beautiful border town, southernmost in Siam" is the slogan of Yala
province. The word "Yala" comes from a folk word "yalor", meaning
"fishing net" because at the original site of the town, Yalor, there
was a mountain shaped like a fishing net. It was a low land and people
earned their living by using fishing nets to catch fish. Eventually,
many new towns were set up one after another until finally it moved
to Nibong, which is its present location. (Nibong means a kind of
tree called "laocha-on").
Yala is the southern most province of Thailand with and
area of 4,521 square kilometres. It is 1,055 kms. from Bangkok by
rail and 1,440 kms. by road. It is the only one of the 14 southern
provinces that is not next to the sea. Yala is mostly mountains and
covered with forests but has very little flat land.