Yala is the southernmost province of Thailand, with an area of 4,521 square kilometres. It is the only landlocked province in the south. Today Yala is the border province with many interesting facets: history, culture, and beautiful scenery. The province has a unique mixture of cultural heritage of several groups--Thai, Chinese, and Islam. The city centre has systematic town planning and is one of the educational centres of the south as well.
The word Yala was derived from the local word yalo meaning fish net. Yala used to be part of Pattani, a colony of the Sukhothai Kingdom. In B.E. 2310 when Ayutthaya fell to the Burman, southern colonies became independent. During the reign of King Rama I of the Rattanakosin Dynasty, the King sent his brother, Khrom Phra Ratchawangbowon Maha Surasihanat to take Pattani. In B.E. 2351, the King had Pattani separated into 7 smaller colonies, namely Mueang Pattani, MueangSai Buri, MueangNong Chik, MueangYaring, MueangRa Ngae, MueangRaman, and MueangYala. Yala had changed its rulers many times before Monthon was abolished in B.E. 2476 and finally became one of the provinces (Changwat) of
How to get there
Yala is 1,084 kilometres south of Bangkok by road. One can take Highway 4 (Thanon Phetkasem) from Bangkok to Prachuap Khiri Khan, and Chumphon, then onto Highway 41 through Thung Song, Phatthalung, Hat Yai, Pattani, and Yala.
Air-conditioned bus services are run daily between Bangkok and Yala from the Southern Bus Terminal.
For further information please call the Southern Bus Terminal at tel: 0 2435 1119-200 or visit www.transport.co.th.
Thai Doen Rot Co.,Ltd (tel: 0 2435 7424) operates a daily bus service from Bangkok to Betong. The bus leaves the Southern Bus Terminal at 4
Yala is 1,055 kilometres from Bangkok by rail. The State Railway Authority of Thailand operates daily rapid and express train services from Bangkok to Yala. Trains leaves the Bangkok Railway Station at 0.25 p.m., 2.45 p.m. and 3.50 p.m. For more information please call Travelling Service Unit, Bangkok Railway Station at tel: 1690, 0 2223 7010 and 0 2223 7020 or visit
There is no direct flight to Yala but Thai Airways International offers flights from Bangkok to Hat Yai. From Hat Yai one can either take the train, bus, taxi, or air-conditioned van to Yala. Please call Thai Airways at 1566, 0 2280 0060, 0 2628 2000 for more
ASEAN Barred-Ground Dove (Zebra) Cooing Contest
Date: The first Saturday and Sunday of March of every year at the Khwan Mueang Park
Background : Nursing zebra doves is very popular in the lower part of the southern region. The zebra dove's coo is very pleasing to the ear and the locals believe that as an auspicious animal, it would bring fortune to its owner,especially if it possesses the right features according to the books. Some believe that the dove is the symbol of peace and purity.
Thai Moslems in the south are very fond of zebra doves. Because a large number of locals love to keep them as pets, zebra dove contests have become prevalent during many festivals. In 1986, the municipal of Muaeng Yala and the Zebra Dove Club initiated the first regional cooing zebra dove contest. It received much popularity, giving rise to zebra dove farms. The most famous zebra dove farm is in Chana District, Songkhla.
Activities : On the day of the contest, the owners of the doves register and hoist their doves (which are in cages) to the tip of assigned poles. There are two rounds, lasting ninety minutes per round. The doves will be divided into three groups : Class A (with big voices), Class B (with medium voices), Class C (with small voices), and judged in their own group. Pre-established parameters are used to judge the cooing quality. The scores will be transformed into cooing quality levels according to each group of doves.
Judges will score taking into consideration, the duration and consistency of the dove's coo, and the quality of the coos. Today, there is another category of doves those that have big, medium, and small voices. Besides the zebra dove contest, there may be a contest of the most beautiful cages and a fair of pet dove
Java Songbird Contest
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
The City Pillar Ceremony
The City Pillar Ceremony is held annually in May on the ground of the Yala Municipality Office features a model of the actual City Pillar being paraded around town. Stalls displaying goods for sale, exhibition, Government products, folk entertainment, such as Manora Dance, Nung Talung, and Hulu Li Ke, are also on
Yala Product and Cultural Revival Festival
Yala Product and Cultural Revival Festival 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 Yalas best produce is not to be missed.