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.
- Betong Airport (สนามบินเบตง). Yarom, Betong District, Yala 95110. A new airport is being built 11 kilometers outside of the city. GPS 5.786288, 101.147454 (5°47'10.6"N 101°08'50.8"E).
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.
From Hat Yai, It is possible to book an airport pickup and Minibus 741 trip for 410 Baht with Betong Potong Tour Company (บริษัท เบตง โพธิ์ทองทัวร์). Alternately, the minivan may be booked for 260 Baht from Hat Yai Bus Terminal 1. This would be at a platform on the south side of the terminal near GPS 6.994535, 100.481985 (6°59'40.3"N 100°28'55.2"E). Departures are 07.00 / 08.30 / 10.00 / 11.30 / 13.00 / 14.30 hrs. Reservations for either option are highly advisable, and the only way the airport pickup can be arranged is by having a booking. If the driver collects you from the airport, he will show you the telephone number used for the reservation. You will pay the driver on board, and obtain a receipt. The journey will take four to four and a half hours. For the return journey, for a trip only to Hat Yai, the marshaling area is in front of Ta Waen Restaurant GPS 5.771735, 101.070530 (5°46'18.3"N 101°04'13.9"E), near the Clock Tower intersection. They have a ticket desk there. Tel. 073-230193, 081-9905697. Time of the van is listed as 06.00 / 08.00 / 10.00 / 12.00 / 13.00 / 14.00 hrs. If booking for a trip to Hat Yai Airport, they can pick up at hotels and guesthouses a half an hour before the departure from Ta Wean. When leaving Hat Yai and on the return, the driver makes a stop for fuel only at a PTT station 50 minutes south of Hat Yai. The first restroom break will about 35 minutes later. On the return trip this stop was at a petrol station with a Mini Big C (ปั๊มบางจาก) about 87 km from Hat Yai Bus Terminal on Route 43 AH 18 in Bang Khao near Pattani Airport, at GPS 6.803510, 101.140406 (6°48'12.6"N 101°08'25.5"E). There will be other Minivan 741 buses there, so make note of your van number so you will find your way back to the correct one. Prices are quite a bit higher than you find elsewhere in the country. The other rest stop will be at a company store near the lake on Route 410 about an hour and fifteen minutes outside of Betong. This shows on Google Maps as being called Jerry's Store (ร้านเจ้รี) in Mae Wat on Route 410 at GPS 6.032363, 101.208759 (6°01'56.5"N 101°12'31.5"E). There are Western toilets without seats, and no paper or soap. The gift shop has reasonably priced local snacks to buy as gifts for whomever you are going to see in Betong. You must have your passport and a valid visa. There are checkpoints at various points, and you have a fifty-fifty chance of having your documents checked. The drivers typically are stopped once each way for a random breathalyzer check, such at at the Iyer Weng Police Checkpoint, 40 kilometers outside of Betong on Highway 410.
From Sadao Toll Plaza, Exit Sadao Toll Plaza, Songkhla Province, enter Malaysia and cross into Thai side at Betong Toll Plaza. This route, passengers must have a passport. And the van will park for a border crossing ceremony Then back on the car again). The queue at Hat Yai is at the intersection. Opposite Siam City Bank, Line 1, Tel. 074-230905, 074-223398, 086-4800681, Time of Car 09.00 / 13.00 / 15.00 hrs. The queue of Betong in front of the next hotel Opposite Government Savings Bank (Same as route 1) Time around 07.00 / 12.00 hrs. The fare is 400 baht per seat. It takes about 2.30 hours.
Betong Tour Company (บริษัท เบตงทัวร์ ) has 2 bus routes which are:
Bus Route No 1 runs through Yala.
Bus Route No 21 The bus queue in Hat Yai is at Hat Yai Bus Terminal (in the city, not Kaset Market).
The queue in Betong is in front of the hotel opposite Government Savings Bank, Tel. 073-230287, 073-234359, 086-4800618, 086-9627575 Time of car 06.00 / 08.00 / 10.00 / 12.00 / 13.00 / 14.30 hrs. The fare is 260 baht per seat. It takes about 4 hours to drive.
By train, from Bangkok, you can take a train from Hua Lamphong as far as at Hat Yai Railway Station or Yala Railway Station. Tel 1690. If getting off at Hat Yai Train Station There is a van to Betong. If getting off Yala train station, there is a Benz taxi. (Betong's unique vehicle) provides services from Yala Railway Station to Betong.
Benz taxi Betong-Yala-Betong (Qwisit)
The car queue in Yala is at the Yala train station, call 073-212161. The car queue at Betong is on Sukyang Road. Opposite Krung Thai Bank Close to the Clock Tower intersection in the middle of the city. Tel. 073-230447. Service hours are between 05.30-18.00 hrs.
One Benz car can seat 6 people (double front seats, 2 drivers, 4 rear seats is an old model but the seats are very wide). The fare is 130 baht per seat. Complete 6 people. The car can be issued immediately, can be shared with other passengers. Or if wanting privacy, can be chartered at a price of 6 people = 780 baht, takes about 3 hours to drive
VIP VIP taxi (general sedan)
The queue at Betong is at the Clock Tower junction Close to the red giant postbox. Tel. 073-234028, 081-0998014. A car can seat 4 people (front seats, 1 driver, 1 rear seat). The fare is 200 baht per seat. Complete 4 people. The car can be shared immediately with passengers. Others can, or if wanting privacy, can be chartered at a price of 4 people = 800 baht, takes about 3 hours to drive.
Minivans for Route 493 and Route 1911 and Songtheaw 1911 leave from the noodle shop across from the TOT office in Betong on Route 410 at GPS 5.771312, 101.073082 (5°46'16.7"N 101°04'23.1"E).
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). The most important local Buddhist temple 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. GPS 5.771411, 101.078151 (5°46'17.1"N 101°04'41.3"E).
- Kwan Im Temple (วัดกวนอิม). GPS 5.771072, 101.073905 (5°46'15.9"N 101°04'26.1"E).
- The Largest Mail Box in Thailand (ตู้ไปรษณีย์ใหญ่ที่สุดในประเทศไทย). Used to be located at the Bell Tower intersection of Betong, where there is a small replica for tourists to use as a photo spot. 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. GPS 5.777278, 101.073211 (5°46'38.2"N 101°04'23.6"E).
- Betong Mongkollit Tunnel (อุโมงค์เบตงมงคลฤทธิ์). A tunnel that has decorative lanterns and lights at night that is popular for the short drive that passes below the Suan Sut Sayam Betong Municipality Park. GPS 5.770409, 101.071489 (5°46'13.5"N 101°04'17.4"E) and GPS 5.768165, 101.072793 (5°46'05.4"N 101°04'22.1"E).
- Betong Central Mosque (มัสยิดกลางเบตง), Jamek Al-Ahmadi Mosque, Sukkhayang Rd, Betong Yala, Thailand. GPS 5.772107, 101.068178 (5°46'19.6"N 101°04'05.4"E).
- 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 sports ground, a swimming pool, and a playground. It is suitable for recreation and exercising. There is a big athletic field and track with weight rooms, exercise machines, and often a local DJ playing music. Hundreds of people gather every evening to exercise, walk and socialize. GPS 5.769038, 101.071107 (5°46'08.5"N 101°04'16.0"E). 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.
- Betong Museum (พิพิธภัณฑ์เมืองเบตง). A small museum focused on the local way of life, and the area's history. Great view from the top of the museum of the city and surrounding area. Free. GPS 5.769038, 101.071107 (5°46'08.5"N 101°04'16.0"E).
- Betong Big Chicken (เบตงไก่ตัวใหญ่). The city mascot. A large chicken that is a popular tourist photo spot, at the southern entrance of the Betong Mongkollit Tunnel. GPS 5.7684256, 101.0729955 (5°46'06.3"N 101°04'22.8"E)
- 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.
- Center of Study of Ancient City Ban Kapakortor. Inquire with the Betong Museum for more details and location.
- Betong Hot Spring (บ่อน้ำร้อนเบตง). The springs are locateded 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. GPS 5.850217, 101.072148 (5°51'00.8"N 101°04'19.7"E).
- Namtok Inthason (น้ำตกอินทสร). Located 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. According to Google Maps, 5.784341, 101.033124 (5°47'03.6"N 101°01'59.3"E).
- Namtok Chaloem Phra Kiat Ro Kao (น้ำตกเฉลิมพระเกียรติ ร.9). From 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. According to Google Maps, GPS (5°57'12.8"N 101°09'56.0"E).
- Piyamit Tunnel (อุโมงค์ปิยะมิตร). 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 5 p.m. 60 Baht for adult foreigners, 20 Baht for children, below 3 years old free. GPS 5.889451, 101.048319 (5°53'22.0"N 101°02'54.0"E).
- Bala-Hala Forest (ป่าบาลา-ฮาลา). 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.
- The Sea of Mist Ai Yerweng (ทะเลหมอก อัยเยอร์เวง). A popular viewing area to see the morning mists that fill the valleys. Very popular destination for Malaysian and Singaporean tourists and Thais. It is advisable to leave Betong no later than 04:30 to get there. There is a parking area before the summit, and there are shuttles that consist of standing in the back of a pickup truck that can take you up and down the hill. The uphill slope is considerable, so if you elect to hike it, bring good closed tip shoes. The viewing platforms have long lines, so the early traveler will get the best view. Address in Thai: อาคารสำนักงานองค์การบริหารส่วนตำบลอัยเยอร์เวง, ตำบลอัยเยอร์เวง อำเภอเบตง จังหวัดยะลา, 95110 ตำบล อัยเยอร์เวง อำเภอ เบตง ยะลา 95110 Thailand. GPS 5.977888, 101.181691 (5°58'40.4"N 101°10'54.1"E).
- Cold Place Flower Garden (Suan Mai Dok Mueang NAO Betong สวนไม้ดอกเมืองหนาวเบตง). GPS 5.885147, 101.021856 (5°53'06.5"N 101°01'18.7"E).
- Bang Lang National Park (อุทยานแห่งชาติบางลาง).
- 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.
Suan Phak Kitchen Shop (ร้านครัวสวนผัก), 61 Piyanonpong Road (ถนน ปิยานนท์พงศ์), Betong, Amphoe Betong, Yala 95110. Tel: 081 479 5466. GPS 5.774994, 101.065793 (5°46'30.0"N 101°03'56.9"E). Delicious fresh made to order fish, taken from a pond tank at the restaurant. They make superb steamed lemon tilapia. Also, this is the best restaurant to have local dishes that you will not encounter in other regions. Nice and romantic place to have an evening dinner. Menu is in Thai and English.
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 Phakdi Damrong Road, Tambon Betong District, Yala 95110, ☎ +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. GPS 5.770417, 101.072485 (5°46'13.5"N 101°04'21.0"E). 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". According to Google Maps, GPS 5.770635, 101.070508 (5°46'14.3"N 101°04'13.8"E). 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] According to Google Maps, GPS 5.772945, 101.069754 (5°46'22.6"N 101°04'11.1"E). edit
- Betong City Plaza Hotel, 6, Dhamavithee Rd., ☎ +66 073 230 441-3. The hotel is located with a little shopping plaza. GPS 5.771714, 101.070344 (5°46'18.2"N 101°04'13.2"E). 400 - 600 THB. edit
- Betong Grand View Hotel, 30-34, Grand Villa Rd., ☎ +66 073 245 519. .GPS 5.767768, 101.074227 (5°46'04.0"N 101°04'27.2"E). 600 - 1800 THB. edit
- Butterfly Princess Hotel, 188, Prachatipat Rd., ☎ +66 073 236 071-3, . .GPS 5.768888, 101.074056 (5°46'08.0"N 101°04'26.6"E). 600 - 800 THB. edit
- Holiday Hill Hotel (Futuna), 50, Pakdeedumrong Rd., ☎ +66 073 231 180. checkin: 23-8-2012; checkout: 24-8-2012. GPS 5.771312, 101.073082 (5°46'16.7"N 101°04'23.1"E). 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. GPS 5.773041, 101.071580 (5°46'23.0"N 101°04'17.7"E). 200 - 350 THB. edit
- Modern Thai Hotel, 21 Rattanakit Rd., ☎ +66 073 235 666, . New hotel near Betong Clock Tower. GPS 5.771947, 101.072294 (5°46'19.0"N 101°04'20.3"E). 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. According to Google Maps, GPS 5.779125, 101.062721 (5°46'44.9"N 101°03'45.8"E). 700 - 1200 THB. edit
- Betong Jung Resort, No.19 Mumkumviksi Road, ☎ +66 073 235178. New open on December 2015. According to Google Maps, GPS 5.783338, 101.078378 (5°47'00.0"N 101°04'42.2"E), but visual confirmation needed. 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.