Songkhla & Hat Yai Travel Information
FNE Travel || About Us || Contact Us || Hat Yai Hotels || 合艾旅游信息 || Travel Info for other Thailand Cities
General Information || Attractions || How to get there
 
General Information

introductionSongkhla is both one of Thailand's most important port cities and a coastal province known for its ethnic diversity and its unique traditions, dialect, and folk entertainment.

An outpost of the Srivijaya Empire from Sumatra (c. 7th century C.E.), Songkhla served as a port and a coastal trading post where Indian, Persian and Arabian merchants came to exchange their products. The city was named "Sing Lha" after the 2 lion-shape islands at the mouth of the city's lake. At present, these 2 islands are called Koh Noo (Rat Island) and Koh Maew (Cat Island).

An undeniably historic town endowed with ancient ruins and places of cultural importance, Songkhla is a melting pot of Thais, Chinese and Malays, and charms visitors with its unique traditions, dialect, and folk entertainment. These characteristics are reflections of the province’s rich cultural heritage, which has been preserved and passed down from generation to generation.

Hat Yai, a district of Songkhla, is perhaps better known than the provincial capital itself. Hat Yai serves as a southern hub of communication, trading and transportation as well as a gateway to Malaysia and Singapore. In light of this, Hat Yai has gained importance as the driving force of economic growth in the southern region.

Over the last few decades, Songkhla has been rapidly developed and is currently a unique attraction worth visiting. Blessed with natural resources, such as fine beaches, enchanting waterfalls, and a tranquil lake, the province has an abundance of tourist attractions and an amazing number of seaside resort towns. Moreover, the old section of Songkhla still maintains its unique identity of ancient and historical flavors through local architecture and cuisine.

While Songkhla is noted as a fishing community set in a peaceful atmosphere, Hat Yai, on the other hand, serves as the transportation and communications hub of the south with links to various destinations in the neighboring provinces and Malaysia.

Hat Yai (frequently spelled Had Yai) is the largest city in southern Thailand, located near the border of Malaysia and populated by nearly 800,000 Thais. Hat Yai is located in Songkhla Province and, while not the provincial capital, is home to The Prince of Songkhla University, making it Southern Thailand’s educational center as well as the south’s heart of transportation, commerce, and tourism.

introductionAmong other things, Hat Yai is renowned for its outstanding seafood, which is served in various styles thanks to Hat Yai’s diverse population of Chinese, Malays, and Thais. Hat Yai also features a multitude of markets, both local and international in style, and has a festive nightlife, including pubs and discos that are particularly popular with tourists from neighboring Malaysia.

While there have been occasional violent attacks from regional terror groups, Hat Yai is a relatively safe city to visit, particularly if one avoids the most crowded tourist venues and enjoys the local flavor of the city and the culture of its diverse inhabitants.

The populous city of Hat Yai, the largest in Songkhla Province, is Southern Thailand’s commercial, shopping, and entertainment center. Hat Yai is located roughly 950 km (600 miles) from Bangkok and just 30 km (18.5 miles) from the Malaysian border. Consequently it is a popular destination for visitors from Malaysia, who enjoy dining on seafood and experiencing Hat Yai’s lively nightlife.

Regional attractions include Songkhla Lake (the largest in Thailand), an enormous reclining Buddha that visitors can walk inside, the Bhasawang Big Splash (a 15 meter long water slide), and the region’s most popular spectator sport, bullfighting.

Back to top
Attractions

Laem Samila

Located in the City Municipality, about 2.5 kilometers from the fresh market (Thalat Supsin or Thalat Sot Thetsaban), the peninsula is renowned for its powdery sandy beach, shady pine groves, and the statue of a mermaid Songkhla's most famous landmark. It is easily accessible via Hat Yai-Songkhla buses. From the city, visitors can take a minibus directly to the beach.

Songkhla Zoo

Located on the Songkhla-Chana Highway, Tambon Khao Rup Chang, this open- zoo was established with an aim to preserve Thai wildlife. When they are ready, the wildlife will be returned to the wild. The zoo occupies a hilly area with an asphalt ring road. Various animals which have been grouped separately, such camels, birds, red gaur, tigers, crocodiles, etc., are major residents here. One of the highlights in the zoo that should not to be missed is the scenic viewpoint overlooking the whole city of Songkhla. Food stalls are available. For more information please call 074 325037-8.

view view view

Songkhla Lake

This lake is the largest lake in Thailand covering an area of approximately 80 kilometers long and 20 to 25 kilometers wide in Songkhla and Phatthalung Provinces. In addition, it is the only natural, fresh-water lake in Thailand. Several islands across from its mouth namely, Ko Yai, Ko Si, Ko Ha, Ko Kaeo, Ko Mak, Ko Rai, and Ko Yo are worth visiting for relaxation. Boat services are available for touring the lake. The port behind the post office or the fresh market has all-day long-tailed boat services.

Tinsulanond Bridge

The bridge, which is the longest concrete bridge in Thailand, spans Songkhla Lake and is part of Highway 408. The bridge has two parts with the first part connecting the coast of Amphoe Muang Songkhla at Ban Nam Krachai to the southern coast of Ko Yo for a total distance of 1,140 meters. The second part connects the northern shore of Ko Yo to the coast of Ban Khao Khiao for a total distance of 1,800 meters. It was opened to traffic on 25 September 1986.

Ko Yo

A small island in the Songkhla Lake that has recently become an important tourist attraction in Songkhla. Covering an area of 9,275 rais (3,710 acres), the island is accessible via the Tinsulanond Bridge. Geographically, the islands coastal plain is suitable for agriculture such as a special kind of jackfruit called Jampada. Another famous island product is its hand-woven fabric.

The Songkhla National Museum

Located on Chana Road, the Museum, constructed in the Chinese style, was originally built in 1878 as the mansion of Songkhla's ruler. It later became the domicile of Songkhla's upper administrative officers, the City Hall and in 1953, the building was converted into a museum to exhibit lower southern artifacts. Today it is the place where local archaeology, history and folk art and culture can be studied and appreciated. Noteworthy is the collection of artifacts of the Na Songkhla Family that used to rule the city. It is opened to the public, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., except Mondays, Tuesdays and public holidays.

view view view view

Phathammarong Museum

Located on Chana Road near the Songkhla National Museum, Phathammarong Museum is a Thai-style museum constructed to resemble the birthplace of H.E. Prem Tinsulanond, the former Prime Minister and Statesman who is a Songkhla native.

The Institute for Southern Thai Studies

This Institute is situated on Ko Yo, near the foot of the second part of the Tinsulanond Bridge. Established in 1978 to undertake the study of southern arts and culture, the institute has been transformed into a live museum that exhibits comprehensive sets of local art and culture, and southern lifestyles. The systematic exhibitions cover more than 30 rooms with displays concerning history, religion, tradition, occupation, folk play, handicrafts, and various artifacts. In addition, there are presentations that recount local wisdom, which has been accumulated and passed down through several generations. Other than the exhibitions and presentation, there are several viewpoints where visitors can admire Songkhla Lake and aquaculture farms in the institute.

Back to top
How to get there

Getting to and from Songkhla

By Train:

The State Railway of Thailand provides daily rapid and express train services from Bangkok to Hat Yai. There are six trains departing each day from Bangkok's Hua Lumphong Railway Station that service Hat Yai. Travel time is about 17 hours. For further information call 1690, 0 2223 7020, 0 2223 7030, Hat Yai Railway Station at 0 7424 3705, 0 7423 8005, or visit www.railway.co.th

By Car:

From Bangkok take Highway No.4 through Prachuap Khiri Khan, Chumphon, Surat Thani, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Trang and Phatthalung Provinces in order to reach Songkhla Province. The total distance is 950 kilometers.

By Bus:

From Bangkok there are daily buses from Bangkok to Songkhla and Hat Yai. The journey takes about 13 hours. For the current schedule and further information contact the Southern Bus Terminal at tel: 02 435 1199-200 or visit www.transport.co.th. For Hat Yai, call the Transport Co., Ltd. (Bo Kho So) at tel: 074 23 2789, 0 7423 2404, Piya Tour 0 7442 8972, or Thai Doen Rot 0 7442 9525.

FNE TRAVEL'S PRIVATE AIRPORT TRANSFER SERVICE

Getting to and from Hat Yai

By Train:

The Hat Yai train station serves as a major stopping point along the route from Bangkok to Butterworth, Malaysia. From Hat Yai it is possible to travel by train through Malaysia and into Singapore or up to Bangkok and onwards to Nong Khai or Chiang Mai.

By Bus:

Hat Yai is a major hub for both public and private busses, servicing busses from Malaysia and Singapore to the south and most destinations within Thailand to the north.

Back to top
 

 
FNE Travel || About Us || Contact Us || Hat Yai Hotels || 合艾旅游信息 || Travel Info for other Thailand Cities