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Hat Yai | Shopping Page 3

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Shopping in Hat Yai - Page 3

Hat Yai Store Listings

Here is some information about specific products and places in Hat Yai. If you have some useful information about where to buy something, or if you would like me to find out about buying something, feel free to contact me.

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Makro

Makro cash & carry, Hat Yai - Click for larger image

Makro written in Thai script - Click for larger image

Address: 345 Moo 5, Tumbon Korhong, Amphur Hat Yai, Songkla, 90110
Telephone: +66 (0)74 428320
Fax: +66 (0)74 210969
E-mail: store9@siammakro.co.th
Map: Map 4

Latitude: N 06° 59' 23.0" (N 06° 59.383')

Longitude: E 100° 29' 15.9" (E 100° 29.264')

Google Maps: Street Map or Satellite View

Comments: Makro is a large Cash-and-Carry warehouse that has not been designed for pedestrian shoppers. It's a fair way out of town and has a large car park which is always jam-packed with the preferred vehicles of provincial Thais - Isuzu and Toyota pickup trucks.

Thais go there to buy in bulk for their own use or small businesses. The warehouse is divided into two halves. One half contains hardware and consumer electrical appliances, the other has food. Food prices vary considerably. Some items are more expensive at Makro compared to Tesco and Big C, but other items are very cheap.

To get the best value from Makro you need to be aware of the exact cost of specific items at all the local retailers. We go to Makro to buy things that we know are cheaper than elsewhere, such as apples and tomatoes.

It's not a pretty shop but it's not supposed to be. Everything is stacked on large pallets and I imagine that at nighttime there are numerous forklift trucks zooming around restacking the very high shelves.

The idea of Makro is to offer goods at cheap prices and not to provide a sensual shopping experience. You are not given plastic carrier bags at the checkout, although plastic bags can be bought for Bt11. People generally buy in bulk and load items from their shopping carts directly into their pickup trucks.

The store operates for members only, but if you aren't a member you simply pick up a temporary membership card from the customer service desk. Membership is free, but when applying you need to present a receipt showing that on one occasion you spent Bt2,000 or more at Makro.

According to Makro's website, membership is restricted to business owners and you need to show documentation to prove this is the case. However, the member of staff who I spoke to said that all you need is an address in Thailand and an ID card or passport.

Membership doesn't entitle you to a fixed discount, but members receive a newsletter and receive offers to buy certain goods at special prices.

Makro is located on the main road to Sadao about two kilometres from Tesco Lotus and the Prince of Songkla Hospital. From just outside the hospital you can catch a sawng-thaew for Bt10. If you meet the same tuk-tuk driver who quoted me a fare of Bt150 for this journey many years ago when sawng-thaews only cost Bt5, please give him my regards.

The store is open from 6am until 10pm.

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Megahome

Megahome, Hat Yai - Click for larger image

Address: Highway 43, Hat Yai, Songkhla, 90110.
Website: Megahome
Map: Off the map

Latitude: N 06° 58' 48.9" (N 06° 58.815')

Longitude: E 100° 27' 35.6" (E 100° 27.593')

Google Maps: Street Map or Satellite View

Comments: Megahome is a large store that sells building supplies, electrical appliances, hand tools, and all manner of items for the home. It is very similar to HomePro and Thai Wasadu.

The Hat Yai branch of Megahome opened on 28th July 2016. It is located on Highway 43, near to the large PTT petrol station. A few years ago there was virtually nothing on this stretch of road apart from PTT and Kanom Baan Go Kai. However, it is now getting quite developed.

With a branch of Thai Wasadu and two branches of HomePro in Hat Yai already, I was wondering why yet another large store had opened selling basically the same items.

I think the answer lies with the three southern Thai provinces of Yala, Narathiwat and Pattani. An insurgency has been raging in these provinces for several years and many companies seem reluctant to invest in the region because of the instability.

Organisations that wish to sell goods in these provinces seem to use Hat Yai as a distribution base because it is fairly close and fairly peaceful. Many Thais from the three southern provinces come to Hat Yai regularly for shopping and entertainment.

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Muslim Panich

Muslim Panich, Hat Yai - Click for larger image

Address: 17 Niphat Uthit 1 Road
Map: Map 3

Comments: This is only here really to demonstrate what a waste of time Lonely Planet is. Lonely Planet goes on about this place but after living in Hat Yai for almost three years and walking around endlessly I'd never noticed it. So, out of curiosity, I went looking. The reason I hadn't noticed it is because it is just a tiny hole-in-the-wall affair. Nothing wrong with that - many fine establishments are just small, hole-in-the-wall affairs.

According to Lonely Planet, nothing you can buy anywhere else compares with what is available at Muslim Panich. Really? Did they investigate every shop in town and compare what was being sold? The shop sells Indian sarongs and batik. I'm not an expert but the quality and selection of goods on sale here didn't look any different to nearby shops. This recommendation just seems so 'Lonely Planet'. OK, we need to include a few shops but we only have two days to 'research' Hat Yai. What about that one over there? Yeah, it looks OK. Stick it in the guide; it'll keep the backpackers happy.

Sorry for my cynicism but this is just how I see it.

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Nora Plaza

Nora Plaza, Hat Yai - Click for larger image

Address: Thamanoonvithee Road near the junction with Klongrien 2 Road
Map: Map 4

Latitude: N 07° 00' 18.6" (N 07° 00.310')

Longitude: E 100° 28' 58.0" (E 100° 28.967')

Google Maps: Street Map or Satellite View

Comments: This is another huge shopping emporium that has been specially built for the thousands of Malaysian (and maybe Singaporean) tourists that come to Hat Yai every week.

Nora exists exclusively for the visiting Malaysian tourists. Locals don't shop there and farang tourists are very rare. The Thai assistants all speak Chinese, and Chinese is normally all that can be heard, with very little Thai or English.

It contains the type of things that Malaysian tourists like to buy when they visit Hat Yai. There is a large car park outside for the tour buses that bring them, and therefore everything is convenient.

It's not my type of place but obviously a lot of people like it.

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Ocean Shopping Town

Ocean Shopping Town, Hat Yai - Click for larger image

Address: Niphat Uthit 2 Road opposite Diamond Plaza hotel
Map: Map 3

Latitude: N 07° 00' 25.2" (N 07° 00.420')

Longitude: E 100° 28' 04.8" (E 100° 28.080')

Google Maps: Street Map or Satellite View

Comments: Ocean sells mostly clothes aimed at the younger generation but there are other shops that sell toiletries and CDs, etc, and there's also a tattoo parlour. There used to be a food court upstairs and also an Internet shop but these have long since disappeared.

When the Jatukham Ramathep craze hit Thailand, Ocean became a kind of amulet emporium. However, after the craze fizzled out the amulet shops disappeared.

When I arrived in Hat Yai at the end of 2003 Ocean was a busy, buzzing place. Nowadays, it is very quiet.

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Odean Department Store

Odean department store, Hat Yai - Click for larger image

Address: Sanehanusorn, Thamnoonvithee and Niphat Uthit 3 roads all have entrances to Odean
Map: Map 3

Latitude: N 07° 00' 16.5" (N 07° 00.275')

Longitude: E 100° 28' 17.9" (E 100° 28.299')

Google Maps: Street Map or Satellite View

Comments: Clothes and shoes are the main items on sale at Odean and, as usual, there are 'discounts' offered every day of the year. The quality is good and everything is genuine - no fake labels here. In addition to clothes they also sell cosmetics, greetings cards, and there is a pharmacy department that sells toiletries. There is also a food centre on the top floor.

It is not good for electrical or household goods and there is no book department. You are better off going to Central or Robinson for those items.

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Opticians

Hat Yai has many shops selling eyeglasses - Click for larger image

Address: Everywhere

Comments: Just one of the many opticians in Hat Yai offering bargain prices on glasses, sunglasses (not the fake ones) and contact lenses, etc.

Eyeglasses can be a real bargain in Thailand compared to many other countries. For the best prices stay away from the big chains and never accept the first four prices you are given.

When they have given you their lowest possible price, say thank you and start walking towards the door. With every step you take, the price will keep being reduced.

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Osaka

Osaka - Click for larger image

Address: Phetkasem Road near Kor Hong intersection
Map: Map 2

Comments: This shop is something of a novelty, but it's quite interesting to look around and you might find something useful.

Thais have a fascination with everything Japanese or Korean. In recent years lots of small restaurants selling Japanese food have opened in Hat Yai.

This shop imports all sorts of items from Japan, both new and second-hand. To be honest, some of the second-hand goods are simply rubbish, and some of the second-hand shoes and clothes have seen a lot of wear. However, there are some potential bargains if you look hard enough and have a good eye.

The new items might be things that were surplus to stock requirements or couldn't be sold. My wife bought several food bowls that were new and quite attractive.

You will find furniture, children's toys, clothes, shoes, bicycles, clocks, crockery, cutlery, golf clubs, exercise equipment, musical instruments (including painos), and all sorts of things. It's a real Aladdin's cave.

It is located close to the Kor Hong intersection where Phetkasem Road meets Kanchanawanit Road. It is opposite the large government building that collects road taxes.

The transliteration above is mine. The name outside the shop is written in Thai and the Thai pronunciation would be something like 'O-Saa-Gaa' with the stress on the final syllable.

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Patae Gallery

Patae Gallery, Hat Yai - Click for larger image

Patae Gallery, Hat Yai - Click for larger image

Patae Gallery, Hat Yai - Click for larger image

Address: 80 Supasarnrangsan Road
Mobile: +66 (0)87 444 2419
Map: Map 3

Comments: Many foreign tourists visiting Southeast Asia want to buy some batik material. This style of material originated in Indonesia, but it is popular in many Asian countries.

Lonely Planet always used to recommend a place called Muslim Panich, but when I checked it out many years ago I was very unimpressed.

Conversely, even though I'm not a batik expert, I was impressed with Patae Gallery. The shop layout is very attractive and there is a very wide range of batik from low-cost machine made material to very expensive hand-painted designs.

The shop is located near to the Singapore Hotel and Cheo Chaang Temple on Supasarnrangsan Road.

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Phaichid Panich (boxing equipment)

Phaichid Panich - Click for larger image

Address: 225/1 Petchkasem Road
Tel: +66 (0)74 235405-6
Mobile: +66 (0)94 593 1435, +66 (0)89 870 9193
Fax: +66 (0)74 238673
Map: Map 1

Comments: Since I started this website I have received all sorts of questions. The questions regarding subjects that I am interested in are easy to answer, but it is sometimes difficult to answer things that I know nothing about. I'm afraid that when people ask me where they can find ladyboys, I just don't know. Sorry.

Another question I get asked occasionally is where people can buy equipment for Thai boxing. I don't do Thai boxing myself, but this shop seems to be about the best place in Hat Yai. Some sports shops sell a little Thai boxing equipment, but this place sells a lot and it all looks to be professional quality.

For example, the owner told me that Twins brand is the best brand for Muay Thai equipment and he sells a lot of this brand. He said that the gloves are made of real leather and will last for a long time, unlike gloves that are made from cheaper materials.

The owner is a really friendly guy and tries hard to speak English. He is third generation Chinese Thai and his father started the business over 60 years ago before he was born. It is, therefore, a very well established business.

It is located on the section of Phetkasem Road that runs between Gim Yong market and the roundabout on which the President Hotel is located. It is on the opposite side of the road to Gim Yong market.

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Robinson Department Store

Robinson department store, Hat Yai - Click for larger image

Address: Thamanoonvithee Road (very near to the railway station)
Map: Map 3

Latitude: N 07° 00' 14.6" (N 07° 00.243')

Longitude: E 100° 28' 08.5" (E 100° 28.141')

Google Maps: Street Map or Satellite View

Comments: I would rate Robinson the second best department store in Hat Yai after Central. It's not quite as upmarket as Central but there is a good selection of clothes, household goods, and electrical equipment. There are some restaurants and a food centre inside, as well as a cinema.

Most importantly there is a branch of TOPS, which is the best place in Hat Yai to buy genuine Western food. Before the big flood in 2010 the best TOPS branch in Hat Yai was the one at Central. The flood completely destroyed all the TOPS branches and thus they had to be rebuilt.

After everything reopened, the branch in Robinson then became the new TOPS leader in Hat Yai (until the TOPS at Central Festival opened).

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Sahapan Store Zebra Shop

Sahapan Store, Hat Yai - Click for larger image

Address: 39 Montri 1 Road, Hat Yai, Songkhla, 90110
Telephone: +66 (0)74 245359
Map: Map 1

Comments: Until I received an e-mail about this subject I didn't realise that one of the things Malaysians come to Hat Yai for is kitchenware, specifically pots and pans. This website actually receives quite a few search queries for 'Hat Yai Zebra Shop'. There is a lot of kitchenware available in Hat Yai and two of the well-known brand names are Zebra and Seagull.

All the big department stores - Central, Big C, Lotus and Carrefour - stock kitchenware. It is also available at Gim Yong market and there are a number of shops along Montri 1 Road, which is the road that runs alongside Hat Yai Plaza on Phetkasem Road.

Sahapan seems to be the best looking shop and appears to have the most stock. I believe this store is an agent for Zebra exclusively because they don't carry any other brands.

Where is cheapest place to buy pots and pans? This is an impossible question to answer when shopping in Hat Yai. There isn't one place that is cheaper than anywhere else for everything. You need to decide exactly what you want and then put in some legwork to find the best price.

I have lived in Hat Yai for several years and whenever I buy anything this is what I have to do. One shop might be having a promotion or they might be selling stuff cheaper for no apparent reason.

It isn't unusual to find that a place you think will be expensive is actually a lot cheaper than the 'cheap' markets. Remember also that guarantees and aftersales service can be non-existent if buying goods from some of the markets and street stalls.

Unfortunately, there is no short cut to finding the best price. If you want to find a bargain, it will be necessary to put in some effort.

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Sampeng

Sampeng, Hat Yai - Click for larger image

Sampeng, Hat Yai - Click for larger image

Address: Highway 43, Hat Yai, Songkhla, 90110
Telephone: +66 (0)74 245359
Map: Map 1

Latitude: N 06° 59' 09.8" (N 06° 59.163')

Longitude: E 100° 26' 25.9" (E 100° 26.432')

Google Maps: Street Map or Satellite View

Comments: Named after the famous market in Bangkok's Chinatown district, this shop opened in mid 2016. It is located on Highway 43 between Thai Wasadu and Hat Yai University. For a long time there was virtually nothing along this section of road, but now there is a lot of development taking place, including large branches of Megahome and Homebase.

As in all other parts of the world, local business closely follows the local economy. For several years in Hat Yai the economy was good and the fact that people had money in their pockets fueled a huge property boom. New condos and housing developments were being built everywhere, but the property boom is now over and many new properties remain unsold.

As the economy continues to bite several shops have opened that resemble 'pound shops' in the UK, but instead of everything selling for one pound, every item in the shop sells for Bt20. Sampeng (pronounced 'sumpeng') is another shop whose motto is "stack 'em high, sell 'em cheap".

The building itself is a very basic warehouse construction and inside is lots of cheap shelving. The shelves are stacked with all manner of goods, mostly from Chinese factories.

Some of the products are just rubbish but if you keep your eyes open there is also some stuff that is worth buying. My wife bought some attractive Ikea dinner and long sandwich plates. Possibly they were regarded as not being sufficient quality to sell in Ikea stores, but they are fine and they only cost Bt20 each.

Some wire mesh desktop pen holders looked very similar to the ones I had bought for my own desk and they were a fraction of the price. However, Sampeng sells them in boxes of 12. This may not be convenient for many people, but it will be good for small shop owners in the countryside who can buy goods in bulk and sell them for a profit.

This shop will appeal to bargain hunters and small shop owners.

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Sanguan Square

Sanguan Square, Hat Yai - Click for larger image

Address: Phetkasem Road, Hat Yai, Songkhla, 90110
Map: Map 2

Comments: Sanguan Square is a large retailer of household appliances and electronic goods. It's similar to Vichusin Center but without the computers, phones and iPods, etc.

The items on sale aren't exactly exciting but if you are looking for a fridge, TV, washing machine, etc, there is a good selection.

It's located on Phetkasem Road, past Carrefour, past AIS, and directly opposite the Hat Yai Commercial school. There are plenty of Bt10 sawng-thaews that go along this route so it is easy and cheap to get to from the centre of town.

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Siam Nakarin (NOW CLOSED)

Siam Nakarin, Hat Yai - Click for larger image

Address: 1/1 Prathan Uthit Road, Hat Yai, Songkhla, 90110
Telephone: 074-232436, 234923-4, 235155-6
Fax: 074-231527, 235559, 244934, 246569, 348474-8
Map: Map 1

Latitude: N 07° 00' 49.7" (N 07° 00.828')

Longitude: E 100° 28' 13.7" (E 100° 28.228')

Google Maps: Street Map or Satellite View

Comments: After the new branch of Siam Nakarin opened for business (see below) the old branch stayed open for a short while but now it is closed for good.

With venues that I have listed on this site that are now closed I normally leave them here just in case someone is looking for them and wants to know what happened.

The original Siam Nakarin was a proper little Aladdin's cave and good fun to wander around. The new building, unfortunately, doesn't have quite the same atmosphere and ambience. This is what happens in the name of progress.

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Siam Nakarin (new building)

Siam Nakarin new building, Hat Yai - Click for larger image

Address: Phetkasem Road, Hat Yai, Songkhla, 90110
Map: Map 2

Latitude: N 07° 00' 59.4" (N 07° 00.990')

Longitude: E 100° 28' 37.7" (E 100° 28.628')

Google Maps: Street Map or Satellite View

Comments: This isn't simply a new branch of Siam Nakarin. The owners had a huge, attractive building built (over a long period of time) and then leased most of it out to other businesses. Rather than a single shop, it is now actually quite a large department store.

The Siam Nakarin owners still have some retail space of their own in which they sell the same kind of things they sold in the original building - mainly stationery and office supplies.

The rest of the store has restaurants, clothes and accessory shops, mobile phone and computer shops, etc. If you've been to Bangkok, it's a kind of smaller version of MBK. The top floor is devoted to furniture.

As I write this (April 2012) the store isn't fully occupied. There are still some vacant units waiting to be leased out.

It's very clean (to Western standards) but compared to the original Siam Nakarin I don't find it a particularly interesting place in which to walk around. Neither do I find the selection of goods on sale all that exciting.

One shop owner remarked that leasing units there is very expensive, so expect to see this reflected in the prices.

September 2014 Update: I visited Siam Nakarin recently and was quite shocked. All of the computer shops appear to have gone and there are now just some mobile phome shops. The store looks quite empty and I believe there are two reasons for this.

Firstly, the high prices to rent shops, and secondly, Central Festival. Since Central Festival opened it has completely changed the shopping landscape in Hat Yai. Many businesses have relocated to Central Festival and many other shopping malls and department stores are now quiet.

I was also disappointed with the high prices in the stationery section. My wife, who is an artist, wanted an easel. Basic easels there were upwards of Bt3,000 and some were over Bt4,000. She found something on-line that was very similar, if not the same, for Bt1,000.

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Sweet Home Furniture

Index furniture store, Hat Yai - Click for larger image

Address: Niphat Songkhrao Road
Map: Map 1

Latitude: N 07° 01' 12.0" (N 07° 01.200')

Longitude: E 100° 28' 19.2" (E 100° 28.320')

Google Maps: Street Map or Satellite View

Comments: (Formerly the Index Furniture Store) As I mentioned above, there are lots of good furniture shops in Hat Yai selling office and home furniture. The selection and quality is good and prices aren't expensive, especially if you manage to catch a sale.

This big store on Niphat Songkhrao Road is just one place of many. There are several more along Phetkasem Road east of the fountain.

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Tailors

Kucee tailor shop, Hat Yai - Click for larger image

Pierre Gasso tailor shop, Hat Yai - Click for larger image

Comments: I regard the farang obsession with getting made-to-measure clothes in Thailand as something of a joke. It's as much of a cliche as Lonely Planet guides and baggy fisherman pants.

Nonetheless, the Indian tailors with shops in all of Thailand's tourist resorts are quite happy to meet the demand in exchange for tourist dollars.

Outside of the main farang tourist areas you can actually find real Thai tailors. They work in their shops, rather than standing outside in the street with outstretched hands and cheesy grins trying to entice stupid tourists inside.

Hat Yai has a number of small tailor shops.

Shop Name: Hi Class Tailor
Address: 189/1 Niphat Uthit 3 Road, Hat Yai
Tel: +66 (0)74 232119
Fax: +66 (0)74 223377
Map: Map 3

Latitude: N 07° 00' 00.9" (N 07° 00.015')

Longitude: E 100° 28' 16.6" (E 100° 28.277')

Google Maps: Street Map or Satellite View


Shop Name: Erawan Tailor and Dress Maker
Address: 31 Chee Uthit Road, Hat Yai (near the Hakka Association)
Tel: +66 (0)74 355697
Map: Map 4


Shop Name: Hero
Address: 317 Phetkasem Road, Hat Yai (near Vichusin Center)
Tel: +66 (0)74 232306
Map: Map 1


Shop Name: Kucee Collection
Address: 20 Manutruedee Road, Hat Yai
Tel: +66 (0)74 237667
Mobile: +66 (0)81 897 6355
Fax: +66 (0)74 354136
Map: Map 3


Shop Name: Pierre Gasso
Address: 5/3 Duangchan Road, Hat Yai (near VL hotel)
Tel: +66 (0)74 350291
Mobile: +66 (0)81 957 8585
Fax: +66 (0)74 350960
Map: Map 3


Shop Name: Sak Suit Maker
Address: 137/4 Thamanoonvithee Road, Hat Yai (near Saeng Thong school)
Tel: +66 (0)74 354021
Mobile: +66 (0)81 957 0087
Map: Map 4

Latitude: N 07° 00' 14.6" (N 07° 00.243')

Longitude: E 100° 28' 24.8" (E 100° 28.413')

Google Maps: Street Map or Satellite View


Shop Name: Marcocee
Address: 233 Saengchan Road, Hat Yai (behind Pink Lady)
Tel: +66 (0)74 350432
Mobile: +66 (0)87 293 3669
Map: Map 3


Shop Name: Lanvin
Address: 197 Saengchan Road, Hat Yai (behind Pink Lady)
Tel: +66 (0)74 245652
Map: Map 3

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Tesco Lotus

Tesco Lotus Branch 1, Hat Yai - Click for larger image

Tesco Lotus Branch 2, Hat Yai - Click for larger image

Branch 1

Address: Near the Prince of Songkhla University
Map: Branch 1 - Map 2

Latitude: N 07° 00' 28.1" (N 07° 00.469')

Longitude: E 100° 29' 31.9" (E 100° 29.532')

Google Maps: Street Map or Satellite View

Branch 2

Address: Hat Yai Nai near the minivan station
Map: Branch 2 - Map 3

Latitude: N 07° 00' 21.6" (N 07° 00.360')

Longitude: E 100° 26' 27.6" (E 100° 26.460')

Google Maps: Street Map or Satellite View

Comments: British-owned Tesco has done well in Thailand operating as Tesco Lotus. This large retailer has used the 'Superstore' format and turned each Tesco Lotus into a one-stop shopping mall.

This is a good place to buy food, household electrical appliances, and a limited number of furniture items. They also sell clothes, toiletries, stationery and children's toys.

Outside of the main food hall (but still inside the superstore) are shops and restaurant franchises. There is a large car park and the spaces are covered, which is a very welcome feature in hot Thailand.

Getting tuk-tuks from the main door can be problematic. They tend to make you wait for a long time until they are full and the prices quoted to foreigners are often stupid. Sometimes it's easier just to walk across the car park to the road and hail a tuk-tuk from there.

I don't think Tesco has done well in Japan, but the company has thrived in Thailand. On 16th September 2011 Tesco opened a second large superstore in the Hat Yai Nai area. There can't be too many towns in provincial Thailand with two branches of Tesco.

The second branch is similar in format to the first but laid out differently. The food on sale is the same as the other branch but there are a few different shops and restaurants inside. If anything, dining options at the first branch are better.

The second branch is quite a bit smaller. The car park outside is smaller and at busy times it can take a long time for a space to become available. The supermarket is also smaller inside and the aisles are narrower.

The shopping trolleys are the same size but getting around in the second branch can be awkward if there are a lot of people because of the narrow aisles.

Tesco Lotus used to open at 6am in the morning. That is no longer the case. It opens at 8am and closes at 11pm.

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Thaihouse Honey

Thaihouse Honey, Hat Yai - Click for larger image

Address: 205/3 - 205/4 Prachayindee Road
Telephone: +66 (0)74 239273, +66 (0)81 020 9559
Fax: +66 (0)74 239274
Map: Map 2

Latitude: N 07° 00' 36.4" (N 07° 00.606')

Longitude: E 100° 29' 16.5" (E 100° 29.275')

Google Maps: Street Map or Satellite View

Comments: There are quite a few shops in Hat Yai that cater purely to Malaysian tourists. They tend to be a little out of town (where real estate is cheaper) and they don't even bother trying to attract local customers.

Malaysians, like most Asians, travel in large groups. They arrive on tour buses and go everywhere together on the same tour buses. Presumably the Thai businesses wanting Malaysian customers do some kind of deal with the tour companies and subsequently large groups of Malaysians turn up in tour buses.

Cashew nuts and dried food/fruit are popular with Chinese Malaysian tourists, and there are plenty of large shops selling that stuff.

This shop goes after the same customer base but it is a little different. It sells honey, pollen, royal jelly, and all manner of bee products.

The staff working in the places that deal with Chinese Malaysian customers speak Chinese, naturally. When I've been in there it's not like being in Thailand and I can't understand a word.

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Thai Lee Seng Products

Thai Lee Seng Products, Hat Yai - Click for larger image

Chinese Malaysian shoppers in Hat Yai - Click for larger image

Address: Klongrien Road 1
Map: Map 2

Latitude: N 07° 00' 28.5" (N 07° 00.474')

Longitude: E 100° 29' 06.5" (E 100° 29.108')

Google Maps: Street Map or Satellite View

Comments: This place is a similar concept to Nora Plaza except that it just sells food products, whereas Nora sells other things. If you look on Map 2 (bottom right) it's almost opposite the Acoustic Pub.

Thai Lee Seng is a standard part of the Malaysian package-tourist trail in Hat Yai and Malaysian tourists arrive in their coach loads. The shop has a large parking area which can accommodate four full-size coaches but even that isn't big enough at times. I've seen as many as eight coaches and this can cause quite big traffic jams.

It's run by Chinese Thais and offers all kinds of food that the Chinese are fond of. They can buy bags of cashew nuts, all manner of dried fruit and seafood products. The attraction is that the prices are cheap, especially compared to Malaysia.

When 300 Chinese Malaysians suddenly descend it can get quite busy. This shop's popularity with Chinese Malaysians is very well known among the locals so Thai food vendors set up their stalls outside the shop hoping to sell fresh fruit or whatever.

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Thai Watsadu

Thai Watsadu, Hat Yai - Click for larger image

Boats for Thailand's annual flooding problems, Hat Yai - Click for larger image

Address: 1119 M1 Liang Meuang Road, Kuan Lung, Hat Yai, Songkhla, 90110.
Telephone: +66 (0)74 800400
Website: Thai Watsadu
Map: Off the map

Latitude: N 06° 59' 11.1" (N 06° 59.185')

Longitude: E 100° 25' 43.4" (E 100° 25.723')

Google Maps: Street Map or Satellite View

Comments: Located on the airport road, this is a huge place that sells an enormous range of products. Describing it is thus quite difficult.

Thai Watsadu sells everything from building supplies and cement mixers to food and kitchen utensils. If you need something for your house, you will probably be able to find it here.

If you are looking to buy a small boat so that you can get around when the town floods each year, Thai Watsadu is the place to go. I was even able to buy a potato masher after failing to locate one anywhere else in Hat Yai.

The store has a large car park and is open from 7am to 8pm daily.

In addition to the main store, there are some small independent retailers located outside near the car park and also a branch of Power Buy where you can buy electrical goods and appliances.

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Vespiario

Vespiario, Hat Yai - Click for larger image

Address: 36-38 Niphat Uthit 1 Road, Hat Yai, Songkhla, 90110
Telephone: +66 (0)74 233169
Mobile: +66 (0)81 690 1213
Map: Map 3

Latitude: N 07° 00' 23.1" (N 07° 00.385')

Longitude: E 100° 28' 09.6" (E 100° 28.160')

Google Maps: Street Map or Satellite View

Comments: Nothing is easier to buy in Thailand than a small Honda/Yamaha motorbike or scooter. All Thais have them and there are millions on the road.

If you want something similar but you also want to stand out from the crowd you might consider buying a Vespa scooter. I have seen very few in Thailand, apart from in the Yaowarat (Chinatown) area of Bangkok where all the market traders use them to negotiate the narrow lanes inside the market.

However, they're not cheap. A brand new Honda or Yamaha might cost you anything between Bt30,000 to Bt50,000 depending on the model. At Vespiario a Vespa LX125ie will set you back Bt88,500, and the GTV300ie model costs a staggering Bt345,000.

The shop also sells funky fold-up bicycles made by Chevrolet (Chevy Bike). These aren't too expensive (just under Bt10,000) and I quite fancy having one in the back of the car for when I go travelling around in Thailand.

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Vichusin Centre

Vichusin Centre, Hat Yai - Click for larger image

Address: Phetkasem Road (near the roundabout)
Map: Map 1

Latitude: N 07° 00' 46.2" (N 07° 00.769')

Longitude: E 100° 28' 14.1" (E 100° 28.234')

Google Maps: Street Map or Satellite View

Comments: Vichusin is located on Phetkasem Road on the same side as the clock tower. If you walk from the clock tower, it is on the left just before the big roundabout.

Vichusin Centre is a large electronics and electrical appliances store with everything from computers, home theatre systems and digital cameras to Bt100,000 American-style refrigerators and large, flat-screen plasma and LCD TVs. There is quite a wide selection of goods and prices are competitive. They also run a photo lab where you can get digital images printed cheaply.

There is another branch of Vichusin (or Vitchusin) in Central Festival on the 3rd floor.

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Hat Yai Shopping Page 1

An overview of shopping in Hat Yai

Hat Yai Shopping Page 3

Makro to Vichusin Center

Central Festival, Hat Yai

A complete guide to shopping at Central Festival in Hat Yai

 

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. Agoda hotel rates are usually always the lowest and I have received good customer service, therefore I am happy to recommend the company to other people. Here is some analysis I did regarding booking hotels in Southeast Asia.

Booking.com used to be more expensive than Agoda, but when I have checked hotel prices recently I have found their rates to be quite competitive. Unlike Agoda, you don't need to pay at the time of booking with Booking.com - you can simply pay at the hotel when you check in. Also, Booking.com show you total prices whereas Agoda show you a price and then add on 17% for tax and service charge.

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.

Images of Thailand

Images of Thailand