centres president, or the Amphoe Bang Kaeo Community Development Office at tel: 0 7469 7380.

Talung (shadow play) is a regional performance of southern Thailand that is as popular as Nora. Like Nora, Phatthalung is also regarded as the birthplace of Talung. Each shadow play figure is made from raw cowhide that has been dried and then cut into shapes. Each figure is ornately printed with designs, with black usually covering the entire figure. Thinner hides will have colouring. The figures are held up by bamboo sticks, with the mouth and hands movable in tune with the narration. The Talung hall has a thatched roof and three walls. It has a white cloth screen. Behind it is where the figures are kept. The entire troupe of musicians and puppeteers number not more than 8 persons. Musical instruments include pipe, drum and gong. The figure performance is the duty of the head of the troupe who both operate the figures and narrate. The stories are from literature or newly written tales.

Phatthalung Governors Residence

Attraction Details :

This interesting place is at Tambon Lam Pam, near Wat Wang. Originally a government place and the home of the city lord, the part called Wang Kao (old palace), three adjoining Thai houses, built in the time of Phraya Phatthalung (Noi Chantharotchanawong) when he was the provincial governor. The palace later became the property of Mrs. Praphai Mutamara, the daughter of Luang Si Worachat. The new palace, or Wang Mai, was built in 1889 by Phraya Aphaiborirakchakrawichitphiphitphakdi (Net Chantharotchanawong), the son of Phraya Phatthalung, then the provincial governor. The Chantharotchanawong family has given this palace to the country. The Fine Arts Department declared it a national historical site in 1983.Admission is 50 baht each.

Phraya Thukkharat (Chuai) Monument

Attraction Details :

This monument is at Tha Miram intersection in Phatthalung municipality. Records show that Phraya Thukrat was a monk named Phra Maha Chuai who resided at Wat Pa Lilai during the reign of King Rama I. When the Nine Armies War took place, Phra Maha Chuai rallied villagers to help Phraya Phatthalung defeat Burmese forces. When he left the monkhood, he was appointed by the king to be Phraya Thukrat to help the city lord. His title of Phraya was of the same level as the city lord.

Phraya Thukkharat (Chuai) Monument

Attraction Details :

This monument is at Tha Miram intersection in Phatthalung municipality. Records show that Phraya Thukrat was a monk named Phra Maha Chuai who resided at Wat Pa Lilai during the reign of King Rama I. When the Nine Armies War took place, Phra Maha Chuai rallied villagers to help Phraya Phatthalung defeat Burmese forces. When he left the monkhood, he was appointed by the king to be Phraya Thukrat to help the city lord. His title of Phraya was of the same level as the city lord.

Phatthalung Nature and Wildlife

Hat Saen Suk Lampam

Attraction Details :

Situated 2 kilometres past Wat Wang on Highway No. 4047, this shady pine-fringed beach on the bank of Songkhla Lake, the largest freshwater lake in Thailand. In the middle of the rotary is a sculpture of a school of Lam Pam fish native to the area. A water pavilion named Sala Lam Pam Thi Rak is ideal for viewing the scenery. A bridge spans the beach and an islet created by sediment from the river. In Lam Pam Lake are dolphins, which can be seen frequently.

Koh Si and Koh Ha

Attraction Details :

Both islands, in Songkhla Lake, can be reached by leaving from Tambon Lam Pam pier (25 kilometres) or Pak Phayun pier (10 kilometres). The travelling time is about 1 hour. The islands are home of flocks of sea swallows, so many that they are called Koh Rang Nok (birds nest island). Concessions are given out for the collection of the nests for sale. The natural beauty of the islands is one of the finest in Phatthalung. King Rama V once visited here and left his initials on a cliff. Nearby is a monument of him. As Koh Si and Koh Ha are concession areas of the private sector, permission must first be obtained in Pak Phayun district.

Khao Ok Thalu

Attraction Details :

Situated on Highway No. 4047, Khao Ok Thalu rises majestically east of the train station. This mountain is a symbol of the province. It is about 250 metres high. Stairs lead up to the summit where visitors can get a panoramic view of the province. The name of the mountain derives from a hole near the top that allows people to see through it.

Thale Noi Waterfowl Reserve

Attraction Details :

Thale Noi is the largest waterfowl reserve in Thailand. It can be reached via Highway No. 4048 from Amphoe Muang to Amphoe Khuan Khanun and to Thale Noi, for a total distance of 32 kilometres. The road is paved asphalt all the way. The reserve is the responsibility of the Royal Forestry Department and covers 450 square kilometres, divided into 422 square kilometres of land (94%) and 28 square kilometres of water (6%), or Thale Noi. The sea is 5 kilometres wide and 6 kilometres long with an average depth of 1.2 metres. The sea is covered with assorted flora such as lotus, bulrush, reed, and grass used for thatching. More than 187 species of waterfowls, migratory and indigenous birds make their home at Thale Noi. Some live here throughout the year and some migrate only in winter from October to March when the population density is at its highest. The low season is June-September which is the nesting period. Species that are prevalent here are those of the heron and stork family such as yellow bittern, great egret, painted stork, red stork; ducks such as lesser whistling duck, cotton pygmy goose, and garganey; grebe; rails such as white-browed crake, white-breasted waterhen, watercock, common moorhen, and Eurasian coot; jacanas such as pheasant-tailed jacana and bronze-winged jacana; cormorants such as great cormorant and little cormorant; black-winged stilt; Brahminy kite; red-wattled lapwing; whiskered tern; common kingfisher; and barn swallow. The best time to study flora and fauna is during October-March when there is an abundance of birds and pink lotus in full bloom cover the reserve. Moreover, tourists can visit villages and see cottage industries like reed mat making.

Thale Noi has been named the first world ramsar site (wetland site) in Thailand. This aims to preserve the sustainable ecology of the area, one that is being developed into one of the countrys most important nature study centres. As such, there is careful control of eco-tourism in Thale Noi in order to minimize impact on the environment.

Tourists can take boats from Thale Noi pier and go on two routes; the first one for tourists with services by the Thale Noi community and the second for academics and nature study by requesting permission and guide from a reserve official. The reserve has comfortable accommodation. For more information, please contact the Royal Forestry Department in Bangkok, tel: 0 2562 0760 and Thale Noi Non-hunting Area, tel: 0 7468 5230.

Travel to Thale Noi is easy by boat and car. Access can be made from seaside districts like Ranot, Sathing Phra and Mueang of Songkhla, and Pak Phayun, Khuan Khanun and Mueang of Phatthalung. Visitors by train can alight at Pak Khlong station and continue by car to Thale Noi for 8 kilometres.

Namtok Phraiwan

Attraction Details :

This waterfall is in the Khao Banthat Wildlife Reserve, Tambon Khlong Chaloem. To get there, go from Khlong Muai by the Tambon Lam Sin-Ban Kong Ra road (Highway No. 4122) for about 20 kilometres. The waterfall entrance is to the west about 3 kilometres away. This is a large waterfall with serene natural surroundings that are rich in tropical flora. A parking area and a restaurant are available.

How to get there :

By Other

From the town of Phatthalung, take Highway 4 and, at the Kong Ra T-junction, turn right to follow Highway 4122 for around 29 km. There is a direction sign indicating another 3 km before the waterfall. Visitors can get to the waterfall on their own by means of taking a mini-bus on the Namtok Phraiwan – Phatthalung Line at the bus stop diagonally opposite the Phatthalung Railway Station. The mini-bus departs daily every 15 minutes during 7.00 a.m. – 5.00 p.m. The last bus from Namtok Phraiwan to Phatthalung leaves at 3.00 p.m.

Namtok Tamot

Attraction Details :

Also called Namtok Mom Chui, this waterfall is 12 kilometres from the district office. Take Highway No. 4121 and Highway No. 4137 (south of Phatthalung city) from Highway No. 4 all the way to Wat Tamot. The waterfall is located in Tamot Wildlife Protection Unit, about 4-5 kilometres past the temple. The waterfall is in the middle of a lush forest. The waterfall falls down several levels that have different names to a pool below. A wide rock plateau is suitable for relaxation.

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