Monday, April 18, 2011

Hat Yai and Songkhla - Different, yet the Same - Part 2

At the end of last month, me and my friend went to Hat Yai for the first time for both of us. It was a 2D/1N trip and I'll begin the recount of our trip here, pieces by pieces, in no chronological order. I had already covered the dinner we had at Hat Yai, so let's me continue by bringing us back to the morning of our arrival.

Exploration of Songkhla

It took us a few minutes to get used to the idea that we were already at Hat Yai after almost 4 hours of ride, more or less, from Penang. Throughout the journey, we slept off our fatigues from last night (our journey began at 5.30am) so that we will not be walking deads when reaching the place. Once the initial shock wore off, we then moved on with the itinerary. The itinerary planned was more of a guide and we didn't follow it strictly. We were pretty much off the route when we arrived (detour to a 7-11 for quick bite and looked around the place) and our timing cannot be more off from the plan.

The name of a street in Hat Yai

We walked to the clock tower in the town district, a few blocks away from King's Hotel, our accommodation. According to the researches I did, this is the place for us to take a bus or taxi van to go to Songkhla. When we arrived, there was no sign of the green bus that I was told was the bus to go to Songkhla but there were quite a few numbers of taxi van waiting for customers. It was a bit pass 9.30am Thai time and the bus departed every half hour. So, we approached one of the vans, asking the price. They started off with 54 Baht for 2 persons, but we haggled it down to 50 Baht for 2. Not much discount, I know, but better than nothing. Few minutes later, off we went to Songkhla. Continue for more stories about the trip.
English, while being an international language, is not as commonly used in Thailand as we had hoped for but we managed to arrive to our destination, Samila Beach, safe and sound, without having any major problems. Well, if you considering not knowing where were you exactly and being the last two to leave the van after the driver asked where were we heading in an understandable mixture of languages.

Samila Beach is one of the well-known beach in Songkhla but mostly for its rich mythologies rather than its sandy white beach. The famous bronze mermaid statue and the Mouse and Cat statue can be found on the beach. While the mermaid is a well-known landmark, it is the Mouse and Cat statue that has a story behind it. According to the local legend, there were once a cat, a mouse, and a dog travelling together on a ship and they tried to steal a crystal from the merchant of the ship. While trying to swim back to the shore, both the cat and the mouse drowned and became the two islands, Ko Nu and Ko Maew (Mouse and Cat island) while the dog, having reached the beach, died from exhaustion and became the hill Khao Tang Kuan. The crystal of the story transformed into the beautiful white beach Samila is famous for.

The Mouse and Cat statue 

Me with the beautiful mermaid

The beach is definitely a beauty itself. However, unlike other beautiful beaches, Samila beach still manage to avoid being overcrowded and there were considerably few tourists on the site and even fewer with the intention of playing by the beach. Maybe it's the wrong side of the beach we were at or that it was not the season yet as the weather was quite violent, what with the strong wind and presiding dark clouds.

It was a very windy day

All these appreciations of the beach would not be completed without something to chew on. There are a lot of street foods can be bought at a relatively cheap price too. 

Street hawkers are aplenty at the pedestrian path at the beach

A funny looking egg

We bought a funny looking egg to try. It has something yellowish protruding out of the shell and has a weird smell to it. Yet, it tasted something like a scramble egg, only it's inside the shell. Nothing special about the taste of it. After that, we had a coconut milk ice cream. Vanilla ice cream served with ground nuts, glutinous rice, coconut meat and some other ingredients forgotten, inside a coconut shell, it's refreshing and delicious. It would have serve its purpose had not the weather being so windy.

The stall selling the ice cream


After the food break, we went on with our journey to no-idea-where. 


Sharing is caring. A word of advice and a piece of information.

Being in a foreign land with English not being the national language, do some researches and copy some few phrases that can help you in your navigation around the town, such as, where is this place, how much, and so on. If you want to go to a place but have no idea what it is called in their language, snap a photo of it and point it to the taxi driver or some passersby. 


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  2. nice place for a holiday and its a joy tasting the street and as well as what is offered at restaurants.

  3. Kendra: Thanks for your suggestion...

    Nava.K: So true though wish that I had more time exploring the place...