Taxi rides to Hat Yai city can be found at the airport entrance for which the drivers will ask 240 baht. A minivan service into the city costs 60 baht. A songthaew runs into town for 10 baht and can be found at the far end of the parking lot. From Phet Kasem road, there is a Highway No. 4135 (Sanambin Panij road) linking to the airport. Car rental is available on arrival from Avis.
There are daily flights to/from Bangkok (BKK - AirAsia / Nok Air / One-Two-Go / Thai Airways) and Singapore (SIN - Tiger Airways). Previously available direct flights to Phuket (HKT) and Kuala Lumpur (KUL) have been withdrawn.
Hat Yai has a large bus station located near the Diana Department store. Buses can be taken to all major towns in the south of 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.
Minivans depart to several 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.
Songthaews ply fixed routes for a fixed fare but using them requires a little local knowledge or the ability to speak Thai. Tuk-tuks and motorcycle taxis are abundant and easy to flag down but fares must be negotiated first otherwise you run the risk of being overcharged. Most journeys around town should not cost any more than 20 baht.
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 almost everywhere. Big, international chain restaurants have branches in town offering Japanese and Western food. Ethnic Chinese from Malaysia and Singapore make up the bulk of Hat Yai's tourists so many restaurants and hotels cater primarily for 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. Behind Regency Hotel and Lee Garden Hotel is a Vermicillin Store with a Teochew speaking lady boss. The store opens from 10pm-6am. Its beside the street Thanon Duangchan. For those who likes to eat pork ribs soup or "Bak Kut Tea", you can find this place called "YA LUN ROU KU CHA" with telephone no. 01-6082829 There is also a large resident Muslim population and some visitors from Malaysia are also Muslim so finding Halal food isn't a problem. Certain Chinese are vegetarian and the town has a good selection of small vegetarian restaurants that offer tofu and soy meat substitutes.
The beer in Hat Yai is especially reasonable so enjoy a can of beer while you are there. More reasonably priced than what you buy at the Singapore Duty-Free Shops.
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.
As the largest city in the South, Had Yai and its airport have been targeted several times by Malay separatists. A series of bombings in September 2006 that specifically targeted restaurants and shopping centers popular with visitors (and locals) killed two tourists.