"Hat Yai" Top 5 Page for this destination Hat Yai by phil_uk_net

Hat Yai Travel Guide: 379 reviews and 718 photos

Hat Yai

Hat Yai gets overlooked by the guidebooks but I thought it was a great place. Maybe it was because I had no expectations? This is often the case with travelling and life in general.

It has all the sights and sounds you'd expect of a Thai city but doesn't have the traffic, noise, pollution and sheer lunacy of Bangkok. It is also not full of farang tourists. The odd backpacker can be seen as they travel between Malaysia and Thailand but generally they don't hang around for long.

There are a wide range of accommodation options at all price levels and some great places to eat. My first stay coincided with Chinese New Year which added to the general excitement. Everyone is even more happy than usual and the sound of Chinese firecrackers can be heard all around. I now realise why I have seen so many kids walking around with cotton wool in their ears!

Lonely Planet is normally quite good at giving background information on a place but I think they did a lousy job with Hat Yai. They give the impression that it used to be a busy place with Malaysian visitors but it no longer is. Rubbish. At weekends it is full of Malaysians (mainly Chinese) and a few Singaporeans. Some come to shop (or have their feet massaged). Others come for less wholesome pleasures. It is pretty quiet during the week but at weekends completely different. Be aware that finding a place to stay on a Friday or Saturday night can be a little tricky.

Snake blood cocktail anyone?

Hat Yai was the first place I had visited that had a 'restaurant' specialising in live snakes. Not quite my cup of tea/blood but interesting all the same.

Chinese New Year

My first visit to Hat Yai coincided with Chinese New Year. One of the customs at that time is to release caged birds and make a wish at the same time. There are people on the streets with cages full of birds waiting to be released. I think I paid about 50 baht to set this on on its way.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Good example of a typical Thai provincial city
  • Cons:Not a lot of 'cultural' places to visit
  • In a nutshell:All the good things about a Thai city without the madness of Bangkok
  • Last visit to Hat Yai: Dec 2003
  • Intro Updated Dec 16, 2003
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Reviews (104)

Comments (24)

  • Jim_Eliason's Profile Photo
    Oct 11, 2013 at 10:42 PM

    Nice tips

  • Jan 11, 2011 at 1:16 AM

    I think so, the price is quite high if they do business in that crowded place. I also open foot massage shop in Hatyai but it's outside that place. It's on Nipat Utit2 Rd., in front of Kosit Hotel. Our price is only200 Baht and can't be lower anymore.

  • Sep 15, 2010 at 10:31 PM

    it is equally applicable to the transportation sector - tuk tuks or the moto taxis.i feel they are losing out a lot of business this way as clients use these services when absolutely necessary. moderate prices and more business will keep everyone happier.

  • Jan 13, 2010 at 4:16 AM

    Why people buy fake thing?you should know the reason.Fake things have low cost, of course these buyers know what they buy in what kind of quality. your barely 100USD meant a lot for them.But, i agree that buy original products.Thanks

  • mthl79's Profile Photo
    Feb 17, 2009 at 5:49 PM

    well you may be right to a certain extend however I have been to pattaya and Bangkok, this is the price for foot massage, some even offer 300 - 400bath, so this quite normal

  • Jan 5, 2009 at 7:17 PM

    Hi Phil! I really appreaciate if u could provide me the address or location of the snake restaurant. It a very usefull link to me. Thank Regards Clarissa Chang

  • Oct 30, 2008 at 9:37 PM

    Hi Phil Appreciate if you can provide the location. How much will be the tuk tuk fare. Thks

  • Jun 29, 2008 at 9:12 AM

    i just came back from hat yai... i visited the pubb and they are great... by the way.. i created posted a blog on them... feel free to visit photoblog.com/alantan1982/20...

  • Feb 10, 2008 at 8:20 PM

    Just arrived back from hadyai trip. Paid US$35.00 for a room at Indra Hotel. Its was chinese new break. Hotel was in a bad shape. They did not vacuum the room and the toilets are in the bad shape. The reciptionist was not friendly at all.

  • iris2002's Profile Photo
    Apr 15, 2006 at 1:11 PM

    "Waiter - get me another snake-blood cocktail with an olive please, schhaken not schhhtirrred" :D

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