Located in the Songkhla province, far south close to the Malaysian border, Hat Yai is the fourth largest city in Thailand. Hat Yai is a commercial hub and a shopping destination for many Malaysians, Singaporeans and Thais from neighboring districts. Hat Yai is the place to go for cheap bargains and good food.
1. Ninoy Aquino International Airport
The Ninoy Aquino International Airport or NAIA is one of two international airports serving the Metro Manila Area. Located along the border of Pasay City and Paranaque City in Manilla, NAIA is about 7 km south of Manilla and southwest of Makati City. There are four terminals in NAIA with terminal 1 hosting only international flights. Terminal 2 and 3 host international and domestic flights while terminal 4, the oldest terminal only hosts flights from local and regional carriers. NAIA is also the hub for AirAsia Philippines, Cebgo, Cebu Pacific, PAL Express and Philippine Airlines.
2. Hat Yai International Airport (HDY)
Located 9 km from downtown Hat Yai, the Hat Yai International Airport is linked to downtown Hat Yai by Highway 4135. The airport offers various facilities such as money exchange, ATM's, souvenir and duty-free shops, restaurants including Dunkin Donuts and Dairy Queen, Muslim prayer rooms, smoking room, VIP room and a spa within the terminal. Currently, there are two ways of transport to Hat Yai International Airport which are by taxi, costing around PHP 400 to the downtown Hat Yai or the blue public minibus to the Hat Yai bus station costing around PHP 30 to PHP 50 depending on where you are alighting.
The peak travel period for Hat Yai would be in April, which is when the Thai New Year or Songkran festival is celebrated. Songkran falls on the 13th of April every year and is a week-long holiday in Thailand. During this period, many travelers will flock to cities in Thailand where Songkhran takes place to take part in the festivity. Travelers should avoid traveling to Hat Yai from September to January as there may be heavy rains and even floods.
1. Khlong Hae Floating Market – Slightly different to its sister floating market in Bangkok, this floating market has boats docked at the platform selling various local food to the visitors. Located 30 mins from the city centre, the market is best visited in the evening around 6-7 pm when it gets cooler and just in time for dinner.
2. Wat Hat Yai Nai – Claimed to be the third largest reclining Buddha in the world, this 35 meter sleepy-eyed Buddha is a sight to behold. Visitors can take a tuk-tuk to the temple and walk around the gardens of the temple before heading in to see the sleeping Buddha.
3. Kim Yong Market – Located in the middle of Hat Yai city, Kim Yong market is a local market where locals and travelers head to shop. Stalls here sell clothes, fruit, snacks, food, fresh flower, perfume and even make-up. Food sold here can go to as low as PHP 16 but make sure you bargain!