Last Christmas, I went to Hatyai with my mom, who is a Hatyai- veteran. She's been there for at least five times already. She will be my tour guide this time. We booked a tour, RM 270 inclusive of transport, hotel and 4 meals. I didn't do a single research here, fully depending on the tour and mom's knowledge to bring me around.
Boarded the bus at 11pm from Bercham, Ipoh and headed North. Stopped at one of the rest stops for a break and for people to change their RM to Thai Bath.
Do not change here! My mom always change here and she asked me to change my Baht here too. The rate is crappy! Baht 100 = RM 10.50! Smarter me, but not too smart me only changed RM 300 at Midvalley which is just Bath 100= RM 10.10 (that time). I might be blur at 435am, but still can count! So I changed another RM 200 here.
Just like going to Singapore via bus, you have to get down from the bus, go through Malaysia's Immigration gate and then go up the bus and get down after a while to go through Thailand's Immigration, with your luggages. Please watch out for your belongings at these stops.
The bus picked up our tour guide, Ah Lung (yes, same pronouciation as loan shark Ah-Long) and he brought us to a chicken rice shop for breekie. Ah Lung can speak Mandarin and he is a local, used to work in Bangkok but he is back in Hatyai because his mom is ill.
The first plate of food I had in Hatyai is awesome!!! The chicken is juicy and tender, the rice is so fluffy. 30Baht only. The sourish chili dip is perfect!!
Mom had a bowl of bihun instead. Also a perfect bowl of noodle, and their bihun is so thin and silky! 30 Baht.
Next up is a round of souvenir buying, I bought a packet of honey cashew nut. Baht 120. Perfectly roasted and coated with honey. Regret I didn't buy more cuz I thought it's a tourist trap and wanted to buy from local market instead. 120 Baht.
We're taken to three different temples. First temple, Wat Pah Koh Suwanaram where the body of the late abbot is preserved inside the temple.
Temple number 2# Guan Yin temple on top a hill with a golden serpant looking entrance to a park. That's my mom and our neighbour who came along in this tour too.
After that they bring us to this place where they serve bird nest dessert. Mine's cold and Mom had a bowl of warm bird nest dessert. Baht 200. Taste like hi class jelly.
Neighbour's Fish Belly Stew, gluey but delicious! Baht 100. Taste like poor man's shark fin's soup
Just in front of the shop, my mom pulled me aside to try this. This is her favorite dessert ever in Hatyai. Coconut ice-cream!! 20Baht. Taste so good, it's the dessert of the year!!
From bottom: Cubed bread, boiled sweet potato, pulut (glutinous rice), attapchi, coconut ice cream, crunchy peanuts
So good it deserves two shots!
Here's me with the dessert of the year..by a busy road with bag content spilling out
Buffet lunch next! At Lee Garden Plaza, 33 Floor, just RM15 per head! Oh this meal is included in the tour.
Mom's Fish Belly Stew and my TomYum Kung, sooooooo nice!!
My Coconut Icecream (2nd bowl) and Yam and Mom's Thom-Grob-Something dessert (Thai Jelly dessert served warm!)
This is view from our dining table! That's Hatyai!
Check-in time! We'll stay for two nights in Hatyai Sri Rama hotel. A bit far from the city centre (15 mins walk back to Lee Garden) but very clean hotel. It's a bit dated but clean and has no cig smoke!
After a quick shower, we're going to Floating Market next before the sun sets. Really an eye-opener! Just by the river banks, food sellers are all lined up to sell their stuff. And they're really 'green' as in minimal plastic bags are used. Bamboo are used as tumblers instead of plastic cups for drinks, banana leaves and reusable clay bowls are used as food container.
Here's another bowl of dessert of the year! Served in a clay bowl. 20 Baht.
Check out the tray of dessert. The tray is made from leaves weaved into a small boat!
If you are wondering how do you pay/ get your food without tumbling into the water, check out the next photo.
Photo attempt fail. Can see more people than the sellers on sampan.
There's a lot of stalls above the river banks too, if you would like to skip the crowd. Love the way they color their food. Like rainbow!
Tinest sushi ever! Baht 10 for ten!!
After this visit, the bus dropped us near Lea Garden, where is night market is and of course, more food!
We had a bowl of icy dessert. Baht 50. In front of Lea Garden.
Shoe shopping at Lea Garden Plaza. Some of our tour members went for 'Sexy' Show which is totally optional. Baht 600. I rather go shopping :P
We jumped on a tuk-tuk and headed home after 10pm. Baht 20 per person. Mom had her Thai Massage at a killer cheap price of Baht 300 for two full hours in the room whileI chillax with my favorite bottle of Meiji plain cultured milk drink. Baht 10, super awesome. Must drink when in Thailand!
Wifi is free and fast. But remember to bring the correct converter! I wasted Baht 50 to buy this converter.
That's the recap of my first day at Hatyai. It's a nice experience, joining a tour instead of my usual free and easy where a lot of pre-planning, booking and arranging is involved. Enjoy!