After travelling for almost 24-hours from Johor Bahru, I have finally reached Hat Yai, the closest city in Thailand from Malaysia’s border 🤗
I checked into Hat Yai Youth Hostel which is about 20-minutes of walking from train station and 5-minutes from Lee Garden Plaza.
Lee Garden Plaza is the centre of Hatyai surrounded by shopping centers and restaurants. As Hat Yai is a highly popular city among the Malaysians and Singaporeans, most of the locals are able to speak Mandarin and Hokkien instead of English.
Next morning, i woke up looking forward to what surprises this under-rated city can offer me!
Over the breakfast, I chatted with a songthaew driver and showed him a list of places I wanted to visit. I bargained from 1500baht (USD45) to 800baht (USD23) for a day of his service. I’m happy with the deal considering that I’ve chartered the whole car by myself 😇
Wat Hai Yai Nai
Measuring 35-meters long, 15-meters tall and 10-meters wide, Phra Phuttha Hattha Mongkhon is the third largest reclining Buddha in the world. This open-air temple is free of charge!
Located 6-kilometers outside of central Hat Yai is a park that covered from hills to a lake. In the park there is White Jade Guan Yin (Goddess of Mercy), Laughing Buddha and a standing Golden Buddha. Newly addition of cable car brings you to Kor Hong Mountain where the four-faced Brahma Shrine is located. The park admission is FREE!
As I did not want to spend anymore money on transportation, the driver was kind enough to send me to see the Four-Faced Brahma Shrine on the opposite mountain.
About 30-kilometers away from Hat Yai lies the neighboring city of Songkhla. Famously known as “the great city on two seas” this city is surrounded by beaches such as Samila and Son Awn.
Tang Kuan Hill
About less than 5-minutes from Samila Beach, Tang Kuan Hill is not only a place for 360-degree breathtaking views of Songkhla City but also housed the sacred pagoda Dvaravati Chedi built to contains the Lord Buddha’s relics.
By the time I reached back Hat Yai, I have 3-hours to get prepared and catch the evening train heading to BANGKOK!