Am going to Songkhla in April. Original plan was to arrive on 5th, but now have to delay until 9th. Have a flight to Hat Yai arriving on 5th, and am unable to change this. Any suggestions as to how to amuse myself until 9th would be much appreciated.
It's many years since I've visited Haadyai. It used to be a typical border town-cheap shopping, brothels,lots of hotels and nightclubs. Unfortunately, as far as going out is concerned everything is geared to the hoardes of Singaporean and Malaysian Chinese who visit.There are interesting places to go such as Narathiwat with its giant reclining Buddha or Betong a town surrounded by beautiful forest and waterfalls.
Unfortunately, your problem is security.
The Thai army are fighting an insurgency down there. (I'll leave the details to Madmac, he's far more authorative on this subject than I am) and getting around could be quite dangerous.
I do remember the shopping was good and cheap there.
#3 sayadian has been a member since 15/1/2008. Posts: 1,557
Thanks everyone. Samila, I am going to Songkhla on 9th........need to occupy myself from 5th after arriving in Hat Yai until then. Just wanted to know if there was anywhere I could get to for a couple of days. Not intending to shop. Security issues are of course important. Don't want to cross to Malaysia this trip.
We flew into Hat Yai a few weeks ago and went straight to Koh Tarutao from Pak Bara pier (a bit of a drive from Hat Yai). Four days would mean you'd have two good days on the island. I think that's worth doing especially if the idea of a quiet beautiful non-party island appeals to you. Otherwise, Koh Lipe is a bit further but also (still) nice.
#6 mnemeth has been a member since 11/1/2012. Posts: 18
You bet. We took a taxi from the airport but in retrospect a bus maybe would have been better since we had to wait a long time for the taxi. Its a 1.5-2 hr drive. Our taxi driver also tried to divert us to a tour company before we got to the pier but we just said no thank you, please take us to the pier and were able to easily arrange a boat taxi at about 5:30pm. If you however, get there much earlier so as to take the less expensive ferry or even speedboat and arrive on Tarutao in time to get to the second set of bungalows.
There are two primary sets of bungalows on Koh Tarutao. We stayed at both but had we not stayed at the second one, Ao Molae, about 20-30 minutes south of the first one, I wouldn't have thought the island was so great. The first one was not worth it but that more private second set of bungalows on the great swimming beach with all the little monkees (and wild pigs and I saw a wild boar) wondering up and down the path was great. You can arrange a 200 baht taxi ride anytime day hours at the headquarters and they run a 50 baht bus ride (using the same vehicles) at set times of the day -- 11am was one of those.
Tarutao's not for everyone. It takes a bit of extra work to get there (though its the closest island in that national park to Pak Bara). There's no social scene (got to nearby Lipe for that). The part of Tarutao that daytrippers see doesn't do the island justice. There's no electricity after 11pm. Monkees will break into your bungalow if you leave the windows wide open and you have food in there. etc. But me and my 3-year old son loved it; its beautiful and relaxing and fun to swim and chill at.
#8 mnemeth has been a member since 11/1/2012. Posts: 18
A lot of hookers there. Hat Yai is famous for that. If you're not into naughty nightlife... Mnemeth's suggestion sounds good.
And yes, exercise a little extra due caution, especially in rural areas, as there have been about 4,000 insurgency related deaths in the general Pattani area in the last 7 years.
#9 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
Thanks MADMAC. I was last in Hat Yai about 23 years ago, suffering in the early stages of dengue fever, and the hotel in which I stayed was surely a brothel.
Was reading about Ko Bulon Leh (or Lae as I have also seen it spelt). Anyone been there? It sounds nice, and I believe it is accessible from Pak Bara.
Hatyai is an interesting city, you can spend your time massage, eating and shopping. you can go to Ice Dome, Municipal Park or Songkla Beach.
My Hatyai Trip 2012.
#11 enqvist has been a member since 31/7/2012. Posts: 1
Thanks for your input, enqvist. As you can see from my earlier posts, my trip was in April, and my intention was to find something to do prior to going to Songkhla. I did in fact spend those few days on Bulon, which was quite pleasant.