Narathiwat at a glance
Located approximately some 1,149 kilometers south of Bangkok is Narathiwat the southernmost province in Thailand and one of the nation's five provinces that borders Malaysia at Amphoe Su-ngai Kolok, where the southern railway line ends.
Access from Malaysia is convenient via a ninety-minute bus trip and two immigration points where travelers can cross into Thailand and vice versa. With Amphoe Su-ngai Kolok serving as an economic and border tourism center, the province welcomes an increasing numbers of Malaysians and Singaporeans on short holidays or shopping sprees.
Geographically, Narathiwat is situated on the eastern coast of the Malay Peninsula. The north borders Pattani Province and the Gulf of Thailand, the west borders Yala Province, the east borders the Gulf of Thailand, and the south borders Kelantan in Malaysia. The plains where the Maenam Sai Buri, Maenam Bang Nara, Maenam Tak Bai and Maenam Su-ngai Kolok converge are adjacent to the gulf.
With an area of 4,475 square kilometers, of which 75 percent are jungles and mountains, visitors to the province are provided with great opportunities to spend days at the beach or in the forests and take excursion trips to some of the magnificent temples. Narathiwat has a tropical climate and has only 2 seasons; summer and rainy. The wettest period is during November to December.
Narathiwat literally means "the residence of good people". The city of Narathiwat has an abundance of traditional culture and authenticity with village-like tranquility. The inhabitants of Narathiwat are largely farmers and fishermen with the majority being Muslims who use the spoken and written Yawi language (Yawi has roots from the spoken Malay language and uses Arabic consonants and alphabets). As such, Narathiwat is an amazing and unique area with a constant flow of culture and trade between Thais and Malaysians.
The provincial seal depicts a sailing boat with a picture of a white elephant on the sail in a circle. It signifies that Narathiwat is a province on the coast, engaged in fishing and trading with neighboring countries and that the province has a white elephant called Phra Sri Nararat Rajakarin.
History of Narathiwat
In the past, Narathiwat was a southern borderland named "Ban Bang Nara" or "Manalo". It was located near Maenam Bang Nara and the sea. In the reign of King Rama I, this village was under the administration of Sai Buri. Later, it came under the administration of Ra Ngae town of Pattani province.
In 1906, Bang Nara became a big trading city with well-developed sea and land transportation. King Rama V moved the administration office from Ra Ngae to Manalo. In 1915, King Rama VI changed the name of the town to "Narathiwat".
Narathiwat is currently divided into 12 districts, namely Mueang, Ra-ngae, Su-ngai Padi, Sungai Kolok, Ruso, Yi-ngo, Waeng, Bacho, Tak Bai, Si Sakhon, Sukhirin, Chanae and one Sub District of Cho Ai Rong.