Welcome to Hat Yai, a bustling city located in southern Thailand near the Malaysian border. With a population of over 156,000 people, this vibrant metropolis is the largest city in Songkhla province and forms part of the Greater Hat Yai-Songkhla Metropolitan Area. Despite often being mistaken for the provincial capital, Hat Yai is the business center of the region, renowned for its retail industry, transportation hub, and economic prowess.
Originally named Khok Samet Chun, Hat Yai was transformed into a small town thanks to the investments of Khun Niphat Chinnakorn, a railway contractor for the railway line from Nakhon Si Thammarat to Pattani. In 1928, Hat Yai was made a community, which was upgraded to a sanitary district on December 11, 1935. The town continued to grow and was granted town status on March 16, 1949. It was later upgraded to city status in 1995.
Hat Yai is a transportation hub in southern Thailand, home to one of the largest railway stations in the country, Hat Yai Railway Station. The station handles 28 passenger trains per day, including two trains served by KTMB of Malaysia. It is also the hub for local train services in southern Thailand. Hat Yai Bus Terminal is a major transport hub that offers bus services linking Hat Yai with nearly every town and city in the southern region as well as other destinations, including Bangkok and Nakhon Ratchasima. Hat Yai International Airport is 9 km from downtown and serves destinations throughout Thailand and connects the city to Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.
Hat Yai is a shopper’s paradise, renowned for its department stores, shopping malls, and markets. Suntisook Market on Nipat U-tid 1, 2 & 3 roads is among the best-known, offering imported processed food, cosmetics, fabrics, gadgets, and electrical appliances. The city’s major wet market is located near the railway station, and Kim Yong market on Supasarn Rungsan road is a famous market divided into two parts offering a variety of goods. Hat Yai also has several large shopping centers, including Diana, Odean, Robinson, Central, Siam Nakharin, Big C, Big C Extra, Tesco Lotus, Makro, and Central Festival, one of the largest shopping centers in Southern Thailand.
An important Buddhist temple is Hat Yai Nai Temple or Wat Hat Yai Nai, home to the third-largest reclining statue on the planet. The city is also well known for its spectacular celebrations of the Chinese New Year festival, incorporating Thai elements.
Whether you’re visiting for business or pleasure, Hat Yai offers a unique blend of history, culture, and economic prowess that is sure to delight any traveler. Come and discover this hidden gem for yourself!