Hat Yai is a confluence of Malaysian, Thai, and Singaporean cultures. Located in southern Thailand, Hat Yai is one of the largest cities of the Songkhla Province. Unfortunately, Hat Yai does not enjoy a position of prominence amongst western tourists. However, that does not mean that Hat Yai is not a tourist attraction. In fact, there are a few monumental places to visit in Hat Yai, which will leave the visitors mesmerized. The local cuisines, indigenous costumes, and cultural vibe offer a taste of authentic Thailand to the place. As the sun sets, the city awakens to a new buzz.
Places to visit in Hat Yai
Hat Yai is mostly a transit stop for tourists as they travel to and from Malaysia. However, it has a lot to offer to those who pay Hat Yai a visit. The local markets, especially the night markets, are a special attraction of the town.
1. Greenway Night Market
The Greenway Night Market is a must-visit when you visit Hat Yai. You could simply hang out at the market, purchase inexpensive local designer clothes, or gorge on delicious cuisines at this night market. The Mango sticky rice, Thai iced tea, and the grilled pork are binge-worthy foods at the Greenway Night Market. All items carry a reasonable price tag so you can splurge on cheap souvenirs and trinkets. If you feel adventurous, you could head over to the second-hand section and you may be rewarded with a steal deal on something exotic.
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2. Magic Eye 3D Museum
The Magic Eye 3D is a repository for stunning optical illusions and 3d art forms. If you are a connoisseur of modern art then a stroll through this museum is a must. The illusionary Trompe-l’oeil technique makes the drawings pop out and play tricks on your eyes. Even if you have no understanding of art, the photographs taken here will be Instagram-worthy. The paintings all follow the gallery themes, which will unfold as you gradually make your way through the museum.
3. Ton Nga Chang Waterfall
If you are a thrill seeker, then you cannot give the Ton Nga Chang Waterfall a miss. Hike through the Ton Nga Chang Wildlife Sanctuary and become a part of the lush green wilderness and local wildlife of Thailand. The hike up the waterfall will reward you with a stunning view of the natural beauty. The tiny creeks that pass through the hiking path pool into lakes where one can dip into the refreshingly cold water to beat the heat.
4. Hat Yai Municipal Park
The Hat Yai Municipal Park is a little outside the main city limits and needs some travelling. Atop the Khao Kho Hong Mountain rests the tallest Standing Buddha statue touching a height of nearly 20 meters! The Hat Yai Municipal Park offers a panoramic view of the town. You can enjoy the views by hopping on a Cable car that will present a stunning aerial view. The Hat Yai Municipal Park is peppered with shrines, temples, and statues that bear deep reverence from the locals.
The Kim Yong Market, the Floating Market, and the Central Festival Mall are some other shopping hubs of Hat Yai. Visit Hat Yai for a completely authentic Thai experience.
How to Reach Hat Yai by different means
How to reach Hat Yai by air: The city has its own Hat Yai International Airport which is located 12 kilometers south of the downtown. Famous airline service providers include Thai Airways, Thai Lion Air, Air Asia, and Nok Air flying from Bangkok.
How to reach Hat Yai by bus: Bor Kor Sor, the Hat Yai Bus Terminal, is to the south of downtown. Hat Yai is connected through high-traffic roads with buses running daily. Buses ply into the cities from Bangkok, Chiang Rai, Chumphon, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Nakhon Ratchasima, Pattani, Phuket, Krabi, Pakbara, etc. From the Malaysian border, you can board buses from Betong, Dannok, Sadao, and Padang Besar to Hat Yai.
How to reach Hat Yai by train: The distance between Bangkok and Hat Yai can be covered by rail with as much as 3 trains plying daily. Trains also run from Chumphon, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Phatthalung, and Surat Thani. From the southern Malaysian border, one can travel from Sungai Kolok and Padang Besar.
How to reach Hat Yai by boat and ferry: Some airlines offer combined boat and air tickets dubbed as “fly and ferry” that can take you to Hat Yai. Minibus and ferry ride combinations are also available to get to the city.
Hat Yai is a large town in Songkhla in Thailand. If you’re done exploring the crowded and touristy towns and cities of, you must give little town a shot while on your trip to Thailand.
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