Use the quicklinks below to jump to the desired section regarding transport in and around Hat Yai.
Daily flights from Bangkok are available into Hat Yai international airport. From Bangkok you can connect with any major airport in Thailand or plenty of other international destinations. Daily flights run from Kuala Lumpur into Hat Yai via Bangkok, with one direct flight a day from Kuala Lumpur on Air Asia, and one direct flight a day from Singapore on Tiger Air. There are flights from both of Bangkok airports on THAI and Nok Air. See the respective airline websites for flight information.
In Thailand there is one rail link into Hat Yai from Bangkok. From Malaysia the direct rail link is through the west. Commuter trains in the western corridor connect all major cities with Thai railways at Padang Besar on the Thai border. There is no interlinked rail service on the east coast of Malaysia to Thailand though you can take a bus to the border from Kota Bharu to Rantau Panjang and walk across, then a taxi or bus to the train station there.
From Kuala Lumpur
Daily overnight train departing at 21:30 and arriving Hat Yai at 10:30
Seat 48 ringgit/upper berth 59 ringgit/lower berth 60 ringgit
Two trains, one is the north bound KL train departing at 06:00 and arriving at 10:30, and the afternoon train departing at 14:20 and arriving at 18:45
Seat 33 ringgit
Trains from Bangkok to Hat Yai run from 07:30 until 22:50.
1st class sleeper 1,494 baht; 2nd class upper 855 baht; 2nd class lower 945 baht; 2nd class seat 644 baht; 3rd class seat 545 baht
All prices are air-con, fans seats are less when available
Hat Yai has two bus terminals. Hat Yai Bus Terminal #1 (T: (074) 232 404) is near Diana Shopping Centre and Hat Yai Bus Terminal #2 (T: (074) 255 333) is in Hat Yai Nai. Buses are available to Hat Yai from just about any point in Thailand and Malaysia that you find yourself.
From Kuala Lumpur
Express buses run from Kuala Lumpur to Hat Yai from 09:00 until 23:30. Prices range from 50 to 70 ringgit. Tickets can be purchased online or at the Pudu Sentral bus terminal. When you enter the terminal facilitators will ask you where you are going and direct you to the correct window (free of charge). The express buses take you to various stops in central Hat Yai where you are only a short walk from most of the hotels.
There are no direct buses from Penang to Hat Yai but mini vans (of 10 passengers) run from early in the morning until 17:00 in the evening. They can be booked through a travel agent or hotel concierge and the cost is approximately 30 ringgit.
Express VIP, Express first class and second class buses run from Bangkok to Hat Yai starting in the afternoon from 17:00 until 20:00. The travel time is 12 hours and the VIP buses have fully reclining seats, making them far more comfortable than the second class standard bus.
VIP bus 1,100 baht; 1st class bus 800 baht; 2nd class bus 690 baht
There are a great number of 2nd class buses running from Phuket. The travel time is 7.5 hours and these buses run all day from early morning until late in the evening. There is one express bus at 21:45 and it takes 6.5 hours to Hat Yai.
Express bus 535 baht; 2nd class bus 350 baht
The minivan service is alive and well in Hat Yai. They are a bonus for the budget traveller but not necessarily the most comfortable option-- if a van can fit 16 people inside, rest assured they will. Minivans also make frequent drops and pick ups along the way, so journey times can vary as much as 30 minutes. Minivan service is available at the two Hat Yai bus terminals. Purchasing your ticket through an agent will have an added commission fee and with the frequency of departures, booking in advance is unnecessary.
Minivans from the Hat Yai bus terminal #1 to Songkhla are 30 baht, but they also pick up at the clock tower on Phetkasem Road for the same price.
Minivans from Hat Yai to Satun depart bus terminal #1 frequently throughout the day. It is 70 baht to Satun and 120 baht to the Satun ferry terminal. If you are going directly to the Satun ferry terminal be sure to make more than one inquiry to get the right one. It is easy to be diverted to a Satun-only minivan and have to sit in Satun and wait for a tuk tuk to accumulate enough passengers for the final leg of the journey.
Minivans south to Sungai Kolok cost 250 baht one way and depart from terminal #1.
Departures from Hat Yai to Trang and Krabi leave from bus terminal #2. Hat Yai to Trang is 100 baht and from Hat Yai to Krabi it is 267 baht per person one way.
The main area surrounding Hat Yai train station is easily negotiated on foot, but there are always tuk tuks or motorcycle taxis willing to give you a quick lift. Do note that many of the streets are one-way, so distances may double or triple when taxis negotiate these streets and prices may vary – once you are oriented it may be quicker to walk.
Tuk tuks are readily available throughout Hat Yai, but prices can vary quite a lot depending on the number of folks being transported. From the general area of the train station to the airport is about 300 baht and from the bus station to the train station area is about 100 baht. Tuk tuks transporting several people as opposed to just one will definitely have a lower price per person, so if it looks like there's room for just one more don't be shy! With polite negotiations there may be a little price leeway for single travellers, but if the original price quoted seems high, trust your instincts and walk away.