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Day time, shop at Odean. Good and cheap. Food at food court in Odean, though not much variety, should try the Pork Leg Rice. My goodness, absolutely delicious. The night time, try the roti prata, tea tarik stall (the one next to Lee Garden Side of the road, at the corner next to the side road. The beef curry is wonderfully made. Massage at King''s Hotel is good. Try the "ACHAN" or teacher. You will hear your own bones cracking and you will feel good after that. Trust me!! HEE!
Try the food at night at the roadside, beside Lee Garden Hotel and Central Shopping Centre. Wonderful food, though be careful and avoid eating raw or uncook food.
There is no pretence about Hat Yai. It is a small to medium sized Thai town, with nothing special...that''s it. I went there with an open mind and came away feeling good about the trip. It is a clean town and the people are friendly. As for the shopping that I read so much about, I did not find anything that was very "special" or unique. Perhaps I am not a shopper and hence did not "look out" for things to buy. The Southern Bird''s Nest restaurant in front of the Regency hotel serves pretty good food for a reasonable price -- 2 dishes with rice comes to B120. You can get a whole roast piglet for B800 but being alone, I could not possibly eat one whole piglet and missed the opportunity! No need for transport -- walk, as the streets are clean, and you get to see more. All in all, a very nice trip although it is not a place that I will return as there is nothing unique enough to lure me there again.
Should try the Garabuning SPA. Opposite of Diana Shopping Centre. Relaxing and Good atmosphere. Here Kui Seafood is also lovely.
I visited Hat Yai for a conference on International Collaboration on Education, so I was not able to visit the beach or other scenic spots. However, I did get to eat in two or three pleasant and cheap seafood restaurants - all close to the hotel and with a nice variety of dishes. There were many facilities for Muslim visitors and the city itself was very internationalised. More about my experiences here: www.suite101.com/article.cfm/18175/110648
This trip was very different from my past visit as i went there not during the Songkran Festival. My feelings is that to visit during the Songkran Festival is more fun than normal days. The food there is considered good especially at Here Kui Seafood and some road stalls also provide good food that we can''t taste in Singapore. Spending the night at Kiss Channel is a much relaxing option. Beer is considered cheap and the atmosphere there is better than the Disco.
The Cabaret show at Hansa Plaza is great! For 300 baht, you get two hours show plus seafood dinner. But, you must leave the hall 5 mins before the end of the show, cos they will wait you outside for ''extra service'' and tips after they finish the show.
The location of the hotel is excellent such that I could get around to shop and have some food, particularly moslem food.
Getting around in haatyai is as easy as you are shopping at your hometown. As the "Tut-Tut" is everywhere at your convenience to send you to the right place to eat and shop. All with only 10 baht per person.
Hat Yai, Songkhla is among the most popular resort-getaways for Malaysians and Singaporeans. Although this is not my first trip to Hat Yai, I am surprised to find an overwhelming crowd of Malaysians and Singaporeans. Hat Yai is definitely the shopping capital of the South Thailand. From fish maw and bird nest to textile and clothes, Hat Yai may best be the place for endless shopping.<BR><BR>It is also a great food paradise. I found a few particular favourites, the corner shop in front of Lee Gardens Plaza and a quaint coffee-shop two doors away. The earlier served suckling-piglet, that was not only cheap by Malaysian prices, but also very delicious! On the other hand, the latter was a simple cofee-shop serving simple stewed pork - cheap and clean!<BR><BR>Songkhla was an alternative to the less-hurried pace of Hat Yai. Clean beaches for strolling, and less commercialised Thai temples.