Ko Yo and Southern Thai Folklore Museum

Ko Yo and Southern Thai Folklore Museum

Fishing life and a great museum

More on Songkhla

The small island of Ko Yo sits in the lake just south of town and is home to fishers, weavers, temples and a huge collection of Southern Thai artifacts at the excellent Folklore Museum.

Travelfish says:
Wat Laem Pho's striking Buddha image. Photo by: David Luekens.
Wat Laem Pho's striking Buddha image. Photo: David Luekens

Rather than sticking to busy Route 408, we cut west on a quiet street from Wat Laem Pho and passed flower-strewn villages and hundreds of stilted fishing huts dotting the brackish water. Baan Suan Mai Road continues along the west coast up to a larger village nestled on a bay behind the museum. Here you’ll find several homestay programmes, including Chan Yam, where you can settle into a house perched directly over the lake.

After cutting briefly over to 408, we turned into the Folklore Museum run by Thaksin University’s Institute for Southern Thai Studies. Before heading inside you might climb the viewing tower and gaze west over the Baan Ao Sai fishing village, and north to the long bridge linking Ko Yo to Sathing Phra. Within view to the northeast is Songkhla town.

Museum artefacts on display. Photo by: David Luekens.
Museum artefacts on display. Photo: David Luekens

The Folklore Museum has dozens of rooms exhibiting 4,000-year-old beadwork; 1,000-year-old ceramics from China; nang thalung shadow puppets; Buddhist statuary from the Srivijaya civilisation; examples of local silk and cotton wears; kites shaped like buffalo heads; finely carved “rabbits” used for grating coconut meat; traditional musical instruments—and much more.

English and Thai info boards explain historical details and cultural distinctions between Southern Thailand’s 14 provinces. After each room, visitors follow open-air stairs and paths to the next exhibition—and it can feel like the museum has no end. Towards the end you can detour to a botanical garden and a traditional ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 300 words.)

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Reviewed by

David Luekens first came to Thailand in 2005 when Thai friends from his former home of Burlington, Vermont led him on a life-changing trip. Based in Thailand since 2011, he spends much of his time eating in Bangkok street markets and island hopping the Andaman Sea.

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Songkhla Old Town

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Wat Matchimawat
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Historic Chinese-Thai temple

Songkhla National Museum
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Haad Samila
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Cool off by the Gulf