Saturday, June 21, 2008

Things To Do in Hatyai, Thailand

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Where is Hatyai?? That must be the first question in your mind when you read the title of this post. For starters, Hatyai is located at the South of Thailand. It's one of the gateway to Malaysia and other provinces with the famous beaches.

Hatyai is the common 'holiday' destination of Malaysians since it's the nearest country to them (Singapore is nearer though but expensive) and has cheaper bargains. But this also the hub or the stopover of backpackers traveling from Malaysia before going to the beautiful Islands nearby.

So, here is my list of things to do and places to go in Hatyai, Thailand.

1) Go Shopping!!

Clothes, shoes, bags, fruits and other goods are cheap here. The best places to shop are : The Weekend Night Market ( Talat Paet Thai) which only opens from Thursday - Sunday from 6-10 pm, The NIght Market at the CIty center near Lee Gardens , they are open every night, Plaza ( Naa Ho ) where is open everyday from 8am-5pm. If you're really into shopping, you can shop till you drop. But you have to bargain to get the best price. Start from starting half of their original price. If you're an entrepreneur andwant to buy wholesale, their are wholesale shops around PLaza. You just have to walk around a lot of streets to see this. There are wholesale shops for accessories, shirts, bags, shoes and etc. And they are really cheap!!!

2) GO for a nice, relaxing massage

There are a lot of massage parlors near the city area. But the thing is they are quite pricey ( I guess still cheap for the Singaporeans and Malaysians). In the city center, a 1 hour foot or body massage costs 250 baht . But I recommend you go to Big C, since you can get that same price for a 2 hour body massage. Their masseurs are good and very polite.

3) Eat till you drop!

Oh, when it comes to dining options ...there are a LOT of restaurant to choose from. From pricey shops to the hawker shops..but believe me, everywhere you go, their food is yummy!! Here is a list of our favorite restaurants. Though there are still a number of restaurants we haven't tried yet. Sky Buffet at Lee Gardens for only 129-159 baht per person, it offers a wide variety of Thai food, salads, deserts. I just love the unlimited ice cream and coffee/tea. This restaurant is on the 33rd floor of Lee Gardens Hotel so you get to see the beautiful view of Hatyai city. Sugar Rock along Thamanonvitee Rd. , food and ambience is great and the price is very reasonable. This is our personal favorite restaurant since they have a playroom and we can eat while our daughter plays. Log Terrace, near Ket Pet Rd. I love the concept of this restuarant. It's along the river and they designed it in such a way, that it's like you're in a cave. There is a man made water falls inside and a real crocodile too. The food is good but a bit pricey. Rin Rua ( Moo Kata), this is another eat all you can restaurant for only 89 baht. They have a wide variety of meats, veggietables, soups and desserts. You get to grill and steam your own food. It's an outdoor restaurant with a big screen TV for football fans. Samila Restuarant, this is a new resturant along Rayjindee road. The restaurant design is beautiful specially at night. Ban Phuk Khaw , this is a restaurant on a hill. This restaurant will offer you a beautiful view of Hatyai. I can't write all the restaurants here..there are just LOT!! Of course, if you're bored of THai food and would want more familiar taste, don't worry there are Mcdonald's, KFC, Pizza Hut, Sizzlers, Fuji, MK restaurant.

4) Go to Songkhla Beach

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This is the nearest beach in the city. (I'll write another post on Songkhla) It's only a 30 mins drive from Hatyai. You'll get a 'taste' of the famous white sand beach of Thailand. It's a great place to relax and eat sea food too. THough you have to be careful since the restaurants along the beach are known to over price tourist. We had a terrible experience. So, if you're in a budget and don't want to be a victim of 'tourist overprice' then I suggest you ask the prices first before ordering. Then beware that the bucket of ice cubes they 'give' you is worth 20 baht whether you finish it or not.

5) GO for a swim in Ton Nga Chaang Waterfalls

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This waterfalls has 7 levels. It's beautiful even if we were only able to go until the 2nd level. It's quite a hike but I'm sure it'll be worth it. By the way, if you're a foreigner, they charge 200 Baht as a fee to enter the park where the you'll see the waterfalls but if you're a Thai, you only get to pay 20 Baht. Hmmm...

I think these are only the top 5 things you can do in Hatyai. But even if there are only 5 it's already enough to keep you occupied.


eunice said...

I went to Hatyai almost 10 years ago!! Guess what? I went there by bus, all the way from Singapore! This means I had gone through the Singapore custom to enter the Malaysia custom, then exit Malaysia custom and enter Thailand custom, and that was almost 12hrs of journey! (p.s my friend even went to Bangkok by bus from Singapore LOL!)

Hatyai is a great place for nice yet cheap food and stuffs! But I guess the tourism is badly affected after much political issue in South Thai, am I right? Cos since those protests ever happened, I hardly hear anyone around me saying want to go Hatyai anymore. I hope everything is fine now.


Mariz said...

great post! been to Hat Yai once, quite laid-back but still very nice, enjoyed the massage most of all. went to Songkhla too, took a photo with that mermaid statue...even imitated her...hahaha! cat & mouse beach just a stone's throw away from the mermaid spot. hmm...will post some hatyai photos on my site one of these days.

thanks for sharing this...

meiyi said...

may i know did you get about from lee gardens to songkhla beach? how much would taxi fare cost?

verareen said...

hey...may i knw where exactly is Rin Rua (Moo Kata) restaurant?

Budget Traveler said...

Hi Verareen, Rin Rua is near Tesco Lotus. Take the side road of Tesco Lotus, then turn right when you reach the first intersection/crossing..Rin Rua will be on your left (it's just a few houses away from the traffic light). They are open from 5pm-1am. Enjoy!

verareen said...

thank you so much...
was worried u would'nt reply.

Budget Traveler said...

and oh by the way, just to clarify my directions a bit.. The Rin Rua area is at the back street of Tesco.. just to make sure you won't go the other side.:)

vin said...

hey.. thanks for sharing..
how do i get to Ban Phuk Khaw, the restaurant on the hill?