Places Of Interest In Hat Yai: Attractions & Activities

Hat Yai is a vibrant city in Southern Thailand with a rich cultural heritage, stunning temples, and an incredible street food scene that will tantalize your taste buds. In this Places Of Interest in Hat Yai article, I will share based on the places I’ve been.

Hat Yai offers a unique and authentic experience, away from popular tourist spots like Bangkok and Phuket. Discover its natural beauty, try new cuisines, and witness unique cultural practices that will enrich your understanding of Thailand and its people.

About Hat Yai

About Hat Yai
Image: (Hat Yai Floating Market)

Hat Yai, located in the province of Songkhla, is the fourth-largest city in Thailand. The name “Hat Yai” is a short version of “mahat yai”, meaning big mahat (Thai: tree), a relative of jackfruits.

Apart from a tiny village called Khok Su-Met Choon, Hat Yai doesn’t even exist before 1922. Today, Hat Yai is growing rapidly every year in the tourism industry.

Places to Visit In Hat Yai

1. Hat Yai Municipal Park

Hat Yai Municipal Park
Hat Yai Municipal Park

Hat Yai Municipal Park is an oasis in the city, providing visitors with the perfect opportunity to relax and recharge. 

The park’s main attraction is the beautiful pavilion located in the middle of a picturesque pond, surrounded by lush greenery, and local fish swimming in the water. The park’s stunning beauty attracts visitors from all walks of life.

One of the highlights of Hat Yai Municipal Park is its rich religious history. There are several religious sites, including a Chinese shrine, a Hindu temple, and a Buddhist temple. You can take a stroll through the religious sites and immerse yourself in the park’s cultural significance.

Getting to Hat Yai Municipal Park is easy. You can take a taxi, motorcycle taxi, or tuk-tuk from Hat Yai city centre.  I would suggest that you take the Hat Yai cable car ride which will bring you straight to the park.

Hat Yai Cable Car
Hat Yai Cable Car
Hat Yai Municipal Park
Hat Yai Municipal Park
Viewpoint - Hat Yai Municipal Park
Viewpoint – Hat Yai Municipal Park

2. Central Festival Hat Yai Mall

Central Festival Hat Yai Mall

This shopping centre is like a city within a city, boasting everything from world-class restaurants to spa treatments and even a cinema. Plus, with over 300 stores, you’ll be able to shop until you drop. Even better, the chaotic streets outside will fade away as you enter the air-conditioned haven of Central Festival Hat Yai. So, if you’re looking for the best way to spend a day in Hat Yai, you really can’t go wrong with this shopping area.

The Foodcourt area on the LG floor is a must when you visit the Central Festival Hat Yai. You can try various local foods such as Thai noodles, rice porridge, and more.  No matter what type of food you’re craving, Central Festival Hat Yai is sure to have something for everyone.

Central Festival Hat Yai Mall

3. Kim Yong Market

Kim Yong Market
Photo: CNA/Pichayada Promchertchoo

Looking for the best way to experience Hat Yai, Thailand like a local? Look no further than Kim Yong Market. From exotic fruits to fresh seafood, the market offers a sensory overload of sights and smells that will transport you to the heart of the bustling city.

So whether you’re a foodie, a shopaholic, or simply looking for an adventure, grab your walking shoes and head to Kim Yong Market for an unforgettable experience. Trust us, it won’t disappoint.

4. Ton Nga Chang Wildlife Sanctuary

Ton Nga Chang Wildlife Sanctuary

Ton Nga Chang Waterfall is a natural wonder with seven tiers of cascading waterfalls that offer unique charm and beauty. It boasts picturesque natural pools, elegant natural slides, hidden ponds, and crystal-clear water.

It is essential to bring appropriate gear for your visit, as well as be mindful of not disturbing the plants and wild animal habitats found within the waterfall’s ecosystem. Ton Nga Chang Waterfall is nothing short of breathtaking and is an unforgettable experience for all outdoor adventurers.

5. ASEAN Night Bazaar

ASEAN Night Bazaar

This quirky and bustling marketplace is the perfect spot to immerse yourself in the vibrant Thai culture while picking up some unique souvenirs.

Whether you’re on the hunt for handcrafted jewellery or locally-made handicrafts, the Asean Trade Bazaar has got you covered. And let’s not forget about the delicious street food that you’ll find at every turn – from spicy curries to sweet desserts, your taste buds will thank you for stopping by.

6. Hat Yai Walking Street (Lee Garden Plaza)

Hat Yai Walking Street
Hat Yai Walking Street

Probably the most visited place in Hat Yai, the walking street is an ideal spot for dinner and drinks after a long day of shopping. With so many options to choose from, you’ll be sure to find something that satisfies your taste buds.

Coconut Ice Cream hat yai
Coconut Ice Cream

7. Angela Queena Cabaret Show

Angela Queena Cabaret Show

Angela Queena Cabaret Show is a theatre performance performed by the local artist and not to be missed in Hat Yai. It cost THB500 per pax (online booking required) and their theatre is located on the 6th floor of Odean Shopping Mall.

The show is about an hour and you get to see beautiful souls performing, view amazing lighting, and cultural dance that will blow your mind away. For us, it’s worth it and if you are a tourist, please support them by watching their show

8. Khlong Hae Floating Market

Khlong Hae Floating Market

The best way to truly immerse yourself in the culture of Hat Yai is to visit the floating market. Here, you can get a taste of local specialities and sweet treats as you meander through the narrow canals in a traditional long-tail boat. Don’t forget to haggle for some souvenirs—it’s all part of the experience!

Places To Visit In Songkhla

Songkhla is another city located about 30 km away from Hat Yai. Since is not far away, I highly recommend that you go to the Songkhla attractions below:

1. Golden Mermaid Sculpture at Samila Beach

Golden Mermaid Sculpture at Samila Beach

Jitr Buabus, the director of the Art and Craft College in Bangkok at the time, created the mermaid statue at the Laem Samila beach in Songkhla, Thailand, in 1966.

A 30,000-line epic saga by “Soonthorn Phu” about Prince Phra Aphai Mani is where the mermaid’s inspiration came from. One of the most cherished Thai authors and poets, Soonthorn Phu’s real name was Phra Sunthorn Vohara. In the early 19th century, he served as Kin Rama II’s official poet.

The statue is based on this myth, which mentions a mermaid who combed her hair on the beach one starry night with a golden comb. An impressionable fisherman scared her off. He waited every day for her to return because he was enamoured with her beauty and wanted to give her back her comb, but she never did.

Apart from taking photos with the statue, you can also go for a 15-minute horse ride which will cost you about 150THB

horse riding at Samila Beach

2. Songkhla Zoo

Songkhla Zoo

With over 1,500 animals, including some rare species, you’re bound to have a wild time. Not only can you see the animals up close, but visitors can also feed, touch and even take photos with some of them (which, let’s be honest, is perfect for your Instagram feed).

But, let’s not forget the real star of the show: the resident giant panda, Lin Hui, who is sure to steal your heart as you watch her munch on bamboo shoots.

3. Songkhla Central Mosque

Songkhla Central Mosque

This stunning mosque often portrayed as the Indian “Taj Mahal” boasts intricate architectural details and grandiose domes that are sure to leave you in awe.

Take a break from the trip towards Songkhla from Hat Yai and find solace in the mosque’s serene atmosphere. Whether you practice Islam or not, you can appreciate the mosque’s stunning beauty and rich history. Who knows, you may even leave feeling more enlightened than ever before.

4. Songkhla Old Town

Songkhla Old Town

The majority of the structures in Songkhla Old Town are between 50 and 200 years old.

The Thai government’s national tourism department and the local government are attempting to promote Songkhla Old Town as a stand-alone tourist destination. This area is home to a sizable Thai-Chinese community. The branding effort aims to replicate Phuket’s Old Town’s success in luring more tourists by calling the area the “Old Town.”

5. Wat Phra Non-Laem Pho (sleeping Buddha)

As you travel towards this temple, you will be passing Ko Yo, a tiny island via the Tinsulanonda Bridge that appeared in the middle of Songkhla Lake, where you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the lake.

Tinsulanonda Bridge

A reclining Buddha can be found on your left as you approach the island from the south. That is Wat Phranon Laem Pho’s or Phranon Laem Pho’s Reclining Buddha.

Wat Phra Non Laem Pho (sleeping Buddha)

The Buddha is gold in colour, and in the sunlight, it glistens. Buddhists can use a joss stick for prayer, which is sold for a small fee. You can take pictures with this magnificent reclining Buddha.

The “Phra Kru Thipwasi” (Phrom Kaew) from Wat Thai Yo is thought to have constructed Laem Pho Temple, also known as Wat Phra Non, in the early Rattanakosin period.

Where & What To Eat / Drink?

Apart from the street foods and beverages which are widely available, below are some places that I would recommend you try out.

Halal Suggestions

  • Kaitod Sofeeya Fried Chicken Stall – I’ve tried a few fried chickens in Hat Yai and I can tell the best is Sofeeya’s. Just make sure you buy the extra fried onion so you can mix it well with the sticky rice. It tastes great when it’s hot, so don’t forget this 🙂 Also, they have Briyani rice too, but I didn’t have the time to try it. Perhaps next time.
Kaitod Sofeeya Fried Chicken Stall

Ka Yoh Jao Kao (Goyae Jaogao) Restaurant
Ka Yoh Jao Kao (Goyae Jaogao) Restaurant

Non-Halal Suggestion

Feeling Hat Yai Restaurant – Probably the best place to hang out in Hat Yai with family and friends. They offer great food and drinks. The pricing is affordable and their staff, especially Mr Time is the best. They also have live band which sing both English and Thai songs.

This is my 3rd Visiting here and always had a great time. If you’re first time here, make sure to try out their pork-ribs, it’s the best. If they don’t have it in the menu, just ask Mr Time, he will arrange it for you.

Feeling Hat Yai Restaurant
Feeling Hat Yai Restaurant

HaT Yai Bars & Clubs

  • The West Side Saloon Bar – A Good bar and they have food. They also have a live band and often their song choices are catered to Malaysian/Singaporean tourists.
  • Safety Stop Bar – If you don’t want to go into a tourist bar, this is just a perfect bar. They serve 7 types of Draught beers, including Guinness, Budweiser, Tiger and other 4 types of craft beers. They also provide snacks for free.
  • Nectar Pub Club – If you are into disco/clubbing scene, this is the most famous place you want to visit It is located within Hansa JB hotel complex and you will need to pay 150THB for cover charge which inclusive of one drink. The laser lighting in the club is excellent and only cash payment is accepted.

In Hat Yai, there are only two places you can enjoy Guiness draught, the post laser disc and safety stop bars. As for quality, I felt the beers in Safety Stop are top notch.

Safety Stop Bar
Safety Stop Bar

Shopping Malls


Without a Thai massage, no trip to Thailand would be complete, and Hat Yai is among the best locations to get one. The Lee Garden Hotel is close to a number of great massage shops.

Oliver Thai Massage, which is a few KM from the city center, is where I would personally recommend going.

The rooms are nicdecorated and offer a relaxing setting to go with a good massage. It is a family-friendly environment and the masseuses are skilled.

When Is The Best Time To Visit Hat Yai?

January to September are the months in Hat Yai with the most pleasant weather. It rains the most in November and December.

How Many Days Do You Need In Hat Yai?

The ideal amount of time to spend in Hat Yai is four days to fully explore the entire city. This includes a day trip to Songkhla.

Where To Stay In Hat Yai?


  • The Roof Top @ Hatyai
  • Asian Hotel
  • Cathay Guesthouse
  • Genting Hotel
  • Hat Yai Rama Hotel
  • Indra Hotel
  • Laem Thong Hotel
  • Louise Guesthouse
  • Florida Hotel
  • SR Sweet Resort


  • King’s Hotel
  • Golden Crown Plaza Hotel
  • New Season Hotel
  • President Hotel
  • Siam City Hotel
  • Pink Lady Hotel
  • Lee Garden Plaza Hotel
  • Winstar Hotel
  • Z Sleep Hotel


  • Centara Hotel
  • The Canale
  • The Three Hat Yai
  • New Season Square Hotel
  • Blue Ocean

How Do You Get Around In Hat Yai?

You can easily get around Hat Yai by taxi, Grab or hire a personal driver. For navigation, you can use Google Maps or Waze.

If you are renting a car/motorcycle, NEVER, EVER GIVE YOUR PASSPORT AS A DEPOSIT, in Thailand or anywhere else!


Hat Yai is a vibrant and exciting city to explore, with something for everyone. From its colorful markets to natural attractions, you’ll be sure to experience an unforgettable journey that will stay with you long after you leave.

Have you been to Hat Yai? Did you enjoy it? Let us know via the comment box below.

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