I often get asked about Hat Yai, what is it like there, is it safe, is it good for shopping and so on.
Well I am just back from Thailand, and I had the opportunity to go down south, so I can now pass on my advice.
Where is Hat Yai.
Way down south about a 1000 kilometers from Bangkok you will find this city.
Very close to the Malaysian border.
It’s actually a good hub for southern tourists, although not a place of great interest. The streets and markets are crowded with bikes and people.
Often everything just comes to a stand still.
As you can see here, it can be very hard to get through the market.
I don’t know how these stall holders cope with the toxic fumes from all the vehicles.
What You Will Find.
Shopping, shopping, shopping, thats what I found.Just about everywhere I went there was shops, and markets.
There are a number of big outlets like, Tesco and Carrefour.
Plenty of good accommodation to be found, I actually stayed in a hotel here for a change called the V.L Hatyai, it was centrally located, clean and comfortable,friendly, English speaking receptionist and a good restaurant.
Cost 690 Baht per night.
There were markets everywhere, selling everything.
I found a lot of food markets, with some unusual but delicious food on sale.
The local products looked fresh and clean, especially the fish.
There is a main train station here serving all of Thailand and south through Malaysia.
Buses and coaches are available to Bangkok, but it’s a long journey.
I traveled down by coach and returned by train, the train is far more comfortable.
Cost to Bangkok is not much difference on coach or train, about 1000 Baht, at least you can get a decent sleep on the train.
There is also an international airport.
The population is mainly Muslim, which has a big influence on the different types of food on offer.
I think I put on a couple of kilos during my short stay.
These fish were delicious.
Freshly caught and very cheap.
How Safe is Hat Yai.
I often get asked this question.My honest feelings were that it felt like I was in a different country.It did not have the same feel like the rest of Thailand, however it is not really one of the favorite tourist destinations.
I did at times feel like a lone stick of wheat in a whole field of barley.
I only stayed a couple of nights which was plenty for me. This is of course MY opinion.
Its certainly worth a short visit on your travels.