Hat Yai, a district of Songkhla, is perhaps better known than the provincial capital itself. Hat Yai serves as a southern hub of communication, trading and transportation as well as a gateway to Malaysia and Singapore. In light of this, Hat Yai has gained importance as the driving force of economic growth in the southern region.
While Songkhla is noted as a fishing community set in a peaceful atmosphere, Hat Yai, on the other hand, serves as the transportation and communications hub of the south with links to various destinations in the neighboring provinces and Malaysia.
Over the last few decades, Songkhla has been rapidly developed and is currently a unique attraction worth visiting. Blessed with natural resources, such as fine beaches, enchanting waterfalls, and a tranquil lake, the province has an abundance of tourist attractions and an amazing number of seaside resort towns. Moreover, the old section of Songkhla still maintains its unique identity of ancient and historical flavors through local architecture and cuisine.
There are non-stop flights from Singapore to Hat Yai once or twice daily with Scoot. The flight time is approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.
There are multiple bus companies offering overnight direct buses to Hat Yai from Golden Mile Complex and Golden Mile Tower. The journey time is approximately 15 hours, inclusive of Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand immigration and customs clearance at borders. You may search for various bus companies operating from Singapore to Hat Yai on Easybook.
With multiple connections, you can get from Singapore to Hat Yai by train. From Woodlands Train Checkpoint, transfer in Malaysia at JB Sentral, Gemas, Butterworth and Padang Besar. From Padang Besar, there are shuttle trains to Hat Yai departing twice a day. You may check for Malaysia train details from KTM Berhad at https://www.ktmb.com.my/ and Thailand train details from the State Railway of Thailand at http://www.railway.co.th/.
If you are feeling adventurous, you may also drive up to Hat Yai from Singapore. Click here for directions on Google Maps. If you are driving up, you will need to produce and provide some documents. Click here for the list of documents required for driving a Singapore private/company registered vehicle into Thailand.
Minivans depart from Hat Yai Bus Station as and when it is full. The minivan generally travels non-stop to Songkhla where it will start dropping off passengers towards and in the city. The fare is payable directly to the driver before departure.
Local Songthaews depart from Hat Yai Bus Station, passing through Hat Yai town, making multiple stops along the way on local roads. The fare is payable directly to the driver upon alighting.
Taxis and private cars can be hired from taxi stands or your hotel’s tour desk.
Khao Yam is a Southern Thai Rice Salad with a mix of herbs, vegetables, seafood, and rice. This dish is gaining popularity throughout Thailand due to the healthy ingredients involved.
Khanom Jeen is a curry noodle dish made of boiled fresh, thin rice noodles and your choice of stock including fish or chicken curry.
Roti Gluay is a popular Thai street food dessert made up of eggs and bananas in a flaky pancake. It is usually topped with sweetened condensed milk.
In Hat Yai, there is a great variety of Dim Sum widely available at cheap prices, perfect for breakfast.
Thai ‘ Petai’ is popular in Hat Yai, big and flavorful. They are often stir-fried with shrimps or pork.
Gai Tod Hat Yai is a famous fried chicken found all over Hat Yai with a local Thai recipe that includes lots of fried shallots.
Wat Hat Yai Nai is an open-air temple known for its massive statue of a reclining Buddha, which is the third largest in the Thailand.
Kim Yong Market is the biggest day market in Hat Yai, right in the town centre, with the freshest and cheapest deals.
Ton Nga Chang Waterfall is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the southern Thailand and Songkhla province with 7 levels. The most beautiful level is the third level called Ton Ngachang as the stream separated into two, resembling a pair of elephant’s tusks. The waterfall is in the area of Ton Nga Chang Wildlife Sanctuary.
Hat Yai Municipal Park is a popular recreational spot located about 6km from the city centre. Attractions include a statue of King Rama V that is enshrined at the foot of the hill near the aviary, a hill-top Brahman shrine and a jade statue of Guan-yin, the Chinese Goddess situated, at the southern foothill near the boy-scout camp. A cable car ride between Phra Phutthamongkol Maharat and Thao Mahaprom Four Face Buddha is also popular with locals and tourists alike.
Khlong Hae Floating Market is the biggest floating market in Southern Thailand. Vendors sell their goods and food on small boats while shoppers purchase them from alongside the canals. A large variety of local Thai food and snacks can be found here.
Being a seaside town, it’s no surprise that most tourists will definitely visit Samila Beach and the Golden Mermaid, the key landmark of Songkhla.
The Golden Mermiad takes on the same pose as Mae Thoranee, the earth goddess, who appeared during the meditation session at the end of which the Lord Buddha achieved enlightenment. According to Buddhist scripture, Mae Thoranee squeezed the water from her hair, washing away the Demon God Mara and his army who were attempting to break the Lord Buddha’s concentration to stop him from attaining enlightenment.
The Cat and Mouse Sculpture is located on the eastern end of Samila Beach. This large statue was installed in 2000 to commemorate the local legend of the cat, mouse, dog and magic crystal. According to the local legend, a Chinese merchant ship carrying a magic crystal was passing by Samila Beach when the ships’s dog, cat and mouse, working together as a team, stole the magic crystal and made a bid for freedom by attempting to swim to the shore. Neither the dog, cat, mouse or magic crystal ever made it to the beach. The dog turned into Khao Tang Kuan Hill, and the cat and mouse turned into the two islands in the bay, named Cat Island (Koh Maeow) and and Mouse Island (Koh Nu).
Khao Tang Kuan Hill is a large hill rising high above Songkhla’s otherwise flat landscape to a viewpoint where you can best appreciate the distinctive geography of Songkhla.
Songkhla Aquarium is established to be a learning center of aquatic animal biological behavior for youth and the general public, to conserve natural marine and environmental resources, as well as a place of recreation. The aquarium displays various aquatic animals and various exhibitions including fish tunnels; ecosystems exhibits: mountain ranges, freshwater streams, mangroves, beaches, and marine animals; Thai coast; and Marine resources usage.
Songkhla Tae Raek Walking Street is a popular 450-meter stretch selling popular items such as food, fashion, and accessories. It operates only on Friday and Saturday evenings from around 5pm till 10pm.
An island in the Andaman Sea, part of Tarutao National Marine Park, known for its coral-rich waters and sandy beaches.
Located in the far south of Thailand on the west coast of Songkhla Lake at the foot of Ok Thalu mountain.
The second largest province in southern Thailand boasting many undeveloped beaches as well as two national parks within an interior of verdant jungles abundant with luxuriant vegetation, beautiful waterfalls, and exotic wildlife.
TAT Hat Yai Office1/1 Niphatuthit 3 Road, Soi 2,Amphoe Hat Yai, Songkhla 90110Tel. +66 (0) 7423 1055; +66 (0) 7423 8518; +66 (0) 7424 3747Fax. +66 (0) 7424 5986E-mail Address: [email protected]Area of Responsibility: Songkhla