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The relatively small province of Phattalung is sandwiched between Songkhla to the east and south, Trang to the west and Nakhon Si Thammarat to the north is landlocked, with the only water lapping its boundaries to the east from Songkhla Lake.

The province can be divided into two areas, the mountainous area to the west bordering Trang Province and the flat rice growing area sloping down to the tranquil expanse of Songkhla Lake.

Phattalung is a peaceful, rural province with a Muslim minority and despite it being very rarely visited by tourists it is worth exploring for a few days -- particularly if you like low-key, out of the way destinations as there are some interesting things to see in and around Phattalung town and the Thale Noi Waterbird Sanctuary is outstanding.

The provincial capital, Phattalung town has a population of about 40,000 and it is located 840 km south of Bangkok. A friendly town containing some interesting sights, no farangs and plenty of good food -- Phattalung makes for an unusual destination in a part of Thailand where everyone else goes to the same big-ticket spots.

The town's population is a mixture of Thais, Chinese and Malays and the town is surrounded by tall limestone massifs, creating a picturesque landscape which is dominated by Khao Ok Thalu. This hill is a particularly large outcrop that has an unusual hole through the middle. Khao Hua Tack and Khao Khuhasawan lie to the west with Wat Khao Khuhawan overlooking the central area.

Phattalung is famed for its shadow puppet shows. The puppets are made from buffalo hide and are now mostly sold as souvenirs.

If you need to seek medical attention in Phattalung there are some clinics on Ramesuan Rd. The hospital is located across the river from the train station.

The Tourist Police are the best bet in an emergency. The Tourist Police can be contacted anytime, anywhere in Thailand by telephoning 1155. The Phattalung police station is located off of Ramesuan Rd near the provincial office.

The post office is located on Rot Fai Rd near the train station. It's open 08:30 - 16:30 during the week and 09:00-12:00 on Saturday. E-mail and international telephone services are available. There are a few Internet shops located on Ramesuan Rd.

The locals are particularly friendly, but very little English is spoken. Make sure to pack a Thai phrasebook because your communication skills will surely be tested.

Text and/or map last updated on 12th August, 2009.

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