Betong, Thailand

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Main Street
Main Street
Official seal of Betong
Betong is located in Thailand
Location in Thailand
Coordinates: 5°46′23″N 101°4′21″E / 5.77306°N 101.07250°E / 5.77306; 101.07250
 • MayorSomyot Lertlamyong
 • Total78 km2 (30 sq mi)
 • Total24,688
 • Density320/km2 (820/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+7 (ICT)
Area code(+66) 73

Betong (Thai: เบตง, pronounced [bēː.tōŋ]; Chinese: 勿洞) is a town (thesaban mueang) in southern Thailand, near the Malaysian border. It is the capital of Betong District, the southernmost district of Yala Province. As of 2005, the town has a population of 24,688.

Betong is the southernmost town of Thailand and its location on the border with the Malaysian state of Perak makes it popular with tourists.


The name Betong is actually the Thai corruption of Betung. Its original Malay name means 'bamboo'.


The town was created as a local administration unit on 30 September 1939, when the sub-district municipality (thesaban tambon) was set up.[1] The town was upgraded to thesaban mueang status on 20 February 2004.[2]



Tourism is the driver of the Betong economy. Sex tourism is the reason for that. One academic has estimated that 3,000 to 5,000 sex workers service primarily Malaysian tourists. In 2014, 466,913 foreigners visited Betong, generating 2,130 million baht in revenue.[3] The number of tourist arrivals rose to 700,000 in 2016.[4]

As of 2018 Thailand's transport ministry is constructing the 1.9 billion baht Betong Airport. It is scheduled to be opened in June 2020.[5][6] Designed to handle 300 arrivals per hour, it is projected to serve one million passengers per year, generating three billion baht for the district. Nok Air, Bangkok Airways, and Malaysia's Firefly Airlines have plans to fly to Betong.[7]



  1. ^ พระราชกฤษฎีกาจัดตั้งเทศบาลตำบลเบตง จังหวัดยะลา พุทธศักราช ๒๔๘๒ (PDF). Royal Gazette (in Thai). 56 (ก): 951–954. September 30, 1939.
  2. ^ ประกาศกระทรวงมหาดไทย เรื่อง เปลี่ยนแปลงฐานะเทศบาลตำบลเป็นเทศบาลเมือง (PDF). Royal Gazette (in Thai). 122 (Special 20 ง): 9–10. February 20, 2004.
  3. ^ Subpawanthanakun, Kritsada (2019-02-01). "Sex Workers, the Southern Border Provinces, and Living with Rules They Did Not Write". Prachatai English. Retrieved 2019-02-02.
  4. ^ "Thailand's misty town of Betong lures tourists". Bernama. 6 November 2017. Retrieved 2019-06-22.
  5. ^ "Govt plans DMK-Betong flight roster". Bangkok Post. 19 May 2019. Retrieved 19 May 2019.
  6. ^ Sritama, Suchat (27 August 2018). "Better days around the bend". Bangkok Post. Retrieved 27 August 2018.
  7. ^ Nanuam, Wassana (5 July 2019). "Betong airport runway will be extended, says army chief". Bangkok Post. Retrieved 5 July 2019.

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Coordinates: 5°46′23″N 101°4′21″E / 5.77306°N 101.07250°E / 5.77306; 101.07250