Greetings from Hat Yai!

hat yai

We’re in Hat Yai! My better half got me a trip here as a surprise for our anniversary. I was only told to bring my passport and did not know the destination until we flew! She booked the flights and hotel (we’re staying in Lee Gardens Plaza Hotel) as a gift.

hat yai us

It’s just a weekend trip but I’ve never been here before – we did go for a trip to Bangkok last year and this is our return couples sojourn to Thailand.

miss piggy

The food is pretty good here. Say hello to the decidedly plus sized Miss Piggy, where we had a nice pork leg rice lunch! It’s awesome, I’ll write about it soon.

lee gardens plaza hotel

Security is extremely tight here, there was a quartet of bombings by Muslim insurgents earlier this May 2014. You have to go for mandatory screenings before entering shopping malls or hotels but since we’re Chinese (there are a lot of Malaysian and Singaporean tourists here) we passed through easily.

hat yat security

There’s a certain element of profiling going on here – Muslims are subjected to rather intense scrutiny, they’re understandably worried about another attack – there has been several throughout the years!

Posted: 5:20 am Hat Yai time (GMT +7)

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28 thoughts on “Greetings from Hat Yai!

  1. Hahhh!!! I was wondering why you took the photo of that young Thai guy there. Wink! Wink! LOL!!! Ooooo…I love that piggy, so cute! Wowwwww!!!! Serious! Such tight security but that’s good. Better safe than sorry. Have fun there, you and Ling! Cheers!

    • Haha! I didn’t notice him, was taking a photo of the hotel at the same angle where the bombings occurred! :)

      Yeah, that was a really good pork leg rice place, will write about it later.

      Indeed! I was surprised at the security too, it’s even more strict than Bangkok! However, the hotel we stayed in (Lee Garden Plaza Hotel) got bombed several times already, 4 people died in 2006 and it was bombed AGAIN in 2012 and *again* earlier this year in May 2014.

      There’s a bombing every year for the past three years in Hat Yai and that hotel is a popular target.

    • Thanks for getting me the trip dear! :)

      It was a good surprise and we had a great time in Hat Yai. I never been there also, quite interesting and very different from other parts of Thailand.

      Love you always dear. <3

  2. Eh hello! Hatyai? Never been in that part of Thailand. So is this a backdated post or have you recovered fully from the fever? Anyway have fun! So sweet of your darling to plan a surprise like that. Definitely a keeper.

    • Me neither! It was my first time! :)

      I’ve been to many other places in Thailand e.g. Phuket, Bangkok, Krabi, Koh Samui and the other islands but never so close to the Malaysian border.

      Yup, she’s awesome indeed! I have fully recovered now, it’s been two weeks already, most people take that long (at least for first time dengue fever).

      It’s not a backdated post, we just went during the weekend!

  3. I love Hatyai! Been there a few times and will be going again next month, it’s a food heaven, as well as shopping, not as big and ‘advanced’ like Bangkok, but consider nice already~

    • Yeah, the food is good eh? :)

      I loved the food in Hat Yai too, it’s a bit different from Northern Thailand e.g. Chiang Mai.

      You’re right, Hat Yai has a small town charm. I liked it better than Bangkok, it can be too hectic there at times. It’s my first time to Hat Yai, always wanted to go but never got around to it. I’ve been to a lot of other Thailand cities and towns and islands though.

      Have fun when you go next month Hayley!

    • Oops, sorry I think my spam filter has gone crazy! :x

      I’m using Akismet and somehow your comment went to Spam. Luckily I checked before I emptied the folder!

  4. Oooohh.. it has been really a while since my hatyai trip… and i’m kinda looking forward to another one for a short trip.. but did you just mentioned about the bombing??!! O.o

    • Yeah, there has been A LOT of bombings in Hat Yai! :)

      We stayed at the *renovated* hotel where 4 people died in 2006 – Lee Garden Plaza Hotel was also bombed in 2012 and earlier this year in May 2014. That’s why I wanted a photo at that angle – there was a car bomb that went off and a popular picture showed that exact angle where McDonald’s and Lee Garden Plaza is.

      No worries though, security is very strict now, it’s just there’s a heavy Muslim separatist movement in Songkhla and they always like to bomb Hat Yai coz of the foreigners (us and Singaporeans). It’s a constant Islamic separatist target, so many bombings over the years.

  5. Been to Hat Yai a few times with my mum many moons ago.. So sweet of your better half to plan this surprise trip for you.. I love her.. Haha.. That Ms. Piggy in bikini looks sexy, cute at the same time..

    • Yeah, it’s very nice of her! :)

      She also planned a surprise trip to a resort in Melaka last year.

      Haha! I went and patted the belly of Miss Piggy and my better half said “Oi!”. I thought it was a very nice statue too, it looks exactly like a pig (same size as a real pig too).

  6. I go there almost yearly cuz the folks love it there. No language barrier, the slower pace of life, affordable but outdated clothings, etc

    I love the pig trotters rice from the coffeeshop you went to. If you are going Hatyai again, I would recommend Gan Eng Restaurant 甘英饭店 for its cheap Thai food.

    • I’ve always been asked to go by a group of my old male buddies! :)

      It’s a popular place for the flesh trade too, but since I’m not into that I’ve never gone with them. I’m more a drug tourism person (at least I used to be, some places in Thailand is popular for that too – heroin is very cheap there, but I quit dy).

      There are a lot of families and couples going now though, it seems that the sex trade isn’t very out in the open (although we did see places with “live show” and “sex massage” and stuff like that) but it’s not as overt as Patpong or some places in Phuket.

      Yeah, I found out that a lot of the people there can speak Hokkien or Chinese! Very useful, I have to admit.

      Thanks for the recommendation mate, we’ll be sure to visit next time we go! I quite like Hat Yai, it has a small town charm to it.

    • Thanks Mel! :)

      Yeah, I always feel it’s important to celebrate anniversaries, doesn’t need to be expensive, just spend the time together.

      I loved Hat Yai, it’s a relatively small town compared to other Thailand destinations and it has that small town charm to it.

  7. The last time I went Hat Yai, I was still a kid. It was a trip with my parents and some relatives. Can’t remember much from the trip except all the horror kidnap stories my parents would tell me to make sure I don’t wander off on my own. Apparently they kidnap children and amputate them to beg on the streets?.

    Man, I felt so paranoid and stressed out the whole time I was there. On hindsight, I wonder why my parents thought it was a good idea to tell me that on holiday? Hahaha.

    • Haha! I think it’s what parents do back in the days! :)

      Mine told me lots of horror stories to make sure I don’t wander away too, but I did as I got older.

      Hmm…I have heard rumors about kidnap for begging syndicates but it’s usually in the Indian subcontinent – places like Pakistan, India, Bangladesh etc. I don’t think it’s done much over here, it would not be tolerated for impacting tourism negatively, although I suspect Cambodia might have something like that going on.

  8. Wow! I love that kinda surprise she gave you!!! I wanted to do that for my wife but kena sign visa papers punya, cannot hide! So i should go to Hatyai laaaa…. That’s my hometown actually besides Penang.

    • Yeah, it’s a very nice place! :)

      I love Hat Yai! I’ll be definitely returning in the future too, it’s my first time there and it’s a nice blend of Thai culture and a little bit of Muslim elements. Lots of Islamist separatist violence but the security in Hat Yai seems to be working well – the airport scanners are like the ones in advanced countries.

    • Thanks Rose! :)

      Yup, I’m sure he’ll be very happy if you do that! We’ve been to Melbourne, Cambodia, Thailand, Germany and France together now – will be heading to Japan next!

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