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Developing Samila Beach in Songkhla to Welcome More ASEAN Visitors

May 17, 2014 Destination Thailand No Comments Email Email

The southern border province of Songkhla is developing its famous beach “Samila” as a regional tourist attraction to welcome more visitors, following the establishment of the ASEAN Community in 2015.

The project is being carried out by the Songkhla City Municipality, in line with the local development policy to make Songkhla a gateway to ASEAN.

Although Samila Beach is listed among the top tourist sites in Songkhla, it has not been given a major facelift before. The Songkhla City Municipality is devoting a great deal of energy to this development project, with an emphasis on natural conservation and environmental protection. The project involves the improvement of landscape and natural surroundings, as well as the rearrangement of souvenir shops.

In the past, Songkhla was referred to as Sathing, which was well-known among Chinese, Indian, and Persian merchants trading in the area. This port city was suitable as a stopover for overseas traders wishing to escape the strong monsoon. As a center for people from all directions, Sathing flourished and possessed a unique identity with a mixture of diverse and rich cultures.

Laem Samila, or Cape Samila, has a white sandy beach that stretches along the Gulf of Thailand. Standing prominently at the end of Laem Samila is a mermaid statue in the attitude of sitting and combing her hair beside the blue sea. The bronze statue was created in 1966 and has become the symbol of Songkhla. Many visitors enjoy taking photographs with the bronze mermaid on the rock for a souvenir.

Songkhla is also regarded as the capital of the Lower South of Thailand. It shares border with Malaysia and is the location of the Chinese, Indonesian, and Malaysian consulates. A number of local residents are Muslim, and this is seen as one of the province’s strengths, since more than 300 million people in ASEAN are Muslim.

The Songkhla Provincial Administrative Organization believes that the arrival of the ASEAN Community will benefit Songkhla, especially in terms of tourism. The province has everything to offer visitors and residents alike, such as delicious food, beautiful scenery, and recreational activities. It is also a popular shopping center. Songkhla has a deep-sea port and is a source of oil and natural gas. Efforts have been made to push for the opening of more aviation routes to facilitate the travel of tourists to this province and for the connection of the Songkhla port with the Penang port in Malaysia to boost logistics services, trade, and transport in the future.

Samila Beach in the city of Songkhla is expected to experience a boom to accommodate more local and international tourists. The Songkhla Provincial Administrative Organization also believes that the province is ready for the upcoming ASEAN Community.

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