20:10 30/8/2012 When time forbid us exploring the beach paradise of Thailand, we had settled to Hatyai or Hadyai, nearest border city of Thailand and Malaysia. This is closest place when we can get a Thai stamp on the maroon passport. On top of that, we want to discover for ourselves why Thailand is the most loved and unforgettable place among the travel bloggers be it farangs (foreigners) or pinoy like us. After 3D2N, we’re able to prove that and we now belong to the league of people amazed by Thailand. Sawadee Ka!
We started our journey from KL Sentral embarking a 15 hour train ride going to Hatyai. It may not be the smoothest train ride we experienced but enough to send Summer to dreamland and made Sky battling with insomnia. Don’t worry he’d a doze a bit, after watching a travel flick recommended by Gay of Pinay Travel Junkie.
After several hours we reached Padang Besar, a boundary between the State of Perlis, Malaysia and Songkhla Province, Thailand. It was one of the moment that we’re waiting for, to traverse the other country by Land. We’re happy and same time anxious knowing there’s a lot of stories and mishaps crossing the border. We’re solemnly praying and knocking on the wood at the same time. We keep our composure and took a deep breath.
We passed the two immigration without a glitch. Sigh! So far, the best and memorable land border crossing. Did we tell you that two immigration booth were just opposite to each other?, about 20 paces. That makes this train border crossing more convenient in contrast to Bus Border crossing in Sadao. After some 45 minutes, we reached Hatyai town proper.
Then we jump to our temporary abode at the heart of the town in Hatyai. A very warm and pleasant receptionist greeted us with “Sawadee Ka”. We haven’t realized that Thailand time is an hour behind from Malaysia, so we arrived an hour ahead. But realizing the guest needs is their top priority, and that made this Tune Hotel Hatyai exceptional. We’ll be sharing on a different entry how we’d been treated like a VIP and why it is awesome to stay in this hotel.
We commenced the tour starting at the Hatyai Municipal Park with a car (instead of a tuktuk). A local park in which The Standing Buddha, Laughing Buddha, and huge image of Chinese deity Guan Yin are located. We also visited two of the largest reclining Buddha in Thailand, the Wat Hat Yai Nai and Wat Phranon Laem Pho in Ko Yo, Songhkla on the second day.
Of course, we didn’t slip a chance to visit one of the lively night markets in Hatyai, the ASEAN market. As common to night markets, you’ll see the knock offs, second-hand clothes, locally made bags and shoes and food stalls. If you’re an avid reader of this blog, you’ll know who can’t leave the market without carrying something.
The adventure of Hatyai wouldn’t be complete if we haven’t visited their own version of floating market , the Khlong Hae. What we love about this floating market, where the friendly Thai vendors selling their local food. And for a budget of 20 Baht per food, you can start your food tripping. A thumbs up for a cheapskate like us. But wait, it’s not the only made Hatyai being famous. Have you seen a mega gigantic humungous godzilla like fresh water prawns? Okey, that’s a lot of superlatives to describe that prawns. Yes, we’d been blown away seeing that monstrous prawns and overwhelming choices of seafood in the night market. Too bad, we haven’t tasted it, and again enough reason to come back.
But it doesn’t end there, Thailand street food is just irresistible, and I bet guys who went to Thailand can attest that. The Pork BBQ with sesame seeds, fried chicken skin, grilled chorizo like, and the delectable banana roti just among our personal favourites. The first night was filled with gastronomic bliss, enough to send us to utopia.
One of the best things happened with this travel was the unexpected road trip. We had planned to take a public transport to roam around Hatyai and Songkhla and should stick with that. But the offer of a car service with the same quote as what tuktuk driver is too good to be true. It’s for real and there was no gimmick, thanks to the exemplary service of Hatyai hotel staff who recommended him. We never regret it, we even pay extra more than the allocated transportation budget.
And it is was one of the best and enjoyable road trips by far. We haven’t expected from our driver to tour us around the best places in Hatyai and Songkhla. He even brought us to his friend’s party and turn out it was a wedding reception. So we’re now an official wedding gatecrasher.
Just like in the Philippines, Thailand also believed in myths and folklore as depicted on these icons. The serpent naga, the mermaid and story of cat and the mouse which now turns as famous landmarks in Songkhla. Expect of people cam whoring here and there.
Lo and behold, there was more to see than temples and night market. Our driver was happy taking us to the hills of Tang Kuan and Hatyai municipal park to view Hatyai and Songkhla on highest vantage. The panoramic view of the two cities is stunningly beautiful. We stood there for ages and breath the smell of Thailand and promise to explore more beyond our eyes can see.
After concluding our Hatyai trip, we realized that we do not miss the temple nor the night market or that expensive fresh water prawn. But the happy faces of people we met on this short journey. Our wacky friend from KL that we haven’t met before that became our instant travel buddy. The Thai lady who served us the best Thai fried rice, the kids who taught us how to properly greet with the Thai gestures. The ladies who encouraged and made us ate a fried cricket and the loving charisma of souvenir vendor (Mommy D). Lastly, the pleasant and VIP treatment of Tune hotel Hatyai staff that made our stay comfortable and hassle free. We missed you guys! XOXO
Whoa! It’s been almost a month now after this trip and our mind was still left in Siam. Anyway, we’ll be coming back before the year ends and will tag along with friends.
Wait we haven’t revealed why it is Chai Hatyai? Chai in Thai language is Yes. So Yes Hatyai! an expression we utter when ditching our Krabi trip.
Sky and Summer
41 Replies to “Hatyai Trip: Chai Hatyai, An Overview”
makabungog man na sa kadako ang prawns. i miss thai food na jud ai! may pa mo, one border away lang mo sa Thailand. hehehe
as in doi, makalisang sa kadako. Balik nag Thailand woi. naa na bya Cebu to Bangkok ha. Para naa me bisitahon sa Bangkok if ever mkasuroy me. hihihi
Ang galing!! I miss Bkk. sana magawa ko din yan next yr kase nde aq maxado nakaikot nung nag thailand aq. train from kl – hatyai sounds exciting! i'll follow your thailand series. 🙂
Yeah Riz, exciting talaga ang 14 hours train ride 🙂 Pag ok ang sched babalik kami this december and dederecho kami ng BKK ^_^
Thanks for following 🙂
Love your pics, especially the food! haha It reminds me of the weeks I spent in Thailand when I gained a few pounds just eating a lot of streetfood 🙂
Thanks Aleah! The streetfood in Thailand are simply irresistible! Staying in Thailand for 3 Days made us gain more than 5 pounds 🙂
Tara balik Thailand! ^_^
I've always wondered what there is to see in Hat Yai. It's close to the separatist areas of Thailand so I rarely see any travel postings about this place. Your post is an eye-opener! Marami palang makikita diyan!
Hat Yai had been overshadowed by bad publicity but we can say It's far safer to walk at night compare to Manila. 🙂
Being the third largest City in thailand, Hat Yai deserves a second look when it comes to tourism.There's so much more to see in Hatyai! 🙂
Hi, I am bringing my aged parents to visit Hatyai and is considering to visit the temples. Is there a lot of climbing to do at the the Munucipal Park? As for the other two temples you mentioned, is it worth the effort to visit?
No climbing as long the driver will bring you straight to the gates of the specific temples. I could say it's worth to visit. Standing Buddha in Municipal Park is astonishing and for Wat Hat Yai Nai nice architecture and sleeping buddha was one of a kind.
Thanks for dropping by The Dead Cockroach. 🙂
Visiting Thailand is always a pleasure. One of the best place to visit in Asia for a different experience. Great photos by the way!
i hope i could visit thailand one of these days. it is one of those asian countries with very rich culture and heritage… you clearly had an amazing time!
The massive Buddha structures are just amazing and the street foods are so enticing. Tune Hotels is starting to make a name for themselves an affordable yet attractive place to stay.
Very imposing yung giant Buddha. The foods, seems very yummy rin. Fun journey na naman ito para sa iyo.
Kainggit ang mga travels nyo:) street sumptuous foods special mention to fresh water shrimp wew!, night market/shopping, and Buddha Temples- very Thailand.
Thanks for the compliment sir Ted. Thailand always amazes people 🙂
We did have fun time, credits to amazing people of Thailand.
Giant Buddha and mouth watering street food overdose it is!
It was indeed fun fun fun papaleng, can't get enough. babalik pa kmi dito for sure.
Ito ata talaga trademark ng Thailand, StreetFood, Buddha and Night Market 🙂
I can surely attest to the fantastic flavors of Thai street food. While the crickets (south Thailand) were a bit tough to swallow (pun definitely intended), it's worth a try when you see them!
Great! You had a great time after your first border crossing experience.. 🙂
I kinda missed having street food already after looking at those pictures.
your happy experience in Thailand echoes in your words. Oh since i never been outside the Phil. i thought that the 15 hours train ride you were only sitting on your chair, meron plang bed . lol . OMG how i wish we have that in the Philippines. And the food , I want to taste the giant humungus prawns. Its been a while since i tasted that . way back on my trip to Cebu pa in 2010. (jelly mode)
I had tried one cricket, it tasted like a crispy deep fried shrimp, but it will keep you gag when you recall it's feet and antenna 🙂
Mas accesible pa nga streetfood sa Pinas 🙂
Yes we had! Thanks Nanardxz
Pero meron naman talagang Chair, but we'd skipped that thought, baka magka restless leg syndrome kami. lol
the smiles reflect how fantastic were your Thailand escapade was.. looking forward for more asian adventure. haha! :)) Malacca or Melacca(not sure) in Malaysia
A very nice trip, travel, adventure and vacation for you guys. Hope we can do the same too.
Ang gand ng Malaysia ah at mukhang pilipino rin ang mga tao dyan. hehe. tama din sinabi ni @linta_mimi:disqus na mga naka ngiti ang mga kuha mo.
Keep updated more SEA travel stories, soon. Malacca( correct one) 🙂
You Can ron, if you have the time 🙂
Sa Thailand po ito Ralph, nasanay ka ata sa mga Malaysia post 🙂 hehe
ay sorry namali ako ng basa hahaha.. kaya daw bakit may malaking gold na tao sa malaysia. Epic Fail ako hahaha
sawadee ka… I really love Thailand's rich culture and tradition, I hope I can visit it soon
I've yet to experience a train ride that long. Just like the Philippines, I'm also fascinated with the culture, tradition and local food of Thailand. I envy you guys for this trip. 🙂
Crossing a territorial border is an odd and great experience of someone coming from a nation made of islands.
Sawadee Kap! So as we <3 Thailand!
The long haul train ride, is an experience of a lifetime. You can also do the same.
Agree! crossing border countries between SEA for Filipinos is like baptism in Travel.