Narathiwat: Thailand's best kept secret
When it comes to traveling in Thailand, surely just some names made it through. OK you might be familiar with Bangkok (of course!), Pattaya, Phuket, Chiang Mai, and Narathiwat might be one of many names you have never heard of. But like many underrated provinces in Thailand, I could say that this is one of Thailand’s best kept secret.
For most Thais, Narathiwat might be the last place to visit fore leisure. On one hand, Narathiwat is one of Thailand’s Southernmost provinces, famous for the so-called ‘insurgencies’. Don’t be surprised if you will see soldiers everywhere. And the last time I went there, it was the protocol that I travelled in a bulletproof Fortuner (thanks to my journalistic career which seems to make everything more dangerous lol). Explosions, car bombs and killings happen sometimes in the red zones.
On the other hand, Narathiwat is the cultural melting pot where the Chinese, Thai and Malay cultures meet. The majority of the population are Muslims, so you will see Thailand in a picture. Some of the local museums filled with treasures are actually untouched. I was really surprised when I visited the Quran museum that gathers the ancient Quran manuscripts from the Islamic world. On top of it all, the people are really nice and friendly. Of course being in the zone means they don’t expect any travelers, and when they found one, you will be greeted with the curious gazes and the sincere smiles.
At the end of the day, people just see what they want to see.
You want to see violence, you will see it.
I want to see peace, I see it.
*** If you’re interested in traveling to Narathiwat, contacting the Office or Travel and Sport of Narathiwat is recommended. They can recommend you about transportation and proper routes.