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Hat Yai | FAQ

Page Contents

  • Frequently Asked Questions [more]
    1. How much will it cost to get a tummy tuck? [more]
    2. Can you book a room for me for four people? [more]
    3. What are the places of interest in Hat Yai? [more]
    4. Can you recommend a private driver? [more]
    5. Where can I get really good Thai food? [more]
    6. Where can I get really good Indian food? [more]
    7. Where can I get really good Western food? [more]
    8. Are there any hotels near the airport? [more]
    9. How can I get into town from the airport? [more]
    10. Can you recommend a tailor? [more]
    11. Is Hat Yai dangerous? [more]
    12. What are the living costs in Hat Yai? [more]
    13. Is there a casino in Hat Yai? [more]
    14. What are the GPS coordinates for Hat Yai town? [more]
    15. How much does prostitution cost in Hat Yai? [more]
    16. Can I draw money from an ATM in Hat Yai? [more]
    17. Does flooding occur in Hat Yai? [more]
    18. When is a good time to go to Hat Yai? [more]
    19. When is rainy season in Hat Yai? [more]
    20. Can foreigners buy property in Hat Yai? [more]
    21. Where's the Indian Quarter in Hat Yai? [more]
    22. Is teaching in Hat Yai dangerous? [more]
    23. Where can I learn to speak Thai in Hat Yai? [more]
    24. How can I get from Hat Yai airport to Koh Lipe? [more]
    25. Where can I buy Viagra in Hat Yai? [more]
    26. Where can I buy a BB gun in Hat Yai? [more]
    27. Where can I get shoes repaired in Hat Yai? [more]
    28. Where is the best body massage in Hat Yai? [more]
    29. Is there a massage school in Hat Yai? [more]
    30. Where can I find a ladyboy in Hat Yai? [more]
    31. What can I do with a hired girl in Hat Yai? [more]
    32. Is malaria a problem in Hat Yai? [more]
    33. Apart from prostitution, what does Hat Yai have to offer? [more]
 

 

A fortune teller answering frequently asked questions about Hat Yai

A fortune teller answering frequently asked questions about Hat Yai

 

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Frequently Asked Questions about Hat Yai

FAQ

This page is based on e-mails that I receive and the search queries that people perform to find these pages about Hat Yai.
  1. How much will it cost to get a tummy tuck / boob job / eyelid surgery / dental implants / etc?
  2. I don't know. I'm not a doctor or a dentist and have nothing to do with any clinics in Hat Yai. I have included contact information for the clinics listed and you will need to contact a clinic directly if you have questions. If you use a clinic and wish to give me some feedback afterwards it would be much appreciated and it would help other readers of this site.

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  3. Can you book a room for me for four people?
  4. No. I'm not a travel agent and I'm not affiliated with any hotels. Please go through a certified travel agent or contact the hotel directly. After your stay please let me know how it was.

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  5. What are the places of interest in Hat Yai?
  6. This depends on what your personal interests are and to some extent where you come from. Westerners seem to like the more traditional aspects of Hat Yai and go to the local markets. Visitors from less developed areas of Thailand like the big superstores. Malaysians like to shop, eat, and have cheap massages.

    Hat Yai isn't Bangkok and doesn't have the wealth of attractions that the capital can offer. However, it is easier to connect with nature. There are beaches in nearby Songkhla, and the beaches of Trang and Satun aren't too far away. Phattalung is good for nature and birdwatching.

    There aren't any big museums and not much of any cultural significance. Compared to elsewhere in Thailand, the temples aren't grand or magnificent.

    I have included lots of information within this site. For a condensed summary, you may wish to look at my recommendations for suggested itineraries.

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  7. Can you recommend a private driver?
  8. There is no one that I recommend personally, however, there are hundreds of people in Hat Yai who make a living from driving taxis. You don't need to arrange this before your visit. After you arrive, speak to some taxi drivers and negotiate the best price.

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  9. Where can I get really good Thai food?
  10. Long Oey serves pretty good Thai food, but the restaurant does a lot of external catering these days and seems to be closed quite often. If you go and find it closed, Miang Bplaa is just a short walk away and it is also very good.

    The most authentic traditional Thai restaurant with the best ambience (in my very humble opinion) is Krua Reurn Thai. This place is well worth a visit. It's completely off the tourist trail and not a place that you will stumble upon accidentally.

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  11. Where can I get really good Indian food?
  12. You can't. There is hardly any Indian food in Hat Yai, despite there being quite a few Indian Malaysian tourists. Namaste has a limited selection of dishes and will satisfy a craving, but it is poor compared to Indian restaurants in Singapore, Malaysia, England, Phuket, Bangkok, etc.

    The Irish Pub has beef and chicken Madras curries on the menu.

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  13. Where can I get really good Western food?
  14. Gäp's Garten is my current choice for the best aahaan farang in Hat Yai. Jan, the German owner, makes sure the food is authentic, tasty and filling. Taste Add used to be my favourite place, but I haven't been for quite a while. Sizzler does pretty good steaks and burgers, but the prices are quite high for Hat Yai and my last visit was disappointing. The Irish Pub has a good selection of UK pub grub and the food is good.

    If you want American fast food, Hat Yai has four branches of McDonalds and there are several branches of KFC around town located in shopping centres and department stores. There is also a branch of Starbucks, but so far - sadly - there isn't a branch of Subway in town. Can someone please open a Subway franchise in Hat Yai.

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  15. Are there any hotels near the airport?
  16. Not that I'm aware of, but the airport is only 20 minutes, or less, drive from the downtown area where there are lots of hotels. If you have an early flight it's not necessary to stay at the airport as it might be in another place where the airport is a long way out of town.

    Probably the closest hotel to the airport is Nutchana Hill Boutique Hotel, but it's not that close, and it is certainly not within walking distance. Just stay downtown and book a taxi, allowing yourself 20 minutes travel time.

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  17. How can I get into town from the airport?
  18. The cheapest option is by sawng-thaew - a pickup truck with two or three rows of bench seats in the back. The cost is Bt20. They only run during the day and you have to wait until the truck is full before the driver will leave.

    From the airport sawng-thaews go through Hat Yai Nai and then along Phetkasem Road, passing Big C Extra, before turning right on Kanchanawanit Road and finally ending up at the bus station. Depending on your destination, you may need to get a tuk-tuk or motorbike taxi after the sawng-thaew drops you off.

    A private taxi from the airport will probably cost around Bt350 these days and lots of drivers wait outside the airport. They stick together by fixing prices and normally they won't reduce the fare. The advantage with these is that they will take you all the way to your hotel.

    There is also a minivan service that runs from the airport. It's a bit more comfortable than a sawng-thaew, but you still have to wait until it fills up before the driver will leave. The cost is around Bt80.

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  19. Can you recommend a tailor?
  20. I regard the Indian tailors in Thai tourist resorts as rip-offs. There are lots of tailors in Hat Yai and they are a lot better. For starters, they don't stand grinning outside their shops offering to shake hands with every farang who walks by.

    I've listed some tailor shops on my 'Shopping in Hat Yai' pages. I have never used any myself. My wife's sister is a seamstress and her husband is a tailor. She works from home and has made clothes for me and my mother. If I want anything done, I ask her.

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  21. Is Hat Yai dangerous?
  22. I have lived in Hat Yai since 2003 and honestly don't regard it as being dangerous. The only thing I am genuinely afraid of in Thailand is Thai drivers. Many drive like maniacs and they are highly adept at killing themselves and other people in road accidents.

    There have been insurgency problems in Hat Yai over the years, but you would have to be very unlucky to be in exactly the wrong place at exactly the wrong time. The security services understand very well that Hay Yai is a big target for insurgents and try to make sure that the town is kept safe.

    There are definitely lots of Thai males to watch out for. However, the tourist areas are fairly safe in this respect. If you venture outside the tourist areas at night exercise a little caution. Keep an eye out for suspicious looking people and don't carry bags in such a way that they can be snatched easily by passing motorcyclists.

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  23. What are the living costs in Hat Yai?
  24. Compared to Bangkok, a bit cheaper. Compared to Singapore and Western Europe, a lot cheaper. Compared to rural areas of Thailand, quite expensive.

    A very basic room in a cheap apartment building can be rented for Bt1,500 a month. A detached house on my housing development similar in style to my own house, but smaller, is being rented out for Bt70,000 per month. In between, there are lots of options.

    Rooms in apartment buildings built to the standard that most Westerners would consider suitable can be rented for about Bt6,000 a month. Townhouses can be rented for about Bt5,000, but they have nothing inside and will probably be located in areas that flood.

    Hat Yai land and property prices have increased dramatically in the last few years. Townhouses are Bt2 million plus nowadays, whereas a few years ago you could pick a townhouse up for less than a million. Apparently, one of the new condo buildings in Hat Yai is selling some units for Bt18 million. Hat Yai property prices are a lot more expensive than most other parts of provincial Thailand.

    Food ranges from Bt30 plates of rice or noodles to a blow out steak dinner with wine that could cost Bt2,000 or more. Hat Yai provides lots of choice and it's up to you how much you spend.

    If prostitution is your reason for coming to Thailand there are girls who will provide a 30 minute service for Bt500, or some very attractive girls who will spend the night with you for Bt4,000 or more.

    You can get a Thai massage for Bt200 or you can have a 4.5 hour spa treatment at the Novotel that will set you back almost Bt4,000.

    Can you see what I am getting at here? When people make enquiries about living costs anywhere in Thailand, it is almost impossible to provide an answer. You can live very cheaply if you want to or have to, but if you have money there are lots of things to spend your money on.

    It's really up to you, and the only person who knows what you want or need is you. I can't really help you with living costs because I don't know the things that are important to you. It is possible to live a very cheap existence, but if you need certain luxuries and comforts it can start to get expensive.

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  25. Is there a casino in Hat Yai?
  26. Not that I'm aware of, but that doesn't mean there isn't one. If there is one somewhere, it will be illegal. Gambling is illegal in Thailand, apart from the official lottery, but there are underground lotteries and illegal betting shops, which mostly organise bets on foreign football matches. Thais are big gamblers. If you attend a Thai boxing contest or go to the local bullfighting stadium, you will see that the main attraction at these events is gambling.

    There are casinos in neighbouring Cambodia and many Thais cross the border to gamble, thus putting money into the Cambodian economy. In its little spat with Cambodia over an ancient temple on the border that both countries lay claim to, Thailand threatened at one point to stop Thai gamblers going across the border in order to hurt Cambodia economically.

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  27. What are the GPS coordinates for Hat Yai town?
  28. I treated myself to a Garmin SatNav device a few years ago and then started to record the GPS coordinates for the various places listed on this site.

    I think I have listed coordinates for all hotels and guesthouses, as well as for some restaurants and other places of interest. Time is always my enemy, but my plan eventually is to list GPS coordinates for every place that I mention.

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  29. How much does prostitution cost in Hat Yai?
  30. I made a few enquries and you can find some prices here: Prostitution Prices In Hat Yai

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  31. Can I draw money from an ATM in Hat Yai?
  32. You might want to check with your bank that your ATM/debit card is authorised to do this, but most can these days. If the card has a Maestro or Visa sign there shouldn't be any problems. There are ATMs everywhere in Hat Yai.

    Be aware that your bank back home will make a charge, as will the local Thai bank whose ATM you are using. You are also likely to get a very poor exchange rate. These three factors mean that using your ATM card from home in a Thai ATM to get money in Thailand can be quite an expensive way to do it.

    There is a language option on Thai ATMs and if you can't read Thai it shouldn't be a problem.

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  33. Does flooding occur in Hat Yai?
  34. Oh yes, very much so. The riskiest time of the year for flooding is from around the end of October until around the beginning of January. Of course, with something as unpredictable as weather there are always exceptions.

    I've seen old pictures of Hat Yai with people walking around up to their knees in water. Up until fairly recently there was flooding to some degree almost every year.

    There was a major flood in 2000 in which, I am told, quite a few people died. When I arrived in Hat Yai at the end of 2003 there was some minor flooding. A lot of work was carried out on the flood defenses and the general consensus was that another big flood, like the one in 2000, wouldn't happen again.

    In 2005 the Kate 8 area, which is probably the area most prone to flooding in Hat Yai, was flooded. Other areas got a lot of water, but there was no flooding.

    Foolishly, I started to rent a house in the Kate 8 area towards the end of 2010. Shortly after moving in, Hat Yai was hit with the biggest flood in its history. I have now moved to an area of town that doesn't flood.

    The current situation is that the town's flood defenses are sufficient for average rainfall during the rainy season. However, if rainfall is above average and/or a major storm arrives there is a very good chance of flooding.

    Areas of town that don't usually flood because they are on high ground are around the Prince of Songkla University, bus station and airport. In addition, the central downtown area is given priority over other areas and protected. There are a number of sluice gates that can be open or closed to protect certain areas.

    The Kate 8 area, where you can find Hansa Plaza and the Hat Yai Paradise Hotel, is the part of Hat Yai that is most vulnerable to flooding.

    If you're in town at the end of the year and there has been torrential rain for several days, be cautious and get updates from the locals. If your car is parked in an underground car park in a hotel or department store, move it to an area of high ground.

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  35. When is a good time to go to Hat Yai?
  36. This is another of those, "What should I eat for lunch?" questions. One man's meat is another man's poison. Some people think that the Songkran holiday is the best time to go because you can act like a five year-old all day squirting water at people. This would be my absolute worst time to visit.

    This is a really dumb question because other people can't provide an answer that is suitable for you. I don't like crowds or traffic jams, therefore, midweek during a quiet period would be best for me. But that's me, and I am not you. If you are flying up from Singapore or Malaysia you can get better deals on flights during quiet periods. This also applies to hotels in Hat Yai.

    Hat Yai isn't like Phuket and other tourist resorts, and there is no high season as such. Most tourists are from Malaysia and Singapore and they come year round. Weekends tend to be busier than midweek and the town gets busy when there are Malaysian public holidays and also during Malaysian school holidays.

    Most visiting tourists are ethnic Chinese and Hat Yai also has a big resident ethnic Chinese population. This means that the town gets very busy over Chinese New Year and hotels get fully booked well in advance. New Year tends to be busy, and lots of Malaysians visit for Songkran.

    Regarding weather, it can be very hot all year round, especially between February and September. There can be big summer storms around April and periods of persistent rain from September to December. The highest risk of flooding is in November, but if there is little rain November is the best time of the year because it isn't too hot.

    In short, there is no way to answer this question. It depends on what things are important to you.

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  37. When is rainy season in Hat Yai?
  38. Generally from around the end of September until the start of January. Weather, of course, is completely unpredictable and this period may be relatively dry, or there may be heavy rain during other periods of the year.

    The New Year celebrations to welcome in 2012 were completely washed out by torrential rain and some Songkran festivals, which take place in April, have been very wet. All of Hat Yai's major floods have occurred in the month of November.

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  39. Can foreigners buy property in Hat Yai?
  40. The same rules apply to buying property anywhere in Thailand. Foreigners are not permitted to own land in Thailand by law. A house requires land and therefore foreigners can't own houses in Thailand. A condo does not require land and therefore foreigners are allowed to buy condos. The land that the condo building stands on does not belong to any individual condo.

    Investing in any kind of property in Thailand is fraught with risk. Many condos are sold with 30 year leasehold contracts. Technically the lease is renewable, and a Thai sales agent who is desperate to get the commission from a sale will swear that extending a lease is easy, but there are never any guarantees in Thailand.

    The situation in Thailand in 30 years' time may be very different to now, rules may change, and everything in Thailand is always at the discretion of the person you deal with. Extending a lease may be very easy, but then again it may not.

    Foreigners who set up a company in Thailand can buy land/property through the company. Again, this method of property ownership has a lot of risk attached. If you buy a company that is already set up for the sole purpose of buying a house, the company have have oustanding debts.

    I'm not exactly sure of the rules, but if you set up a company you need to have a certain quota of Thai staff, the company needs to turn over a certain amount of money each year, you need to file accounts, and you need to pay tax. If you simply set up a sham company so that you can buy a house it is likely that you will run into problems.

    A foreign owner is not allowed to have a majority shareholding. Normally, the foreign owner will own 49% and the other 51% will be divided between Thai shareholders. Be careful of the Thais you choose as partners.

    Most foreigners who buy houses in Thailand do so in the name of their Thai spouse. Again, this approach isn't exactly risk free. The arrangement may work out very well, or it may not. The Thai person has full legal ownership of the property and is perfectly entitled to kick out the foreigner who paid for the house. Thai law offers no protection to foreigners who find themselves in this situation.

    Be aware that property can take a very long time to sell in Thailand and if Thais get even the slightest suspicion that you are in a hurry to sell they will try to beat you down to a price you may find insulting. If you are desperate to sell, expect to make a big loss.

    There has been something of a housing boom in Hat Yai in recent years. My gut feeling is that it is actually a property bubble and I think that some property speculators are going to get their fingers burnt.

    If you are considering buying somewhere in Hat Yai, go for a location that doesn't flood. Hat Yai has serious flooding problems, but there are still some areas where flooding doesn't occur. These areas are well known by the locals.

    Even if you have a 10th floor condo that is safe from flooding, a flood at street level will wreck your car parked in the condo car park and you won't be able to leave the building.

    Owning a condo in Thailand gives you no immigration rights. Once upon a time, if you bought a condo for Bt3 million or more you were entitled to an investment visa. That is no longer the case.

    A foreign owner of a condo in Thailand gets the same number of days stamped in his passport as any other foreigner entering the country.

    The short answer to the original question is, "Yes, you can buy a property if it is a condo, but buying property in Thailand is fraught with risk and needs to be considered very carefully."

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  41. Where's the Indian Quarter in Hat Yai?
  42. There isn't one. Hat Yai is a small provincial town and, unlike big cities, it doesn't have any distinct ethnic areas. There is no Latin Quarter, no Arab Street, no Chinatown, and no Indian Quarter.

    A few areas are predominantly Muslim, where you will see mosques and Muslim restaurants, but that's about it. The town also has a very strong Chinese identity because many Hat Yai residents are Thai-Chinese and many visitors from Singapore and Malaysia are ethnic Chinese.

    It's a shame because I love venturing into these ethnic areas in big cities for both the atmosphere and the food. Quite a few Malaysians of Indian ethnicity visit Hat Yai, but the Indian population actually living in Hat Yai is tiny. A separate Indian area with some excellent Indian restaurants would be very welcome, but sadly I don't think it will happen.

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  43. Is teaching in Hat Yai dangerous?
  44. This will seem a ridiculous question to anyone who lives in Hat Yai, but it's a question that I can understand. Foreigners looking for teaching jobs in Thailand may see jobs advertised in Hat Yai. Hat Yai is in the deep south and sensationalist news reports imply that southern Thailand is a war zone.

    It's true that the violence from Yala, Narathiwat and Pattani does creep over into Songkhla province occasionally, it's true that there have been terrorist attacks in Hat Yai, and it's true that people have died as a result, including one Canadian teacher who was working in Hat Yai at the time.

    However, if you actually visit Hat Yai you will see that it is a perfectly normal large, provincial Thai town. I have never felt particularly threatened living in Hat Yai. The only thing that scares me in Thailand is the way that Thais drive.

    At certain times of the year when the authorities suspect that there may be a high risk of a terrorist attack you will see soldiers and police on the streets. You will also notice quite a lot of security measures compared with other areas of Thailand.

    Most large stores screen people entering the building and Lee Gardens Plaza has an airport style scanner at the main entrance. When parking your car it is usual to have to show your ID card or driving licence so that it can be scanned. Some car parks do not allow cars running on LPG to enter.

    It is always wise to be aware of potential dangers and to be alert to your surroundings. However, it isn't dangerous teaching in Hat Yai and prospective teachers need not be overly concerned.

    Even if a terrorist attack were to occur while you were living in Hat Yai, you would have to be extremely unlucky to be in exactly the wrong place at exactly the wrong time.

    The chances of being involved in a serious road accident anywhere in Thailand are far, far greater than the risk of being involved in a terrorist attack in Hat Yai.

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  45. Where can I learn to speak Thai in Hat Yai?
  46. This is an unusual question because the vast majority of foreigners in Thailand have no interest in learning Thai, but it is a good question. It's also a question that I had when I first came to Hat Yai.

    There are hundreds of tutoring places in Hat Yai aimed at Thais wanting to learn English, but I couldn't find anywhere offering to teach foreigners how to speak Thai.

    The thing about Thailand is that nothing is more important than money. If you want any kind of service or product and have money you will be able to find someone willing to deliver that product or service.

    Although the tutoring schools don't advertise Thai courses for foreigners (because there is so little demand), if you tell them what you want they will probably be able to offer something.

    After that it is just a question of price. I took a 20 hour conversation class in Thai soon after I arrived in Thailand. Originally, the school asked for Bt600 per hour but I told them that this was too expensive and they halved the price.

    Returning to the original question, there are no specific places, but any tutoring place that teaches English to Thais should have staff who can teach foreigners Thai. Once you have found somewhere, it is up to you to negotiate a price.

    If you are looking for a starting point, there are lots of tutoring places around the Juti Anusorn Road area in the vicinity of the Hansa JB Hotel (Map 2).

    If learning to speak Thai I highly recommend learning to read Thai at the same time. This may seem a little daunting, but the transliteration systems used to write Thais words in English are highly inconsistent and highly confusing. Transliteration systems are a nightmare and best avoided, but the only way that you can avoid them is if you can read Thai.

    My Learning to Read Thai Tutorials will show you how easy it is to be able to read some basic Thai. It takes a little effort, but the effort is very worthwhile.

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  47. How can I get from Hat Yai airport to Koh Lipe?
  48. First you need to get to Tummalang pier in Pak Bara, Satun province, and then you need to get a ferry or speed boat to Koh Lipe. There are various ways of doing it. The total journey time from downtown Hat Yai to Koh Lipe is around four hours and a one-way ticket will set you back Bt600. There are two boats per day in the high season (November to May) and one per day in the low season.

    The cheapest way to get downtown from the airport is by sawng-thaew (Bt20) or a taxi ride should cost you less than Bt300. Taxi drivers will be willing to take you directly to Pak Bara from the airport, but this will cost several thousand Baht. If money is no object, this is the quickest way. You can then buy a ferry ticket at Pak Bara.

    You can find out more about the various options here.

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  49. Where can I buy Viagra in Hat Yai?
  50. I don't know. I don't have erectile dysfunction problems and I have never needed to buy any. Around Suntisuk market there are a number of street vendors who sell pornographic DVDs, sex toys, and various sex-enhancing pills. Whether the pills they sell are genuine or not, I don't know, but I certainly wouldn't advise anyone to take pills bought from a Thai street vendor.

    Thai pharmacies are well known for selling drugs over the counter that would need a doctor's prescription in most other countries. Someone visiting Hat Yai from Singapore wanted to buy prescription sleeping tablets and someone else asked me where he could buy Clenbuterol over the counter.

    Clenbuterol was developed to treat breathing disorders, but body-conscious people (including some celebrities) use it as a weight loss drug.

    Again, the answer is that I don't know. Sorry.

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  51. Where can I buy a BB gun in Hat Yai?
  52. This seems to be quite a popular query, but unfortunately it is another subject in which I have no personal experience. There used to be a dedicated gun shop near Sikarin hospital, but I'm not sure whether it is still there. There are a number of small shops in and around Suntisuk market that sell all kinds of military clothing and equipment. These shops also sell BB guns. Some of the weaponry sold in markets in Thailand is definitely illegal. I'm not sure of the legal status of BB guns in Thailand, and whether they require the owner to have a licence or not. I'm also not sure how Malaysian customs and immigration would view the import of any kind of a gun from Thailand, especially with the ongoing insurgency in southern Thailand.

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  53. Where can I get shoes repaired in Hat Yai?
  54. There are lots of places, but the place I recommend and use myself is underneath the railway bridge near the police station (Map 3). This is also where I go to get keys cut.

    There are several small stalls where you will see people mending shoes and cutting keys. There is also a big trade in amulets under the bridge. Amulets are bought and sold (sorry, rented) and also repaired.

    I have bought several pairs of shoes from markets in Hat Yai and although they are very comfortable to walk in, the glue used to stick the soles isn't very strong. Shoe repairers under the bridge will sew soles and uppers together very cheaply, and their work is very good. I have had this service performed on every pair of shoes I have bought in recent years.

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  55. Where is the best body massage in Hat Yai?
  56. There are dozens of cheap massage shops in Hat Yai, but a lot of the girls working in those places have bad attitudes. They are more interested in watching the TV or playing on their mobile phones rather than giving their customers a good massage. If you're lucky and get the right girl you can get a good massage, but it's a gamble.

    If you want a guaranteed good massage I would recommend going to Thai Odyssey or to one of the spas. Prices at the different spas vary quite a lot, therefore, it depends on your budget. The most expensive spas are places like Cenvaree and Sittara.

    The cheapest spa is probably Preuksa, but even though it is cheap it is very relaxing and the service is good. Garabunning is another relaxing place and prices are probably about mid-range.

    'Cheap' and 'expensive' are relative terms, of course. What is considered expensive in Hat Yai will probably be considered quite cheap to Singaporean tourists who are used to much higher prices at home.

    The places I have mentioned offer relaxed, soothing massages. If you want an authentic hard Thai massage in order to give your musculoskeletal system a good work out, I recommend The Only One.

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  57. Is there a massage school in Hat Yai?
  58. Many Western tourists visiting Thailand have certain fixed items on their agendas. They want to buy hand-made clothes, they want to visit a floating market, they want to go elephant trekking, etc. Others want to take classes in Muay Thai, cookery or massage.

    These activities are well catered for in tourist areas that receive a lot of Western tourists. However, Hat Yai is different. Most tourists arriving in Hat Yai are ethnic Chinese from Malaysia and Singapore and they have very different items on their agendas.

    The owner of Long Oey restaurant offered Thai cooking classes many years ago, but when a visitor to this site enquired about the classes recently it seems that they are no longer available. If there was more demand I'm sure that classes would be offered, but the demand isn't there.

    It is the same with massage classes. Most of the massage shops run in-house training for their own masseuses, but there is nothing available for outsiders. There may be Thai massage classes available in Hat Yai, but currently I am not aware of any.

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  59. Where can I find a ladyboy in Hat Yai?
  60. Sales assistant in Robinson department store, Hat Yai - Click for larger image I see them everywhere every day. They seem to have a thing about Western men and they often stare, which makes me feel quite uncomfortable. They like jobs selling women's clothes or cosmetics in department stores and many professional make-up artists are ladyboys. A ladyboy beautified my wife for our wedding ceremony and pre-wedding photo shoot.

    There are also a lot of ladyboys working at the Hansa Plaza Ladyboy cabaret. You could try some of the these places, but I have no experience of meeting ladyboys so I can't really help.

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  61. What can I do with a hired girl in Hat Yai?
  62. If you have to ask this question you shouldn't be hiring girls in Hat Yai. Better to spend your time and money in some of Hat Yai's bookshops to try to find the answers.

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  63. Is malaria a problem in Hat Yai?
  64. No malaria isn't a problem, but dengue fever is. There is no need to take antimalarial drugs before or during your visit to Hat Yai, but when in Hat Yai do your best to avoid mosquito bites - not easy, I know. Be especially careful of the stripy mosquitoes, which transmit dengue. People seem quite surprised that you can see stripes on a mosquito because they are so small, but the stripy mosquitoes have a distinctly different appearance to regular mosquitoes.

    Also be aware that the stripy ones are active during the daytime, whereas regular mosquitoes are only active at nighttime, dawn and dusk. The stripy ones are fast, aggressive and will actually come after you. Dengue is seldom fatal, but the disease can be quite nasty.

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  65. Apart from prostitution, what does Hat Yai have to offer?
  66. A Singaporean arrived at my site after Googling this question. Questions like this actually make me feel quite sad. I feel sad about the reputation that Thailand has among those who don't know Thailand, and I feel sad for those people who don't know what it is they want out of life and have to resort to finding places where things are offered to them.

    There are around a million people in the greater Hat Yai area and I would imagine that those working as prostitutes represent a small fraction of one percentage point. Do people living outside of Hat Yai really think there is nothing more here than prostitution?

    What does Hat Yai have to offer? Let me think about it, from a personal point point of view. I learnt to speak and read Thai in Hat Yai. I met my wife, got married and had two children in Hat Yai. I found work in Hat Yai. Everything I know about Thai culture I have learnt in Hat Yai, and I have used Hat Yai as a base to explore many parts of southern Thailand. I wrote this website in Hat Yai.

    When people ask this question, what is it that they want out of life? I don't honestly think that a lot of people know the answer. They travel to different places, in the hope of finding something, but how can you find something if you don't know what you are looking for?

    The vast majority of visitors to Hat Yai, and Thailand in general, engage in trivial, superficial activities and miss out on so much. Shopping, massage, eating and sex. Yes, you can find those things in Hat Yai, but as to what else is available it's really up to you to open your mind and open your imagination.

    Elsewhere on this site you will find five pages of activities, as well as information about some of the natural areas surrounding Hat Yai. Learn about Thai culture, learn about Thai language, learn about photography, learn about Thai wildlife.

    With so many interesting things to learn about I never get bored; in fact, I never have the time to do all the things I want. It also saddens me that the vast majority of visitors to this site ignore all these things and that the page I wrote about Hat Yai and prostitution prices receives 40% of the total page views.

    But it's your life and entirely up to you.

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Get The Best Deal On Your Hat Yai Hotel Room

Listed opposite are some of my personal recommendations for hotels in Hat Yai based on budget. I have lived permanently in Hat Yai since 2003 and my recommendations are based on a lot of local knowledge.

Each link will take you to the relevant page on the Agoda website where you can see photos, read reviews, and book on-line. I use Agoda to book all of my own hotels in Thailand and the Southeast Asia region. Every time I research hotel prices the Agoda price is always the lowest and I have received good customer service, therefore I am happy to recommend the company to other people.

If you don't wish to pay for your hotel at the time of booking, Booking.com normally allows you to pay when you check in at the hotel. Some people prefer this method, but I have always found Booking.com to be more expensive than Agoda.

If you want to compare prices between different on-line travel agents (OTAs) for a specific hotel, you can use a company such as HotelsCombined. However, you will normally find that Agoda is the cheapest and therefore you can save yourself time and money by just booking through Agoda in the first place.

Images of Thailand

Images of Thailand

 

 

Top End

Mid Range

Budget

Backpackers

 

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