Hat Yai (หาดใหญ่; also Hatyai, Had Yai, Haad Yai) is the fourth largest city in Thailand and is located at the Southern Gulf Coast. It is in Songkhla province and is an extremely popular tourist spot for Malaysians and Singaporeans on holiday. It's best avoided if you are looking to get off the beaten path. Prices are relatively high because of the Malaysian and Singaporean tourists. This place has comparatively few Western visitors.
Hat Yai was a small village originally known as Khok Sa-Met Choon. Its population has been growing since the railway station was built.
Today, Hat Yai is one of the biggest and busiest cities in Southern Thailand. The current population is around 156,000 in the city and roughly 360,000 in the whole Hat Yai District, which is one of sixteen districts in Songkhla Province, where the capital district is Mueang Songkhla. It is strategically located 60 km from the Thailand-Malaysia borders at Dannok and Padang Besar in Sadao district. The city has become a business, education, transportation, tourism, and shopping center in the south of Thailand due to the well-established connections by road, rail, and air. The city has been a melting pot for Thai, Chinese, and Malay for generations. Trading, manufacturing, and tourism industry contribute to much of its GDP.
Southern Thai dialect is prominent although Central Thai is used in offices and schools. Many Thai Chinese of older generations can speak a Chinese dialect called Teochew. English can be spoken by some younger people.
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Check Hat Yai's 7 day forecast at TMD.go.th
It is either dry or wet season in Hat Yai. The dry season is from Jan-Apr, which is the hottest month of the year, and wet season is from May-Dec. Major floods occasionally occur in Nov or Dec.
Tourist information center
You can pick up Hat Yai maps and brochures at the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Hat Yai Office, 1/1 Nipatuthit 3 Rd Soi 2 (near Juladis Bldg), ☎ +66 74 231055, fax: +66 74 245986, e-mail: email@example.com. M-F 08:30-16:30.
A Tourist Assistance Centre is located separately at the corner of Odean Shopping Mall.
See Hat Yai International Airport (HDY)  for flight schedules.
Taxi rides to the city can be found at the airport entrance. Drivers will ask around 250 baht. You also can use the airport limo service which costs 300 baht. A minivan service into the city costs 100 baht. A blue coloured songthaew runs into town for 30 baht and can be found at the far end of the parking lot. From Petchkasem Rd, Hwy 4135 (Sanambin Panij Rd) links to the airport. Car rental is available on arrival from Avis.
There are no official currency exchanges in the airport. The staff of the limo/minibus booth will exchange ringgits or dollars for you (or accept them for their service), but at a disadvantageous exchange rate.
- Domestic flights: There are daily flights to/from Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) by Thai Airways . Hat Yai is also connected daily to Bangkok's Don Mueang Airport (DMK), by Nok Air  and Thai AirAsia . Nok Air also flies from Hat Yai to Chiang Mai (CNX), as does Thai AirAsia.
- International flights: Tiger Airways  operates daily flights to Singapore (SIN), and AirAsia to Kuala Lumpur (KUL). Firefly  offers flights from Hat Yai to Kuala Lumpur (SZB) via Subang, which is just 30 minutes from the KL city centre.
Consult the State Railway of Thailand for current timetables: . Check daily train schedule from Hat Yai Train Station: ☎ +66 74 261290.
Hat Yai is a main stop on the southern line connecting Bangkok to Butterworth and Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. The Hat Yai train station is conveniently situated in the city center near Robinson Department Store. The luggage storage at the station opens 05:00-20:00.
- To/from Bangkok: Five trains run daily to and from Bangkok. Inbound "Express" trains depart Bangkok at 14:45, 15:10, and 22:50 while the slower "Rapid" trains depart at 13:00 and 15:35. Outbound Express trains depart Hat Yai at 16:23, 18:10, and 18:45 while Rapid trains depart at 14:45 and 15:39. Trains go via Nakhon Pathom, Ratchaburi, Phetchaburi, Hua Hin, Chumphon, Surat Thani, Nakhon Si Thammarat, and Phatthalung.
- A 3rd class ticket with reserved, upholstered seat sets you back 259 baht (Hat Yai-Bangkok) on "Rapid" trains and 339 baht for "Express" trains. Buy tickets at the railway station. Surcharges are imposed if bought elsewhere.
- To/from Sungai Kolok: Six trains run daily to and from Sungai Kolok. Inbound "Express" train from Sungai Kolok departs there at 14:20, "Rapid" trains at 11:30 and 14:55, and local trains at 06:30, 08:55, and 12:25. Outbound "Express" train departs Hat Yai at 07:35, "Rapid" trains at 06:30 and 06:45, and local trains at 07:55, 10:18, 13:12.
- To/from Yala: Nine trains run daily to and from Yala. Inbound "Express" trains from Yala depart there at 14:55 and 16:09, "Rapid" trains at 12:35, 13:26 and 16:37, and local trains at 06:35, 08:28, 11:22, and 14:32. Outbound "Express" train departs Hat Yai at 07:35 and 12:50, "Rapid" trains at 06:30, 06:45, and 09:30, and local trains at 07:55, 10:18, 13:12, and 14:33.
- To/from Malaysia: The State Railway of Thailand's  International Express leaves Hat Yai for Butterworth near Penang daily at 07:00, going via Padang Besar. In the other direction, trains leave Butterworth at 13:15 and arrive in Hat Yai at 18:30. The train then continues to Bangkok. The Senandung Langkawi operated by Keretapi Tanah Melayu (Malaysian Railways)  departs Hat Yai for Kuala Lumpur daily at 15:00 (Thai time. Malaysia is one hour ahead of Thailand), arriving at KL Central at 05:30 (Malaysia Time) the next day. Trains from Kuala Lumpur depart at 21:20 (Malaysia time) and arrive in Hat Yai at 09:27 (Thai time) the next day. The Senandung Langkawi goes via Bukit Mertajam and Padang Besar. Be sure to check the departure time on your ticket as many tickets have Malaysian departure times even though Hat Yai is in Thailand.
Many Malaysians and Singaporeans drive to Hat Yai on their own vehicles. Like Malaysia and Singapore, Thailand drives on the left. Starting from immigration at Dannok, take Rte 4 straight to Hat Yai (60 km).
Parking in business areas such Niphat Uthit Rd is not free. An officer in khaki uniform will give you a small ticket once you pay for the time-based fee. Be prepared with small change.
Petrol in Thailand is significantly more expensive than in Malaysia. Big petrol stations also function as rest stops, with minimarts, coffee shops, and food courts.
By bus and minivan
Hat Yai Bus Station (near Diana Complex Shopping Center).
Buses go to all major towns in the south Thailand and up to Bangkok. Depending on the route, different classes of bus are available. These range from local orange coloured buses without air-conditioning to luxurious 24-seater coaches with toilets and reclining seats.
Buy tickets only from ticket counters. Do not allow yourself to be directed to agencies by touts (this included tuk-tuk drivers in the bus station). You will pay more and most likely get a later time.
Minivans connect with all major locations in southern Thailand from Hat Yai. Where they depart from depends on the destination, but the locals will be able to point you in the right direction. They are generally cheap and quicker than the buses but often overcrowded thus making them uncomfortable and dangerous.
Air-con buses by The Transport Co. Ltd.  (บริษัทขนส่งจำกัด (บขส), bor-kor-sor) run between Bangkok's southern bus terminal (สายใต้, sai-tai) and Hat Yai bus terminal daily. The distance is ~954 km and normally takes 12 hours.
- 24 seat VIP bus (พิเศษ, phiset) costs 1,070 baht, departs from Bangkok at 17:00, 18:00, 19:00, and 20:00. For the return, the departure is at 16:00, 17:00, and 18:00.
- 32 seat Class 1 bus (ม1พ) costs 828 baht, departs from Bangkok and Hat Yai at 17:30.
- 47 seat Class 2 bus (ม2) departs from Bangkok at 07:00, 17:00, and 21:45. Departs Hat Yai at 08:00, 15:30, and 17:00 for 535 baht.
Other scheduled, inter-provincial buses serve Hat Yai: Surat Thani, Phuket, Satun, Trang, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Phatthalung, Krabi at the other station near Talad Kaset (ตลาดเกษตร, lit: "farmers' market") in Hat Yai Nai area.
The bus to Songkhla goes past the clock tower along Phetkasem Rd (ถนนเพชรเกษม), at the intersection close to Montri 1 Rd (ถนนมนตรี 1).
- Kuala Lumpur: There are several Malaysian bus companies that go to KL, you can get tickets either at tour agents or from the bus company shop. Cost of ticket varies depending on company and time of departure. It's a 10 hour journey if you factor in waiting at immigration, a meal stop, and traffic when you arrive in Kuala Lumpur.
- KKKL Tour . Buses depart Hat Yai for Kuala Lumpur (Pudu Sentral) at 09:30, 10:00, and 19:00. Buses depart Kuala Lumpur for Hat Yai at 09:00 and 10:00.
- , 140 Niphat Uthit 3 Rd (opposite O.H. Hotel), ☎ +66 74 232218.
- , 7 Chee Uthit Rd, ☎ +66 74 354783.
- , 230 Niphat Uthit 1 Rd, ☎ +66 74 239351.
- Konsortium Bas Ekspress Semenanjung, 32 Prachathipat Rd, ☎ +66 74 351280, +66 74 351281. Has 5 buses every day which leave Hat Yai to Kuala Lumpur. Departures at 09:00, 09:30, 10:00, 12:00, and 19:00. 520 baht.
- Alisan Golden Coach Express, 17/1 Chee Uthit Rd, ☎ +66 74 243775. Has 3 buses every day which leave Hat Yai to Kuala Lumpur, departure at 09:00, 11:00, and 19:00. 400 baht.
- Penang: Scheduled air conditioned minivans leave hourly during daylight on the full hour from Georgetown's Lebuh Chulia (Parking Lot of E & A Hotel) The fare is RM30-35, advance booking is recommended. The journey including border formalities requires about 3.5-4 hours.
- Ipoh: There is a daily bus from Ipoh at 12:30 going to Hat Yai, departing from the long-distance bus terminal. Cost, RM45.
There are three border crossings to choose from, all easily accessible from Hat Yai.
- Dannok: Vans run from Hat Yai right up to the Thai immigration complex in Dannok in Sadao district. Journey time is about one hour and the fare is 55 baht. Vans leave Dannok in front of the 7-Eleven store on the left side of the street after leaving the immigration complex. The distance between the Thai and Malaysian immigration checkpoints is about 1 km, quite a distance to walk in the heat. You can take a motorcycle taxi between them. Bus and minivan to the border stop running around 18:00, so ask if there will be a return before boarding.
- Padang Besar: Regular buses depart Hat Yai's bus terminal for Padang Besar (only to the Thai side). Journey time is about one hour. If you are crossing to Malaysia immediately, ask to be dropped off right at the gates of the Thai immigration complex before your enter town.
- Sungai Kolok: A minibus runs from Hat Yai bus terminal right up to the Thai immigration complex in Sungai Kolok by passing through the provinces Pattani and Narathiwat in about 4 hours for 180 baht. When considering this option, consult local advice on current security threats. Many travel advisories caution that this an area to avoid.
The main terminal for buses to and from Thailand is at the Golden Mile Complex, 5001 Beach Rd. It's at the northeast end of Beach Rd, where it meets Crawford St; the Lavender MRT station is within walking distance. A number of travel agents specializing in buses and tours to Thailand operate from there. Grassland Express ☎ +65 6293 1166 has a bus at 19:00 to Hat Yai for US$55. Other operators at Golden Mile complex: Transtar Travel, ☎ +65 6299 9009, Sri Maju, ☎ +65 6293 4160, City Line Tour, ☎ +65 6396 6969, Konsortium, ☎ +65 6392 5000, Star Mart Express, ☎ +65 6396 5681/6396 5682, Five Star Tour, ☎ +65 6294 7011, Alisan, ☎ +65 6292 2112.
By tuk-tuk or motorbike taxi
Tuk-tuks and motorbike taxis are abundant in Hat Yai. Be aware that fare should be negotiated beforehand and often can be overpriced, so haggle if possible. They are available from any hotel. A ride within the city costs 20-60 baht. Ask the person at reception to write down the Thai address for you and show it to the driver. Rides to places outside the town are negotiable. Shared taxis going outside town can be found at the old market.
By metered taxi
Metered taxis (known as "Taxi Meter") have been available for the last few years. It is a good option if you don't like to haggle with tuk-tuks.
- Phromsut Transport (บริษัท พรหมสุทธิ์ ทรานสปอร์ต จำกัด), ☎ +66 74 257281 (05:00–22:00) or +66 83 1857538 (outside working hours), e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Currently there are only 50 cars operated by the company. It is best to reserve in advance.
Songthaew (สองแถว, lit. "two rows") is a kind of truck-based bus running in the city. There are several routes and colors. The route and the fare are fixed. It can be stopped at any point along the route by pressing the buzzer. The route is displayed on the front and side of the vehicle, albeit in Thai.
By car or motorbike
Car rental is available at the airport by Avis .
The Cathay Guesthouse rents motorbikes starting at 200 baht/day for semi-automatics. Malay and English spoken.
There's a place close to the Genting Hotel about 2 km east of the train station that rents out motorbikes. +66 87 2934695.
You can rent a used motorbike or a scooter in some repair shops. For example, there is one at 47, Nipatuthit 1 Rd. The owner speaks English, he is a decent man, so better be careful with the motorbike otherwise he will stop renting them out. ☎ +66 81 3287625. Normally requires your passport as a deposit and 250 baht a day for a scooter.
- Hat Yai Park (สวนสาธารณะเทศบาลเมืองหาดใหญ่), Kanchanawanit Rd, ☎ +66 74 200000, e-mail: email@example.com. Daily. The city's municipal park is 6 km from the city center. It is a major recreation center for the people of Hat Yai and surrounding areas. The park is full of beautiful flowering plants, with a pavilion in the middle of the pond, aviarium, and food stalls. At the foot of the hill near the aviarium stands the statue of King Rama V. There is a Brahman shrine at the hilltop. And at the southern foothill near the boy scout camp stands the jade statue of Guanyin (กวนอิม Kuan-im), the Chinese Goddess. The park covers rather vast area with several attractions far apart. Walking between places is not recommended unless you have a full day and stamina to do lots of walking up and down hills. The road in some spots can be pretty steep and winding as well. Free admission.
- Hat Yai Art and Culture Center . Daily 09:00-18:00. Free admission.
- Hat Yai Cable Car . Daily 09:00-20:00. A recent addition to Hat Yai Park, together with the Hat Yai Observatory. Currently, there are two stations: one at Phra Buddha Mongkon Maharaj (พระพุทธมงคลมหาราช) and the other at Thao Maha Phrom (ท้าวมหาพรหม). The second phase will add two more stations at the playground and Guanyin statue, connecting four stations altogether. A one-way trip takes about 5 minutes. There is also a tram service running between the cable car station and the Hat Yai Ice Dome during 10:00-17:00 for 50 baht. 200 baht.
- Hat Yai Ice Dome (near the main entrance of Hat Yai Park). Daily 10:00-20:00. At -15 °C, the building contains a seasonal display of ice sculptures created by sculptors from Harbin, China. The fourth year is held during 15 Dec 2012 – 30 Sep 2013 and features an ice slider and ice sculptures representing each and every country in ASEAN. Adults: 300 baht, children 200 baht.
- Hat Yai Lantern Festival (alongside the lake in Hat Yai Park). Daily 17:00-21:00. Hat Yai Lantern Festival is an annual event held at the beginning of the year. The 7th Hat Yai Lantern Festival is being held 24 Dec 2012 - 30 Apr 2013. Free admission.
- Hat Yai Observatory (near Phra Buddha Mongkol Maharaj in Hat Yai Park). Daily 09:00-20:00. Hat Yai's deep sky observatory.
- Khlong Hae Floating Market (ตลาดน้ำคลองแห), Khlonghae-Khutao Rd. F-Su 15:00-20:00. The first floating market in the south of Thailand. Located near Wat Klong Hae about 6 km from the city center. Sells mainly local food.
- Old Sino-Portuguese townhouses, Nipatuthit 1 Rd. The houses were built to reflect Peranakan culture. They have been recently renovated and re-painted in vivid colors.
- Songkhla Central Mosque (มัสยิดกลางประจำจังหวัดสงขลา), 352 Lopburi Ramesuan Rd, Moo 10, Tambon Khlong Hae, ☎ +66 74 237844. This beautiful grand mosque is located in open fields 400 m from the new road from Hat Yai to Songkhla.
- Stainless Steel Pagoda (พระมหาธาตุเจดีย์ไตรภพไตรมงคล Phra Maha Chedi Traipob Traimongkhon), Moo 8 Ban Nai Rai, Poonnakan Rd (on Kho Hong Hill). Daily 08:00-17:00. This unique pagoda was made of stainless steel to celebrate King Bhumibol Adulyadej's 60th year on the throne.
- Ton Nga Chang Waterfall (น้ำตกโตนงาช้าง). The waterfall is in the Ton Nga Chang Wildlife Sanctuary. It is one of the beautiful waterfalls of the south, about 26 km from the city. Follow the Hat Yai-Rattaphum road for 13 km, then turn left at Ban Hu Rae for another 13 km. This waterfall has seven levels. The third level is the most beautiful and is named after the waterfall. At the third level the stream separates into two, resembling an elephant's tusks. One can hire a tuk-tuk to the waterfall for two to three hours at 300-400 baht, or one can take the minibus from the fresh market (ตลาดสดเทศบาลหาดใหญ่ Talat Sot Thesaban Hat Yai).
- Wat Hat Yai Nai (วัดหาดใหญ่ใน), Phetkasem Rd (near Khlong U Taphao Bridge). The temple is the site of a large reclining Buddha measuring 35 m long, 15 m tall, and 10 m wide, named Phra Phuttha Hattha Mongkhon, believed to be the third-largest reclining Buddha in the world, and revered by both Thai and foreign tourists.
Outside the city
- Khao Nam Khang National Park (อุทยานแห่งชาติเขาน้ำค้าง), Na Thawi. Daily 08.00-17.00. Located 64 km from Hat Yai. The park has two waterfalls: Ton Dat Fa and Ton Lat Fa.
- Khao Nam Khang Historic Tunnel (อุโมงค์ประวัติศาสตร์เขาน้ำค้าง), Moo 1, Khlong Kwang, Na Thawi. Daily 08.00-17.00. Situated 4 km from the Park Office. This largest and longest man-made tunnel was once inhabited by Communist insurgents. It is three levels deep and contains several rooms.
- Khu Khut Waterfowl Park (อุทยานนกน้ำคูขุด), Khu Khut, Sathing Phra. Located 70 km from Hat Yai. It is in the central part of the Songkhla Lake. You can hire a boat for birdwatching (200 baht/hr) and have a pleasant meal at the restaurants beside the serene lake. The best time to visit is during Dec-Mar. Free admission.
- Thale Noi Waterfowl Reserve (เขตห้ามล่าสัตว์ป่าทะเลน้อย), Khuan Khanun, Phatthalung. Thale Noi Bird Sanctuary is situated in the northern part of the Songkhla Lake, 125 km from Hat Yai. It is a home to staggering 287 bird species. The best time for birdwatching and seeing a sea of blooming pink water lilies is during Jan-Apr. Go early in the morning to avoid strong sun. A boat ride costs 500 baht and takes about 1.5 hr. Free admission.
Events and festivals
- Chinese New Year (เทศกาลตรุษจีน). Usually fall in Jan or Feb depending on the Chinese calendar. With a sizeable Thai-Chinese population, Chinese New Year is celebrated everywhere in Hat Yai especially in the city center. The Chinese New Year dates in coming years: 31 Jan 2014, 19 Feb 2015, 8 Feb 2016.
- Hat Yai Midnight Songkran (เทศกาลสงกรานต์หาดใหญ่) . The festival marks Thai New Year, which is traditionally celebrated during 13-15 Apr. The most prominent part of the festival is water throwing. The main activities are held near/around Odean Shopping Mall and Lee Garden Plaza, including foam party, free concert, and Songkran beauty contest.
- Tham Bun Duean Sip (เทศกาลทำบุญเดือนสิบ). A Southern Thai tradition held in/around October (the full-moon day of the tenth lunar month). The main purpose is to make merit for their ancestors. There are specific foods made for this.
- Loi Krathong (วันลอยกระทง) . Festival to pay respect to the river by floating beautifully decorated krathong (กระทง). It usually incorporates a Nang Noppamas (นางนพมาศ) beauty competition where contestants dress in Thai traditional costume. The festival is held on the full moon night of the twelfth lunar month. The Loi Krathong dates in coming years: 17 Nov 2013, 6 Nov 2014, 25 Nov 2015.
- Movie theaters. There are multiplexes at 5F, Diana Complex Shopping Center , and 5F, Lee Gardens Plaza. 100-200 baht for a film.
- Thai massage. No trip to Thailand would be complete without a Thai massage and Hat Yai is one of the best places to get one. Some of the many good places would be Garden Home Hotel or Hat Yai Central Hotel. The rooms are nicely decorated and provide a soothing environment to go with a good massage. Ask the doorman at any good hotel for a recommendation if you want to avoid the more dodgy places.
- Visa run
- Dannok. If you need to extend your stay in Thailand for another 15 days, you can cross the border at Dannok, near Sadao. Getting there from the airport is easy and takes about 2 hours. From the terminal, walk straight out into the parking lot to the parking lot ring road. You can wait here for a light blue songthaew to take you into town and get dropped off at The Plaza for 13 baht. The ride takes about 20-30 minutes. You can also take an airport taxi into town. At The Plaza, you can find a van waiting just across from the TOT office, which makes regular trips to Dannok. If you can't find it, just say "Sadao" or "Dannok" to people till they point you the right way. The trip is 60 baht, and vans leave once they are full. The trip should take about 1 hour 30 minutes. It will drop you off near the border at Dannok and you can just walk to exit Thailand. You will be approached by motorcycle drivers who will offer to take you to the Malaysian side. Walking takes about 10 minutes, so it could be worth it to pay 20 baht each way if you are in a hurry. If you have time, a stop at the duty free shop is worthwhile. Minivans returning to Hat Yai depart from outside the 7-Eleven in Dannok. Please keep in mind that back-to back stamps are only allowed for a total stay of 90 days within any given 180 day period of time!
- Royal Thai Consulate-General in Penang, 1 Jl Tunku Abdul Rahman, Penang, Malaysia (opposite St Christopher's International Primary School), ☎ +60 4 2268029, +60 4 2269484, fax: +60 4 226312, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. M-F 09:00-12:00 & 14:00-16:30. 60 Day Tourist Visas can be obtained in Penang, Kota Bharu, and in Kuala Lumpur at the Thai consulates/embassy. In Penang 60 day tourist visas cost generally RM110. Bring 2 photographs. A copy of passport main page is required. It is possible to copy it in a high-school library nearby. To get there: take a bus no 1 from Komtar (RM1) down Jl Burma. After 10 minutes get off at the crossing with Jl Cantonment, turn left and walk down Jl Cantonment for 10 minutes and turn right to the consulate. Open 09:00-12:00 and you will have your tourist visa after 15:30. While waiting it's worth taking a bus ride to Batu Feringgi Beach (RM2). You can also find visa services in Little India and Chinatown for about RM20 (will also be ready after 15:30). Cost: 280 baht/RM30 one-way to Georgetown (via minibus) and usually lets you off in Little India. There are return buses as late as 16:00.
- Mahapanya Vidayalai (มหาปัญญาวิทยาลัย), 635/1 Thammanoonvithi Rd (near Tesco Lotus 1), ☎ +66 74 243558, fax: +66 74 243558. An international non-profitable Buddhist college. Offer a curriculum of Bachelor of Arts in Buddhism, major in Mahayana Studies.
- Prince of Songkla University (มหาวิทยาลัยสงขลานครินทร์), 15 Karnjanavanich Rd, ☎ +66 74 446824, fax: +66 74 446825, e-mail: email@example.com. One of the top universities of Thailand. Offer many international courses in undergraduate, master and PhD level.
There are many Thai banks around the city, as well as Chinese money changers. Exchange rates from the latter for Malaysian ringgits may be significantly better than in the banks.
ATMs are abundant in Hat Yai, although most of them, as everywhere in Thailand, charge 150 baht fee for foreign card transactions. Aeon Bank (the only one that doesn't charge) has ATMs near their office in the shopping/office centre near the south end of Nipatuthit 3 Rd, just to the left of the Tourist Police sign, and within easy walking distance from city centre.
Minimarts such as 7-Eleven  are ubiquitous and open 24 hours. Good for a quick meal, stocking up food and personal items. Or head to Tops Market  for more high-end groceries at Robinson Department Store or Central Department Store.
A variety of English-language books and magazines can be purchased at B2S  on 3F, Central Department Store.
- ASEAN Trade Market (ตลาดเปิดท้าย Talad poet tai) (next to Hat Yai Bus Station.). W-Su 17:00-22:00. Wide market famous for second-hand designer clothing, bags, and shoes, but interesting locally designed new clothes and some vintage decorative stuff can be found here as well. Lots of food stalls inside
- Green Way Market (near the Hat Yai Bus Station but along the main road to Songkhla). W-Su 17:00-22:00. Very similar to ASEAN Market.
- Kim Yong Market (ตลาดกิมหยง), Supasarn Rungsan Rd. This is the most attractive place for shopping. There are plenty of foods, home appliances, chocolates, cosmetics, watches, CD games.
- Suntisuk Market (สันติสุข), Nipatutid 1, 2, 3. The famous market sells electric appliances, gadgets, gaming consoles, IT devices and accessories, clothes, shoes, bags, cosmetics, imported food.
- Big C Supercenter, 111/19 Moo 4 Klonghae (near Klonghae floating market), ☎ +66 74 427755-69. Daily 09:00-22:00.
- Big C Extra (formerly known as Carrefour), 677 Phetkasem Rd, ☎ +66 74 262999. Daily 09:00-23:00. Has HomePro, Office Depot, and several restaurants.
- Central Department Store, 1 Sanaehanusorn Rd, ☎ +66 74 352333-47. M-Th 11:00-21:00, F-Su 10:30-21:30. Probably Hat Yai's most upmarket store. Clothes, cosmetics, books, household goods, and a TOPS food supermarket on the highest floor.
- Diana Complex Shopping Center, 55/3 Sripoowanart Rd. Clothes, mobile phones, restaurants, multiplex and a bowling alley.
- HomePro, 33/40 Moo 5, Kanchanavanich Rd, ☎ +66 74 210999. Daily 09:00-21:00. Home improvement.
- Lee Gardens Plaza (opposite Central Department Store), ☎ +66 74 261111. The most popular mall for Thai teenagers. Restaurants include Sizzler, Swensen's, McDonald's, and Fuji among others. Shops inside sell books, clothes, mobile phones, and souvenirs. There is a multiplex cinema and a games complex which also includes karaoke booths.
- Makro, 345 Moo 5, Korhong, ☎ +66 74 428320. Cash & carry wholesale. Probably one of the oldest in Hat Yai.
- Odean Shopping Mall, 79/7 Thammanoonvithee Rd. Mostly clothes.
- Robinson Department Store, 9 Thammanoonvithi Rd (near Hat Yai train station), ☎ +66 74 354503-9. M-F 10:30-21:00, Sa-Su & holidays 10:30-21:00.
- Siam Nakarin Complex, 488/88 Phetkasem Rd (near Hatyaiwittayalai School), ☎ +66 74 222999. Office supplies, furniture, restaurants, food court, IT/mobile phones, and other small shops.
- Tesco Lotus Hat Yai 1, 1142 Karnjanawanich Rd (near Prince of Songkla University), ☎ +66 74 464405-20. Daily 08:00-23:00. A large supermarket that sells food, clothes, household items. There are also a number of restaurants and smaller shops just outside the main supermarket.
- Tesco Lotus Hat Yai 2, 1318 Phetkasem Rd (in Hat Yai Nai area), ☎ +66 74 361101. Daily 08:00-22:00.
- Thai Watsadu (ไทวัสดุ), 224 Moo 1, Tambon Samran, ☎ +66 74 800400. Daily 07:30-20:00. Home improvement.
Although not in the same league as Bangkok, there are a lot of different food options on offer in Hat Yai. Typical Thai street food is abundant. Big international chain restaurants have branches in town offering Japanese and Western food.
Restaurant chains are located mostly in shopping malls. International restaurant chains such as KFC, McDonald's, Sizzler, Pizza Hut, Dunkin' Donuts, Mister Donut, Swensen's, Dairy Queen, Starbucks. Local restaurant chains such as MK Restaurant (Thai-style sukiyaki) , S&P , Black Canyon Coffee , Chester's Grill , The Pizza Company , Jeffer Steak , Fuji Restaurant , Shabushi , Oishi Ramen . Food courts are also available in most of the shopping malls.
Owing to the ethnic diversity, you can find Thai, Chinese, and Malay (Muslim) food available throughout the city. Most restaurants offer a variety of Thai, Chinese and/or Western fusion cuisine.
Ethnic Chinese from Malaysia and Singapore make up the bulk of Hat Yai's tourists so many restaurants and hotels cater primarily to them. Just opposite Lee Gardens (next to the Regency Hotel) you will see a restaurant which spit-roasts suckling pigs every day. Large, open-air seafood restaurants are also popular with Chinese visitors and the quality of seafood available in Hat Yai is good. Some Chinese are vegetarians and the town has a good selection of small vegetarian restaurants that offer tofu and soy meat substitutes.
There is a large resident Muslim population and some visitors from Malaysia are also Muslim so finding halal food isn't a problem.
Night hawkers can be found all over the city. Some stay open until very late at night. Grabbing a bite in late night is not uncommon. A spot for a variety of night hawkers is at Suphasarnrangsan Rd around Wat Cheu Chang near Kim Yong Market. Other places are such as at Tanrattanakorn Rd called Talad Mai (ตลาดใหม่) and at Thung Sao 1 Rd.
A typical meal for one can start at as low as 50 baht for street food, 80 baht in general restaurants, and 120 baht in more upscale restaurants.
- 192 Rat Na (192 ราดหน้า อาหารตามสั่ง), 192 Supasarnrangsan Rd (opposite 7-Eleven near Wat Cheu Chang). 18:00 on. Good Chinese food served here and very busy but worth waiting for some good fried stuff. Fried rice a specialty. 50 baht and less.
- Bon Khao Restaurant (บนเขา), 1/9 Karnjanawanich Rd in Hat Yai Park (on the road that leads up to the Guanyin statue), ☎ +66 74 218124, +66 74 211929. Daily, 10:30-22:00. Good Thai food and great view looking onto Hat Yai city.
- Chongkhao Seafoods (ช่องเขาซีฟู้ดส์), Suphasarnrangsan Rd (near Prince of Songkla University and Tesco Lotus), ☎ +66 74 244060. Large seafood restaurant.
- Daothiam (ดาวเทียม), 79/3 Thammanoonvithi Rd (opposite Odean Shopping Mall), ☎ +66 74 243268. Daily 07:00-22:00. Friendly staff and tasty breakfasts, Thai, & vegetarian food. Grab a pad Thai and Chang beer among a collection of framed world currency.
- Gäp's Garten (on the canal behind JB Hotel at around 5 min walking distance. 5 minutes from the city centre by motorbike taxi or tuk-tuk.), ☎ +66 86 9636551 (German/English), +66 84 7293542 (Thai), e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Serves authentic German food and beer (Erdinger, Warsteiner, Weihenstephan, and Köstritzer) for reasonable prices. Best to book a table in advance as it is usually quite full.
- Nakorn Nai (นครใน), Nipatuthit 2 Rd (a block away from Tune Hotel on the same side). A stylish restaurant with free Wi-Fi. They serve very tasty Western food such as pasta and pizza, Thai food, and Muslim food such as roti for reasonable prices.
- Samila Sea Sport (สมิหลาซีสปอร์ต), 39 Rajyindee Rd (near Yee Fah Grand City Hotel), ☎ +66 74 223416-7. Serve delicious seafood.
- Sky Buffet, 33F at Lee Gardens Plaza Hotel, ☎ +66 74 261111. Daily 11:00-14:00 & 17:00-22:00. The hotel has a top floor restaurant with panoramic views of the city. It offers an excellent all-you-can-eat buffet at lunch and dinner.
- Sugar Rock, 528 Thumnoonvithi Rd (near Tesco Lotus), ☎ +66 74 235270. Daily 8:30-23:00. Tasty Thai food.
- Ta-kun (ร้านตา-ขุน), Nipatuthit 1 Rd (nearly opposite King's Hotel a few blocks from the train station). Daily 17:00-01:00. If you're looking for cheap and good local food, try this small and very friendly little spot.
- Tor Huad Restaurant (ภัตตาคารต่อฮวด), 32/1 Rajyindee Rd (near Yee Fah Grand City Hotel), ☎ +66 74 231030-1. Daily 10:30-14:00, 17:30-22:00. Upscale Chinese restaurant.
- Chok Dee Tae Tiam (โชคดีแต่เตี้ยม), 58/25 Lamaisongkrew Rd (near Daiichi Hotel), ☎ +66 74 356779. Daily 06:00-12:00 & 17:00-22:00. One of the most famous dim sum restaurants in Hat Yai. The restaurant fills up fast, so go early to ensure a table. Dim sum: 16 baht/basket; Bak kut teh: 80/250 baht for small/large bowl.
- Khor Nang Tae Tiam (คอหนังแต่เตี้ยม), Niphatuthit 3 Rd (near Tune Hotel). Another dim sum restaurant famously known by locals.
- Bang Farang Restaurant (ร้านอาหารบังฝรั่ง), 32/7 Thungsao 2 Rd, Soi Khamuthit 2, ☎ +66 82 4399590, e-mail: email@example.com. 07:00-20:00, closed on Mondays.. Nice small cosy restaurant at a walking distance from the bus station, ASEAN Market, or Green Way market. Halal, genuine Thai food (spicy, not sweet Malay cuisine). Excellent kaeng som. Serves fresh fruit juices and coffee. Free Wi-Fi for patrons. The cook/owner is married to a Muslim Frenchman. You can usually meet him on Saturdays.
- Decha Fried Chicken (ไก่ทอดเดชา), Chee Uthit Rd, ☎ +66 81 098 3751, +66 87 2895008. Daily 11:00-22:00. Muslim fried chicken restaurant. Also serve seafood, Thai, Isan food.
- Hamid Restaurant, 73 Prachathipat Rd (across the street from Lee Garden Hotel), ☎ +66 74 243008. M-F 10:00-22:00, Sa-Su 7:00-22:00. Nice, clean, and good halal food. There are a couple of other Muslim restaurants nearby.
- Tong Poon (ทองพูน), 399 Thammanoonvithee Rd, ☎ +66 74 357831. Daily 11:00-22:00. The only Vietnamese restaurant in Hat Yai.
- B's Sweet, 75 Thammanoonvitee Rd, ☎ +66 74 221909, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Daily 10:00-21:30. B's Sweet serves up americanos, cappuccinos, lattes, smoothies, pork or prawn omelettes, local rice and noodle dishes, and a wonderful selection of cakes, ice creams, and sorbets. The chocolate lava should not be missed. Open breakfast, lunch, and diner.
- E.P.'s Artisan Bakery, Nipatuthit 1 Rd (next to the Esso petrol station near the old Lee Gardens Hotel). 11:00-22:00. Good cakes & coffee.
- Bee Club (downtown). Live music, pool upstairs and decent food.
- Co Art. A cafe-style place to hang-out in the evenings. There is a live band almost every day covering internationally known songs.
- Deep Wonder (across from The Pub). Street side and downstairs bar. Live music.
- Living Room, 94 Thamannoonvithee Rd. At the site of the now-defunct Monkey Club. It's a nice place with fairly quiet atmosphere, and no longer a nightclub.
- Oceania (away from city centre, about 10 min by taxi from Lee Gardens and about 100 m north of the Hansa Plaza/Paragaon night entertainment complex in Hat Yai Nai.). closes when last customer leaves, about 04:00. A beautiful open-air restaurant and bar set on 2 floors with a landscaped garden of waterfalls and palms, and soft lighting. The kitchen is open until well after 02:00, serving decent Thai food at around 100 baht a dish. A large Heineken is 90 baht, with draft available also. The theme is quiet and romantic, ideal after an hour or two in the disco nearby. Live acoustic music is inflicted on diners every night until 24:00.
- Post Laser Disc, 82-84 Thamannoonvithee Rd (opposite Indra Hotel near Odeon Shopping Mall), ☎ +66 74 232027, e-mail: email@example.com. Daily 09:00-01:00. Air-coned and pool. Best band in town playing from 21:00 onwards. Farang hangout. Jack Coke 80 baht.
- Sunrise Coffee (หอมกลิ่นกาแฟ), She-utit Rd (opposite the Hakka Chinese Association and the D-Pan-Panya Restaurant). A nice little coffee shop offering a variety of coffee blends and smoothies; very cosy atmosphere.
- The Swan, Thamannoonvithee Rd (one block from The Pub.). Nice atmosphere with books and 2 TVs with UBC cable. A slight British pub feel. Jack Coke, 60 baht.
- The West Side Saloon. Can get crowded and very noisy. They have a good bar food menu. The only pub/bar in town that writes the prices on the menu excluding service charge and VAT. Can be a surprise when you get the bill.
|This guide uses the following price ranges for a standard double room:|
|Budget||Under 500 baht|
|Splurge||Over 1,500 baht|
Travel agents around town can nearly always give better rates for hotel rooms compared to dealing directly with the hotel. Hat Yai has an abundance of accommodation. Tourism in Hat Yai consists mainly of the weekend trade from Malaysia and Singapore. Accommodation can be found very easily mid-week but hotels in the centre of town tend to get booked up for the weekends and Malaysian and Singaporean public holidays. In the budget hotel you may well be asked if you want company. A shake of the head is all that is needed (up or down or from side-to-side is up to you). Don't be put off by the hotel because of it.
- Cathay Guesthouse (not far from train station).Check-out: 12:00. Simple rooms, Asian toilet, have to buy toilet paper. Sells European breakfast and have transport service. Friendly staff. Basic rooms but very clean, and super staff. No bugs of any sort. Not a classy place, but clean rooms with a cold shower very close to the train station. Twin fan 220 baht.
- Genting Hotel, 263 Samchai Rd (about 1.5 km east of the city centre). Airy. Much better room than you can get in the city centre for similar prices. 410 baht for a spacious room with queen bed, 480 baht for a room with two beds. Clean. Free Wi-Fi. TV and big fridge. Hot water. Some decent local food places to eat over the road. A long stroll or short ride to the city centre. Gym downstairs, 30 baht/day or 600 baht/month, or 450 baht/month for restricted memberships (AM-only or PM-only). 410+ baht.
- Indra Hotel (Thammanun Withi Rd/next to Monkey Pub). Nice inexpensive place to stay near market and transportation (bus agents). Strongly recommend you see room before booking.
- King's Hotel, 126-134 Nithakuthit 1 Rd (in the heart of commercial Hat Yai, a block from the railway station). Cable TV with English channels, hot shower, double bed. Free Wi-Fi access in the hotel lobby. The hotel badly needs a fire escape. 400-600 baht.
- Laem Thong Hotel, 46 Thammanun Withi Rd (one block from railway station). Fan rooms 320 baht.
- Louise Guesthouse, close to train station by Robinson shopping mall.Check-out: noon. Big rooms and have European toilets. Staff friendliness appears to fluctuate. Bedbugs reported, and mattresses old and sagging. Fan room with Wi-Fi, 400 baht.
- Diamond Plaza Hotel, 62 Nipatuthit 3 Rd, ☎ +66 74 230130-41, +66 74 353140-9. 1,090 baht excluding breakfast.
- Golden Crown Plaza Hotel, 42-44 Nipatuthit 3 Rd, ☎ +66 74 262909, +66 74 352298. The standard rooms are very nice and comfortable. 850 baht.
- Hi-Season Hotel, 33/2 Ratyindee Rd, ☎ +66 74 365010. 680 baht.
- Lee Gardens Plaza Hotel, 29 Prachatipat Rd (above Lee Gardens Plaza), ☎ +66 74 261111, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 1,220 baht including breakfast (880 without).
- New Season Hotel, 106 Prachathipat Rd, ☎ +66 74 352888, fax: +66 74 352390, e-mail: email@example.com. Deluxe-class hotel, situated in the heart of Hat Yai. 112 deluxe room and 7 junior suites, including non-smoking floors, with panoramic view of the city and mountain. Every room has Internet access, touch memory door locking system, smoke detector, safety deposit box, minibar and colour TV. 24 hour surveillance and car park. On-site there is a Thai massage with 17 luxurious rooms and a coffee shop serving a variety of cuisines: Thai, Western, and Chinese. 900 baht.
- Pink Lady Hotel, 24/11-12 Sanehanusorn Rd. Next to Novotel and Central Festival Department Store. Clean and has consistent hot water. The service is OK (some have reported poor service but if you encounter this, complain to manager and its resolved). Very quiet despite the presence of a karaoke bar and massage parlour. 600 baht.
- President Hotel, 420 Petchkasem Rd, ☎ +66 74 349500, fax: +66 74 230609. Pretty large rooms, air-con, free Wi-Fi, TV, and OK room service. 4,155 baht.
- Siam City Hotel, 25-35 Nipatuthit 2 Rd, ☎ +66 74 353111/30. Decent city views. Mini fridge. Feels 30 years old. No English TV channels. 855 baht.
- Tune Hotel, 152-156 Nipatuthit 2 Rd. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 11:00. Add-ons including air-con, towel, toiletries, cable TV, and wi-fi have to be purchased separately. 500+ baht.
- V.L. Hatyai Hotel, 1-3-5-7 Niphatuthit 1 Rd, ☎ +66 74 223660-3, +66 74 352201-3, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 1,380 baht.
- Winstar Hotel, 54/7 Sripuwanart Rd, ☎ +66 74 465222. Winstar Hotel is a new standard hotel designed and decorated with Chinese modern style, just beside Diana Complex Shopping Center. Internet access, air conditioned, hot shower, minibar and colour TV with cable channels. Fountain Beer Park, Lim Breng Restaurant, Star Coffee Shop, and Thai ancient massage. 700 baht.
- Asian Hotel, 55-59 Nipatuthit 3 Rd, ☎ +66 74 353400, e-mail: email@example.com. Basic facilities, is one of the older bigger hotels from several decades back. 1,800+ baht.
- BP Grand Suite Hotel, 75/1 Sanaehanusorn Rd, ☎ +66 74 355155. 1,500 baht.
- Centara Hotel Hat Yai, 3 Sanehanusorn Rd (next to the Central Department Store and opposite Lee Gardens Plaza.), ☎ +66 74 352222, fax: +66 74 352223, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 2,000+ baht.
A series of bombings in September 2006 that specifically targeted restaurants and shopping centres popular with visitors (and locals) killed two tourists. There were another 7 bombs in May 2007 in Hat Yai which killed one person. Strict security measures (bag searches, metal detectors) are to be expected in most gathering places. The most recent bombing was 3 Apr 2012.
- Medical Emergency ☎ 1669
- Police (General Emergency) ☎ 191
- Tourist Police ☎ 1155
Thai prepaid SIM cards can be purchased in minimarts, mobile retailer shops, or telco service centers. Domestic calls usually cost only about 1 baht/min depending on your prepaid plan. The major telephone service providers are AIS , DTAC , and TrueMove .
3G is beginning to be implemented in the area but don't expect much.
Hat Yai's area code is 074. To make a domestic call, add a preceding "0". For example, ☎ +66 74 123456 will be dialed locally as ☎ 074 123456.
- Hat Yai Post Office, 43 Nipatsongkraw 1, ☎ +66 74 243121, +66 74 245293.
- Talad Mai Post Shop, 15/30 Phadungphakdi Rd, ☎ +66 74 800139. A franchise of Thailand Post
- Rathakarn Post Office, 158 Rathakarn Rd, ☎ +66 74 244480.
- Kho Hong Post Office, 176 Moo 5, Karnjanawanich Rd, Kho Hong, ☎ +66 74 212603.
- Sripuwanart Post Office, 19, 21, 23 Po Natthapon 2 Rd, ☎ +66 74 231477.
- Hat Yai Nai Post Office, 25 Moo 1, Soi 35, Petchkasem Rd, Khuan Lang, ☎ +66 74 255880.
- Thung Lung Post Office, 2/1 Moo 1, Karnjanawanich Rd, Phatong, ☎ +66 74 291990.
- Ban Phru Post Office, 190 Moo 4, Karnjanawanich Rd, Ban Phru, ☎ +66 74 210255.
There are China, Indonesia, and Malaysia consulates located in Mueang Songkhla, 35 km from Hat Yai.
- Dentist, PSU Dental Hospital, ☎ +66 74 287620, fax: +66 74 429879. Prince of Songkla University's faculty of dentistry offers very good & reasonably priced treatments. But always put a few notes in the collection box. Government-operated hospital, so expect a wait.
- Bangkok Hospital Hatyai (โรงพยาบาลกรุงเทพหาดใหญ่), 75 Soi 15 Phetkasem Rd (near Big C Extra), ☎ +66 74 272800, fax: +66 74 27284. Private hospital.
- Hatyai Hospital (โรงพยาบาลหาดใหญ่), 182 Ratthakarn Rd, ☎ +66 74 273100, fax: +66 74 246600. Regional public hospital.
- Rajyindee Hospital (โรงพยาบาลราษฎร์ยินดี), 119 Rajyindee Rd (near Diana Complex Shopping Center), ☎ +66 74 200200 Fax, fax: +66 74 200292. Private hospital.
- Sikarin Hatyai Hospital (โรงพยาบาลศิครินทร์ หาดใหญ่), 169 Niphatsongkhro 1 (near Jiranakorn Stadium), ☎ +66 74 366966, fax: +66 74 366955. Private hospital.
- Songklanagarind Hospital (โรงพยาบาลสงขลานครินทร์), 15 Karnjanavanit Rd (in Prince of Songkla University), ☎ +66 74 455000, fax: +66 74 212900, +66 74 212903. Public hospital.
- Bangkok - Thailand's bustling and vibrant capital city.
- Chiang Mai - the biggest city in Northern Thailand; there are direct flights to Chiang Mai from Thai AirAsia and Nok Air.
- Krabi - beautiful islands such as Ko Lanta and Ko Phi Phi.
- Phuket - world-renowned white sandy beaches and resorts.
- Satun - a gateway to Ko Tarutao and Ko Lipe.
- Songkhla - a relaxed old seaside city only 35 km away with the famous mermaid statue; recommended for a day trip for sightseeing, museums, beaches and excellent seafood.
- Kuala Lumpur - Malaysia's capital city.
- Langkawi - a beautiful duty-free island; can be reached via ferry from Satun.
- Penang - visit Georgetown, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Also a food paradise.
- Singapore - a highly developed island nation at the tip of the Malay Peninsula.
|Routes through Hat Yai|
|Bangkok ← Phatthalung ←||N S||→ Padang Besar → Butterworth|
|Bangkok ← Phatthalung ←||N S||→ Yala → Sungai Kolok|
|Bangkok ← Phatthalung ←||N S||→ Sadao|