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Hat Yai

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Hat Yai

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Hat Yai (หาดใหญ่; also Had Yai, Haad Yai) is the fourth largest city in Thailand and is located in Songkhla Province.

Get in

By plane


Hat Yai International Airport (HDY)

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 Previously available direct flights to Phuket (HKT) and Kuala Lumpur (KUL) have been withdrawn.

By train

Hat Yai is on the southern line connecting Bangkok to Butterworth and Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia.

By bus

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.

By minivan

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.

Get around

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.


  • Chinese Temples - notably the Kuan Im temple up on the hill behind Hat Yai Municipal Park.
  • The reclining Buddha at Wat Hat Yai Nai.
  • Tone Nga Chang Waterfall.
  • Songkhla Zoo
  • Ko Yo


  • Visa Run - If you need to extend your stay in Thailand another 30 days, you can cross the border at Dannok, near Sadao. Getting there from the airport is easy and takes about 2 hours. From the airport walk straight out into the parking lot to the parking lot ring road. You can wait here for a light blue songthaew to take you into town and get dropped off at The Plaza for 13 baht. The ride takes about 20-30 minutes. You can also take an airport taxi into town. At The Plaza, you can find a van waiting just across from the TOT office, which makes regular trips to Dannok. If you can't find it, just say "Sadao" or "Dannok" to people till they point you the right way. The trip is 50 baht, and vans leave once they are full. The trip should take about 1 hour 30 minutes. It will drop you off near the border at Dannok and you can just walk to exit Thailand. You will be approached by motorcycle drivers who will offer to take you to the Malaysian side. Walking takes about 10 minutes, so it could be worth it to pay 20 baht each way if you are in a hurry. If you have time, a stop at the duty free shop is worthwhile. Minivans returning to Hat Yai depart from outside the 7-Eleven store in Dannok.


  • Lee Garden Plaza - The most popular mall for Thai teenagers. Restaurants include Sizzler, Swensens, McDonalds and Fuji among others. Shops inside sell books, clothes, mobile phones and souvenirs. There is a multiplex cinema and a games complex which also includes Karaoke booths.
  • Odean Shopping Mall - Mostly clothes.
  • Diana Shopping Mall - Clothes, mobile phones, restaurants and a bowling alley.
  • Tesco Lotus - Located near the Prince of Songkhla University, a large supermarket that sells food, clothes, household items and lots more. There are also a number of restaurants and smaller shops just outside the main supermarket.
  • Carrefour - Very similar to Tesco Lotus.
  • Central Department Store - Probably Hat Yai's most upmarket store. Clothes, cosmetics, books, household goods and there is a TOPS food supermarket in the basement.


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.

  • The Swan - Nice atmosphere with books and 2 TVs with UBC. Jack Coke - 60 baht. A slight British Pub feel. On Thanon Thamnoon Vithi Rd. One block from The Pubb.
  • Brown Sugar - Just across the street from The Swan, is similar, but with a bit less ambience. Does breakfast. On Thanon Thamnoon Vithi Rd.
  • The Pubb - Live music, pool upstairs and decent food. Located downtown.
  • The Post Laser Disc - Proclaims "We are mentioned by Lonley Planet". Air-con and pool. Jack Coke 80 baht. Farang hangout. On Thanon Thamnoon Vithi Rd.
  • Brass Monkey - Upstairs disco with pool table. Next to Brown Sugar.
  • Deep Wonder - Street side and downstair bar. Live music. Across from The Pubb.
  • The Corazon
  • Acoustic
  • The West Side Saloon
  • Paragon located at Hansa Plaza


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.


  • Cathay Guest House- All rooms have fan, toilet and shower. Prices 90-250 baht. Great place to stay for travelers as the lobby has loads of travel books and maps. Also run a travel agency. Walking distance from train station.
  • Asian Hotels Located just walking distance from Lee Garden. Offers basic facilities but it is one of the older bigger hotels several decades back.

Mid Range

  • Siam City Hotel - 074-353-111/30. 25-35 Niphatutit 2 Rd. Price 850 baht. Decent city views. Mini fridge. Feels 30 years old. Only one English TV channel.

Stay safe

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.

This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!