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Songkhla (สงขลา)

Thai. Name of a province (map) and its capital seaport-city in South Thailand with a population of around 84,000 and situated on the east coast of the Thai peninsula 950 kms from Bangkok. Many inhabitants speak Yawi, a Malay dialect. According to some, the city name is derived from Singora, the former Yawi name of a nearby mountain in the form of a lion (singh), today called Khao Daeng (Red Mountain). Other sources however claim that the name is derived from the local ruler Phraya Wichian Khiri who was also known by the name ‘Bunsang of Songkhla’ and brought the city prosperity (a ‘victory’ over poverty) during his reign from 1847 to 1865. Possibly the name is simply derived from Sankha, nowadays the city's logo and a Sanskrit word meaning ‘conch of victory’, referring to its location near the sea and its victory over the land by building the city. The province has sixteen amphur. See also Songkhla data file.