|— Province —|
|• Governor||Kritsada Bunrat (since October 2009)|
|• Total||4,521.1 km2 (1,745.6 sq mi)|
|Area rank||Ranked 48th|
|• Rank||Ranked 59th|
|• Density||110/km2 ( 280/sq mi)|
|• Density rank||Ranked 47th|
|• HDI (2009)||0.687 (medium) (70th)|
|Time zone||Thailand Standard Time (UTC+7)|
|ISO 3166 code||TH-95|
|Vehicle registration||ยะลา, เบตง (Betong)|
Yala (Thai: ยะลา) is the southernmost province (changwat) of Thailand. Neighboring provinces are (from north-west clockwise) Songkhla, Pattani and Narathiwat. Yala is the only land-locked province in the south of Thailand. The southern part borders Kedah and Perak of Malaysia.
Yala Province is located in Southern Thailand. The highest point of the Sankalakhiri Range (Northern Titiwangsa Mountains), 1,533 m high Ulu Titi Basah (ยูลูติติ บาซาห์), is located at the Thai/Malaysian border between Yala Province and Perak.
Historically Pattani Province was the centre of the semi-independent Malay Sultanate of Patani, paying tribute to the Thai kingdoms of Sukhothai and Ayutthaya. After Ayutthaya fell in to the Burmese in 1767, the Sultanate of Patani gained full independence but under King Rama I (reigned 1782–1809) again came under Siam's control in 1785.
In 1909, it was recognized as part of Siam by the Anglo-Siamese Treaty of 1909 negotiated with the British Empire. Along with Narathiwat, Yala was originally part of Pattani Province, but the Thais made them separate provinces. There is a small separatist movement in Yala, which after being dormant for many years erupted again in 2004. The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office currently advises against all but essential travel in the province.
Yala is one of the four provinces of Thailand with a Muslim majority. About 72% of the people are Malay speaking Muslims and are mainly rural. The remainder are Thai and Thai Chinese Buddhists and live in the towns and cities.
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Administrative divisions 
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City Pillar Shrine (ศาลหลักเมือง) This shrine houses the City Pillar made of Chaiyapruk wood. It is 50 centimetres tall, bottom circumference is 43 inches, top circumference is 36 inches with the four-faced Bhrama and a flame on top.
Yala Central Mosque (มัสยิดกลางจังหวัดยะลา) is the main mosque of the province in western architectural style intertwined with the unique mosque frame. The front has about 30 wide steps leading to the upper terrace.
Sanam Chang Phueak Park (สวนสาธารณะสนามช้างเผือก) It was used as the ground to give the King a white elephant (chang phueak) named “Phra Sawet Sura Khachathan”. The Park has a pavilion in the middle of a large pond and various sculpture of animals.
Suan Khwan Mueang (สวนขวัญเมือง) Its vast area of 207 rai has a separate sportsground and a 69 rai pond, landscaped with sandy beach and sea pines to remedy the landlocked problem of the province
Wat Khuhaphimuk or Wat Na Tham (พระพุทธไสยาสน์วัดคูหาภิมุขหรือวัดหน้าถ้ำ) is one of the three most revered places of the south. A figure of a giant, made in B.E. 2484 and named by the villagers as “Chao Khao”, protects the entrance of the cave that houses the reclining Buddha. Inside the cave is a large chamber that has been converted into a religious area.
Tham Mae Nang Montho (ถ้ำแม่นางมณโฑ) Inside the cave are large connecting chambers that are mostly dark. A torch is highly recommended. The highlight of this place is at the end of the cave with a large stalagmite resembling the shape of a meditating lady, hence the name of the cave.
Tham Sin (ถ้ำศิลป์) This is a very small and dark cave with ancient mural of different postures of the Lord Buddha and a painting of three women standing together on the cave wall that has deteriorated with time. A torch or a lamp is highly recommended to view the mural and the cave itself.
Bang Lang Dam (เขื่อนบางลาง) This Dam is the first multi-purpose dam in the South, on Pattani River. It is 85 metres high with a crest of 422 metres long, and the reservoir capacity of 1,420 million cubic metres.
Tham Krachaeng (ถ้ำกระแชง) is a cave located at Ban Ka Sot, Tambon Bannang Sata, about 50 kilometres from Amphoe Mueang Yala.
Namtok Sukthalai or Namtok Kue Long (น้ำตกสุขทาลัยหรือน้ำตกกือลอง) It consists of five levels. The Princess Mother named it “Namtok Sukthalai”.
Namtok Than To (น้ำตกธารโต) It is a large waterfall with cascading water running through seven levels with pools for swimming. The surrounding forest is lush with many interesting species including Si Yala (Saraca thaipingensis Cantley ex Prain) with yellow blooms in February.
Namtok La-ong Rung (Rainbow Waterfall) (น้ำตกละอองรุ้ง) The slippery trek leads along the stream from the waterfall calls for precaution. During the rainy season, the waterfall has the effect of the rainbow, hence the name.
Sakai Village (หมู่บ้านซาไก) The Sakai is an ancient nomad tribe who exists on hunting and gathering, is an expert on herbal plants and using darts for hunting. Recently the Department of Social Work has developed the village by segregating the Sakai in one area and introduced rubber planting as their occupation.
Namtok Bu Ke Pilo or Namtok Tawan Ratsami (น้ำตกบูเก๊ะปิโลหรือน้ำตกตะวันรัศมี) is about 19 kilometres from Amphoe Mueang. The entrance to the waterfall is about 500 metres from the village. This waterfall is different from other waterfalls in that when sunlight shines onto the water, it will affect the color of the underwater rocks—they all turn beautiful yellow.
Betong (เบตง) is Malay, meaning “bamboo”. This district is at the southernmost point of Thailand. The Betong city centre is surrounded by mountains, resulting in cool climate and high rainfall with frequent fog in the morning. It is therefore dubbed “The City in the Fog with Beautiful Flowers”. .
Phra Mahathat Chedi Phra Phutthathammaprakat (พระมหาธาตุเจดีย์พระพุทธธรรมประกาศ) This chedi is built in the modern Sivijaya style, covered in gold color. It is 39.9 metres high, built to commemorate the 69th birthday anniversary of Her Majesty the Queen.
Suan Sut Sayam (Betong Municipality Park) (สวนสุดสยาม) It is the overlook for the city, consisting of ornamental plants and flowering plants garden, avarium, health garden, a sportsground, a swimming pool, and a playground.
The Largest Mail Box in Thailand (ตู้ไปรษณีย์ใหญ่ที่สุดในประเทศไทย) It was built in B.E. 2467 before World War II as the communication post for the townspeople, through the radio implanted on top of the box, and the mail slot below it. At present a new box had been built in a larger size (nine metres tall), and is located at the City Convention Hall (Sala Prachakhom).
The Swift (นกนางแอ่น): at dusk the swifts would fly about the city centre and come to rest at houses, on buildings and on electricity lines, especially on the Bell Tower that is well lit at night. They have become one of Betong’s symbols.
Betong Hot Spring (บ่อน้ำร้อนเบตง) is situated at Ban Charo Parai Village, Tambon Tano Mae Ro, about five kilometres before reaching the Betong city centre.
Namtok Inthason (น้ำตกอินทสร) is about 15 kilometres from Betong city centre, or about two kilometres further from the Hot Spring.
Piyamit Tunnel (อุโมงค์ปิยะมิตร) The tunnel was built in three months in B.E. 2519, winding through the mountain for about one kilometre, about 50–60 feet wide with multiple entrances. It was used as the air raid shelter and food storage area. At present there is an exhibition about its history including the way of life in the forest.
Bala-Hala Forest (ป่าบาลา-ฮาลา) or Suan Pa Phra Namaphithai Phak Tai, Section Two (สวนป่าพระนาภิไธยภาคใต้ ส่วนที่ 2) is a lush rainforest with many rare plants and wildlife, especially birds. It is also the habitat of the Sakai. This forest occupies a large area at the boundary of Yala and Narathiwat.
Namtok Chaloem Phra Kiat Ro Kao (น้ำตกเฉลิมพระเกียรติ ร.9) is in Tambon Ai Yoe Weng. The waterfall is more than 30 metres high, surrounded by lush forest.
Local Products 
Shogun oranges (ส้มโชกุน) is Yala’s leading economic crop. They are similar to the green sweet oranges but have soft tastier flesh.
Kluai Hin (กล้วยหิน) is a kind of banana, similar to Kluay Nam Wa, when boiled or glazed will have nutty taste.
Betong Noodles (หมี่เบตง), the egg noodles that are very tasty.
Betong Soy Sauce (ซีอิ๊วเบตง) is made from soybeans with special method.
ASEAN Java Songbird Contest (งานมหกรรมแข่งขันนกเขาชวาเสียงอาเซียน): Yala is one of the southern provinces that favor Java Songbirds. It is widely believed that Java Songbirds are good luck charms that would bring good luck to their owners, especially those birds with prescribed characteristics. The Yala Municipality Authority and the Java Songbird Owner Association annually stage the ASEAN Java Songbird Contest on the first weekend of March. The first contest was held in B.E. 2529 and was very successful, leading to the annual event held on the ground of Suan Khwan Mueang.
The City Pillar Ceremony (งานสมโภชเจ้าพ่อหลักเมืองยะลา), held annually in May on the ground of the Yala Municipality Office, in which the model City Pillar is paraded. Stalls displaying goods for sale, exhibition, Government products, folk entertainment such as Manora Dance, Nung Talung, and Hulu Li Ke are also on hand.
Yala Product and Cultural Revival Festival (งานเทศกาลฟื้นฟูประเพณีและของดีเมืองยะลา) is held annually on the first weekend of August, on the grounds of the Yala Municipality Office. Folk cultures from the various groups in the border provinces of the south, mainly Chinese-Thai Buddhists and Thai Muslim, are performed. There are also contests for Chi La Dance, Best Dressed Banong, Si Bu-nga Siri (a special kind of potpourri), Rong-ngeng Dance, Annacit Singing contest in Malay and Thai languages, plus folk performances from various schools in the area. Exhibition of Yala’s best produce is not to be missed.
See also 
||Songkhla Province||Pattani Province|
|Kedah, Malaysia||Narathiwat Province|
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