Pattani - southern provinces of Thailand

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Pattani, Thailand

Pattani is one of the southern provinces of Thailand. Neighboring provinces are (from southeast clockwise) NarathiwatYala, and Songkhla. Its capital is the town of Pattani.

Geography

Pattani is on the Malay Peninsula, with the coast of the Gulf of Thailand to the north. The south is dominated by the Sankalakhiri mountain range, which includes Budo-Su-ngai Padi National Park, on the border with Yala and Narathiwat. The total forest area is 110 km2 (42 sq mi) or 5.6 percent of provincial area.

History

The name Pattani is the Thai adaptation of the Malay name Patani, which can mean "this beach" in Patani Malay language. (In standard Malay, this would be pantai ini.) According to legend, the founder of Patani went hunting and saw an albino mouse-deer the size of a goat, which then disappeared. He enquired where the animal had gone, and his men replied: "Pata ni lah!" ("this beach!") They searched for the mouse-deer but found instead an old man, who said his name was Che' Tani. The raja later ordered a town be built on the site where the mouse-deer had disappeared, and it is therefore believed that the town was named either after the beach or the old man.

Another suggestion is that it derives from a Sanskrit word pathini, meaning "virgin nymph"; Pathini was the name of a daughter of Merong Mahawangsa, founder of the preceding Langkasuka Empire.

Historically, Pattani province was the centre of the Malay Sultanate of Patani Darul Makrif. For centuries a tributary state of Siam, Patani has been governed by Siam since its conquest in 1786. The provinces of Patani were turned into seven smaller provinces: Patani, Nhongchik, Raman, Ra-ngae, Saiburi, Yala and Yaring, later regrouped in 1906 into 4 larger provinces: Patani, Bangnara, Saiburi and Yala. Siamese rule was officially acknowledged by the Burney Treaty of 1826 negotiated with the British Empire which included also Kedah, Kelantan, Perlis and Terengganu. Unlike these four sultanates, Patani was not included in the Anglo-Siamese Treaty of 1909 and remained under Siamese rule. Both Yala (Jala) and Narathiwat (Menara) were originally part of Patani, but were made provinces in their own right during the territorial administrative reform and the creation of a united centralized Siam state in the early-20th century.

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