This article is written like a travel guide rather than an encyclopedic description of the subject. (May 2015)
Phatthalung (Thai: พัทลุง pronounced [pʰát.tʰā.lūŋ], Southern Thai: พัทลุง pronounced [pʰat.tʰa.luŋ]) is one of the southern provinces (changwat) of Thailand. Neighboring provinces are (from north clockwise) Nakhon Si Thammarat, Songkhla, Satun, and Trang. Phatthalung is essentially a landlocked province, one of the only two in southern Thailand, the other being Yala.
Map of Thailand highlighting Phatthalung Province
|• Governor||Wanchai Khongkasem (since June 2016)|
|• Total||3,424.5 km2 (1,322.2 sq mi)|
|Area rank||Ranked 58th|
|• Rank||Ranked 47th|
|• Density||150/km2 (390/sq mi)|
|• Density rank||Ranked 27th|
|Time zone||UTC+7 (ICT)|
|ISO 3166 code||TH-93|
The province is on the Malay Peninsula. To the east it borders the large shallow Songkhla Lake, while the west is covered by mountains of the Nakhon Si Thammarat chain. Khao Pu–Khao Ya National Park is at the border to Trang.
During the reign of King Ramathibodi I of the Ayutthaya kingdom in the 14th century, Phatthalung became one of twelve royal cities. At the end of the 18th century King Rama I submitted the city to the Ministry of Defense, which was responsible for all the southern provinces. During the administrative reform by King Chulalongkorn, Phatthalung became part of the Monthon Nakhon Si Thammarat.
The majority of the province's populace are Thai Buddhists. Muslims account for 11.1 percent of the population. Many of Phatthalung's Muslims have some ethnic Malay ancestry, but over the centuries they had intermarried with the Thais and adopted Thai cultural norms.
According to the Bangkok Post, Phattalung is "...notorious for its hitmen." The province has been referred to as "the source of Otop hitmen" by the police. "OTOP" refers to a governmental program, "One Tambon, One Product" that promotes and sells the unique specialty product from each Thai sub-district ('tambon'). A police lieutenant colonel explained that, "Hitmen [in Phattalung] are easily found—it is not expensive. Just give them speed pills and they will do the job." No explanation as to why this is so.
Phatthalung does not have an airport. The nearest airport is Trang Airport, which is 66 km from the center of Phatthalung.
Nakhon Si Thammarat has the main station, the Phatthalung Railway Station.
Phraya Thukkharat (Chuai) Monument (อนุสาวรีย์พระยาทุกขราษฎร์ (ช่วย)) - Phraya Thukkharat was a former monk known as Phra Maha Chuai. During the Nine Armies War in the reign of King Rama I, then Phra Maha Chuai had assisted Phraya Phatthalung, who had led a force of villagers to defeat an invading Burmese army. Later, when he had left the monkhood, he was awarded the royal title Phraya Thukkharat and was an assistant to the city's ruler.
Manora or Nora (มโนราห์หรือโนรา) A local performing art in the south. It was an influence from the south of India, together with Lakhon Chatri (theatrical show by males). However, some dancing patterns were changed to match folk cultures in each province. There are 12 major dancing patterns. The patterns are done to lyrics sung by the dancers, either impromptu or composed in advance.
Talung (ตะลุง) *shadow plays) is a popular folk performance of the south. Talung puppets are made of dried cattle hide, cut beautifully into the characters of each shadow play. The puppets are usually painted black and each of them is held firmly between split bamboo slats called "mai tap". A puppet's mouth and hands will move in accordance with the narration. A Talung ensemble comprises the puppet masters (who are also the vocalists) and a band, totalling no more than eight persons. The musical instruments include pipes, drums, phon (a special kind of drum), and a gong.
- "About Phatthalung". Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT). Retrieved 23 May 2015.
- "Khao Pu-Khao Ya National Park". Department of National Parks (DNP) Thailand. Archived from the original on 17 November 2015. Retrieved 23 May 2015.
- C. Skinner (1985). The Battle for Junk Ceylon: The Syair Sultan Maulana. Foris Publications. p. 272. ISBN 90-6765-066-8.
- William Chambers (publisher), Robert Chambers (1898). Chambers's Journal. W. & R. Chambers. p. 539.
- Ngamkham, Wassayos (2019-02-04). "Mother chief suspect in son's murder". Bangkok Post. Retrieved 2019-02-05.
- "Phraya Thukkharat (Chuai) Monument". Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT). Retrieved 2019-02-05.