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SONGKHLA

        songkhla  Songkhla is a southern border province, adjacent to the State of Kedah (Sai Buri), Malaysia. It has been an important port and coastal province of Thailand since the past with Amphoe Hat Yai as the southern centre of commerce, transportation and rapid economic growth.
The province is ideal for tourism because of its two distinct characteristics: the old buildings of Amphoe Mueang Songkhla, and the developed Amphoe Hat Yai, separated by only about 30 kilometres.
The old part of Songkhla is located at the present-day Amphoe Sathing Phra. Indians, Persians, and Arabs came to trade and called the place “Singhla”. The name came from two islands with the shape of crouching lions at the mouth of the Songkhla Lake. The islands are presently called Ko Nu and Ko Maeo.
Songkhla occupies an area of 7,393 square kilometres, and is administratively divided into 16 districts: Mueang Songkhla, Ranot, Krasae Sin, Sathing Phra, Singhanakhon, Khuan Niang, Rattaphum, Bang Klam, Hat Yai, Na Mom, Chana, Thepha, Na Thawi, Saba Yoi, Sadao, and Khlong Hoi Khong.

BOUNDARY
North  borders with Nakhon Si Thammarat and the Gulf of Thailand
South  borders with Yala and Malaysia
East     borders with the Gulf of Thailand and Pattani
West   borders with Phatthalung and Satun

HOW TO GET THERE
By Car: From Bangkok, take Highway 4 to Prachuap Khiri Khan, Chumphon, Surat Thani, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Trang, Phatthalung, and Songkhla, a total distance of 950 kilometres.
By Bus: There are daily buses from Bangkok to Songkhla and Hat Yai. The journey takes about 13 hours. Air conditioned buses depart from Bangkok’s Southern Bus Terminal everyday. For further information, Tel: 0 2894 6122 or www.transport.co.th Hat Yai Bus Terminal Tel: 0 7423 2789, 0 7423 2404, Piya Tour Co., Ltd., Tel: 0 7442 8972, Thai Doen Rot Co., Ltd., Tel: 0 7442 9525.
From Hat Yai Bus Terminal, there are buses to other provinces in the South. Pho Thong Transportation Co., Ltd.,
Tel. 0 7431 1126 provides buses from Songkhla to Hat Yai. Ranot Transportation Co., Ltd., Tel. 0 7431 1523 operates buses from Songkhla to Nakhon Si Thammarat.
By Train: The State Railway of Thailand provides daily rapid and express train services from Bangkok to Hat Yai. The trains depart from Bangkok’s Hua Lamphong Railway Station. Travelling time is about 17 hours. For further information, call Tel. 1690 or www.railway.co.th or Hat Yai Railway Station at Tel. 0 7424 3705, 0 7423 8005.
By Plane: Thai Airways International Air Asia, Nok Air, and Orient Thai Airlines operate daily flights between Bangkok and Hat Yai. For more information, contact: Thai Airways International: Tel: 0 2356 1111 (Bangkok Office) or 0 7423 0445, 0 7423 3433 (Hat Yai Office) or visit www.thaiairways.com. Air Asia, Tel: 0 2515 9999 or www.airasia.com or 0 7425 0440 (Hat Yai Office).
Nok Air, Tel: 1318, 0 2900 9955 or www.nokair.com or 0 7422 7131 (Hat Yai Office). Orient Thai Airlines, Tel: 1126, 0 2229 4100-1 or www. flyorientthai.com. From Hat Yai Bus Terminal, there are buses to other provinces in the South Pho Thong Transportation Co., Ltd, Tel : 0 7431 1126 provides buses from Songkhla to Hat Yai. Ranot Transportation Co., Ltd, Tel : 0 7431 1523 operates buses from Songkhla to Nakhon Si Thammarat.

Distances from Amphoe Mueang Songkhla to Neighbouring Districts:
Hat Yai 26 kilometres
Singhanakhon 26 kilometres
Na Mom 34 kilometres
Sathing Phra 36 kilometres
Chana 37 kilometres
Khlong Hoi Khong 43 kilometres
Bang Klam 46 kilometres
Na Thawi 52 kilometres
Rattaphum 60 kilometres
Sadao 70 kilometres
Khuan Niang 72 kilometres
Ranot 73 kilometres
Thepha 73 kilometres
Krasae Sin 74 kilometres
Saba Yoi 104 kilometres

Distances from Songkhla to Nearby Provinces
Satun 97 kilometres
Phatthalung 105 kilometres
Pattani 132 kilometres
Yala 146 kilometres
Trang 170 kilometres
Nakhon Si Thammarat 189 Kilometres
Narathiwat 226 kilometres
Surat Thani 340 kilometres
Phuket 450 kilometres

songkhla-city-map

songkhla-templeATTRACTIONS
Amphoe Mueang Songkhla (อำเภอเมืองสงขลา)
Songkhla’s City Pillar (ศาลหลักเมืองสงขลา) on Nang Ngam Road, is a revered site to Songkhla’s population. The Chinese architectural style building was constructed together with the city itself. Nearby dwellings, especially on Nakhon Nai and Nakhon Nok Roads also bear the same influence. The Chinese immigrants who came to settle there at the beginning of the 19th century had a major role in the establishment of Songkhla, hence, the distinctive Chinese lifestyle of the area.

Wat Matchimawat or Wat Klang (วัดมัชฌิมาวาสหรือวัดกลาง)
on Sai Buri Road, is a large temple and the most important in Songkhla. It is about 400 years old and was built in the late Ayutthaya period. It was said that Yai Si Chan, a millionaire of Songkhla donated a large sum of money to construct the temple. Later on Wat Liap was built in the north, and Wat Pho in the south. The people then changed the name of the temple which was situated in the middle from “Wat Yai Si Chan” to “Wat Klang” or “Wat Matchimawat”. This temple also has the Phattharasin Museum that houses various artefacts gathered from Songkhla, Sathing Phra, Ranot, and elsewhere. Open everyday except Monday, Tuesday and public holidays during 1.00 p.m. – 4.00 p.m.

Wat Chai Mongkhon (วัดชัยมงคล)
on Phet Mongkhon – Chai Mongkhon Road, has a chedi that was built to house the Buddhist relics brought back from Ceylon by a monk named “Na Issaro” who was teaching Pali there in 1892. Open during 9.00 a.m. – 5.00 p.m.

 

The Songkhla National Museum (พิพิธภัณฑสถานแห่งชาติสงขลา)
on Wichian Chom Road, was originally built in 1878 asSongkhla ruler’s personal residence in the Chinese style. It became the domicile of Songkhla’s upper administrative officers and finally the City Hall until 1953. It was converted into a museum in 1973 and offcially opened in 1982 to exhibit lower Southern artefacts. Today it is the source of local archaeology, history, and folk arts and culture. It has a notable collection of artefacts from different periods and various items of the ‘Na Songkhla Family’ that used to rule the city. It is open to the public from 9.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m., except Monday, Tuesday, and public holidays. Tel: 0 7431 1728.

Ko Nu and Ko MaeoPhathammarong Museum (พิพิธภัณฑ์พะธำมะรง)
is on Chana Road near the Songkhla National Museum. It was constructed in the Thai style to resemble the birthplace of General Prem Tinsulanonda, President of the Privy Council and Statesman who is a Songkhla native. The construction was based on his testimony when his father was the prison warden. Open everyday except Monday and public holidays during 8.30 a.m. – 4.00 p.m.

Ban Sattha (บ้านศรัทธา)
is situated on a hill slope overlooking the Tinsulanonda Bridge to Ko Yo. It is surrounded by coconut plantations. The city people had it built for General Prem Tinsulanonda,
President of the Privy Council and Statesman, when he was the Prime Minister. Construction was completed on 26 August 1991. In 1996, General Prem gave the house back to the people of Songkhla. There is a public library nearby.

Laem Samila (แหลมสมิหลา)
is in the City Municipality, about 2.5 kilometres from the fresh market (Talat Sapsin or Talat Sot Thetsaban). This peninsula is well-known for its white sandy beach, shady pine groves, and the statue of a mermaid that is Songkhla’s symbol. It is serviced by Hat Yai – Songkhla buses. From within the city, one can take a ‘Song Thaeo’ minibus to the beach.

Sala Wihan DaengKo Nu and Ko Maeo (เกาะหนู – เกาะแมว)
a well-known symbol of Songkhla, is situated off the shore of Laem Samila. Legend has it that a dog, a cat – Maeo, and a mouse – Nu, on a Chinese sampan stole the merchant’s magic crystal and tried to swim ashore but drowned and lost their lives. The mouse and cat became the islands in the Songkhla Lake while the dog died on shore and became the hill called Hin Khao Tangkuan near the bay. The crystal was totally destroyed and became the white sandy beach called Hat Sai Kaeo.

 

Khao Tangkuan (เขาตังกวน)
at Laem Samila has the Sala Wihan Daeng, the royal pavilion built during the reign of King Rama V. On the hilltop is a Dvaravati chedi housing the Buddha’s relics that was built during the period of Nakhon Si Thammarat State. In October, there is a festival to clad the chedi with a piece of cloth, to pull the floats of the Buddha image in a procession, and to offer alms to monks. A panoramic view of the city and the Songkhla Lake can be seen from the hilltop. A lift up to the top of Khao Tangkuan is available. For more information, Tel: 0 7431 6330.

 

 

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