Capital: Ranong Location: Southern Area: 3,298.0 km2
Population: 161,210 Density: 49 /km2
Town and Districts
Ranong, La-un ,Kapoe ,Kra Buri, Suk Samran
Ranong is one of the southern provinces of Thailand, at the shore to the Andaman Sea. It is the province with the fewest citizens. Ranong is located on the Kra Isthmus, the narrow strip that connects mainland Thailand with the Malay Peninsula, on the west side of the Phuket mountain range. It has a long coast on the Andaman Sea. The province is known for having the most rainfall of all Thailand, the rainy season lasting for about 8 months. In 1955 the annual rainfall reached 6699.5 mm, compared to about 1200 in central Thailand. This led to the pun that the name Ranong is in fact taken from the English rain on - even though the name is actually pronounced ra-nawng. The neighboring provinces are (from north clockwise) Chumphon, Surat Thani and Phang Nga. To the west, it also borders to Kawthaung Province, Union of Myanmar. The province is the least populated province of Thailand, 80% of the area are covered by forests, and 67% are mountainous terrain. Historically the major industry was tin mining, but most mines are exploited already now. White clay mining for the production of porcelain and fishing are the main industries today, together with the rubber and cashew nut farming. The Ranong Biosphere Reserve in the north of Amphoe Kapoe covering 303.09 km� was declared in 1997. It is the fourth biosphere reserve of Thailand, but the only one located at the coast to protect the mangrove forests.
History Khaw Soo Cheang was a Chinese from Changchow-fu, Fukien Province, who tried his luck abroad. In 1810 he arrived at Penang, but after 6 unsuccessful years he came to Takuapa to try his luck there. Earning well from various trading activities, in 1844 he was appointed Royal Collector of tin royalties in the Ranong area, and receiving the title and name Luang Ratanasethi. 1854 King Mongkut made him governour of Ranong and elevated him to Phra. At that time Ranong was a subordinate of the Chumphon province, but in 1864 due to the good performance of the governour it was elevated to full provincial status, and he became the title Phraya. After he died in 1882 his second son became the new governour and in 1896 commissioner of Monthon Chumphon, other sons became governour of Kra, Langsuan, and his youngest son Kho Sim Bee became governour of Trang, and in 1900 commissioner of Monthon Phuket. However after his death in 1913 a commissioner from outside the area was appointed, to stop the traditionally inherited administrative power of the family. In 1916 all Chinese immigrant had to adopt a Thai name, and the family of Khaw Soo Cheang became the Na Ranong family.