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Sharing of interests, stories of where I've been and what I did. Insights, thoughts, learning that may be applicable and helpful to anybody in this world!

Monday, 6 May 2013

Thailand: Hat Yai (First Half)

I was very excited about this trip because We (sweets and i) will be travelling together with my sister and close friends (Beth and Rod). We planned for this since last year and now we have been into a wonderful place in Hat Yai, Thailand.

Hat Yai is a city in southern Thailand near Malaysia border.  Hat Yai is the largest city and is the business center of Songkhla Province.  The name "Hat Yai" is a short version of "Mahat Yai", meaning big mahat (Thai: มะหาด) tree, a relative of jackfruits in genus Artocarpus. (Wikipedia)

Our mode of transportation from KL to Hat Yai was via bus. 

From Pudu Central, we left kL at 10:30pm and we boarded the VIP bus of Konsortium.  It was an 8 hour drive and we were lucky to have chosen the VIP bus (RM60 per pax) because of the following:

1. It was very comfortable and it has spacious seats
2. It has tv with up to date movies, there was also an option for music.

7 hours later, we stopped at the Malaysian Immigration and then to the Thailand Immigration. An hour later we arrived the Hat Yai City Proper.

Few weeks back I was already preparing our itinerary for this trip and just when we arrived in Hat Yai that I realized I left the itinerary at home (Malaysia).  I was like "okie calm down KL" then I told Sweets about it then said to him "okie lang yan tanda ko naman" ~ while I swallow and hope that I remember everything. 

As we are nearing the city proper, I was imagining the things that I wrote in my itinerary and the things that George (my very helpful colleague) told me about.

Okie here we go, when we arrived at the bus station, we dropped off at the side of the Lee Gardens Plaza and we immediately went to the nearest Mc Donalds to have breakfast. 

Then we headed to the nearest Travel Agency near Lee Gardens which was the Hat Yai Varaity Travel Services.  This Travel Agency is specifically partnered with the Konsortium Bus that's why I highly recommend Konsortium for the KL - Hat Yai travel.

We then immediately booked for the following:

1. Songkhla Tour [6 -7 hours] (Thb 1,800.00)
2. Hansa Plaza Ah Gua Show (Thb 350.00 per person)
3. Bus ticket going back to KL (Thb 400.00 per person)

At 8:30am we then proceeded to our Songkhla Tour. I was expecting a Tuk Tuk to tour us around Songkhla, to my surprise, it was a van! Since it was a 12 seater van I was then expecting to have other tourist to join us but NO! We had the van on our own and it was really awesome!!

First Stop: Reclining Buddha in Wat Hat Yai Nai
World's third largest reclining Buddha! Buddha measured 35 meters long, 15 meters tall, and 10 meters wide, was named Phra Phuttha Hattha Mongkhon.
(Trip Advisor).

We were blessed that we were not bombarded by people asking for donations!  Some tourists were not lucky enough and were asked for high donations.

Second Stop: Hat Yai Municipal Park
Kanchanawanit Road and is approximately six kilometers from the city center on the Hat Yai – Songkhla Highway. 

These were our poses besides our Chinese Zodiac Years!

I love the colors! Very lively!

Third Stop: Hat Yai Cable Car and the 20meters + Buddha.

This is the 20+ meters Buddha, standing hundreds of meters above the park. Many locals make their way up by motorbike but it’s an energetic and rewarding hour long climb up. The views over Hat Yai and the surrounding hills are magical – and across to the sea in the distance (

After these three stops, we told our driver that we wanted to have lunch first before we proceed to the next destination. We said that we can eat pork and that our only requirement would be "it has to be a cheap lunch". Then he brought us in this place, similar to a hawkers but just along the highway, in the Philippines, it is simply called carinderia.

You will be given a plate with rice and you will choose which "ulam" you like.  Normally for one rice and two "ulams" they will just charge you THB40. 

After lunch, without any doubt in my mind, the food was awesome and the price was indeed cheap! Good job to Kuya for bringing us in this place!!!

Fourth Stop: Chang Puak Camp
Karnchanawanich Road between Hat Yai and Songkhla

The elephant ride was Thb500 per person for a 30 minute ride.

Side Story:
Our Elephant is Meka, she is only 10 years old and while she was helping us roam around, she was currently 6 months pregnant!  Interesting right!! :D

Fifth Stop: Hat Yai Aquarium
Sixth Stop: Samila beach

This beach has a long shoreline but there were only few people who were taking a dip. Majority of the people in the area was having their little picnics with family and friends. I cannot blame them because there were a lot of trees that gives good shade, the wind was nice that its easy to fall asleep, the see was so calm and there were a lot of cheap food with a lot of choices.

Sweets and I took our time to walk through the long shore to have a feel of the beach. Wow! Amazing clear water! I wanted to swim but I can't, we were not prepared to take a dip.

Wow! When we were in the Samila Beach, sweets tried this dessert called "Coconut Ice Cream" it was so refreshing with some fruits in it and I got excited to write about it. When I took a picture of its name, i looked at it twice because I wondered if my eyes were playing tricks on me.. Look at how it was named! :D

It was literaly a "Coconut Ice Scream" ~ was it because you will scream for joy once you have tasted it? Maybe!

After drinking Luctan juice at Samila Beach we headed to our Hotel. We were greatly accommodated by Meridian Hotel in Hat Yai. I highly recommend this place, no doubt about it. 

After one hour rest we then headed to our next destination. We arranged with Tuktuk to take us to the Floating Market and then wait for us and bring us to the Hansa Plaza. For 2 hours, we were asked to pay only Thb 420.

Klong Hae Floating Market (Wat Klong Hae)

Open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 4:00pm - 7:00pm

This is not similar to Bangkok FM where the merchants are roaming around the river to sell. This one is pretty simple, all of the merchants were lined up along the river side and the people get to buy as they walk pass them.

Generally it was all food, from fried to steam sea food, different mees with different flavors, fried or steamed potato and a lot of drinks! Instead of using plastic cups for the drinks, they use bamboo or clay cup ~Very creative. We stayed there for like 2 hours and we were all burping with happiness!  You can prepare at least Thb 100 - 200 for your food trip and it will be all worth it.

Here are the vendors up close.  All of them are Thai Delicacies with some Maki (Japanese) and you will literally burp because of the food!  Rice, egg, fruits, veggies, fish and drinks, just name it and they all have it. 

They serve their drinks in these clay mug! 
Yes below is a violet corn!  More num num than the yellow one! Good try for us!

Our last stop for the day was the Ah Gua Show and it was at the Hansa Plaza! From my research it was like a cultural show but when we got the tickets it was indicated that the Hansa Ah Gua Show was a Cabaret Show. I have not experienced watching a cabaret show yet so I really cannot imagine how it will look like, we were asking if my sister can watch since she was only a minor. 

Anyhow, we all went through without any problems!
You can buy the ticket with dinner but I do not recommend it.  Just get the normal ticket with the free drinks.

We asked to take a picture then they asked for a tip; I was not surprised by it but it was a little awkward.  Anyhow, I really enjoyed the show, they were all beautiful (She-males).

Wow this was a very tiring day indeed but it was all worth it!
This was the first half, watch out for the second half!

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1 comment:

  1. Songkhla Tour [6 -7 hours] (Thb 1,800.00)

    hi dear, can i know the price for this package is included below the places that u visit?

    Hat Yai Municipal Park
    Reclining Buddha in Wat Hat Yai Nai
    Hat Yai Cable Car and the 20meters + Buddha.
    Chang Puak Camp
    Hat Yai Aquarium
    Samila beach