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Attractions > South > Yala

Attractions in Yala province in Thailand

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Yala reaches farther south than any other Thai province, with a landlocked position bordering Malaysia. The border area is forested and mountainous; rubber plantations are the principal economic activity.

There is a unique mixed cultural heritage comprising Thai, Chinese and Malay. Yala city centre is well planned with wide boulevards and public parks. Sometimes called "the cleanest city in Thailand", Yala is one of the educational centres of the south.


Betong Mongkollit Tunnel



Wat Khuhaphimuk or Wat Na Tham



Khuean Bang Lang



The Largest Mail Box in Thailand



Betong Hot Springs



Hala Bala Forest



Hala Bala Forest



Manora Dancing





City attractions in Yala

City Pillar Shrine

Located in from of the City Hall, within a well-kept park, the City Pillar Is made of chaiyaphruek wood featuring a four-faced Bhrama and a flame on top. A festival honouring the pillar is held during 25-31 May.

Yala Central Mosque

The principal mosque of the province, completed in 1974, is in modern western style.

Chang Phueak Park (White Elephant Park)

Located on Phiphitphakdi Road, the park has a pavilion in the middle of a lake. It was the location used for giving the King a white elephant in 1968.

Suan Khwan Mueang

Located on Thetsaban 1 Street, this large park has a lake with a sandy beach and sea pines, compensating for Yala's lack of a seashore. Songbird contests are often held here.


Out of city attractions in Yala

Wat Khuhaphimuk or Wat Na Tham

This cave temple is one of the three most revered places of the south, signifying the importance of Buddhism in the area since the Srivijaya period (7th-13th century). It is located about km. from the city centre on Highway 409. A figure of a giant named Chao Khao, made in 1931, protects the cave entrance. Inside the cave is a large chamber made into a Buddhist sanctuary, with an opening in the roof that lets in shafts of sunlight.

Its main feature is a 25 m. reclining Buddha dating from 757 AD in the Srivijaya Period, though it has been modified since. Nearby there are other caves, notably Tham Mae Nang Montho, with a large stalagmite in the shape of a meditating woman, and Tham Sin, with an ancient Srivijaya mural of different postures of the Buddha.

Namtok Bu Ke Pilo or Namtok Tawan Ratsami

Located about 19 km. southeast of  Yala city at Tha Ruea in Amphoe Raman. At this waterfall, when the sun shines onto the water, the underwater rocks turn a beautiful yellow colour.

Khuean Bang Lang

Located at Ban Bang Lang on Highway 410, turn left at about KM 50 from Yala city, then continue for 12 km. Creating a large lake, the dam wall is 85 m. high and 422 m. wide. An upstream viewpoint affords a panorama of the lake and the surrounding hills. There are cabins for overnight stays (Tel. 0 7329 9237-8 for information) and boats for hire (Tel. 0 7328 1063-6, ext. 229 1 for information).

Namtok Than To

Situated at Tham Talu, on Highway 410, turn right at KM 47- 48 for about 1 km. It is a large waterfall cascading down seven tiers, with pools suitable for swimming. The surrounding forest is lush with many interesting species including Si Yala with yellow blooms in February.


Betong (Malay for bamboo) is the southernmost point of Thailand, about 140 km. from Yala city, on Highway 410. The road winds through beautiful scenery of hills, lakes, forests and rubber plantations. The town of Betong is surrounded by mountains, resulting in a cool climate and high rainfall with frequent fog in the morning. It is a modern border town much visited by Malaysian tourists for entertainment. The food is outstanding.

The Largest Mail Box in Thailand

Originally built in 1924 in Betong, as the communication post for the townspeople, with a radio on top, there is now an even larger box (9 m. tall) located at the City Convention Hall (Sala Prachakhom).


One of Belong's symbols, swifts migrate here during the cool season from October to March, fleeing the cold weather of Siberia. At dusk the birds fly about the city centre and come to rest on buildings and on overhead cables, especially on the Bell Tower that is well-lit at night.

Betong Hot Springs

Situated at Ban Charo Parai, about 5 km. from the city centre, off Highway 410. At the hottest spot, eggs can be boiled in seven minutes. Therapeutic bathing is possible in cooler spots. The springs are reputed to cure muscle pain and minor skin irritation.

Piyamit Tunnel

Located at Ban Piyamit 1, 4 km. beyond Betong hot springs. This was once the base of Malaya Communist Division 2. The tunnel was built 1976, winding through the mountain for about 1km., with multiple entrances. It was used as an air raid shelter and food storage area. There is an exhibition about its history and life in the forest. Open 8.00 a.m.- 4.30 p.m.

Hala-Bala Forest

A lush rainforest with many rare plants and wildlife, especially birds, Hala-Bala is also the habitat of the Sakai nomadic tribespeople. The forest occupies a large area at the boundary of Yala and Narathiwat and provides the headstream of the Bang Lang Dam. Boat trips can be made.

Namtok Chaloem Phra Kiat Ro Kao

A waterfall more than 30 m. high, surrounded by lush forest, located at Ai Yoe Weng, accessed by turning off Highway 410 at KM 32-33, onto a dirt road for 3 km.


Special events in Yala

Asean Java Songbird Contest

Asean Java Songbird Contest

Held on the first weekend in March near the Yala City Pillar. In the south it is widely believed that Java Songbirds are good luck charms that bring good luck to their owers. Bird singing contests are very popular.

The City Pillar Ceremony

This is held on the grounds of the Yala City Hall; a model of the city Pillar is paraded. There is also a fair of local goods and folk entertainment such as Manora dancing and Nang Talung shadow plays.

Yala Product and Cultural Revival Festival

Held on the first weekend in August, On the grounds of the Yala City Hall. A celebration of folk culture, mainly of Chinese-Thai Buddhists and Malay-Thai Muslims, with dancing, singing and costume contests. Exhibition of Yala's best produce.


Shopping in Yala

Yala has two fruit specialities, Shogun oranges and Kluai Hin bananas, whilst the Betong area is renowned for delicacies such as Betong noodles, chopped Betong chicken, steamed Chinese carp in plum sauce, khao yok (rice with pork) and phak nam (a local vegetable).



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