Written by Veyroniqa
Edited by Dawn Pillay
Hat Yai is seriously such an underrated place…
People think of it as the go-to holiday for older folk, BUT it’s actually a pretty fun road trip to experience with your friends.
Don’t believe us? Take a look at this 3D2N Hat Yai itinerary we’ve planned for you and your buddies. Before you’re through with reading, you’ll be raring to go!
PS: We didn’t know Hat Yai had Bangkok-worthy night markets!!
When to travel?
Normally, you’ll think that weekends are better because the markets are only open then, right? No worries, there’s a lot to see and do in Hat Yai, so you can go whenever you want and still have tons to see and do.
Getting there & around
1. Getting there
Those in West Malaysia are lucky because of all the options available!
1. Bus – You can take an overnight bus to the heart of Hat Yai for just RM65. You’ll leave at 11PM and arrive bright and early at 6AM.
2. Car – You can choose to take an 8 hour drive with your own car, make sure you bring along your papers (if the car belongs to someone else, like your dad, get him to write you an authorisation letter).
3. Plane – Otherwise, take a flight which would be about RM300 with AirAsia.
2. Getting around
For those that are opting to fly, but want the freedom of driving around, you can rent a car for just USD28 per day.
Taxi rides to town are approximately 300 Baht – but to save cost/avoid potential scams, you should either ensure that your taxi driver uses a meter, or to double check the price of a ride to your destination through Uber and Grab.
PS: can also try their version of a tuk tuk (songthaew). It’s an open van that can fetch up to 8 passengers.
Photo Via Sharonnwxy
On to the Itinerary! We’ve prepared all you need to know from Day 1, Day 2 (weekday), and Day 3!
Eat, shop, eat, and repeat before anything else
The first thing anyone should do once they reach a new destination, is fill up that tummy with some grub! Regardless of what time you arrive, we’ve got the perfect spot waiting for you.
(Assuming you start your day at 9am in the morning while on holiday, everything has been suitably planned for you.)
Go on a foodie hunt at this popular spot, and taste what Thailand has to offer! Filled with cultural knick knacks and art and textiles to buy, you’ll really want to take your time. Plus, there are many local brands here so you’ll come away with tons of bargain buys.
Psst! Their chestnuts are delicious and cheap! 250 baht for 1kg? It’s a total steal. And don’t forget to try their grilled potatoes with coconut milk.
Photo Via Vinaazhou
This is where you can get cheap and good quality Wacoal lingerie, and it’s filled to the brim with beautifully designed cheap wares. Try some home-grown brands you’ve never seen before and remember that there’s a night market outside the mall if you’re interested.
PS: There’s a yummy pork trotter rice that travellers really love here, so keep your eyes peeled!
Photo Via Tukkung
Shaved ice is everyone’s thing, but you can dress it up to your fancy. If you’re craving for a solid meal, you can also try something off their savory menu.
Photo Via Justmejea
Looking really scenic with its European architecture, there’s even a magical carousel, pumpkin carriage and castle to add to the ambiance.
Here you’ll be able to feed sheep, goats, bunnies and parrots, go shopping at their night bazaar, and indulge in yummy food at various Thai/Western restaurants located in the village – where you’ll get to dine on the rooftop. Take your pick!
Photo Via Meena_rak_chai,Chickylovecoke
Fill up that suitcase and pack up some cultural experiences too – Asean Night Bazaar Hatyai (2-3 hrs)
A market that’s only closed on Mondays that has everything weekend markets are known for – art, fairy lights and rows upon rows of stalls.
Of course, you don’t want to miss out buying some matchy and comfortable tees for cheap!
Photo Via Moosetagious,Helmy_rahim
There’s always room for dessert, especially for local specialities – The Lotus Bowl/Bua Loy Mae Luean (บัวลอยหน้าธิดา) (30m-1hr)
Popular with the locals, this is something that can’t be missed. They have many choices, and they all look good.
One way to try them all, is to have each friend order a different one and share. But the vermicelli in coconut milk is a definite must.
Photo Via Tent_ii
If you and your friends enjoy closing the night with a round of drinks – take a short 8 minute walk to one of the trendiest pub that’s a local favourite. Have a drink or two and let loose!
Find a mermaid and a merlion all in one day!
Note: This is a weekday itinerary, if you are traveling to Hat Yai during weekend, please click here
Day 2 is all about exploring what makes Hatyai unique, and you’re in for a delightful surprise. From mermaids to quaint authenticity, it will definitely satisfy the wanderlust in everyone.
Not to be confused with the other dim sum place of the same name (which is scattered all over Thailand). This is a Hatyai local specialty!Being so close to Malaysia means that there’s plenty of cuisine inspired by their neighbours, without the pricetag. 😉 We’re talking 20 baht per dish! You can even find some Bak Kut Teh.
Photo Via Heroseong
We love the legend behind this sea-nic (read:scenic) place. It’s based on a romantic folklore about amermaid who was combing her hair with a golden comb, when she was frightened away by a fisherman. He waited for her every night but she never came back.Now’s your chance to grab a selfie with the mermaid, who has been there since 1966. It is also believed that if you rub her ta-tas, you’ll win lady luck’s smile.
Photo Via Jennifernovinda,Reychew.92
Singaporean or Thai? It’s pretty cool either way – Laem Son-On, Songkhla Municipal Song Thale Park (15m-30m)
This is the Thai Merlion, better known as The Great Serpent. It is the Thai’s deity of water and is greatly respected by the people. They believe that it is the creator of all life, and it sprays divine water to bring happiness and bliss.
Photo Via Panumas_08,Rosomatch
Grab a slice of pizza to the sound of jazz, and kick back with an alcoholic beverage or a caffeine buzz. There are many other colourful concoctions for you to try as well, such as juices.
The brownies have been claimed to be the best and the spicy Thai salad as something you should try.
Phot Via H_k_hn
The deities stand out starkly against clear blue skies, looking grand and will fill you with awe.
Not to mention, the view is amazing – and you can take pictures that make you and your friends look like you are floating against the backdrop of a dreamy faraway city.
Photo Via Mohamad_zhamrie,Kamilkriss
While it’s not something new, it’s always fun to visit a trick-eye museum!
Take some shocking shots here and fool your friends and family back home. Let’s see if you can think up any sick ideas here, that will make for good stories in the years to come.
Photo Via Malahotpot,Deswingho,Jimmykarunaviro
Don’t miss the opportunity to relax and get a good body massage. It’s one of the best ways to enjoy a vacation in Thailand. Sawasdee Thai Massage is a favourite with travellers to Hat Yai, so give it a go!
Photo Via Malahotpot,Deswingho,Jimmykarunaviro
To end the day, tuck into a steaming hot pot. Seriously though, there’s something intimate about sharing a pot of boiling soup, with your buddies and snatching for the best meat.
Here you’ll get to try cooking on a traditional dome-shaped hot pot with lots of authentic food.
Photo Via M.mewww_
Before heading home, relax at a hot spring and get some munchies for your friends back home!
Quaint and instagrammable, it’s really the place to wake up to. And not to mention the smell of roasted coffee beans!
Photo Via Thejoiiz
But make sure your phones or food are safe from those thieving monkeys! Other than that, dip your feet into both the hot and cold natural springs.A hidden treasure tucked out of the way, enjoy free admission and go for a trek. You can also go for the healing massages priced at 120 Baht per hour (4USD).
Photo VIa Partick-lepetit
For those familiar with Thailand, you’ll know that Big C is a must whenever you’re in the country. Chips, instant noodles, koh kae (a favourite peanut snack), pocky… The list is endless! For a better idea of what you can get, check out our guide.
Photo Via Woanchyi911
Recommended places to stay
1. Have a slumber party for 4 or more – Centris Condominium
There’s no other place in Hatyai that are more perfect for group stays. This place can sleep up to 6 people, with two queens and one sofa bed. It’s about an 8 minute walk to where all the hustle and bustle is, so you don’t have to worry about being kept awake by sounds at night!
2. For groups with couples that want alone time – Grand Pink Hotel Hatyai
Great value for money and smack in the middle of where everything is, it’s 6 minutes from Haadyai Station and 4 minutes to the nearest 7/11. Plus, right out the door is a walking street and Odean, one of the more prominent shopping malls in Hatyai.
Photo Via Okgalcinbee
3. Little pricier but great architectural and interior designs for those aesthetically inclined – The Three Hatyai
A great option which is very central, and a little more on the hip side with great decor.
The Three Hatyai makes a very comfortable, instagrammable and luxurious stay for its location. It’s just a few steps away from Walking Street and Odean!
Special Mention: For large groups with their own car, you can have a place all to yourself – Punpun House
A little bit more out of the way, but perfect for those driving a car around Hat Yai!
This place can comfortably accommodate 12 people with 4 bedrooms and 7 beds – and there’s easy access to parking. The garage is large enough for an SUV, and you may also park out front or by the side of the road.