May 1, 2014

Sawadee Hat Yai . Part 1

Finally make up my mind to start blogging on my family trip to Hat Yai one month back. At first we were planning to have roadtrip to Ipoh (postpone to coming June during school holiday) but end up we decided to turn it into a short trip to Hat Yai. It was kind of an impromptu trip, we booked van (go and back from Penang to our Hat Yai Hotel, cost only RM60 per pax), hotel, plan for itinerary within 2 weeks, luckily it turn out quite good and we had a joyful trip. It was my first time to Hat Yai, when I told my friends about this, they were like: what? Penangites should always go to Hat Yai since it's so near to your island! Nah, it was really my first time over there and I'm glad that I went there with my family; should really have annual family trip to elsewhere from now on.
We went there on Saturday, you can see that lots of people wanted to cross the border to Thailand via Bukit Kayu Hitam (the border crossing closest to Dannok and Hat Yai). You might heard people say that we must put RM1 in our passport (to bribe the officer I think) so that they will process our passport checking faster. We decided to try our luck not to put the RM1 inside our passport, we will only give it to officer if they ask for that; lucky us, they did not request any token from us. Another 30 mins ride to get to the town. 
Most of the people will stay at Lee Garden Plaza Hotel whenever they are here in Hat Yai, yet we decided to stay at Diamond Plaza which is just across the street from Lee Garden. We were quite satisfy with their service and the cleanliness of the room is definitely worth a thumb up, lucky us to get 2 rooms with a linked door in between, we just let the door open whole day long. 
Happy faces when we first got up to a tuk-tuk, a common transportation you can get in Hat Yai. The price for tuk-tuk is fixed, 20THB per pax but you can try to negotiate with the driver to get cheaper price if you go several places. The price is slightly higher at night or your destination is far; at the end of the trip, we realized that the total amount we paid for tuk-tuk is quite high, roughly the same if we drove to Hat Yai, will definitely consider to drive to Hat Yai next time.
Our first stop at Kan Eng Restaurant (甘英飯店) for lunch. One of the restaurant which is highly recommended from the net, too bad the tomyam soup is not up to my liking, I still prefer the one I had in Khuntai restaurant. Something I should say, their asparagus are a lot cheaper than in Penang, we had it like almost every meal if we dine in restaurant. Cold beverage is a must in hot Hat Yai!
Went to JR Tour office after our lunch to get our RM exchange to THB, they really offer better rates than other money changer. Our main purpose to JR Tour was to get a private tour for our next day around Hat Yai and Songkhla, 2100THB (for 5 pax, including van and tour guide) for whole day, worth till drop! Do not worry about the communication problem, most of the people in Hat Yai can speak Mandarin, Hokkien and Malay fluently. 
Next stop to Big C Extra for shopping purpose, mainly on snack. The Big C Extra is quite similar to our Tesco Extra, most of their items are quite cheap compare to ours. You can see how much of Lay, Pepero and Pocky we got for ourselves. 
Two men were down for a nap while we girls decided to walk around our hotel and get some sight-seeing. I love how their coke come in a glass bottle where I couldn't find it in Penang anymore; the weather was really killing but the strong wind did calm me a bit. 
The coconut ice cream is a must-have-dessert whenever you are in Hat Yai. Cost only 20THB and they allow you to choose 2 toppings, I really love the taste when the coconut ice cream mixed with the glutinous rice, the taste is simply couldn't explain by words. Why we don't have it in Penang? I want more.

I separate the Hat Yai trip into few parts, if you are interested to read on, just click the link below:
Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5 and Part 6
Enjoy reading!

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Stay tuned for our next stop.

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