Pattani Old Town
The charm of Pattani, the Southern border city is undoubtedly its cultural diversity. Although Thai Muslims, Thai Buddhists and Thai Chinese may have different beliefs, they live together in this picturesque city more peacefully and harmoniously than you could imagine.
The aim of traveling in Pattani should be to experience all three different cultures to their fullest. Begin the trip with a Buddhist temple like Wat Chang Hai where crowds of faithful Buddhists converge and worship Luang Pu Thuat, a monk known for his legendary feat of turning the ocean into freshwater by simply stepping into it. Continue at the Pattani Central Mosque, a majestic landmark whose beauty resembles that of the Taj Mahal. The magnificent building is decorated with exquisite patterns and crested with clusters of various sized domes. You can also spot a mesmerizing reflection in the emerald-green pond at the front of the mosque. Krue Sae Mosque is another place not to miss. Despite the construction not reaching completion, it holds great historical significance as it was built with bricks from the Ayutthaya era mixed with other components from the Dvaravati era and interestingly incorporates the Gothic architectural identity of Europe and the Middle-East. Following this, head on to Chao Mae Lim Ko Niao Shrine, established according to the famous legend and a popular place to pray for prosperity and success in life.
Situated by the Pattani River, this old town used to serve as a crucial seaport during the reign of King Rama V, where goods were transported on and off the ships from China, Singapore, Java, Ayutthaya, Phra Nakhon, etc. At present, Pattani residents have joined forces and revitalized it to become the vibrant Kue Da Chino district (named after Kerda-Chino, meaning Chinese Market in Malay), welcoming tourists and urging them to enjoy the Sino-Portuguese architectural heritage of the community, mural street art including the Ko Lae boat and locals who are willing to proudly share stories of their heritage. This kind of exposure and interaction increases understanding and appreciation of the cultural diversity which exists in Pattani and simultaneously encourages conservation of the historic sites and lush natural surroundings.
- Visit all three cultural places representing Thai Muslims, Buddhists and Chinese descendants respectively.
- Worship Luang Pu Thuat at Wat Chang Hai.
- Enjoy a spectacularly illuminated Central Mosque at night during the Ramadan period.
- Discover the legend of Chao Mae Lim Ko Niao at Chao Mae Lim Ko Niao Shrine and learn the various lifestyles of Southern border areas inside Chao Mae Lim Ko Niao Museum nearby.
Best Time to Visit
- All seasons, rainfall increases from July to mid-October and there are often heavy downpours from mid-October to mid-January.
- Lim Ko Niao Shrine Open every day 5.30 a.m.-5.30 p.m.