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Home Page Site Map. site map for www.Thailand-Delights.com Nan Province, Page 1, Provinces, Districts, Nan Provincial Seal Narathiwat Province, Page 2, Districts, Violence around the Province

Narathiwat  is one of the southern provinces ( Changwat ) of Thailand. Neighbouring provinces are Yala and Pattani. To the south it borders the Malaysian state of Kelantan. The southern railway line ends in this province, which is one of the nation’s five provinces that borders Malaysia. The province features a range of cultures as well as natural resources, and is relatively fertile. Narathiwat is about 1,140 kilometres south of Bangkok and has an area of 4,475 square kilometres. Seventy five percent of the area is jungle and mountains and has a tropical climate.

Narathiwat province is located on the Gulf of Thailand, on the Malay Peninsula. The Bang Nara is the main river and enters the Gulf of Thailand at the town of Narathiwat. Narathat beach, the most popular in the province, is near the estuary.The original name of Narathiwat was Menara  meaning a minaret in Malay. This became Bang Nara in Thai, but was changed to Narathiwat by King Rama VI in 1915. Narathiwat, from the Sanskrit  means the residence of wise people. Today, traffic signs in Malaysia still using Menara.

Historically Narathiwat was the part of the semi-independent Malay Sultanate of Patani, paying tribute to the Thai kingdoms of Sukhothai and Siamese kingdom of Ayuthia. After Ayutthaya fell in 1767, Sultanate of Patani gained full independence, but under King Rama I it again came under Thai control some 20 years later.In 1909, Narathiwat was fully integrated into Siam as part of Anglo-Siamese Treaty of 1909 negotiated with the British Empire. Along with Yala, Narathiwat was then part of Monthon Pattani. There is a small but active separatist movement, which after being dormant for many years erupted again in 2004.

Narathiwat is one of the four Thai provinces which have a Muslim majority; 82% are Muslim and only 17.9% are Buddhist. Also 80.4% speak the Pattani Malay as their first language. Narathiwat Malays are very similar in ethnicity and culture to the Malays of Kelantan, Malaysia.The provincial seal shows a sailing boat with a white elephant on the sail. A white elephant is a royal symbol, and was put on the seal to commemorate the white elephant Phra Sri Nararat Rajakarini which was caught here and presented to the king.

The provincial symbol is the longkong fruit ( Lansium domesticum ). The provincial tree is the Chengal ( Neobalanocarpus heimii ), and the provincial flower is the Odontadenia macrantha.