Nov
27
2009

Yala / Thailand

Yala is the southernmost province of Thailand, with an area of 4,521 square kilometres. It is the only landlocked province in the south. Today Yala is the border province with many interesting facets: history, culture, and beautiful scenery. The province has a unique mixture of cultural heritage of several groups–Thai, Chinese, and Islam. The city centre has systematic town planning and is one of the educational centres of the south as well.

The word Yala was derived from the local word yalo meaning fish net. Yala used to be part of Pattani, a colony of the Sukhothai Kingdom. In B.E. 2310 when Ayutthaya fell to the Burman, southern colonies became independent. During the reign of King Rama I of the Rattanakosin Dynasty, the King sent his brother, Khrom Phra Ratchawangbowon Maha Surasihanat to take Pattani. In B.E. 2351, the King had Pattani separated into 7 smaller colonies, namely Muang Pattani, Muang Sai Buri, Muang Nong Chik, Muang Yaring, Muang Ra Ngae, Muang Raman, and Muang Yala. Yala had changed its rulers many times before Monthon was abolished in B.E. 2476 and finally became one of the provinces (Changwat) of Thailand.

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    Sakai Village

    The Sakai live at Mu 3, Tambon Ban Rae, about 80 kilometres on the road to Betong. The Sakai is an ancient nomad tribe who exists on hunting and gathering, is an expert on herbal plants and using darts for hunting. Their dwellings were originally made of bamboo, with thatch roof. Recently the Department of Social Work has developed the village by segregating the Sakai in one area and introduced rubber planting as their occupation. The Department also asked the Princess Mother for the naming of the group with the family name of Si Than To. At present, there are a few of the Sakai left at this village, the rest of the group has moved to other areas.

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