"Phattalong/Phatthalung, Southern Thailand" Phatthalung by Tina-Perth
Phatthalung Travel Guide: 21 reviews and 37 photos
Phattalong is an ancient city in southern Thailand situated in the Malay Peninsula. It is one of twelve Royal Cities in the kingdom.
We spent 3 days in Phattalong, Satun and visiting Trang. These areas are absolutely stunning, and dare I say it, even better than Phuket! We will return in October as we enjoyed it so much and more time is needed to see all the wonder of these areas.
The landscape is dramatic, similar to Krabi. It is inspiringly beautiful, commanding your constant gaze and wonder. It has the limestone karsts of Phang Nga Bay, but with more lush foliage covering them and dense jungle surrounding them. There are some flat farming areas between the projections. Phattalong and surrounding areas are defined by waterfalls, lakes, national parks and caves, a very rich culture being played out right in front of you, not hidden away as in touristy areas. It is the home of Nang Talung (shadow puppets), Manorah (Thai dancing) and reed weaving. Think amazing scenery, market stalls, delicious provincial food, including colourful arrays of fresh fruits and vegetables. Think unaffected by tourism.
Phattalong is mostly a farming community. The crops are mainly rubber trees and oil palms, but rice is also grown here, although not as much as previously. Less crops are planted each year as rice paddies give way to rubber tree plantations which pay much better dividends for less work. Rubber prices have increased sharply in recent times, paying around 50 baht per kilo. It is fairly labour intensive, but much easier than rice growing and rice is only paying 5 baht per kilo.
Another big crop in Thailand is cashews. Young cashew leaves are eaten here as well as the nuts. I find they're best if they've been blanched as it removes the bitterness. Apparently they are very good for digestion. Make sure you try fresh, roasted cashews if you get the chance. So different to the packaged cashew nuts. You must also try to find some Phattalong bootleg whiskey. It looks like water and is incredibly smooth - you'd never know it has such an extreme alcohol volume. Apparently it heats your blood, so consumption is usually done quite carefully. One must never eat Durian when they've been or will be drinking the whisky, as it can kill you, due to overheating of the blood.
Phattalong province has Thailand's largest lake, Songkla along its eastern border with Songkla province and mountains to the west. It is where you will find the extremely beautiful Thale Noi, a shallow lake covering 28 square kilometres. You can hire a longtail boat to take you for a 1 hour cruise gliding through water lillies and ever-changing scenery. It really is spectacular. There are more pictures in my travelogue and tips.
Two useful websites about Phattalong are:
This is one of the products that Phattalong is renown for; reed weaving. The reeds only grow in the local area which makes this art a local specialty.
Everyone would be familiar with these reeded mats that many have used on the beach. Well, take time to appreciate how many hours were spent collecting, drying and preparing the reeds before the many hours of hand-work weaving it!
Nuch's mother gave us a double mat which she had made as a gift for our visit to her house. It is a Thai tradition to give a gift to special guests of something from the heart, usually something hand-made or grown. It was received with much honour and has served us well for our late night evenings beside the canal having a nightcap.
We were also lucky enough to experience an annual traditional festival and a party to celebrate the entry of a young man to his customary time as a monk. Here is a link to it; Buddhist ceremony.
Written Jun 24, 2005
Lake Thale Noi, Phattalong, Thailand
Written Feb 2, 2012
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