Thursday, June 20, 2013

Hat Yai Holiday


We all know Hat Yai is Shopping heaven & the nightlife is more happening than Malaysia. Let's see what ELSE is there in Hatyai...

Transport

Firstly, u can travel to Hatyai via flight, drive in, bus, train, hired vehicles. To travel around Hatyai you can use the Tuk tuk service or hire a car. 
You can try hiring from Sixt at http://www.sixt.com/car-rental/thailand/hat-yai
Rental companies @ Hatyai Airport : Sixt, Budget & Avis

With Sixt, you can book first, no need to give cc details. Upon arrival at Hatyai, just go to their counter and they will be ready with your details Just make payments and collect your car. You can get a Honda (Brio/City) for MYR 100/ day. GPS is about MYR 30/day. They also have luxury cars BMW 3Series BMW 5Series, BMW X1, Benz and Alphard but only in Bangkok :p

Accomodation

There are many hotels at the city center. Malaysians favorite is Lee Gardens Plaza. Since we had a car, we booked Buri Sriphu, a boutique hotel, ranked No 1 at Tripadvisor during our visit.

Buri Sriphu Boutique Hotel

  I only write reviews for hotels that don't make it into the top ten list but are worthy of review. So since Buri Sriphu is the best in HatYai, a brief summary will do. This hotel is new, has all the frills where staff pick you from the car with an umbrella (if raining), luggage's sent to room, welcome drinks given, speedy check in, rooms well equipped, free WiFi, bath with tub n separate shower, swimming pool, kids pool, good breakfast spread. In a nutshell, NOTHING to complain about. Its about 10 mins from city center by car. You can always get a tuk-tuk from the hotel.

Activities

This are the places we went to:

1) Banthathon Temple, Songkhla GPS coordinate : N 07° 00.534', E 100° 25.855'.
Since it was Deleeina's birthday, we went straight to the temple. It is very close to the airport, about 20 mins.


There are many temple's in HatYai, but we chose this one because it has Ganesha and its on the way to City Center from the Airport.  There are no websites that mentions about the hindu deity in this temple. I got this info from a Hat Yai blogger. 

2) Hat Yai Municipal Park GPS Coordinates : N 07° 02.597' E 100° 30.233'
Pic - Google Images

There are so many things in the park, I dont know where to start. There is a lake at the bottom of the hill. They also have an IceDome, which is similar to our Snow House at I-City,Shah Alam.
 You can go up the hill by taking a tuk-tuk from the bottom of hill. We drove the rented car up till the top. There are 3 stations at this hill.
1st Station - Goddess Kuan Yin








2nd Station - standing Buddha with magnificient view of HatYai.
There is a cable car here that connects to 3rd Station. Its 300 Bhat per person.

Can you spot Goddess Kuan Yin below?




Bon Khao Restaurant before 3rd station
We stopped by here to have lunch. Food was good. Price was normal Malaysian price. They have a good view here too.


3rd Station - Erawan(Thai Elephant God),Brahman, Sivan n Ganesha
Erawan



Hindu deities: Shiva, Laxmi n Ganesh


Standing Buddha and connecting Cable Car


3) Tang Kuan Hill, Songkhla
At bottom of this hill there is a Lift Station.

The lift ride is about 30 Bhat for adults. 15 Bhat for kids and babies travel for free. At the hill, you get to see the whole of Songkhla. The view here was Fantastic.




However, if you are going during school holidays, I think it can get congested as there is only 1 lift which takes 3 mins to go up and 3 mins to come down. It can only fit about 15 people each ride. You do the math. I guess you can get beautiful pics if you go up during sunset.

That was all for sight-seeing. Now, for the main highlight of the trip: shopping. :)

Some places to shop:

Central Mall - The best place to shop for quality goods.
Other malls - Lee Garden Plaza, Odeon, Diana Complex (There's 4D Theater here)

Some of the vendors @ Diana Complex
4D Teather at 5th floor/ Skippy Wonderland @ Diana

After the 4D movie :)
Plaza's - HatYai Plaza (similar to Pasar Borong in Malaysia), Siam Nakarin n Nora Plaza. All NOT WORTH
Markets - Floating Market- (Thalat Naam) GPS - 7.04508,100.474906(Best place to enjoy Thai food, all at 20-30Bhat only.) Clothes also can go for as low as 80-150 Bhat. I managed to get more discounts with my broken Thai. So, better to try to speak their language to get better rates. Stuff here are all wear n tear types but at that price, how to stop yourself from buying.
Asean Trade Market (similar to our Uptown in Malaysia)-The biggest market in HatYai, very close to Buri sriphu hotel.Clothes here can go as low as 100-200Bhat. But there are bundle stores here too, so watch where you are buying. 
Hypermarts - Big C, Carrefour, Tesco Lotus ( I enjoyed shopping at Tesco Lotus)

Fantastic Food:

Tom Yam everywhere is HEBAT. Must try the Coconut IceCream - fantastic.
Mango Sticky Rice - Marvelous, Miaang Kam - Infused with all flavors. Pulut ayam, Len Chi Kang - Just too many nice sweet stuff inside... yumm yumm. Flavored, twisted potato. 

Food that I wanted to try but didnt manage : their Gelato, their Swensens icecream, SomTam, 
Oh well there's always next time, HatYai is just a stones throw away.

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