11 Feb 2008

Betong Free & Easy

This was a free & easy trip for the 4X4 Adventurers member & the family.

6 cars (all 4WD), totalling over 20 peoples (adults & childrens), we travelled to Baling, Pengkalan Hulu and reached Betong in Thainland at 1 pm.

Betong is a district of Yala Province, situated in the southernmost province of Thailand in Sankalakhiri mountain range. With an are of 1,328 sq. km, it borders the Malaysian states of Kedah and Perak. Its terrain is mostly mountainous and hilly with forested plateaus. About 1,900 feet above sea level, it is 140km from Yala and 1,224km from the capital city of Bangkok.

Betong, meaning bamboo, is named in the Malay language. It is administratively divided into 4 tambons, i.e. Yarom, Aiyerweng, Tanah Merah, Tan Namtip, and one municipality - the Tambon Betong Municipality.

With a population of around 48,487 which can be classified into two major groups Muslims and Chinese, the majority of its people are agriculturists. Climatically speaking, Betong is under the influence of the Southwest and Northwest monsoons. Therefore, there is a lot of rain and the weather is nice and cool with fog in the morning. This is perhaps how it got is name - 'A Town in the Mist with Beautiful Flowers'.

Places of interest :-

1) Clock Tower

The Clock tower is situated at the intersection at the center of the town. It is a beautiful construction made of marble and is as old as the town itself. The base of the tower is decorated with a sculpture of 'Hemara' which is an animal in a Thai Myth, and that of a swallow.

2) Hot Spring

Hot Spring 13 kms. from the Betong market, it is a large hot springs with mineral water which is good for the cures of skin diseases and muscular pain.

3) Phra Mahathat Chedi Phra Buddha Dhamma Prakat

 Literally, 'Lord Buddha Has Made Known His Dhamma', Phra Mahathat Chedi Phra Buddha Dhamma Prakat is located at Budehadhivas, Rattanakit Road. The stupa's structure is an adaptation of the Sri Wichai style architecture. It is 39m wide and 39.9m high. Within the stupa is the Buddha's relics. The stupa is considered the biggest and most beautiful in the South. It was built to celebrate the 60th Birthday of Her Majesty the Queen and is dedicated to the Queen who named it.

4) Communist Underground Tunnel (Piyamit Tunnel)   

 Piyamit Underground Shelter This is an underground retreat built by the communist guerrillas in 1976 on a wooded mountain. It is about 3 kms. from Nomtok Inthson and now preserved as a historical site.


                                    Betong Map



6: Cathay Hotel
8: Fah Un Rung Hotel
11: Sri Betong Hotel
15: Sri Betong Hotel (2nd building)
19: Betong Merlin Hotel

Eat and Meet

3: Central market
4: Noodle shops
5: Thai Chiy Restaurant
9: Mee Curry shop
10: Seafood restaurants (evening only)
12: Curry shop
16: Ta Yern Restaurant
17: Karaoke bars
20: Karaoke bars
21: Dim Sum restaurant

Attractions and Activities

1: Super giant mailbox
13: Blue Mosque
23: Clock tower
26: Hilltop sala and shrine
7: Minibus to Hat Yai
18: Thai Office
24: Taxi to Yala

Vital Information

2: Kasikorn Bank
14: Post office
22: Tourist office


25: Mongkolrit Tunnel
More photos at Photo Gallery