5 Things to Do and Eat in Hat Yai
Known as the gateway city to the south, Hat Yai is a diverse destination with a mixture of Thai, Chinese-Malay, Thai-Muslim, and local southern Thai cultures. This city has so much to offer in terms of variety of food, culture, and just getting to enjoy the way of life down south.
Located right in the heart of the downtown area is the Centara Hotel Hat Yai - which means it's super easy for travellers to explore the city - but since there’s so much to see and do, yet so little time, we’ll have it all covered for you here.
1. Kim Young Market
Less than a kilometre from Centara Hotel Hat Yai, you’ll find the buzzing Kim Young Market - bursting with dried fruits and nuts, food, souvenirs, and all kinds of goods from neighbouring countries. Kim Young Market was originally named See Kim Young Market after its Chinese founder who immigrated to Thailand and played a major role as the trade commissioner in developing Hat Yai. He married a Thai and their monument has stood the test of time in front of the Sri Nakorn School.
2. Marita Dim Sum Halal Restaurant
Since Hat Yai is such a diverse city, it’s common to see cross-cultural eateries like Marita Dim Sum Halal. For a Muslim traveller who wants to try Chinese food, this halal-certified restaurant will allow you to try a wide range of dim sum and buns, all complemented by delicious sauces, along with chicken soup.
3. Hat Yai Cable Car
The Hat Yai cable car with its 525 metre span will take you from the lower station at Hat Yai Park to the top of a nearby hill where you can pay your respects to the famous Bodhisattva Kuan Im (Guan Yin) and Buddha Statues (Phra Buddha Mongkol Maharaj). The operating hours for the Hat Yai cable car are from 09.00 to 20.00 daily.
4. Fud Kong Noodle Shop
The legendary Fud Kong noodle shop has been open for the past 50 years. The shop is rather small and the sign is written in Thai, despite its Chinese name. Deciphering the signs will add an element of fun to your adventure, turning it into a treasure hunt! Just don't try it when you are super hungry. It's famous for its soup and homemade noodles, with dishes cooked using traditional southern Chinese recipes.
5. Beauty Pageant Street
Nang Ngam Street, or “beauty pageant” street, actually has nothing to do with beauty contests. Rather, it’s a street where you will find a host of Thai candy stores and restaurants. There are around 30 shops along this street and some of them have been there for almost a hundred years. Make sure you arrive with an empty stomach because it’s hard to refuse this amazing food, some of which you simply won’t find anywhere else. Jew Ice-cream is our recommendation - but this has nothing to do with Jewish people. Instead, it is the Romanized spelling of a Chinese name. This particular shop has been open for more than 80 years and gives you the perfect opportunity to try traditional homemade ice-cream topped with raw egg and then sprinkled with cocoa powder. Trust us, it tastes fantastic.
If you want to make sure that you pronounce all these places correctly, the staff at the Centara Hotel Hat Yai can definitely help you out in English, Thai, Chinese, and Malay.