stopover in hat yai

Hat Yai Travel Blog

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before heading down to malaysia i stopped over in hat yai to break the journey from ko phi phi to penang. it's a funny near-border town and quite interesting (as far as border towns go at least :-) ) with a mix of malay, muslim, chinese and thai culture with english pubs thrown in.

took the ferry from phi phi to krabi at 9am, arrived at 10:30 with all except 3 (from about 100!) passengers going straight to feed the touts / ripoff travel agencies... i can't believe those teen backpackers - bloody hell what a shame

waited 5 minutes to catch the red songtao to the government bus station and we arrived just in time to have the 11:00 bus coming the other way... i waved, full stop of the bus, and off i went to hat yai. now, that's efficient!

still celebrating the quick getaway i kind of forgot about the issue that i didn't have breakfast and only two sips left in the water bottle which made the first 2 hours of the trip a bit rough :-)

near trang we stopped for lunch, fabulous & tasty thai food buffet for 30 baht! best thai food i had in a while (not hard after some time on the tourist trap islands...). stocked up on pineapple and water which made the second part of the trip more enjoyable.

arrived in hat yai, where another songtao came to my rescue... i was the only tourist so had all the touts & motodrivers on me. they have the smallest songtaos in whole thailand here it seems and of course i shared the ride with the biggest thai guy i've ever seen :-)

i'm staying at luise guesthouse (sp?) near the train station, which is excellent and just came back from exploring hat yai. close to the border means dodgy markets and even dodgier jeweler shops in the same yellow shop design, from hong kong down probably until singapore... i have to find out what those shops are fronts for as their carbon copy design all over asia can't be coincidence and i don't think someone ever buys a diamond ring there :-)

the tourist bars / english pubs on the main street don't really fit in but i don't have more time here to explore the interesting set up as tomorrow morning at 6 i'm planning to take the train over the border to butterworth / penang. slower but more comfortable than minivans and it will be my first border crossing by train on this trip!
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Hat Yai
photo by: machupicchu26