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.
The Central Mosque of Narathiwat (also named Yumiya Mosque or Rayo Mosque) is located 1 km outside the town Narathiwat. It was built in 1981 as a three-storied Arabian-style building including a high minaret tower, replacing the old wooden mosque built in 1938.
Within Khao Kong Buddhist Park is the Buddha statue named Phuttha Thaksin Ming Mongkhon, the largest outdoor Buddha image in southern Thailand.
Just outside the city of Narathiwat is Thaksin Ratchaniwet Palace, built in 1975 as a summer residence of King Bhumibol Adulyadej. The palace is located on a hill named Khao Tanyong, located directly at the coast.
Hat Narathat is a wide and clean fine sand beach of approximately 5 kilometers length. It stretches from the northern end of Narathiwats city limits right down to the cape at the mouth of Bang Nara River, which happens to be the location for the famous annual Korlae boat races. Vast rows of old sea pine trees (casuarinas) cast their shades over large areas of the beach. Locals prefer this beach for late afternoon picnics whilst their youngsters enjoy to cool down in the shallow waters or they just go and fly a kite. Two bridges connect Hat Narathat with the town proper and these span a body of water which is full of older, wooden and vibrantly hand colored fishing boats. These bridges offer great opportunities to watch the local fishermen preparing their pretty vessels and nets to get ready to go out on the sea or unload their daily catch. A nearby fresh market offers local fish and other merchandise.
New Central Mosque This is a religious site for Thai Muslims. The Arabian-style building has 3 floors. The ground floor is the main convention hall and the prayer rooms are on the top 2 floors. The top is covered with a large dome and there is a high tower for calling Muslims to prayer.
Ao Manao Beach & Nationalpark. This is a curved beach with many large rocks and boulders that protect the southern bay from wave generated erosion. The bay is around 4 kilometres long. The beach has an arboretum and a long row of seapines that makes it conducive for relaxation. There is also a beach forest study trail.
Phikun Thong Development Study Centre was established according to the wish of His Majesty the King who wanted it to be a knowledge centre for land reform in the area. The centre has an area of 2,784,000 square metres, divided into office buildings, demonstration plots and testing plots in swamp forest areas.
If you have any suggestions or comments, please e-mail us