Golden mermaid brings tourists back to Songkhla

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Songkhla – The Golden Mermaid statue is drawing tourists to Thailand’s southern province of Songkhla as lives return to normal after Tropical Storm Pabuk.

Erected in 1966, the statue is Songkhla’s most photographed tourist attraction. It sits on a rock on Samila Beach. The idea of the mermaid comes from an epic saga about Prince Phra Aphai Mani by Soonthorn Phu, a well-respected author and poet who lived during the reign of King Rama II. Soonthorn Phu’s real name was Phra Sunthorn Vohara.

Samila Beach has seen a huge influx of Thai and foreign tourists, mostly from Malaysia. Hotels and accommodations near the beach are expected to be fully booked during Chinese New Year.

Songkhla Province is home to two national parks – San Kala Khiri National Park which covers 214 square kilometers of mountain highlands on the Thai-Malay border, and Khao Nam Khang National Park.