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Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Phattalung

Phattalung
Phattalung
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Phattalung may not have the touristic glamor of the islands or Chiang Mai, but that's part of the appeal. It's a lesser-known province in the southern region, and offers opportunities to get away from the backpacking crowds and tap into some of the country's more obscure history. Phattalung was once designated one of the twelve royal cities, and was strongly influenced by Indian religious culture in earlier centuries. This area is also where Thailand's style of shadow-puppet play and the Nora dance tradition originated.

1 Thale Noi Bird Sanctuary

Pheasant-tailed jacana
Pheasant-tailed jacana
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Thale Noi is the largest bird sanctuary and first wetlands reserve in Thailand. Nearly 200 species of birds make their homes here for at least part of the year, including great cormorants, pheasant-tailed jacanas, lesser whistling ducks, white-breasted waterhens, and many others. There are separate tour options for tourists and for researchers and serious bird enthusiasts. In addition to bird-watching opportunities, visitors can see reed mat-making demonstrations and tour local villages. The best time to visit is between October and March when many birds are there and when the plant life is at its most vibrant.

Hours: Daily 8am-5pm

2 Khao Ok Talu

Khao Ok Talu
Khao Ok Talu Vyacheslav Argenberg
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Perhaps the most recognizable sight in this southern province is the mountaintop that overlooks it all. The mountain stands 250 m high, and a staircase eases the way for those who want to make the climb and enjoy a bird's eye view of Phattalung.

Hours: Daily 8am-5pm

3 Wat Khuha Sawan

This Ayutthaya-period structure has the distinction of being the first royal temple in Phattalung. Visitors enter a cave to see both reclining and sitting Buddhas, and will find the initials of royal family members on the walls. Behind the wat, a flight of steps leads to a grotto; numerous statues of reclining and seated Buddhas, some gold plated, can be found in the large hall of rocks illuminated by daylight.

A bodhi tree, with copper leaves, rises above them. Nearby, a smaller grotto was once inhabited by hermits who left several Buddha statues here. From a chedi up on the cliffs there is a marvelous view across the mountains, the town and Thale-Luang Lake.

Hours: Daily 8am-5pm

4 Ban Lam Pam

The fishing village of Ban Lam Pam lies about 7 km east of Phattalung on the banks of Songkhla Lake. A boat trip to Tham Malai Grotto will take you to another popular natural landmark: two prominent cliffs on the Phatthalung plain. The cliffs are called "mountain of the pierced heart" (the straight, towering cliff has a deep hole through it) and "mountain of the decapitated head". According to legend, the cliffs are two women who fought each other out of jealousy and were turned to stone. There is a small shrine on the hill (entrance to the dripstone cave).

5 Phraya Thukkharat (Chuai) Monument

This monument honors the courage of Phra Maha Chuai, a monk who rallied local people to fight and defeat the Burmese forces in the Nine Armies War during the reign of Rama I.

Hours: 24 hours daily

6 Khao Chai Son Hot Springs

Take it easy in the warm waters of these thermal springs, found in the village of Khao Chai Son, about 20 km north of town. This is a great place to decompress from sightseeing and enjoy the lush jungle scenery of the Phattalung area.

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