Pattani and the Deep South of Thailand

January 13, 2008 at 3:29am By: Mr. T Posted in Mr. T's Den

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Here, some local villagers pick crabs off their nets on a beach in Pattani. This part of the country has been witness to significant violence and martial law in recent years, no thanks to some pretty nasty policies enacted by the former Prime Minister before he was deposed in a military coup. However, I don’t intend this post to be an in-depth diversion into the politics of the area. I thought it might be interesting to post some photos of a part of the country that relatively few foreigners travel to in comparison to other regions.

Personally, I found it to be the best part of my travels abroad, partially because I used to live here for a few years and it was great to be back, and also because I got to see some folks I am pretty close to.

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This is not to say that there isn’t a visible military presence in the area all the time. Soldiers man roadblocks and checkpoints throughout the deep south, and will stop people as they are traveling along the roads. I tried not to be too conspicuous while taking photos of roadblocks, but snuck a few from a friend’s car. Isn’t military occupation wonderful?

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And another one. 

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Still, the area was surprisingly vibrant in many respects. Daily life goes on. We moved north a few days to Songkhla province and visited a really nice morning market which had everything from clothes to pets to medicine on sale.

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The local beach was fantastic, where thousands of people gather to lounge about for picnics in the shade of seaside trees. The ocean breeze was fantastic, and the local townspeople keep the area very clean.

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Enjoyed a great dish of deep fried fish with mango slices, chilies, scallions, cashew nuts, and other spices. I think this cost about 5-6 dollars if I remember correctly.

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As well as a plate of crab fried with curry sauce and vegetables. This one cost about 6 dollars as well, and just happens to be one of my favorite dishes of all time.

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On a more familiar note, you can also get a hamburger at the local Pattani night market for about 60 cents. This woman has been selling burgers at the same spot for over 14 years. It was great to see her again. 

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There must be something about deep fried food on a stick that appeals to humankind the world over. Whether it is deep fried hotdogs in batter on sticks, deep fried meatballs in batter on sticks, or JUST balls of deep fried batter, you can find it in the markets. I took a shot of this guy’s spread to drive Mr. Wilson and a few of you other carny-food chowhounds green with envy. 

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We found a great little hillside-cum-park with tons of monkeys jumping all over the place. They were remarkably calm and poised despite being in the middle of a bunch of gawking people.

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Who said the Spider-Man franchise is over?

Well, that is all for my travel photos folks. Hope you enjoyed the pics, and thanks for reading.

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The Comments

Gene January 15, 2008 at 5:28am

Thanks very much! I enjoy all of these posts quite a bit. My sympathies on you heading back to work.

Gene

beerorkid January 15, 2008 at 2:18pm

I saw the Mr T mobile on the way in.  That was a pretty long vacation.

Gene January 15, 2008 at 3:33pm

Does he fly a helicopter to work? That’s what I’ve heard.

Mr. T January 15, 2008 at 4:03pm

Thanks for the views Gene!

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