What to Do in Hat Yai
Hat Yai is a huge city in Songkhla Province, the deep south of Thailand. Although not as pretty as Phuket or Krabi, Hat Yai is definitely charming with floating market, street food and waterfall. Sitting very close to Singapore and Malaysia, Hat Yai is also a food paradise with Thai, Chinese and Malay food.
Things to Do in Hat Yai
- Samila Beach: Although not famous as a seaside town, Hat Yai does have its own silky beach and clear blue sea. Samila Beach is just 30 kilometres from the city center and a great spot for swimming, jet skiing and banana boating. You’ll also see a golden mermaid statue sitting on big piles of rocks. Folktale has it that the real mermaid once dropped her golden comb here when a fisherman accidentally scared her away. The poor guy hoped to return it, but the mermaid never came back.
- Hat Yai Municipal Park: This is a classic favorite spot for both locals and travelers. You can take a cable car to see Hat Yai city from a bird’s eye view. The cable car takes you uphill to the golden Standing Buddha which faces West, so the sunset just dazzles with the gold and the view is the bomb!
- Hat Yai Floating Market: Although not as fancy as Amphawa or Khlong Lat Mayom floating markets, Hat Yai floating market promises a bunch of delicious and cheap food, sweets and drinks. It’s open on Friday to Sunday from 4 to 8 p.m.
- Koh Yo: Koh Yo is a tiny island just 20 kilometres away from Songkhla. We go there for classic Salapao (Chinese bun) and Thai-style dim sum. Most of the locals do seafood farming and have little colorful floating houses. Our favorite activity is to take a long-tail boat to the farmers community and see all the fish cages upclose. We are also big, big fans of sea breeze and that feeling you only get from riding a boat out in the open sea.
- Wat Hat Yai Nai: Besides the Standing Buddha, Hat Yai is also home to one of the biggest Reclining Buddha in the world. You can find this 35-metre long buddha at Wat Hat Yai Nai. Another thing we find interesting about this temple is the holy Hindu figures on the main chapel. The mix of Buddhism and Hinduism decoration go hand in hand and shows a lovely cultural richness.
- Ton Nga Chang Waterfall: Thais call this ‘Elephant tusk waterfall’ because of tusk-like shape. It is lush, green and wild. This is where we like to stand and picture ourselves in Tarzan-like movie, trying not to die in the angry stream.The falls are huge with 7 tiers in total. The second tier is safe for taking a dip, as the higher tiers are as pretty but steeper.
- Hat Yai Kim Yong Market: This is a huge bustling 2-in-1 market. That means you can find both wet and dry markets here. Breakfast stalls, all kinds of nuts, fresh food and clothes are sold here. Everything is cheap and authentically local, as the locals shop here too. It is worth noting though, that wet markets are known for their unique fishy smell. If that’s not your thing, there are a handful of other dry markets with lots of local goodies for you to discover.