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Ranong (Thai: ระนอง [rá.nɔ̄ːŋ], Southern Thai: ระนอง  [ra.nɔːŋ]) is one of Thailand's southern provinces (changwat), on the west coast along the Andaman Sea. It has the fewest inhabitants of all Thai provinces. Provinces neighboring Ranong are (clockwise) Chumphon, Surat Thani, and Phang Nga. To the west, it borders Kawthaung, Tanintharyi, Myanmar.

Ranong

ระนอง
เจดีย์วัดอุปนันทาราม.JPG
Flag of Ranong
Flag
Official seal of Ranong
Seal
Map of Thailand highlighting Ranong Province
Map of Thailand highlighting Ranong Province
CountryThailand
CapitalRanong
Government
 • GovernorChatuphot Piyamputtra (since October 2016)
Area
 • Total3,298.0 km2 (1,273.4 sq mi)
Area rankRanked 59th
Population
 (2014)
 • Total177,089
 • RankRanked 76th
 • Density54/km2 (140/sq mi)
 • Density rankRanked 71st
Time zoneUTC+7 (ICT)
ISO 3166 codeTH-85

GeographyEdit

Ranong is on the Kra Isthmus, a narrow strip of land, only 44 kilometres (27 mi) wide,[1] that connects Thailand with the Malay Peninsula, on the west of the Phuket mountain range. It has a long coast on the Andaman Sea. The province, together with Trat Province, is known for being one of the wettest places in Thailand, the rainy season lasting for about eight months.[2]

Ranong is the least populated province. Eighty percent of its area is covered by forests, and 67 percent is mountainous. In former years the major industry was tin mining, but most mines are now exhausted. White clay mining (for the production of porcelain) and fishing are now the main industries, along with rubber and cashew nuts.

The Ngao Mangrove Forest Research Centre, also known as the Ranong Biosphere Reserve, in the north of Kapoe District, covering 189,431 rai[1] (303.09 km2), was declared in 1997. It is the fourth biosphere reserve of Thailand, and the only one on the seacoast protecting mangrove forests. Khlong Nakha Wildlife Sanctuary is in the south of the province.

HistoryEdit

Ranong province once was a deputy town of Chumphon in the Ayutthaya era (1350–1767).[3] It was a small, mountainous town that protected Chumphon from Burma. The population was very low until the discovery of tin, when people from many cities and foreigners started to visit Ranong to do tin business there. This also gave rise to the name Ranong, which was a distorted form of rae nong (แร่นอง), meaning "full of minerals".[4] The ruler of Ranong was known after the town as Luang Ranong (Thai: หลวงระนอง)

At the start of the Rattanakosin era (1781–present), there was a wealthy Chinese merchant named Kho Su Jiang who bought all the tin business in Ranong and was appointed tax collector of Ranong, with the title Luang Rattana Setti (Thai: หลวงรัตนเศรษฐี), by King Nangklao (Rama III). In 1854, the Luang Ranong died. King Mongkut (Rama IV) then promoted Kho Su Jiang to the position, promoting him to Phra Rattana Setti (Thai: พระรัตนเศรษฐี). By then, Ranong's wealth had increased greatly and through taxation was a significant source of income for the capital, thus in 1877 King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) elevated Ranong to provincial status, answering directly to Bangkok as opposed to Chumphon, with Phra Rattana Setti becoming its first governor.[3]

After the First Anglo-Burmese War, when the British assumed control of Tenasserim and the Kraburi River became the demarcation line between Siam and British-controlled Burma, Rayong became an important border city where goods were exchanged, a status which extends past the independence of Burma to the present.

Being located on the Kra Isthmus, the narrowest part (44 kilometres) of the Malay Peninsula, the idea of a canal through the area has been long suggested, particularly by the French. If successful, traveling from Europe to China would be easier because one would pass through Thailand, which was faster and cheaper, instead of circumnavigating Malaysia. This was seen as a threat to the financial growth of the harbors of Singapore and Penang, which at the time were owned by Britain, who therefore forced the suspension of the project. At the end of World War II, Thailand signed a British-imposed treaty called "The Termination of The State of War Between Siam and Allies", which forbade Thailand from digging such a canal without British permission. This treaty was revoked in 1954.[5] Since then, plans for the canal have continued to be suggested and discussed, even in the present day, though prime minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said in 2018 that it was not a government priority.[6]

Ranong has also been historically significant as a residence for royal tours of the southern provinces, with many kings of Thailand visiting Ranong in the past. The first was King Chulalongkorn, who stayed at Rattana Ransan palace for three nights in 1890. The palace is now a landmark in Ranong. King Prajadhipok (Rama VII) visited in 1928, and King Bhumibol (Rama IX) and Queen Sirikit visited in 1959.

ClimateEdit

Most of Thailand receives from 1,200 to 1,600 mm of precipitation per year. Two provinces, Ranong and Trat, receive more than 4,500 mm a year making them the wettest places in the country.[7]

SymbolsEdit

The provincial seal shows a castle on top of a hill, as an aide memoire that King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) once visited Ranong and stayed at the Ratana Rangsan Castle on top of the Niveskiri Hill. The number five refers to King Rama V; the castle is Ratana Rangsan Palace; the mountain is Niveshkiri; the royal tray refers to the people of Ranong.[8]

The provincial slogan is, "Kra Isthmus, mountain grass, cashew nut, mineral water stream, and real pearl of Ranong."[8]

The provincial tree is the Banaba (Lagerstroemia speciosa), and the provincial flower is the orchid Dendrobium formosum.

Administrative divisionsEdit

Ranong is divided into five districts (amphoe). These are further subdivided into 30 sub-districts (tambon) and 167 villages (muban). Ranong itself is the only town (thesaban mueang), and there are five more sub-district municipalities (thesaban tambon).

Map Number Name Thai
 
1 Mueang Ranong เมืองระนอง
2 La-un ละอุ่น
3 Kapoe กะเปอร์
4 Kra Buri กระบุรี
5 Suk Samran สุขสำราญ

TransportationEdit

Phet Kasem Road (Thailand Route 4) runs through the city. Ranong Airport is about 24 kilometres (15 mi) south of town.

The Port Authority of Thailand operates the Ranong Port, which is Thailand's principal Indian Ocean port. In 2008, the Ranong human-smuggling incident resulted in 54 deaths.[9]

TourismEdit

Namtok Ngao National Park (อุทยานแห่งชาติน้ำตกหงาว) Covering a total area of approximately 417,500 rai (668 km2) it was declared a national park on 3 June 1999.[10]

Ko Chang (Ranong) (เกาะช้าง) island in tambon Ko Phayam. With an area of 18 square kilometres and 80 homes on the entire island. Cashew and para rubber plantations as well as coastal fisheries are the main industries.[11]

Laem Son National Park (อุทยานแห่งชาติแหลมสน) It covers a total area of 196,875 rai (31.5 hectares). It also includes islands in the Andaman Sea; namely, Ko Khangkhao and Mu Ko Kam.[12] Places of interest within the national park include:

  • Hat Bang Ben (หาดบางเบน) is a long sandy beach shaded by pine trees where the national park headquarters is located.
  • Hat Laem Son (หาดแหลมสน) is a white sandy beach approximately four kilometres next to Hat Bang Ben.
  • Hat Praphat or Hat Hin Thung (หาดประพาส หรือ หาดหินทุ่ง) Similar to Hat Bang Ben, Hat Praphat is a large beach shaded by pine trees.
  • Ko Khangkhao (เกาะค้างคาว) is an island with fine sandy beaches and a gravel beach known as Hat Hin Ngam in the north.
  • Ko Kam Yai (เกาะกำใหญ่) is a scenic island with white sandy beaches.
  • Ko Kam Nui (เกาะกำนุ้ย) is not far from Ko Kam Yai with beaches on one side and many other nearby islets.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Svasti, Pichaya (19 July 2018). "Another Pearl of the Andaman". Bangkok Post. Retrieved 19 July 2018.
  2. ^ "Ranong". Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT). Retrieved 26 May 2015.
  3. ^ a b Ministry of Culture (26 March 2017). "พัฒนาการทางประวัติศาสตร์ระนอง". Retrieved 20 August 2019.
  4. ^ Provincial Community Development Office of Ranong (4 October 2016). "ประวัติความเป็นมา". Retrieved 20 August 2019.
  5. ^ "Proposed Thai canal project: Between myth and reality". Malay Mail. 28 June 2013. Retrieved 20 August 2019.
  6. ^ "Proposed Kra Canal not priority project for Thai govt". The Straits Times. 13 February 2018. Retrieved 20 August 2019.
  7. ^ "The Climate of Thailand" (PDF). Thai Meteorological Department (TMD). p. 4. Retrieved 21 June 2019.
  8. ^ a b "Symbol of Ranong". OSM Andamnan: The Office of Strategy Management for Southern Province Cluster. Retrieved 26 May 2015.
  9. ^ "54 Burmese dead in trafficking horror". Phuket Gazette. April 10, 2008. Archived from the original on January 12, 2013. Retrieved September 29, 2018.
  10. ^ "Namtok Ngao National Park". Department of National Parks (DNP) Thailand. Archived from the original on 26 May 2015. Retrieved 26 May 2015.
  11. ^ "Koh Chang". Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT). Retrieved 19 July 2018.
  12. ^ "Laemson National Park". Department of National Parks (DNP) Thailand. Retrieved 26 May 2015.

External linksEdit