Yala is the southernmost province of Thailand, with an area of 4,521 square kilometres. It is the only landlocked province in the south. Today Yala is the border province with many interesting facets: history, culture, and beautiful scenery. The province has a unique mixture of cultural heritage of several groups–Thai, Chinese, and Islam. The city centre has systematic town planning and is one of the educational centres of the south as well.
The word Yala was derived from the local word yalo meaning fish net. Yala used to be part of Pattani, a colony of the Sukhothai Kingdom. In B.E. 2310 when Ayutthaya fell to the Burman, southern colonies became independent. During the reign of King Rama I of the Rattanakosin Dynasty, the King sent his brother, Khrom Phra Ratchawangbowon Maha Surasihanat to take Pattani. In B.E. 2351, the King had Pattani separated into 7 smaller colonies, namely Muang Pattani, Muang Sai Buri, Muang Nong Chik, Muang Yaring, Muang Ra Ngae, Muang Raman, and Muang Yala. Yala had changed its rulers many times before Monthon was abolished in B.E. 2476 and finally became one of the provinces (Changwat) of Thailand.