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.
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.