Had Yai (or Hat Yai) is bustling Thai town close to the Malaysian border. It’s a favourite place for Malaysians wanting a city break and it also makes for a great stop over city if you’re traveling between Thailand and Malaysia
Had Yai is a perfect travel city with two large bus stations connecting a network of buses and minivans to most of Thailand provinces. The Malaysian border is a one hour minivan journey. Had Yai also has a railway station which connects Kuala Lumpur and an international airport too.
Unlike many other Thai cities, Had Yai has not really tried to go upmarket with its accommodation. There are no luxury accommodation options in Had Yai but there’s no shortage of mid range and budget accommodation for any traveler to choose from.
Some hotels still have old style furnishings and decor and are a little run down, whilst other modern buildings enjoy up to date amenities.
Had Yai itself is a fascinating melting pot – there’s a mixture of Muslim, Buddhist and Chinese descendants, not forgetting many western travelers, which makes for an incredible blend of cultures. This is reflected in the food, smells and sights.
The main tourist area of Had Yai near the Central shopping center comes alive at night when the streets are full of vendors selling wares and nearly every shop is offering a foot massage. Walk a few minutes away from this area and the city will feel like a sleepy lifeless city at night. The contrast is quite amazing, and it’s definitely worth spending a night in Had Yai to see the evening culture if you’re passing through.