Hat Yai Off The Beaten Path Tips by phil_uk_net Top 5 Page for this destination
Hat Yai Off The Beaten Path: 14 reviews and 20 photos
Visa Run Taxi
If your allowable time in Thailand is running short and you need another 30 days you can use one of these taxis for a visa run to Padang Besar in Malaysia.
The cost is 500 Baht. It will take about an hour to get to the border. The complete trip, which includes getting through immigration and obtaining that new stamp in your passport, should take about 3 hours.
The taxis can be found at the junction of Thanon Duangchan and Thanon Sangchan.
Phone: 074 245321
Temple and Monastery
Just out of town, next to Tesco Lotus, is a Buddhist Temple and monastery which also houses the Thavornwitthayaai School of Buddhism. It is impossible to miss as there is a huge Buddha in the grounds that can be seen from a long way away.
The only thing worshipped in central Hat Yai is money as tourists shop, eat and indulge in physical pleasures. If you're looking for something a bit more spiritual this might be a good place to spend some time. The monks who live and study there seem quite happy to speak with visiting tourists and it was made clear that I was welcome back at any time. See Travelogue below for more details.
Fish and meat drying in the sun
On the other side of the Sripoovanart Road from downtown Hat Yai it is like a diiferent world. There are no Malaysian tourists, no hotels and nothing else that exists where tourists gather.
Instead there are just locals living a normal life in a provincial Thai town. In the streets fish and strips of meat are laid out on tables, drying in the sun. A farang wandering around is quite noticeable and attracts a lot of attention. But it is good attention consisting of welcoming smiles and the usual question "Pai nai"? (where are you going?).
A very different experience to wandering around Lee Gardens Plaza and one to be recommended.
The reclining Buddha
This is home to a large reclining Buddha, the 3rd largest in Thailand apparently, and a small mausoleum with a souvenir shop in the base.
It is a little way out of town so you need to use a local taxi or tuk-tuk to get there if you don't have your own transport. The cost of getting there should only be 10 - 20 Baht so don't listen to Tuk-Tuk drivers around the station who ask for 100 - 150 Baht. They are just trying to rip you off. Walk to an area away from the station where these pirates prey on farangs and find an honest driver.
Ocean Shopping Centre
Around Hat Yai there are many Internet cafes. Some are hopeless, their PCs crash all the time and connection speeds are extremely slow. The best one I've found is at the Ocean Shopping Centre on the first floor. They have good machines and the fastest connection of anywhere I've used in Hat Yai. What's more, it is the cheapest place in town at just 20 Baht an hour. On the downside, the Internet area is surrounded by women's clothes shops, all of which have loud music blasting out of them incessantly. There is also a mosquito problem here. At times, as I've been typing away, the mossies have been feasting on my feet. I now apply repellent before getting my online fix.
You'd need a big envelope for this one
If you've already seen everything there is to see in Hat Yai and are really stuck for something to do you could visit the philatelic museum and look at lots of stamps.
Alternatively you could find some fresh paint and watch it dry or a patch of grass and watch it grow.
The museum is located above the Post Office on Thanon Rattakarn, fairly close to the train station.
For reasons of taste (in both senses of the word) I did not put this tip in the restaurant section!
I had seen this spectacle on TV a few times but had not witnessed the real thing.
There is a place on Ngu (Snake) Street that has cages full of live snakes ready for human consumption. I have not got a strong enough stomach for anything like this so just went along for a viewing.
There are about 5 cages full of snakes. There are cobras and also black snakes with yellow bands.
For a thousand Baht or less they will slit a live snake along its belly and drain the blood into a cup for you to drink. It is mixed with honey and whisky to make it more palatable. The gall bladder is also eaten. A large cobra costs 1000 Baht, a small one 500 Baht and the black and yellow snakes can be had for the bargain price of 300 Baht.
The meat from the dead snakes is made into soup and sold for 150 Baht a bowl. The skins are made into belts and wallets, etc.
The photo is not great. I would liked to have got in close and used a flash but for some reason the shop owner wasn't keen.
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