And for our forth trip of the year, we headed to Southern Thailand, Hat Yai, which is a relatively quieter and more Chinese-like of the country. Given its close proximity to Malaysia, many operators and locals often spoke dialects such such Cantonese, Hokkien, Teochiew on top of Thai. In fact, only a minimal number of people were able to spoke English and this is the only time your dialects come in real handy.
There is only one flight connecting Singapore to Hat Yai from Tigerair and the journey takes a mere 1 hr 15 mins. To our surprise, the flight to and fro were packed and filled with people of different nationalities.
Upon arriving at Hat Yai, we travelled outside the airport and took a cab down to our hotel for 200 baht. The journey to Tune hotel takes approximately 20 mins.
Check-in was relatively fast and we were notified that no drinking water would be provided and mineral water could be bought at 10 baht per bottle.
We were given a room on the third floor and the lifts were only accessible with the use of hotel keys. First impression: Really really simplistic room with minimal decorations and facilities provided.
We were pretty surprised to find out that no refrigerator or kettle were provided. Also, nobody mentioned about this on agoda.
Even though the stay was relatively cheap at 20-odd dollars per night, we would probably not be staying here for our next trip. Here’s a listing of the pros and cons of Tune hotel:
2. 5-10 minutes walk to food hawkers
3. Counter staff could converse in English well
1. Kettle and fridge are not provided
2. Leaking aircon
3. Noisy – We could hear people conversing along the corridor easily, and the vehicles at the roads were disrupting the peace in the early morning
4. Lack of convenience store nearby
5. Very very very soft pillows and bed which wasn’t too uncomfortable
After settling our luggage and checking out the rooms, we headed out to explore. We first had to fill our tummies before we were able to check out the shopping malls.
Saw this kopitiam adjacent to Odean shopping mall and decided to order some food.
Wanton mee which sucked cause it was super dry and the noodles were too eggy for my liking.
Pork trotters rice is another common dish seen in Hat Yai. This was pretty good but the lady boos gave us too much of the fatty skin and too little of the lean trotters so it felt a little too heavy after a few mouthful.
It may not seem like the portions are small but really, both of us only felt that our bellies were barely half filled after eating it. In fact, it was the same problem for us throughout the trips haha. I guess our appetite may be considered large compared to others.
Afterwards, we walked around and frequented the shopping malls. There are several shopping malls in the area such as Odean, Lee Gardens Plaza, Central… But really, there is nothing much to buy in their shopping malls as these malls were more like 80s-style emporium found in Singapore previously.
We decided to head back to our hotel for a short rest and decided to have our Thai iced tea fix. Also chanced upon this Beef noodles stall and we decided to give it a try since the smell of the beef soup was in the air and smelt promising.
I loved it! The kway teow was shiny and thin and went terribly well with the soup. The dish was also loaded with pork and beef and you could taste a mix of meat. Beef tendons were really tender and the slices of meat were soft and chewy. The soup was great with the slight use of chinese herbs but it wasn’t empowering to cover the smell of beef.
The stall is adjacent to B.P Grand Suite Hotel and along Kimpradit Road. However, what’s worth a mention is that our second visit to the stall wasn’t as great as the first. The stallowner on the second visit was different and the soup wasn’t as nice. So perhaps keep a lookout and see if the stallowner cooking the noodles is a lady instead as the quality was better.
Night time and we proceeded to take a Tuk tuk to the floating market for 400 baht for a two-way trip for both. I’m not sure if we overpaid but I’m guessing we could be since the fares were cheap for Tuk tuks there. The journey to the floating market takes approximately 20-25 minutes. The driver was a Chinese man who was really kind and waited for us throughout our 1.5 hours there. He spoke in fluent Chinese and it made conversing so much easier.
There are several vendors along the road leading to the floating market selling clothes, tidbits, drinks…
And the highlight of the trip: The Floating Market. I love how vibrant everything can be in Thailand and it is evident in the colors used by the vendors on the boat.
Along the river, many vendors sold food such as oyster omelette, fried potato crisp, ice cream, noodles, soup…
First up, this oyster omelette from this pretty lady boy who was so hospitable and kept posting for us.
When the food is ready, they would serve it up to you via the basket and all that you’ll need to do is to place the money in it.
The oyster omelette was different from the ones in Singapore or other parts of Hat Yai. It was often small balls of oyster in crispy egg and garnished with sweet chili sauce. Not bad at all.
J bought the fried potato and it was showered with some spicy powder. Tasted pretty much like the ones we can find in Spore actually.
And coconut icecream!
Hehe happy girl with icecream! You can choose the container you want and bring it home with you as a souvenir.
Loved the sunset and pretty skies.We had a try at their games and won two Minnie Mouse cushions hehe. Used it as a pillow as the pillows provided by the hotel were too soft for our liking.
Afterwards we proceeded again to the hawkers right outside Lee Gardens Plaza for some shopping and eating again. Ordered fried rice and oyster omelette to share.
Oyster omelette was extremely crispy and oily and garnished with green onion. Nothing much worth a mention actually.
Boo ordered Cheng Tng Birds’ Nest but it was crazy expensive. At $5SGD per bowl, I honestly think that we’ve been ‘Tok’. Nothing special about it too and the birds’ nest could barely be seen.
And a foot massage after dinner marks the end of day one! More to come after this! 😀