Hat Yai

The Commercial Capital of Thailand

The southern commercial capital of Hat Yai may not have won any major prizes for its daylight beauty, but it is indeed winning greater appraisal for its nightlife activities. This once booming rubber and tin town is rapidly becoming over-shadowed by its sensuous soapy scene.

For those of you not familiar with these soapy scenarios, they are mostly associated with massage palours and brothels. It's best to ask Charlie Sheen to fill you in with all the finer details.

It may not be the place one would assume is frequented by the usual American, British, German, Australian and other habitual tourists of which there are far too many to mention here. No, this town is mainly reserved for sybaritic Malaysians. 

Whilst the nightclubs, massage palours and brothels are weightier magnets for single men and perhaps a few married ones too, (my lips are sealed) women and families come here for the wide range of shops and reasonably priced restaurants.

Before I continue with what's happening in town during the day, I just thought I'd inform you (for men only) that there are a number of massage palours in town advertising ancient massage. Now you might ask yourself is this for the older generation or is this some sort of trick question. I never got to find out myself, but what I will tell you is that it's no ordinary or quick rubdown routine.

Tin Seller at Kim Yong Market

Things to do around Hat Yai

You may ask yourself what is there really to do in Hat Yai other than to engage in the wayward nightlife scene. After all, there's little else in the way of cultural attractions and you are not here because of your love of nature either. The only time worth visiting Ton Nga Chang Waterfall which is 24 kilometres west of the town, is during the cool season between November and January. 

The only real attraction here is at Wat Hat Yai Nai. This temple can be found in the middle of town and houses the third largest reclining Buddha image in the world. It measures a total of 35 metres (115 feet) long and 15 metres (49 feet) high. You will be allowed to step inside the image via a small shrine. You will also find herbal saunas and traditional Thai massage on offer in the temple grounds.

A Quintessential Street in Town

This photo courtesy of www.pictures-thailand.com

What to do and Where to go

During the daylight hours there is much to do. These can easily be broken down into two, but very fundamental formats. One I should imagine, can be attributed to indulgence which in simple terms, means shopping and the other hypothesis is associated with consumption which in simple terms means, the art of eating.

You have to pop down to Kim Yong Market in town where you'll find Thai street vendors selling a wide range of merchandise. It is an absolute rush. The market has a vibrant atmosphere, lots of friendly locals and an air filled with some of the strangest of smells. It varies from tin pots and pans to shark fin soup.

Speaking of sharks, for those of you who are more than willing to be adventurous when it comes to gastronomic inquisitiveness, you might want to pop into one of the shark fin restaurants. Customers can come from as far as Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok to savour these delicacies.

Other specialties on offer include fried pigeon and smoked duck. If this is not quite your cup of tea, there are several open-air seafood restaurants you can try, many of which are accompanied by live music.

Fresh Ducks at Kim Yong Market

Locals and their Languages

Just as a matter of interest when strolling around the markets, but especially the cosmopolitan downtown area of Hat Yai, you may or may not be amazed to hear several different languages spoken other than the southern Thai dialect. English, Malay, as well as Yawi, (a Malay dialect) Mandarin Chinese, and Hokkien, (a dialect of Min Nan Chinese) are also spoken. Due to its proximity to Malaysia, this part of Thailand has a vast majority of Muslim inhabitants.

Strolling around the Market

Hat Yai Attractions - Thai Style Bullfighting

If you happen to be in Hat Yai over a weekend at the end of the month, there is a very good chance that you could go to one of the bullfighting events that take place in one or other arena around the city. Unlike the Spanish-style corrida with matadors and picadors, this is strictly Thai-Style bullfighting whereby bulls are pitted against each other. The winner in this case being the animal who manages to force his opponent to retreat to the outer edges of the ring, but in some cases a particular bull may simply win when the other turns and takes fright and flees. You might find the furious betting as much of a spectacle as the fight itself.

Shark Fin Restaurant

Getting to Hat Yai

If you are coming from Bangkok and have some time to spare, you might decide to drive, but better than that, you can easily fly here with one of the local carriers. If you are coming from Malaysia, it's a whole lot better and more comfortable due to the strategic rail and road links between both countries.

There is a railway link that runs northeast from Malaysia then crosses the border into southern Thailand. You could travel either from the town of Alor Setar near the coast or from Butterworth, the connecting port for Penang Island. A second rail link heads in a northwesterly direction from the border town of Sungai Kolok. This route takes you to the town of Yala and from there, all the way to Hat Yai.

Fresh Vegetables at Kim Yong Market

Return from Hat Yai to Southen Thailand

Visit Luxury Thailand Travel's profile on Pinterest.

Recent Articles

  1. Bangkok Escort Chanel

    Sep 24, 16 07:36 AM

    Bangkok Escort Chanel is offering hot blooded males a once in a lifetime opportunity to make their erotic fantasies a reality, but you'll need to strike the iron while it's sizzling hot.

    Read More

  2. Bangkok Escort Chrystal

    Sep 24, 16 04:32 AM

    Asian girls don't come more fresh faced than Bangkok Escort Chrystal. Not only does this bubbly babe sport a smooth and flawless skin tone, she has an exceptional hourglass figure to match.

    Read More

  3. Bangkok Escort Ivy

    Sep 23, 16 07:26 AM

    Look no further than Bangkok Escort Ivy as your perfect dinner date, dance companion and bedroom babe as this bubbly lass has more than enough energy to make all your erotic pleasures come true.

    Read More

  4. Bangkok Escort Venus

    Sep 22, 16 08:41 AM

    While the planet Venus may be the second brightest object in the night sky, Bangkok Escort Venus, named after the Roman goddess of love and beauty, is the brightest star in the city of angels.

    Read More

  5. Bangkok Escort Pam

    Sep 19, 16 12:25 PM

    Look no further than Bangkok Escort Pam for a truly unforgettable girlfriend experience. She cordially invites you to join her for a wild ride that's sure to bring the whole house down.

    Read More

Please note that this post contains some affiliate links which means I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you if you should purchase after clicking through my blog. Also remember that I never promote any products or services here unless I've used and loved them myself.

Your host Grahame (Yep! that's me) from Luxury Thailand Travel says he'd really appreciate your kind support. Simply take your next tour by selecting any one of the many excursions listed on the left side of this page and or book your hotel reservation to amazing Thailand using the HotelTravel search box below. Have a happy holiday and a safe trip.

Rooms :

Additional Info

E-mail Address
First Name

Don't worry — your e-mail address is totally secure.
I promise to use it only to send you Luxury Thailand Travel.

Touristlink Certification Badge

Free Web Submission

Build a Better Travel Blog

Thai Dating

Hotel Booking

HotelTravel.com – Worldwide Leader in Hotel Bookings with Guaranteed Lowest Rates and Discounts of up to 75% Off!

Hotels and Resorts

Top Thailand Hotels



National Parks



Kids Stuff

Bangkok Markets

Bangkok Temples

Arts and Crafts




Herbs and Spices

Mythical Creatures


Go Go Bars

Blog Traffic 

privacy policy