The lush green Sankalakhiri mountain range, seen here while approaching Hat Yai airport, stretches south from Songkhla province in Thailand to Negeri Sembilan in Malaysia. Also known as "Banjaran Besar", or "Big Range" by locals, it is the mountain range that forms the backbone of the Malay peninsula.
Muslim women perform evening prayers at the Pattani central mosque during the holy month of Ramadan. Ramadan takes place every year in the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and is observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of prayer and fasting, from sunrise to sunset, to commemorate the first revelation of the Quran to Muhammad, according to Islamic belief. Prayers conducted during the holy month are believed to carry much significance and value.
Ethnic Chinese Thais participate in the Lim Ko Niew Festival in Sai Buri town. The festival takes place every year on the 15th night of Chinese New Year. Participants carry sculptures of the Lim Ko Niew goddess through the town, letting off firecrackers as they go, culminating in a fire walk in the evening. It is the most significant cultural festival for the ethnic Chinese community of Thailand's deep south.
A Royal Thai Border Police checkpoint near the Thailand/Malaysia border.
The packed southbound train No 463, bound for Sungai Kolok, prepares to pull out of Hat Yai station. There are three southbound and three northbound local trains per day. The train is a crucial mode of transport in the Thai deep south. It is free for the locals and it is an important symbol for the Thai government to show that it still maintains control in one of the more remote and wild parts of the country.
At the Tomb of the Long Men in Dato village an elderly Muslim man measures the length of the tomb. The people of the deep south believe that the Tomb of the Long Men, or Kubur Tok Panjang, is sacred. It is believed that the length of the tomb never stays the same and that it will be either shorter of longer each time it is measured. It is the grave of Saudagar Gembak and his servant, who were both executed by the former Raja of Patani for trying to sell brass, which at that time was not allowed by Her Majesty.
Members of a government trained militia, known as Tahan Phran, take a break while conducting an early morning foot patrol near their camp in the jungles of Yala province. Tahan Phran have in the past been accused of massive human rights abuses in Thailand's deep south. The Thai state currently has more than 65,000 men-at-arms in the deep south.
An unofficial border crossing point between Thailand and Malaysia in the southern town of Sungai Kolok. The Kolok river in Narathiwat province marks the border between the two countries. The border, although important for trade, has in recent years become a haven for smugglers and criminal gangs taking advantage of its porous, rugged geography, and of authorities stretched from fighting an insurgency.