Yala is the southernmost province of Thailand, with an area of 4,521 square kilometers. It is the only landlocked province in the south. The province has a unique mixture of cultural heritage of several groups—Thai, Chinese, and Islam.
The name Yala was derived from the local word “yalo” meaning “fish net.” Yala used to be part of Pattani, a colony of the Sukhothai Kingdom. When Ayutthaya fell to the Burman, the southern colonies became independent. During the reign of King Rama I of the Rattanakosin Dynasty, the King sent his brother, Khrom Phra Ratchawangbowon Maha Surasihanat to take Pattani. Yala had changed its rulers many times before it finally became one of the provinces of Thailand.