Betong is a city in Deep Southern Thailand, quite close to Yala.
The word Betong (เบตง) is Malay, meaning bamboo. This district is at the southernmost point of Thailand, about 140 kilometres from Yala, on Highway 410. The road between Amphoe Than To and Amphoe Betong winds on the hillside, affording the scenery of the lake, forest, and rubber plantations. The Betong city centre is surrounded by mountains, resulting in a cool climate and high rainfall with frequent fog in the morning. It is therefore dubbed The City in the Fog with Beautiful Flowers. Betong is a large developed district. Malaysian tourists often visit the area because of its proximity. The food is outstanding and the city has a lot of tourist attractions.
From Yala, one can take the van or taxi that operates hourly from across the Yala Railway Station. From Hat Yai there is an air-conditioned van to Yala and Betong, please call 0 7323 0905, 0 7323 3917-8, the service is at 8 a.m., 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.
You can get around Betong city by Songtaew which is like the cab of this city and very cheap. Moreover, if you want to get a bit far away from city, you could rent some Songtaew or motorcycle-driver to get you to more fantastic sight-seeing.
- Phra Mahathat Chedi Phra Phutthathammaprakat (พระมหาธาตุเจดีย์พระพุทธธรรมประกาศ) is located on a hilltop in Betong city center, on the ground of Wat Phutthathiwat, Thanon Rattanakit. This chedi is built in the modern Sivijaya style, covered in gold color. It is 39.9 meters high, built to commemorate the 69th birthday anniversary of Her Majesty the Queen. From the chedi one can see all of the temple ground and part of Betong city center.
- Suan Sut Sayam (Betong Municipality Park) (สวนสุดสยาม) occupies an area of about 120 square kilometers on a hill in the middle of Betong city center. It is the overlook for the city, consisting of an ornamental plants and flowering plants garden, aviary, health garden, a sportsground, a swimming pool, and a playground. It is suitable for recreation and exercising. If one travels on Tanon Sukyang for seven kilometres from the Park, one will reach the southernmost point of Thailand that has a road connection into Malaysia.
- The Largest Mail Box in Thailand (ตู้ไปรษณีย์ใหญ่ที่สุดในประเทศไทย) used to be located at the Bell Tower intersection of Betong. It was built in 1924 before World War II as the communication post for the townspeople, through the radio implanted on top of the box, and the mail slot below it. A new box has been built in a larger size (nine meters tall), and is located at the City Convention Hall (Sala Prachakhom). The new mail box attracts a large number of tourists who come to take photographs.
- Swifts (นกนางแอ่น) at dusk the swifts fly about the city center and come to rest at houses, on buildings and on electricity lines, especially on the Bell Tower that is well-lit at night. They have become one of Betong’s symbols, although they are there only during the cool season when they flee from the cold weather of Siberia once a year, usually from September through March.
- Betong Hot Spring (บ่อน้ำร้อนเบตง) is situated at Ban Charo Parai Village, Tambon Tano Mae Ro, about five kilometres before reaching the Betong city center, turn right from Highway 410 for another eight kilometers into the village. At the hottest spot, eggs are cooked in seven minutes. A hot spring shower is also available. It is believed that hot spring can cure muscle pain and minor skin irritation.
- Namtok Inthason (น้ำตกอินทสร) is about 15 kilometers from Betong city center, or about two kilometers further than the Hot Spring. It is a small waterfall with lush forest and pools for swimming and relaxing.
- Namtok Chaloem Phra Kiat Ro Kao (น้ำตกเฉลิมพระเกียรติ ร.9) is in Tambon Ai Yoe Weng, turn right from Highway 410, between Amphoe Than To and Amphoe Betong at the 32-33 kilometer stone, onto the dirt road for three kilometers. The waterfall is more than 30 meters high, surrounded by lush forest.
- Piyamit Tunnel (อุโมงค์ปิยะมิตร) at Ban Piyamit 1, Tambon Tano Mae Ro. Take the same route as the Hot Spring for four more kilometres. This area is the village of the Thai Development Participants and was once the base of Malaya Communist Division 2. The tunnel was built in three months in 1976, winding through the mountain for about one kilometer, about 50-60 feet wide with multiple entrances. It was used as the air raid shelter and food storage area. At present there is an exhibition about its history including the way of life in the forest. It is open to the public from 8 a.m. to 4.30 p.m.
- Bala-Hala Forest (ป่าบาลา-ฮาลา) or Suan Pa Phra Namaphithai Phak Tai, Section Two (สวนป่าพระนาภิไธยภาคใต้ ส่วนที่ 2) is a lush rainforest with many rare plants and wildlife, especially birds. It is also the habitat of the Sakai. This forest occupies a large area at the boundary of Yala and Narathiwat districts. It is the headstream of the Bang Lang Dam. Tourists can take boat trips to enjoy the scenery from the 445th Division of the Border Patrol Police, Thanon Sukkhayang, Amphoe Betong.
- Eat (see below for more specifics): Betong famous for foods, especially Betong-Chinese food which is mostly cooked by Hakka-Chinese. Betong is also famous for Thai traditional food and Muslim food. Many mouth-watering restaurants are around of Betong Market and close to Betong clock tower.
- Massage: Despite being a small town, Betong sports a large number of massage parlors. Prices range from 250 - 350 THB for a 2 hour Ancient Thai Massage and 300 - 400 THB for a 2 hour hot oil massage.
- Sport: you could go to the Betong Public Stadium and Sport Complex to exercise or work out in your style while this place serve you a plenty of activities . Betong teenager favourites are basketball, swimming and tennis.
These are some of Betong famous souvenirs:
- Betong Soya Sauce (ซีอิ๊วเบตง)
- Betong Noodles (หมี่เบตง)
- Watercress (ผักน้ำเบตง)
- The ZON duty free shop between the Malaysia - Thailand borders.
- Dry market, also between the Malaysia - Thailand borders. Lots of small stalls selling various knick-knacks which make good, cheap souvenirs.
Betong Noodles (หมี่เบตง), the egg noodles that are very tasty.
Betong Soy Sauce (ซีอิ๊วเบตง) is made from soybeans with a special method.
Tourists can also enjoy a wide variety of Betong specialties. They are: chopped Betong chicken, prepared with local chicken and ladled with Betong soy sauce; steamed Chinese carp in plum sauce - the fish is raised only in Betong and can be prepared for several dishes; khao yok (เคาหยก) is made from fatty pork roasted with taro; phak nam (ผักน้ำ) is a vegetable that grows in flowing streams found only in Betong, and is prepared for a soup or stir-fried.
- Betong 100% pure bird nest beverage :is a new shop very famous of it 100% pure, no artificial bird nest materials added, no bleaching process, cheapest price only 300 Thai bath per bowl.
Normally the locals drink tea, coffee or milk, serving them with toast or snack especially at night. Most teenagers will go to some coffee shop to socialise with their friends or family and get some non-alcoholic drinks. Alcoholic drinks are not popular except with tourists, and the drinks are available at KTV lounges or clubs in some hotels.
- Grand Mandarin Betong Hotel (1,480 THB included breakfast buffet for 2 packs per room night), 888 Pakdeedumrong Rd., ☎ +66 73 235777 - 80, . The best and newest hotel in Betong. Perfect taste of local food at the restaurant with very reasonable price. For the reservation at www.mandarinbetong.co.th edit
- Betong Merlin Hotel (900 THB), 33, Chayachawalit rd., ☎ +66 073 230 222-40. Close to Betong clock tower and can walk to take a photo with the attractive tourist spots. Here has indoor swimming pool and sauna. The best of nightclub is also be here "X-Zone". edit
- Cathay Betong Hotel (500 - 650 THB), 18, Chantharothai rd., ☎ +66 073 230 996-9. Here's just renovated, recommend for budget traveler. Reservation: [email protected] edit
- Betong City Plaza Hotel, 6, Dhamavithee rd., ☎ +66 073 230 441-3. The hotel is located with a little shopping plaza 400 - 600 THB. edit
- Betong Grand View Hotel, 30-34, Grand Villa rd., ☎ +66 073 245 519. 600 - 1800 THB. edit
- Butterfly Princess Hotel, 188, Prachatipat rd., ☎ +66 073 236 071-3, . 600 - 800 THB. edit
- Holiday Hill Hotel (Futuna), 50, Pakdeedumrong rd., ☎ +66 073 231 180. checkin: 23-8-2012; checkout: 24-8-2012. 500 - 600 THB. edit
- Hua Un Hotel, 352/1, Siroros rd., ☎ +66 073 212 989. 150 - 300 THB. edit
- Jackie Chan Hotel, 226, Sukkayang rd., ☎ +66 073 230 710. Famous budget hotel and centrally located 200 - 350 THB. edit
- Modern Thai Hotel, 21 Rattanakit rd., ☎ +66 073 235 666, . New hotel near Betong Clock Tower 690 THB. edit
- River Inn Resort, 111-113, soi 12 , Prachatipat rd., ☎ +66 073 234 175-6. One beautiful river view resort especially famous for Malaysian and Singaporean tourists 700 - 1200 THB. edit
- Betong Jung resort, No.19 Mumkumviksi road, ☎ +66 073 235178. New open on December 2015. 890THB for a 3 persons room or 990THB for a 4 persons room per night. edit
Betong city information : [] or Tel. +66 073 245 616
or contact Tourism Authority of Thailnd for deep southern Thailand (Narathiwat , Pattani and Yala province) center / Tel. +66 073 522 411
Hat Yai: The centre of business and shopping mall of the Southern part of Thailand.
Moreover, Betong is one popular gateway to Malaysia, where you can reach Penang, Ipoh or Kuala Lumpur.