Songkhla Airport was only being used for private flights at time of writing. Serviced by plentiful flights from Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and elsewhere, Hat Yai International Airport is 45 kilometres southwest of Songkhla.
Minibuses depart for Songkhla from Hat Yai’s main bus terminal and the clock tower off Phet Kasem Road from 06:00 to 19:00 for 28 baht. In Songkhla they return to Hat Yai in the same timeframe from the bus station and a parking area in front of Anuban Songkhla School on Ramwithi Road, just south of the clock tower—get out here if staying around the old town and National Museum.
Maroon songthaews park on Chana Road, just west of the same clock tower, and depart for Ko Yo and Sathing Phra every half-hour from 07:30 to 17:30 for 15 baht.
All other buses and minibuses depart from Songkhla’s main bus station (Bor Kor Sor), located where Tinsulonanda Road begins at the south end of town in the Songkhla Plaza vicinity. Fares include:
Bangkok: First-class buses to Sai Tai Mai (Southern) and Morchit (Northern) terminals depart at 07:20, 15:00 and 16:00 for 488 baht. VIP buses depart at 07:20, 17:00, 17:30 and 18:00 for 790 to 1,050 baht. The trip takes around 16 hours, with stops in Surat Thani and Chumphon.
Krabi: Minibuses depart hourly from 07:00 to 17:00 for 250 baht and take five hours, with a stop in Trang.
Pattani: Minibuses depart hourly from 05:00 to 17:00 for 100 baht and take two hours before continuing on to Yala.
Phatthalung: Minibuses depart every half-hour from 06:30 to 17:00 for 100 baht and take more than two hours.
Sungai Kolok (Malaysia border): Buses depart at 14:30 and 16:30 for 200 baht and take more than four hours.
Make a transfer in Hat Yai if heading to the Malaysia border crossings at Dannok or Pedang Besar, as well as dozens of other destinations in Thailand.
While Songkhla’s old town is compact and easy to explore on foot, most of the city is spread out with a couple of kilometres separating Haad Samila from the old town, for example. Motorbike taxis and a few tuk tuks hang around key places such as the bus station, the Hat Yai minibus parking area near the clock tower, and the fresh market.
Another option is the free Singora tram service, which picks up mostly domestic tourists just west of the clock tower on Chana Road and takes a slow cruise with stops at Haad Samila, the naga statue and the old town.
Bicycles can be rented at Sook Somboon 2 Hotel for 20 baht per hour, and motorbikes at Yes Bar on Soi Sri Suda for 300 baht per day. Yes Bar opens at night only—try calling (098) 013 4698 to grab a bike by day.