Pattani or Patani (both: pätˈtänēˈ) [key], city (1990 pop. 41,605), capital of Pattani prov., S Thailand, on the east coast of the Malay Peninsula, near the mouth of the Gulf of Thailand. It is a port and the center of a region producing most of the spices grown in Thailand, as well as rubber and coconuts. Tin is mined and smelted, salt is extracted, and nests for bird's-nest soup are harvested. The people are for the most part Malay Muslims.
Pattani was a seat of the Sailendra power during the Sailendra domination of the Malay Peninsula and later was the center of a Malay state, which was drawn into the Thai orbit. With Ayutthaya, it was one of the first places in Siam opened to the Portuguese in the 16th cent. At first bound only by tenuous links of suzerainty to the courts of Ayutthaya and Bangkok, against which it was several times in revolt, the Pattani sultanate was annexed in 1902. The region has been the scene of attacks by Malay separatists (in the 1970s and 80s and again in the early 21st cent.).