Ten Relaxing Coffee Shops In Hat Yai
When I first arrived in Hat Yai at the end of 2003 there were very few Western style coffee shops where you could sit down for a drink and cake.
Some time after that there began a coffee shop craze and lots of coffee shops started to open. Thais earn very little as employees and all Thais want to have their own business. Owning a successful coffee shop is an attractive business proposition and I think that was one reason for the coffee shop boom.
Another factor was the introduction of Wi-Fi Internet. Thais were late starters with the Internet, but now they are avid Facebook users and they all have Smartphones. Coffee shops offer free Wi-Fi and this draws people in.
Regarding free Wi-Fi, there is one notable exception. Starbucks. Considering how expensive food and drink is at Starbucks, and how you can get 24 hour Internet access for Bt600 a month in Thailand, it is disgraceful that Starbucks charges customers Bt150 to use the service.
At the end of 2003 it was easy for me to make recommendations because there were so few places. The problem these days, with so many coffee shops, is being spoilt for choice and not knowing where the best places are.
As I am a permanent Hat Yai resident I see and use coffee shops every day. Below is a list of ten places I think are worth visiting.
As with my other 'Lists of Ten' on this site I refrain from using adjectives such as 'Top' or 'Best'. Any list like this is purely subjective and objectively there are no Top Ten lists or best coffee shops.
Comments: B's Sweet has been open for quite a few years now, but it maintains high standards and it is still a place I enjoy eating at.
It is located right in the centre of the downtown area and thus will be convenient for tourists. In addition to hot and cold beverages, B's Sweet serves ice cream, cakes, sandwiches and rice dishes.
The restaurant is spotlessly clean, as are the toilets, and there is free Wi-Fi.
More Information: B's Sweet
Comments: Chill Chill has been around for several year, but it is in a location that will never be found by tourists. The only reason I found it years ago is that I used to walk everywhere in Hat Yai to find out what was there.
Chill Chill has a wonderful garden area filled with plants and lots of bonsai trees, which creates a very relaxing atmosphere to sit down with a drink. The cakes and drinks are good and not too expensive.
More Information: Chill Chill
Comments: Coffee D used to be a massage shop. It's in a fairly seedy area with several Karaoke shops and aap op nuat establishments nearby, but the coffee shop itself is a little gem.
The interior design is so attractive that I found myself talking to the owner with a view to doing some similar things in my own home. The beverages are excellent and the shop also sells fresh coffee beans and tea, etc, to make drinks at home.
More Information: Coffee D
Comments: Like Ep's, this is one of Hat Yai's original coffee and cake shops. It is located at the opposite end of Thamanoonvithee Road to the train station, near the University. For this reason it attracts a different crowd compared to downtown Hat Yai. Instead of tourists, you will find a lot of students and lecturers from the Prince of Songkla University.
The cakes are cheaper than most other places and they also sell some rice dishes. When I first started to go it was all open (and quite hot), but now there is air-conditioning.
More Information: Ome Bake House
Comments: This is the restaurant attached to the Hansa JB Hotel. If you are in the downtown area near Lee gardens Plaza it won't be convenient, but if you are near Juti Anusorn Road it is a pleasant place to sit down with a coffee. I use this place quite a lot.
More Information: Shanko's Hive
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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.
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