This post I will talk about Hatyai only. I guess since secondary school I've been going to Hatyai a lot, perhaps few months once. If you still don't know, Thailand is a nice place to shop, eat and massage and 'imitation goods'. My parents go there often to buy those Zebra pots and stuff, and I'm back with shoes and bags cuz I freaking can't fit into their clothes. Sigh.
It's been over 3 years I didn't go due to my studies in college and fear of bombing and now, finally I get to go! Hatyai has became much quieter compared to last time, the stalls close at 10pm, more chinese/hokkien/english speaking Thai yet the quantity and quality of food remains :)
[Hat Yai (Thai: หาดใหญ่; also Haad Yai / Had Yai) is a city in southern Thailand near the boundary to Malaysia. Geographical location . With a population of 157,359 (2008) in the core city and about 800,000 in the Greater Hat Yai, Hat Yai is the biggest city of the Songkhla Province and the largest metropolitan area in Southern Thailand, and is thus often mistaken as being the capital of the province. However Songkhla is the capital, unlike the other provinces where the capital is the biggest city of the province. The city covers the whole tambon Hat Yai of Hat Yai district. Both cities are a part of Greater Hatyai-Songkhla Metropolitan Area.
The name "Hat Yai" is a short version of "Ma Hat Yai", meaning big Ma Hat (Thai: มะหาด) tree.]We used to take the bus from KL to Hatyai but now my parents drive up to Changlun, stopping halfway in Ipoh for lunch, enjoying the journey up. Park the car at Changlun and take a taxi up to Hatyai. I would say a 4 days 3 nights stay is sufficient. You take 1 day to go to the big market (shoe, pots, dried goods shopping), 2 nights to walk around the small market (around Lea Garden hotel), 1 day to Big C/Tesco, the rest go for massage every day because it's very cheap! Traditional massage is only 240 Baht (equivalent to RM24 here).
For me, it's a food haven there. And shoes too. I came back with 6 pairs of shoes and a stomach 2kg heavier. Serious! I eat 5 full meals a day because they serve all porridges and noodles and rice there. But yummy *drools*. And anybody know if there's a fashion brand in Malaysia called Espada? (Not ESCADA) Because I saw it there and the clothes were nice! But expensive. Should be a foreign brand.
Well, let's say no more and let pictures fill you with words :)
You will find quite some number of these Bird's Nest and Sharks' Fin restaurant around. And also small dessert (Tong Sui) push cart stalls that sells dessert drinks such as Soya Bean, Taufu Fah, 8 Treasure dessert drink etc.
Small push cart stalls businesses are more popular than those restaurants'. Street food are every where and is yummy always. You can find carts that sells Thai pickles, grilled squid, fruits, roti canai, coconut etc.
Every corner you will find clothes stalls set up like this, especially at night, at the market area (around Lea Gardens Hotel), from clothes to watches to necklace to collectible items.
This is the Pasar or 'big market' that we call. I seriously don't know what its real name is. It's actually a square building where there are tonnes of shoe and bag stalls here.
They also have a lot of stalls selling these crackers and nuts and snacks.
Here comes my fave part - PHOOD
I first had this roti canai thingy in Phuket when I was 7. I remembered loving it so much because it has evaporated milk, banana, egg and chocolate sauce on it. I came back to KL and tried making one at home and I vomited everything out. Hmm... weird. This one has got no choc sauce but it has banana, egg and evaporated milk inside. The guy actually will pour more milk on top but it's too sweet to be consumed so cut it.
Orange juice made from local oranges.
My favoritest dish in Hatyai from ONE particular aunty - Fish Maw soup (at the small market)
Ho ho ho! Guess what is this? What the Chinese know as "lou jue tao" (stewed pork head). I doubt you'll find this in Malaysia. And NO I DIDN'T EAT THIS. Can't imagine myself eating the erm... nose. The ears yes lah.
Beef Noodles near BP Grand Tower Hotel.
They still use old-fashion bottles.
Essential condiments on the table and the Thai seriously put everything in their noodles. (Clockwise from upper left: Crushed peanuts, chili sauce, sugar, chili powder, green chilies, and XO sauce.
Duck noodle soup few doors away from Hatyai Central Hotel. Yum yum! They used to have the green noodle made from spinach, but not anymore. It seems to have disappeared from all the shops :(
Ever-wonderful Thai laksa. (Opposite Pasar) The Thai eat the laksa with lots of greens as seen below. Not the normal lettuce or cabbage or so but leaves with more pungent tastes such as basil, curry leaves. If you don't like the taste you can opt for bean sprouts and cucumber. You can take as much greens as you like, the laksa is only 20 Baht! And water is free :)
Mini Petai look-alike. And taste like petai too.
Cucumber, mini eggplant and guava pieces. To go with the laksa.
On the way back from Hatyai to the custom, we asked the taxi driver to stop at this town called Kongeh or something (the name sounds obscene) for Kuey-Chap. For me it's so so but my dad loves it.
Usually what I do in Hatyai is eat (of course), shop, facial (Only 300 Baht around the corner of Hatyai Central Hotel), massage, go to the salon to straighten my hair or dye (used to be cheap but now not anymore) and manicure/padicure (only 120 Baht for both, but don't expect those nail arts lah), eat eat and eat more. Hehe.
Going to Thailand during the Water Festival will be much more fun, but if you would prefer a peaceful and relaxing trip, you can go anytime :)