Hat Yai Travel Guide: Top 33 Things to Do in Hat Yai, Thailand

Situated in the southern region of Thailand lies Hat Yai, a bustling city often dubbed as the southern capital, offering a unique blend of urban vibe and traditional Thai charm. It’s the largest city in Songkhla Province and serves as a gateway to both Thailand’s neighboring countries like Malaysia and the beautiful beaches of Thailand’s own southern coastline. With its myriad of attractions, bustling markets, and delectable street food, Hat Yai beckons travelers seeking an authentic Thai experience, away from the country’s more trodden tourist paths.

Hat Yai sunset views from high vantage points in Thailand

History and Culture

Hat Yai’s rise began as a railway town during the early 20th century, which fueled its transformation into a thriving commercial hub. This is evident today with its busy streets, towering buildings, and a confluence of cultures. Over the years, it has attracted a diverse population of Thai, Chinese, and Malay inhabitants, resulting in a multicultural tapestry that influences everything from architecture to daily life and cuisine.

While it’s decidedly more urban than the nearby quaint towns, traces of its rich history can be found in its temples, museums, and art centers, reminding travelers of its storied past.

What Makes Hat Yai Unique?

Shopping Paradises: Central to Hat Yai’s appeal is its shopping scene. From modern malls like Central Festival Hat Yai to traditional markets such as Kim Yong Market and Asean Night Bazaar, shoppers can find an eclectic mix of products – branded goods, electronics, local handicrafts, and more.

Gastronomic Delight: The city is also a haven for food enthusiasts. Thanks to its multicultural influences, Hat Yai boasts a culinary repertoire that spans traditional Thai dishes, Chinese delicacies, and Malay specialties. Don’t leave without trying the local dim sum or a hearty bowl of ‘khanom jeen’ – a noodle dish smothered in a variety of flavorful curries.

Natural Beauty and Recreational Activities: Beyond the urban sprawl, Hat Yai is surrounded by natural wonders. Ton Nga Chang Waterfall, with its multi-tiered cascades amidst a lush rainforest, is a perfect respite from the city buzz. Hat Yai Municipal Park offers a vast expanse for recreational activities and houses the revered Phra Buddha Mongkol Maharaj, a golden sitting Buddha statue that gazes upon the city.

Connectivity: Given its strategic location, Hat Yai International Airport connects the city to various domestic and international destinations, making it a key transportation hub.

Festivals and Events: Throughout the year, Hat Yai is lively with festivals reflecting its cultural diversity. The Songkran festival (Thai New Year) sees city-wide water battles, while the Loi Krathong Festival transforms the cityscape with thousands of floating lanterns and intricately decorated baskets.

Safety and Hospitality

Like much of Thailand, Hat Yai embodies the spirit of ‘Land of Smiles.’ Locals are warm, friendly, and always ready to assist. While generally safe, it’s always wise for travelers to stay vigilant, especially in crowded areas.

Offering a compelling mix of cosmopolitan energy and cultural depth, Hat Yai stands as a testament to Thailand’s ability to blend the modern with the traditional. Whether you’re a shopaholic, a food lover, or a history buff, Hat Yai promises an enriching travel experience that captures the essence of southern Thailand.

Hat Yai Travel Guide: Things to do in Hat Yai, Thailand for visitors

Hat Yai City Guide: A Brief History Of Hat Yai, Thailand For Visitors

Hat Yai’s history is a rich tapestry interwoven with cultural influences, economic shifts, and the steady evolution of a once-small town into the vibrant city it is today. Understanding its past provides visitors with deeper insights into the heart and soul of Hat Yai, enabling them to appreciate its unique charm even more.

Early Beginnings and Etymology

The origins of Hat Yai are closely tied to its geographical location. Its name, when translated, means “big beach,” although it’s quite far from the sea. This might seem odd at first glance, but historical records suggest that the name was derived from the fact that the town was once located near a large flat area which, during rainy seasons, would turn into a vast swamp or ‘beach.’

Emergence as a Railway Town

The pivotal point in Hat Yai’s history came in the early 20th century when the Southern Railway, which connected the region with the rest of Thailand and continued to Malaysia, was established. The railway brought about transformative changes. Hat Yai quickly developed from a quiet trading post into a bustling transport and commercial hub. Its strategic location made it an attractive place for traders, settlers, and laborers.

Cultural Confluence

Over the years, Hat Yai began to attract a diverse group of inhabitants. Thai, Chinese, and Malay communities started settling, bringing with them their traditions, beliefs, and practices. This multicultural infusion is palpable in today’s Hat Yai, where temples, mosques, and churches coexist harmoniously.

Chinese migrants, in particular, played a vital role in Hat Yai’s economic rise. Many became successful merchants, and their influence is evident in the architecture, festivals, and even the culinary scene of the city.

20th Century Challenges

The latter half of the 20th century posed challenges for Hat Yai. Being close to the Thai-Malay border, it sometimes found itself at the crossroads of political tensions. The region faced instances of insurgency and civil unrest, which at times affected the city’s tourism and trade. However, through community resilience, governmental intervention, and development projects, Hat Yai has always managed to bounce back and maintain its status as an economic powerhouse in the south.

Modern Era and Tourism Boom

The turn of the millennium heralded a new era for Hat Yai. With improved infrastructure, the opening up of ASEAN economic corridors, and increased connectivity, the city began positioning itself as a major tourist destination. The urban landscape began to evolve with the construction of modern malls, hotels, and attractions, yet Hat Yai maintained its authentic Thai charm.

Today’s Hat Yai still retains vestiges of its historic past, from the remnants of old shophouses that echo its trade heritage to the railway station that stands as a testament to the city’s transformative years.

Hat Yai’s history is a fascinating journey from humble beginnings to becoming one of southern Thailand’s most important cities. Its resilience, adaptability, and cultural richness make it a must-visit for anyone wanting to delve deep into the heart of Thai history. Visitors, armed with knowledge of its past, will undoubtedly view Hat Yai’s streets, markets, and landmarks with a newfound appreciation and reverence.

Hat Yai high vantage point overlooking green spaces and parks in Thailand

Other Cultural Attractions: Trip to Hat Yai, Thailand

If the heat of Hat Yai becomes a bit too much for you to bear, head out of town to relax beside the flowing waters of Namtok Ton Nga Chang. Boasting seven tiers, this waterfall is a popular place for locals looking for a spot to take a dip on a particularly hot day.

The 3rd tier is most popular, but if you want to climb to the highest waterfall, allow yourself several hours to get to the top, swim, and get back.

If there is a part of you that digs cheesy tourist attractions, make space in your schedule to visit the Magic Museum while you are in Hat Yai. Throughout, you find encounter paintings on the walls and floors which are designed to create optical illusions which will wow young and old people alike.

More Attractions

While it is a pricey attraction to visit, photography is allowed, making it a great place to kill time while waiting for Hat Yai’s night market to start up.

As alluded to earlier, Hat Yai is known for being a major shopping destination, as it sells certain goods which are pricier or are hard to find in Malaysia. CentralFestival Hatyai is the fanciest mall in the city, as it offers more than just tons of shops – with a massive food court, ice skating rink, bowling alley, an IMAX theatre, and more, it is an entertaining attraction in its own right.

Encounter the goods of other nations in Southeast Asia by exploring the ASEAN Trade Bazaar. With everything from various dishes from across the region to an entire area dedicated to phone accessories, you’ll find what you need, whether it is the bag you’ve been needing for some time or that perfect souvenir for your parents.

Take a break from your hectic touring by spending some time relaxing in Hat Yai Municipal Park. Decorated with flower beds, a Standing Buddha, and numerous food stalls, if you need to unwind, stop by this beautifully designed public green space.

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Top 33 Things To Do in Hat Yai, Thailand For Visitors

Here are the top 33 things to do in Hat Yai:

Haew Suwat waterfall in Khao Yai National Park

1. Explore Hat Yai Municipal Park

This expansive park is a haven of greenery offering picturesque views of the city. It features various attractions, including statues, temples, and a cable car leading to a hilltop Buddha statue. The park is ideal for leisurely strolls, picnics, and enjoying the tranquility away from the city bustle. Don’t miss the breathtaking view from the observation deck near the Standing Buddha.

2. Visit Wat Hat Yai Nai

Wat Hat Yai Nai is home to one of the world’s largest reclining Buddhas, measuring about 35 meters in length. The temple is a peaceful place for reflection and understanding Thai Buddhism. It’s easily accessible and offers a glimpse into the local religious practices. Visitors can also see beautiful murals and sculptures within the temple grounds.

3. Shop at Kim Yong Market

Kim Yong Market is a bustling marketplace known for its wide range of goods, from fresh produce to clothing and electronics. It’s a great place to experience the local culture and practice your bargaining skills. The market is particularly famous for its selection of nuts, dried fruits, and snacks. It’s a must-visit for those looking to immerse themselves in the local shopping scene.

4. Take a Trip to Magic Eye 3D Museum

Magic Eye 3D Museum offers a fun-filled experience with its interactive 3D art pieces. Visitors can become part of the art installations, creating amusing and memorable photos. It’s an entertaining visit for families and groups of friends. The museum also features a range of optical illusions and trick-eye exhibits.

5. Relax at Samila Beach

Although a bit of a drive from Hat Yai, Samila Beach is renowned for its golden sands, shady pine trees, and the famous Mermaid Statue. It’s a perfect spot for a day trip, offering a serene escape with beautiful ocean views. The beach is ideal for leisurely walks, picnics, and enjoying local seafood. Don’t forget to take a photo with the iconic mermaid and the cat and mouse sculptures.

6. Experience the Hat Yai Cable Car

The Hat Yai Cable Car offers a scenic ride from the city park up the hill to the large Buddha statue and viewpoint. It provides panoramic views of Hat Yai and the surrounding areas. The cable car journey is an adventure in itself, offering a unique perspective of the city’s natural beauty. It’s particularly stunning during sunset.

7. Visit the Hat Yai Floating Market

Hat Yai Floating Market is a vibrant place where visitors can explore Thai culture and cuisine through its numerous boat vendors and stalls. It’s an excellent spot for sampling local dishes and snacks, such as boat noodles and grilled seafood. The market also offers souvenirs and handcrafted goods. Enjoy the lively atmosphere and the unique shopping experience on water.

8. Discover the Stainless Steel Temple, Wat Phra Maha Chedi Tripob Trimongkol

This unique temple is entirely made of stainless steel, making it a striking architectural marvel. The intricate designs and craftsmanship are truly awe-inspiring. It’s a serene place for meditation and appreciating art. The temple’s modern approach to Buddhist architecture sets it apart from others in Thailand.

9. Explore the ASEAN Trade Bazaar

The ASEAN Trade Bazaar offers a wide array of products from Southeast Asian countries, including clothing, accessories, and home decor. It’s a great place to find unique items and gifts at reasonable prices. The bazaar also features food stalls serving dishes from across the region. It’s an excellent opportunity to experience the diversity of ASEAN cultures.

10. Enjoy the Scenery at Ton Nga Chang Waterfall

Ton Nga Chang Waterfall, located in a wildlife sanctuary, is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Southern Thailand. It’s known for its seven-tiered structure, resembling an elephant’s tusk. The hike to the waterfall takes you through lush forest, offering a refreshing escape into nature. The clear pools at each tier are perfect for cooling off after the hike.

11. Take a Leisurely Stroll at Hat Yai City Center

The city center of Hat Yai is bustling with energy, offering an array of shopping, dining, and entertainment options. It’s the heart of the city’s nightlife, with bars and live music venues. The area is also home to many street food stalls, serving delicious Thai specialties. Exploring the city center is a must for experiencing Hat Yai’s vibrant urban culture.

12. Pay Respects at Hat Yai Observatory and Planetarium

The Hat Yai Observatory and Planetarium offer a fascinating journey through the stars and beyond. It’s a great educational experience with interactive exhibits, telescopic viewings, and captivating planetarium shows that delve into the mysteries of the universe. The observatory also hosts occasional astronomical events, providing a unique opportunity to observe celestial phenomena. It’s a perfect destination for families and anyone interested in astronomy.

13. Indulge in Street Food at Greenway Night Market

Greenway Night Market is a haven for foodies, offering an extensive variety of street food, from traditional Thai dishes to international cuisine. The market is also known for its trendy clothing stalls, accessories, and handmade crafts. It’s a lively place to spend the evening, enjoying good food and shopping. The atmosphere is vibrant, with live music and entertainment.

14. Explore the Ice Dome

The Ice Dome is an attraction that provides a chilly escape from Hat Yai’s tropical heat. Inside, visitors can marvel at ice sculptures, enjoy ice slides, and experience a winter wonderland in the heart of Thailand. The temperature is kept well below freezing, so dressing warmly is advised. It’s an unusual and fun experience, especially for those who have never experienced cold climates.

15. Visit the Songkhla Zoo

Although located outside Hat Yai, Songkhla Zoo is worth the visit for its wide range of animals and beautiful setting on the hills overlooking Songkhla Lake. The zoo offers safari tours, a water park, and an opportunity to feed some of the animals. It’s committed to conservation and provides a naturalistic environment for the animals. The zoo is a great outing for the entire family, combining education with entertainment.

16. Discover Street Art in Hat Yai

Hat Yai has recently embraced street art, with murals and installations popping up around the city. These artworks range from traditional Thai themes to modern pop culture and provide a colorful backdrop to the city streets. A self-guided walking tour to find these hidden gems is a creative way to explore Hat Yai. It’s also a testament to the city’s growing arts scene.

17. Relax at Suan Mueang Porn Park

Suan Mueang Porn Park is a beautifully landscaped park in Hat Yai, offering a peaceful retreat with its ponds, bridges, and shaded paths. It’s a popular spot for morning exercises, leisurely walks, and family picnics. The park features a small aviary and a playground for children. It’s an ideal place to unwind and enjoy the natural beauty within the city.

18. Experience the Hat Yai Lantern Festival

The Hat Yai Lantern Festival is an annual event that lights up the city with elaborate lantern displays and installations. The festival celebrates Chinese New Year and features cultural performances, food stalls, and fireworks. It’s a vibrant celebration that brings together the local community and visitors. The lanterns, ranging from traditional designs to popular characters, create a magical atmosphere.

19. Go Shopping at Central Festival Hat Yai

Central Festival Hat Yai is the largest shopping mall in Southern Thailand, offering a wide range of retail stores, dining options, and entertainment facilities. It’s a modern complex where visitors can find everything from local brands to international labels. The mall also features a cinema, a food court serving a variety of cuisines, and a rooftop garden. It’s a one-stop destination for shopping, entertainment, and leisure.

20. Attend the Hat Yai Midnight Songkran Festival

The Midnight Songkran Festival in Hat Yai extends the traditional Thai New Year celebrations into the night with water fights, live music, and cultural shows. The event attracts locals and tourists alike, creating a lively and festive atmosphere. It’s a unique experience to celebrate Songkran, emphasizing fun and community spirit. Visitors should be prepared to get wet and enjoy the festivities into the early hours.

21. Savor Seafood at Chue Chang Temple Area

The area around Chue Chang Temple is renowned for its seafood restaurants, offering fresh catches prepared in a variety of styles. Diners can enjoy everything from spicy Thai seafood dishes to Chinese-style preparations. The temple itself is worth a visit for its architecture and serene environment. It’s a great place to enjoy a delicious meal after exploring the temple.

22. Visit the Chang Puak Camp

Chang Puak Camp offers an up-close experience with elephants in a responsible and ethical environment. Visitors can learn about elephant conservation, feed, and interact with the gentle giants. The camp is committed to the well-being of its elephants, providing an educational experience about these magnificent creatures. It’s a memorable outing that highlights the importance of wildlife conservation.

23. Take a Boat Tour on Songkhla Lake

Songkhla Lake, the largest natural lake in Thailand, offers scenic boat tours that showcase the lake’s beauty and biodiversity. Visitors can explore the lake’s islands, watch local fishermen at work, and spot various bird species. The sunset tours are particularly magical, offering stunning views of the sky and water. It’s a tranquil experience that connects visitors with the natural beauty of Southern Thailand.

24. Enjoy a Spa Day

Hat Yai is home to numerous spas that offer traditional Thai massages, beauty treatments, and wellness therapies. It’s the perfect way to relax and rejuvenate after a day of exploration. The spas range from luxurious retreats to affordable massage centers, catering to all preferences. A spa day is a must-do for those seeking relaxation and pampering.

25. Experience the Nightlife at Lee Garden Plaza

Lee Garden Plaza is the center of Hat Yai’s nightlife, offering a range of bars, nightclubs, and karaoke lounges. The area comes alive at night, with locals and tourists mingling and enjoying the vibrant atmosphere. Live music, DJs, and entertainment shows cater to a variety of tastes. It’s a lively destination for those looking to experience Hat Yai after dark.

26. Learn at the Hat Yai Observatory

The Hat Yai Observatory offers educational programs and stargazing sessions that are both informative and fascinating. Visitors can learn about astronomy, observe celestial bodies through telescopes, and attend special astronomical events. It’s a great place for families and anyone interested in the wonders of the universe. The observatory promotes science education in a fun and engaging way.

27. Indulge in Dim Sum Breakfast

Hat Yai’s culinary scene is influenced by its large Chinese community, and one must-try experience is enjoying a traditional dim sum breakfast. Various restaurants and eateries offer an array of steamed buns, dumplings, and other bite-sized delicacies. It’s a delicious way to start the day and sample a variety of flavors. Many dim sum places are popular among locals, so arriving early is recommended.

28. Participate in a Thai Cooking Class

Thai cooking classes in Hat Yai offer a hands-on opportunity to learn how to prepare authentic Thai dishes. Participants can visit local markets to select fresh ingredients, learn about Thai spices and cooking techniques, and enjoy the dishes they’ve prepared. It’s a deliciously educational experience that allows visitors to bring a taste of Thailand home with them. Cooking classes cater to all skill levels, from beginners to experienced cooks.

29. Explore the Hat Yai Cable Car

The Hat Yai Cable Car provides a scenic journey up to Hat Yai Municipal Park’s hilltop attractions. The cable car ride offers stunning views of the city and the surrounding landscape. It’s a convenient way to reach the park’s temples and viewpoints without the steep climb. The cable car experience adds an element of adventure to exploring the park.

30. Visit Our Lady of Lourdes Cathedral

Our Lady of Lourdes Cathedral is a beautiful Catholic church that stands as a testament to Hat Yai’s religious diversity. The cathedral features stunning architecture, serene interiors, and a peaceful atmosphere. It’s a place of worship and reflection, open to visitors of all faiths. The cathedral also hosts religious services and community events.

31. Go Bird Watching at Thale Noi Waterfowl Reserve

A bit of a journey from Hat Yai, Thale Noi Waterfowl Reserve is worth the trip for nature enthusiasts. It’s one of Thailand’s most important wetland areas, home to thousands of waterfowl and rare bird species. Visitors can take boat tours to observe the birds and the unique lotus-covered landscape. It’s a tranquil experience that showcases the natural beauty of Southern Thailand.

32. Attend the Hat Yai Lantern Festival

The Hat Yai Lantern Festival is an annual event that illuminates the city with colorful lanterns, celebrating both Thai and Chinese traditions. The festival features elaborate lantern displays, cultural performances, and food stalls. It’s a festive occasion that brings together the community and visitors to enjoy the vibrant decorations and activities. The lanterns, ranging from traditional designs to popular characters, create a magical atmosphere throughout the city.

33. Sample Local Delicacies at Hat Yai’s Night Markets

Hat Yai’s night markets are the perfect place to sample local delicacies and street food. From spicy southern Thai dishes to Chinese-influenced snacks, the markets offer a wide variety of flavors to explore. Favorites include roti, satay, and fresh seafood. The markets also provide an opportunity to shop for souvenirs and experience the city’s lively street culture.

source: Danny & Diggy on YouTube

What To Eat and Drink in Hat Yai, Thailand

Hat Yai’s culinary scene is a vibrant mix of Thai, Chinese, and Malay influences, presenting visitors with a delightful gastronomic journey. From bustling street stalls to upscale restaurants, every corner of the city promises a tantalizing treat. Here’s a dive into the must-try dishes:

Roti is a must try food in Hat Yai, Thailand


1. Dim Sum: An influence from the Chinese community, Hat Yai offers a plethora of dim sum options. Restaurants and pushcarts alike serve these bite-sized delights, ranging from shrimp dumplings to steamed buns.

2. Khanom Jeen: A traditional Thai noodle dish, it comprises soft rice noodles served with a variety of rich curries. Try the ‘nam ya’ – a fish-based curry or ‘nam ngiaw’ – a spicy pork and tomato curry.

3. Roti: This flaky bread, with Indian and Malay roots, is served with an array of fillings – from savory minced beef to sweetened condensed milk.

4. Hainanese Chicken Rice: Tender boiled chicken served with fragrant rice, with roots tracing back to the Chinese Hainanese community.

5. Moo Tod Hat Yai: Hat Yai’s famous deep-fried pork, which is crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside.

6. Satay: Skewered and grilled meat, often accompanied by peanut sauce and rice cakes, is a nod to the city’s Malay influences.

7. Tom Saap: A spicy and tangy soup made from pork ribs or beef, infused with herbs like lemongrass and galangal.

8. Som Tam: The classic Thai spicy papaya salad, which combines sweet, sour, spicy, and umami flavors perfectly.

9. Seafood: Given its proximity to coastal regions, Hat Yai offers an array of seafood dishes. Grilled fish, spicy shrimp salad, and steamed mussels are just some of the treasures from the sea.

10. Traditional Thai Desserts: Don’t miss out on delicacies like ‘mango sticky rice’ (khao niew mamuang), ‘tub tim krob’ (crunchy water chestnuts in coconut milk), and ‘lod chong’ (green rice flour jelly with syrup).


To accompany its rich food culture, Hat Yai also provides an assortment of beverages to quench your thirst.

1. Thai Iced Tea: A creamy, sweet tea often made with black tea, sugar, and condensed milk, served chilled.

2. Fresh Fruit Juices: With tropical fruits in abundance, stalls offer fresh juices like mango, coconut, watermelon, and sugarcane.

3. Chang and Singha: These are Thailand’s iconic beers, best enjoyed chilled.

4. Traditional Herbal Drinks: Look out for stalls selling cooling herbal drinks made from ingredients like chrysanthemum or ‘bai toey’ (pandan leaves).

5. Lao Khao: A traditional rice whiskey that’s popular among locals. It’s potent, so drink responsibly.

6. Coffee: Influenced by both Thai and Western cultures, Hat Yai’s coffee scene ranges from traditional Thai iced coffee (oliang) to trendy espresso-based beverages.

7. Cha Yen Soda: A refreshing combination of Thai iced tea mixed with soda.

8. Fruit Smoothies: Combining the natural sweetness of local fruits with the creamy texture of yogurt or milk.

9. Coconut Water: Straight from the coconut, it’s a refreshing and hydrating drink, especially in the tropical heat.

Eating and drinking in Hat Yai is more than just sustenance; it’s a journey through its rich cultural tapestry. Every dish, every beverage tells a story of its people, history, and traditions. Whether savoring the rich flavors of dim sum in a bustling morning market or sipping on a cooling herbal drink in the evening, Hat Yai promises a culinary adventure that satisfies the soul as much as the stomach.

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Top Restaurants In Hat Yai, Thailand

Hat Yai’s burgeoning culinary scene offers a mix of traditional eateries, chic cafes, and upscale restaurants. From authentic Southern Thai flavors to international cuisine, there’s a delightful palette of choices. Here’s a curated list of some of the top restaurants in Hat Yai:

Som Tam is a must try dish in Hat Yai, Thailand

1. Daiichi Hotel’s Sky Buffet:

Perched on the 33rd floor of Daiichi Hotel, this place offers a grand buffet spread. The selling point is not just the variety of dishes, but also the breathtaking panoramic view of Hat Yai.

2. Kan Eng Restaurant:

A long-standing favorite, Kan Eng offers a vast menu of authentic Thai-Chinese dishes. Their seafood offerings, such as the deep-fried grouper with garlic and chili, are particularly renowned.

3. Sakura Restaurant:

This Japanese restaurant delivers an authentic experience, from sushi rolls to sashimi and teppanyaki. The serene Japanese decor complements the dining experience.

4. La Pause Hatyai:

A haven for cafe enthusiasts, La Pause offers a cozy environment with modern aesthetics. They serve excellent coffee, delightful cakes, and a range of Western dishes.

5. Dimsum Chabura:

Located near the city center, this place is a dim sum paradise. Offering a vast array of bite-sized delicacies, it gets especially crowded during breakfast hours.

6. Tamrab Thai Restaurant:

Situated in the Centara Hotel, it’s the place to go for traditional Thai dishes in an upscale setting. Their green curry and tom yum goong are must-tries.

7. Post Laser Disc Café and Eatery:

This retro-themed restaurant is a tribute to the 90s, complete with laser disc decorations. They offer both Thai and Western dishes, making it suitable for diverse preferences.

8. Steak Company:

For those craving hearty Western meals, Steak Company serves up juicy steaks, ribs, and a range of accompaniments.

9. Noodle Anchan:

An unassuming eatery that’s famous for its traditional Thai noodle dishes. Their noodle soups, in particular, have a rich, flavorful broth that’s hard to resist.

10. Baiyoke Chalet Hotel’s Sky Buffet:

Another rooftop dining experience, this buffet offers Thai, Chinese, and European dishes. The revolving restaurant provides a 360-degree view of Hat Yai.

11. Salma Indian Restaurant:

For those craving authentic Indian flavors, Salma serves up delicious biryanis, curries, and naans. Their tandoori chicken is especially popular.

12. Gap’s Garden:

Nestled away from the hustle and bustle, this restaurant offers a serene garden setting. Their menu boasts a mix of Thai and international dishes, from pad Thai to pasta.

13. Chokdee Dim Sum:

A popular breakfast spot, Chokdee offers a range of dim sum delights. The ambiance is traditional, and the dishes are both flavorful and affordable.

Whether you’re a food enthusiast seeking authentic local flavors or someone craving international dishes, Hat Yai’s restaurant scene caters to all. Each establishment offers a unique dining experience, reflective of the city’s rich cultural tapestry and modern influences. So, indulge in the culinary delights, and let Hat Yai satiate your gastronomic cravings.

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Tours For Visitors To Hat Yai, Thailand

Hat Yai, with its rich tapestry of culture, nature, and modern attractions, offers a plethora of tour opportunities that cater to varied interests. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, nature lover, or someone keen on immersing yourself in local life, Hat Yai has a tour to fit your preference. Here’s a comprehensive guide to some of the best tours in Hat Yai:

Hat Yai park bells in Thailand

Hat Yai City Tour:

  • Duration: Half-day to Full-day
  • Highlights: Explore significant city landmarks like the Clock Tower, Stainless Steel Pagoda, Wat Hat Yai Nai, and the bustling markets of Kim Yong and Odean.
  • Additional: Often includes traditional Thai lunch and insights from local guides about the city’s history and culture.

Ton Nga Chang Wildlife Sanctuary Tour:

  • Duration: Half-day
  • Highlights: A journey to the stunning Ton Nga Chang Waterfall, with opportunities for trekking, picnicking, and observing the rich flora and fauna.
  • Additional: Some tours may include elephant rides or visits to nearby ethnic villages.

Songkhla Lake and Cultural Village Tour:

  • Duration: Full-day
  • Highlights: Experience the serene Songkhla Lake with boat rides, fishing demonstrations, and visits to the cultural village to understand the local way of life.
  • Additional: The tour may include a traditional lunch and performances by local artists.

Hat Yai Nightlife Tour:

  • Duration: Evening to Late-night
  • Highlights: Explore vibrant night markets like the ASEAN Night Bazaar and Greenway Night Market. Discover popular nightlife spots, bars, and local entertainment shows.
  • Additional: Often includes dinner and may cover ticket costs for shows or performances.

Southern Thai Culinary Tour:

  • Duration: Half-day to Full-day
  • Highlights: Dive deep into Hat Yai’s gastronomic scene. Visit local markets, indulge in street food, participate in cooking classes, and savor a range of local delicacies.
  • Additional: May include recipe booklets and a chance to dine with local families.

Hat Yai Temple and Spiritual Tour:

  • Duration: Half-day
  • Highlights: Visit prominent temples like Wat Hat Yai Nai, Sanehanusorn Temple, and the Stainless Steel Pagoda. Gain insights into the city’s religious practices and beliefs.
  • Additional: Some tours may include meditation sessions or monk blessings.

Hat Yai Shopping Tour:

  • Duration: Half-day to Full-day
  • Highlights: Navigate the city’s best shopping spots from local markets like Kim Yong to modern malls like Central Festival Hat Yai. Bag local crafts, souvenirs, and more.
  • Additional: Some tours may offer special discounts or deals in collaboration with certain outlets.

Nature and Adventure Tour:

  • Duration: Full-day
  • Highlights: Engage in activities like ziplining, white-water rafting, or hiking in the surrounding natural spots of Hat Yai.
  • Additional: Often includes lunch, gear rentals, and safety demonstrations.

Hat Yai Floating Market Tour:

  • Duration: Half-day
  • Highlights: Experience the charm of Hat Yai Floating Market. Shop from boats, enjoy traditional performances, and indulge in local delicacies.
  • Additional: Some tours may offer guided boat rides or cultural interactions.

Hat Yai, with its multifaceted offerings, promises a plethora of tour experiences, each showcasing a unique facet of this vibrant city. While some tours focus on the city’s natural beauty, others delve deep into its cultural heart, revealing stories, traditions, and flavors that make Hat Yai a must-visit destination. So, gear up, choose a tour that aligns with your interests, and immerse yourself in the wonders of Hat Yai.

Hat Yai Mosque Sunset Views With Gorgeous Colours in Thailand

Hat Yai Accommodations Guide: Hotels, Guesthouses and Hostels

Located in Southern Thailand, Hat Yai has experienced a rise in tourism over the years, leading to a diverse range of accommodation options for travelers. Whether you’re a backpacker on a budget, a family looking for comfortable lodgings, or someone seeking luxury, Hat Yai has the right place for you.


  1. Centara Hotel Hat Yai
    • Description: Located right in the heart of the city, this is one of Hat Yai’s premier hotels. With modern amenities, a fitness center, spa, and swimming pool, it ensures a comfortable stay.
    • Features: Free Wi-Fi, on-site restaurants offering international and Thai cuisine, proximity to shopping areas.
  2. New Season Square Hotel
    • Description: A contemporary hotel with sleek designs, spacious rooms, and state-of-the-art facilities.
    • Features: Rooftop pool, fitness center, walking distance to major shopping districts.
  3. Red Planet Hat Yai
    • Description: A budget-friendly hotel with clean, comfortable rooms and essential amenities.
    • Features: Free Wi-Fi, proximity to Hat Yai Railway Station, and efficient service.


  1. Hat Yai Youth Hostel
    • Description: A cozy guesthouse that offers both private rooms and dormitory-style accommodations. Ideal for backpackers and solo travelers.
    • Features: Shared kitchen, common lounge area, and friendly staff that can provide travel tips.
  2. Get Guesthouse
    • Description: A simple yet charming establishment with wooden interiors and a warm, homely ambiance.
    • Features: Private and shared rooms, common lounge area, and a short walk from major attractions.
  3. Smile Home Bed & Breakfast
    • Description: A family-run guesthouse known for its hospitality and comfortable rooms.
    • Features: Daily breakfast, tour arrangements, and a relaxed environment.


  1. Backpack Hostel Hat Yai
    • Description: A modern and chic hostel perfect for young travelers and backpackers.
    • Features: Dormitory-style rooms, common areas for socializing, lockers, and free Wi-Fi.
  2. Hostel Hatyai 55
    • Description: A minimalistic, clean hostel with both private rooms and dormitories.
    • Features: Free Wi-Fi, shared kitchen, and proximity to major transportation hubs.
  3. The Hive Hostel Hat Yai
    • Description: Known for its vibrant decor and lively ambiance, it’s a favorite among young travelers.
    • Features: Game room, rooftop terrace, shared lounges, and regular social events.

Tips for Choosing the Right Accommodation in Hat Yai:

  1. Location: Depending on your itinerary, choose a location that’s convenient. If you’re keen on shopping, staying near the city center might be beneficial. For a more relaxed experience, accommodations on the outskirts can offer tranquility.
  2. Budget: Hat Yai offers a range of prices. While hostels and guesthouses are great for budget travelers, hotels provide additional amenities and luxury for those willing to spend more.
  3. Facilities: Prioritize what’s essential for you, whether it’s free Wi-Fi, breakfast options, a swimming pool, or proximity to transport hubs.
  4. Reviews: Before booking, always check reviews on platforms like TripAdvisor, Booking.com, or Agoda to get insights from other travelers.
  5. Duration: If you’re staying for an extended period, consider accommodations that offer discounts for long stays or have kitchen facilities.

Hat Yai, with its vibrant urban life and rich cultural backdrop, is a city that caters to a diverse array of travelers. The accommodation options reflect this diversity, ensuring that every traveler finds a place that feels like home. From the luxury of top-tier hotels to the communal atmosphere of hostels, Hat Yai guarantees a comfortable stay, regardless of preference or budget. So, dive into the city’s offerings and rest easy knowing you have a plethora of choices for a good night’s sleep.

Hat Yai city at night in Thailand

Hat Yai 3-4 Days Travel Itinerary

Hat Yai boasts a blend of urban attractions, rich culture, local markets, and natural beauty. To get a comprehensive taste of what the city offers, here’s a detailed 3-4 days travel itinerary.

Day 1: Dive into the City’s Heart


  • Breakfast at one of the local eateries. Try a traditional Southern Thai breakfast like ‘khao yam’ (rice salad with a range of aromatic condiments) or ‘roti’ with tea.
  • Visit Wat Hat Yai Nai to see one of the world’s largest reclining Buddhas.
  • Explore Kim Yong Market, where you can immerse yourself in local daily life, buy fresh fruits, traditional Thai snacks, and local crafts.


  • Have lunch at Kan Eng Restaurant to taste authentic Thai-Chinese dishes.
  • Stroll around Hat Yai Municipal Park. Here you can visit various temples, including the Guan Yin and Brahman Shrines. Take a cable car ride to the statue of the Laughing Buddha for a panoramic view of Hat Yai.


  • Head to Greenway Night Market to explore trendy fashion, accessories, and local street food.
  • Enjoy dinner at one of the stalls, trying out local dishes like ‘som tam’ (papaya salad), grilled meats, and ‘moo kata’ (Thai BBQ).

Day 2: Nature and Culture Blend


  • After breakfast, drive or hire a taxi to Ton Nga Chang Wildlife Sanctuary. Spend your morning hiking and enjoying the breathtaking Ton Nga Chang Waterfall, a seven-tiered cascade.


  • Return to the city and enjoy lunch at Tamrab Thai Restaurant in Centara Hotel.
  • Head to Songkhla Lake. Explore the lake, and if you’re interested in the local culture, visit the nearby fishing villages.


  • Drive to Songkhla Old Town to enjoy the preserved Sino-Portuguese architecture and quaint charm of the area.
  • Dine at a local seafood restaurant by Songkhla Beach. Try dishes like deep-fried fish, ‘tom yum goong’ (spicy shrimp soup), and crab curry.

Day 3: Modern Meets Traditional


  • Start your day with breakfast at La Pause Hatyai.
  • Dedicate your morning to shopping. Head to Central Festival Hat Yai, Southern Thailand’s largest shopping complex.


  • Lunch at the mall or a nearby restaurant.
  • Visit Magic Eye 3D Museum, an interactive museum that’s both fun and photo-worthy.


  • Explore ASEAN Night Bazaar, another popular shopping and food spot.
  • Enjoy a Thai massage or spa treatment to relax after a day of exploration.

Day 4: Leisure and Departure


  • After breakfast, visit Hat Yai Floating Market. Engage with locals, buy handicrafts, and enjoy boat rides.


  • Enjoy a hearty lunch at Steak Company for a change of palate.
  • Depending on your time, you can opt for a short visit to the Hat Yai Observatory, offering another panoramic view of the city.


  • Have your farewell meal at Sakura Restaurant for some Japanese flavors.
  • Prepare for your departure, ensuring you’ve gathered all your memories and souvenirs.

This itinerary offers a mix of Hat Yai’s attractions, balancing the city’s modern amenities with its natural beauty and cultural roots. While this is a structured guide, always leave room for spontaneous adventures, as often the unplanned moments become the most memorable. Safe travels!

source: Samuel and Audrey on YouTube

Where To Visit After Your Trip To Hat Yai?

After enjoying the urban allure and southern charm of Hat Yai, you might wonder where to head next. Fortunately, this part of Thailand and its neighboring regions offer a plethora of enticing destinations, each providing a unique travel experience. Here’s a guide to some places you can consider:

Songkhla city is a must visit destination after Hat Yai, Thailand


  • Distance from Hat Yai: Approximately 30 km
  • Highlights: A serene coastal town with historical significance, Songkhla boasts the picturesque Songkhla Lake, Samila Beach known for its mermaid statue, and Songkhla Old Town with its Sino-Portuguese architecture.
  • Activities: Explore the Songkhla National Museum, relax on the beaches, visit the aquarium, and enjoy the local seafood delicacies.


  • Distance from Hat Yai: Approximately 180 km
  • Highlights: Famous for its dramatic limestone cliffs, stunning beaches, and vibrant nightlife, Krabi is a favorite among beach lovers and adventure enthusiasts.
  • Activities: Island hopping to places like Railay Beach and Phi Phi Islands, rock climbing, scuba diving, and exploring the Emerald Pool.


  • Distance from Hat Yai: Approximately 380 km
  • Highlights: Thailand’s largest island, Phuket is renowned for its beaches, luxury resorts, and dynamic nightlife in Patong Beach.
  • Activities: Visit the historic Phuket Town, watch the Simon Cabaret show, enjoy water sports, and take a day trip to the Similan Islands.

source: Samuel and Audrey on YouTube

Penang, Malaysia

  • Distance from Hat Yai: Approximately 180 km
  • Highlights: A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Penang blends cultures, history, and modernity. Georgetown, its capital, is famous for street art, colonial buildings, and culinary delights.
  • Activities: Explore Penang Hill, visit Kek Lok Si Temple, indulge in street food, and walk around the Pinang Peranakan Mansion.

Koh Lipe

  • Distance from Hat Yai: Approximately 200 km (includes ferry)
  • Highlights: Often referred to as the “Maldives of Thailand,” this small island in the Andaman Sea is known for its crystal-clear waters and vibrant coral reefs.
  • Activities: Snorkeling, diving, island hopping, and watching mesmerizing sunrises and sunsets.


  • Distance from Hat Yai: Approximately 130 km
  • Highlights: A lesser-known coastal province, Trang has beautiful beaches, waterfalls, and caves waiting to be explored.
  • Activities: Visit the Morakot Cave (Emerald Cave), relax at Chang Lang Beach, and try the local delicacy, Trang cake.

Pak Bara

  • Distance from Hat Yai: Approximately 110 km
  • Highlights: A laid-back coastal village which is the primary departure point for ferries heading to Satun’s islands like Koh Lipe.
  • Activities: Enjoy the calm beaches, sample local seafood, and use it as a base to explore the nearby islands.

Tips for Continuing Your Journey:

  1. Transportation: The Hat Yai International Airport connects to various Thai destinations and some international locations. The city’s bus and train stations also offer routes to numerous places in Thailand and Malaysia.
  2. Weather: If traveling to beaches or islands, always check the weather forecasts, especially during the monsoon season.
  3. Border Crossing: If you’re heading to Malaysia from Hat Yai, ensure you have the necessary visa arrangements and keep your travel documents handy.
  4. Book in Advance: Popular destinations like Phuket and Krabi can get crowded during peak seasons. Booking accommodations and transportation in advance is advisable.

Hat Yai, being strategically located, serves not only as a destination in its own right but also as a gateway to many enchanting places in Southern Thailand and beyond. Whether you’re chasing beach sunsets, historical towns, or culinary adventures, the region offers a rich tapestry of experiences waiting to be unraveled. Safe travels and happy exploring!

Hat Yai golden feet in Thailand

Hat Yai Travel Guide: Final Thoughts

Hat Yai emerges as a tapestry of cultures, modernity, and traditions. Being a pivotal transportation and business hub, it often plays the role of a transit point for travelers. However, those who choose to pause and delve into its depths are rewarded with a plethora of experiences that resonate with both the heart and soul. Here are some final thoughts to wrap up the Hat Yai travel guide.

A Melting Pot of Cultures

Hat Yai stands out for its multicultural ambiance. Thai, Chinese, and Malay influences beautifully merge, creating a harmonious blend that’s evident in the city’s festivals, architecture, and, most notably, its culinary offerings. This rich cultural infusion not only gives travelers a broader perspective but also offers a more in-depth understanding of the region’s history and its people.

Gastronomic Delights

The city’s culinary landscape is a reflection of its diversity. From bustling street markets to upscale restaurants, Hat Yai tantalizes the palate with a range of dishes. Whether you’re savoring a spicy ‘som tam’ at a roadside stall, relishing Thai-Chinese delicacies at a local eatery, or enjoying international cuisines at high-end establishments, Hat Yai promises a culinary journey like no other.

Shopper’s Paradise

With expansive shopping malls like Central Festival and vibrant markets like ASEAN Night Bazaar and Greenway Market, shopping in Hat Yai is an experience in itself. Whether you’re hunting for fashionable attire, unique souvenirs, or local handicrafts, the city offers a plethora of choices for every shopper.

Natural Beauty and Urban Charm

Hat Yai strikes a balance between the allure of nature and urban conveniences. While the city buzzes with modernity, places like Ton Nga Chang Wildlife Sanctuary and Hat Yai Municipal Park offer serene escapes, allowing travelers to connect with nature.

Accessibility and Connectivity

Its strategic location near the Thai-Malaysian border and well-connected transportation networks makes Hat Yai an ideal base for exploring the broader region. From here, travelers can easily venture to places like Songkhla, Krabi, or even cross borders into Malaysia.

Safety and Hospitality

Thailand is often dubbed the “Land of Smiles,” and Hat Yai exemplifies this moniker. The warmth and hospitality of its people make travelers feel at home. While, like any urban center, it’s essential to exercise standard precautions, Hat Yai generally provides a safe and welcoming environment for its visitors.

More Than Just a Transit Point

While many use Hat Yai as a quick stopover, the city deserves more than a fleeting glance. Its blend of cultures, culinary delights, shopping avenues, and natural beauty warrants an extended stay. By doing so, travelers can genuinely appreciate the city’s essence and charm.

Hat Yai, with its intriguing blend of traditional nuances and modern vibes, offers travelers a unique perspective of Southern Thailand. It’s a city that beckons with its flavors, sights, and sounds, urging visitors to explore, experience, and embrace its multifaceted character. As our travel guide draws to a close, the essence of Hat Yai lingers, reminding us that travel is not just about destinations but the stories, experiences, and memories we gather along the way. If Hat Yai is on your list, approach it with an open heart, a curious mind, and a hungry stomach, and let the city unfold its tales. Safe travels!

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