Phatthalung is an ancient city in southern Thailand. It is a land of mountains. In town is Khao Ok Thalu, which is clearly visible from afar. Phatthalung is regarded as the birthplace of the shadow play and the Nora dance. From ancient times to the present, Phatthalung has been closely linked to Songkhla Province, particularly in terms of geography, history and migratory settlements through many ages.
During the Sri Vijaya period (13th-14th Buddhist century), the Phatthalung community received Indian cultural influence in the way of Mahayana Buddhism. In the reign of King Ramathibodi I (U Thong) of Ayutthaya, Phatthalung became one of twelve royal cities. Later during the reign of King Rama I in the Rattanakosin period, the king had the Ministry of Defense oversee Phatthalung, upgraded it to secondary city status and moved it to the mouth of Pam River. When there was an administration reform in the reign of King Rama V, Phatthalung prefecture came under Nakhon Si Thammarat prefecture until 1924, when King Rama VI relocated the city to Tambon Khuha Sawan where it has been ever since. Upon the abolition of the prefecture system in 1933, Phatthalung became a province outright. Phatthalung city is situated on the west bank of Songkhla Lake, about 846 kilometers from Bangkok. It has an area of 3,424.473 square kilometers and is divided into 10 districts and 1 subdistrict, as follows: Muang Phatthalung, Khuan Khanun, Pak Phayun, Kongra, Tamot, Khao Chai Son, Pa Bon, Bang Kaeo, Si Banphot, Pa Phayom, and the subdistrict of Si Nakharin.
Thale Noi Waterfowl Reserve:Â is the largest waterfowl reserve in Thailand. It can be reached via Highway No. 4048 from Amphoe Muang to Amphoe Khuan Khanun and to Thale Noi, for a total distance of 32 kilometers. The road is paved asphalt all the way. The reserve is the responsibility of the Royal Forestry Department and covers 450 square kilometers, divided into 422 square kilometers of land (94%) and 28 square kilometers of water (6%), or Thale Noi.
Si Nakharin sub district: The sea is 5 kilometers wide and 6 kilometers long with an average depth of 1.2 meters. The sea is covered with assorted flora such as lotus, bulrush, reed, and grass used for thatching. More than 187 species of waterfowls, migratory and indigenous birds make their home at Thale Noi. Some live here throughout the year and some migrate only in winter from October to March when the population density is at its highest.
The low season is June-September which is the nesting period. Species that are prevalent here are those of the heron and stork family such as yellow bittern, great egret, painted stork, red stork; ducks such as lesser whistling duck, cotton pygmy goose, and garganey; grebe; rails such as white-browed crake, white-breasted waterhen, watercock, common moorhen, and Eurasian coot; jacanas such as pheasant-tailed jacana and bronze-winged jacana; cormorants such as great cormorant and little cormorant; black-winged stilt; Brahminy kite; red-wattled lapwing; whiskered tern; common kingfisher; and barn swallow. The best time to study flora and fauna is during October-March when there is an abundance of birds and pink lotus in full bloom cover the reserve. Moreover, tourists can visit villages and see cottage industries like reed mat making.
Thale Noi has been named the first world wetland site in Thailand. This aims to preserve the sustainable ecology of the area, one that is being developed into one of the country’s most important nature study centers. As such, there is careful control of eco-tourism in Thale Noi in order to minimize impact on the environment. Tourists can take boats from Thale Noi pier and go on two routes; the first one for tourists with services by the Thale Noi community and the second for academics and nature study by requesting permission and guide from a reserve official. The reserve has comfortable accommodation.