NGA INFORMATION- THAILAND
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Phang Nga is a
primarily agricultural province in the south of Thailand.
The chief cash crop is rubber, and rubber plantations cover
a considerable area, especially noticeable along the roads.
Aside from that, however, large areas are also given to
food crops. Considerable amounts of rice, vegetables and
fruits are produced in Phang-Nga. Phang-Nga province has
an area of 4,170 sq. kms., a large part of which is forest.
Ancient records reveal that before establishment of the
current dynasty in the late 18th Century, the
area called Phang-nga was a district attrached to Takuapa,
the leading town thereabouts. Then with the beginning
of the Rattanakosin Dynasty, during the reign of Rama I,
Phang-nga was given equal status with Takuapa and another
nearby town, Takuatung, and all three were removed from
the government's Harbor Department and put under the
Ministry of Defense.
The best evidence indicates that Phang-nga was officially
established in 1809 during the reign of Rama II, when one
of the periodic wars with Burma was reging. The king
there, Padung Kasatri, appointed Ah Terng Woon to lead an
invasion force for attack on Thailand's southern towns.
The ship-borne army carried off the populations of Takuatung,
and Thaland (in Phuket). Thalang was razed to the
ground. An army under the direction of a royal prince
was therefore sent from Bangkok to drive of the attackers.
While the war was raging some of the local people took refuge
at a place then called Kra Ph-nga *(Malay for river mount
of Pu-nga) protected on all sides by mountains. After
the razing of Thalang, it was the government's view
that Thailand's hold on the area had weakened, and that
a new town should be established in its stead.
Thus the citizenry left in the Thalang area was instructed
to move to Kra Pu-nga and register themselves as being resident
there. There is still a villages in what is today
Takuatung District called Thalang founded by those immigrants
from Phuket. The new city was put under the administration
of the government in Nakorn Sri Thammarat.
During the reign of Rama III, the central government thought
to strengthen the southwest coastal town that were prey
to successive Burmese attacks by appointing a governor for
the province who reported directly ot Bangkok. Praya
Borirak Puton (Sang Na Nakorn) thereby became first governor
of Phang-nga in 1840. In the same year, Takuatung
was reduced in status and became merely a district of Phang-nga.
All during this period tin mining was booming, and as one
of the most tin-rich of Thailand's tin bearing locales,
Phang-nga attracted increasing attention from the central
government because of its importance as a foreign exchange
earner. When the worldwide economic depression of
the 1930s struck.
Thailand, Phang-nga's status was further enhanced by
incorporation of Takuapa as a district (1931). One
of Phang-nga Town's most beautiful old buildings is
the Provincial Hall. The first such structure was
built in Ban Chai Kai; a larger one was constructed in 1930
at Ban Tai Chang. The present structure near Poong
Chang Cave was built in 1972.
*Pronunciation of Phang-nga's name is thought to have
resulted from foreign tin buyers' and operators'
confusion with the way it was formerly written on maps,
Pu-nga in which the old long '00' sound is not clearly
expressed. If pronounced with a short '00'
it is very close to present pronunciation.
provided by T.A.T (Tourism Authority of Thailand)