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Phatthalung-Songkhla Lake District

Updated: Jun 19

By Sally Aka. Shlomi Selim Benbasat

04 February 2024

Embarking on a journey through Phatthalung-Songkhla Lake District; Thailand's southern expanse, I discovered a place where the whispers of nature tell tales of timeless beauty and tranquility—Songkhla Lake. One of South East Asia's largest and majestic natural lake, sprawling across 1,040 km², cradles the heart of the Malay Peninsula, touching the lives and lands of both Songkhla and Phatthalung provinces. But to call it merely a lake would be an understatement; it is a lagoon complex, a geographical marvel that defies simple categorization.

Songkhla Lake unfurls in three distinct sections, each telling its own story. The southern gateway opens to the Gulf of Thailand, blending fresh and saltwater in a dance of natural harmony. Moving north, Thale Luang stretches wide, a testament to the lake's grandeur. Yet, it is Thale Noi, nestled in the northern reaches amidst lush mangrove swamps of Phatthalung Province, that truly captured my heart.

Thale Noi is more than just a part of this lagoon complex; it's a sanctuary where life in all its forms flourishes. As a designated Ramsar wetland, it stands as a guardian of biodiversity, a haven for over 180 species of birds and families of buffalo, all thriving within its embrace. This is where our special long-tail boat tours come alive, offering an intimate glimpse into a world where nature reigns supreme.

The serene waters of Thale Noi and the surrounding Phru Khuan Khi Sian wetlands are a microcosm of ecological wonder, one of Thailand's few remaining intact freshwater ecosystems. Here, the landscape is a patchwork of lakes, marshes, Melaleuca forests, and paddy fields, each element contributing to the rich tapestry of life.

More than 5,000 families call this area home, their lives intricately woven with the rhythms of the wetlands. Fishing, cattle grazing, and traditional crafts like mat-making not only sustain their livelihoods but also enrich the fabric of this community. With over 200,000 visitors annually, Thale Noi is a cherished destination, yet it retains its serene and untouched allure.

Join me, as we journey through the northern part of the lake district on our special long-tail tours in Thale Noi. Witness the harmony of birds in flight, buffalo grazing peacefully, and a community living in symbiosis with nature. This experience isn't just about sightseeing; it's an invitation to connect with the heart of Southern Thailand, to feel the pulse of its wetlands, and to carry a piece of its magic with you forever.

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