From Songkhla Province

Songkhla, an eastern coastal province, is located 950 kms. from Bangkok. Hat Yai, a district of Songkhla, is better known than the provincial capital itself as the junction of communication and the gate-way welcoming Malaysian and Singaporean tourists to Thailand. The province occupies an area of 7,393 square kilometres, bordered by the States of Kedah (Sai Buri) and Perlis of Malaysia to the south and the Gulf of Thailand to the east.

Songkhla is administratively divided into 15 districts and 1 subdistrict: Amphoe Muang Songkhla, Amphoe Bang Klam, Amphoe Chana, Amphoe Hat Yai, Amphoe Khuan Niang, Amphoe Krasae Sin, Amphoe Na Mom, Amphoe Na Thawi, Amphoe Ranot, Amphoe Rattaphum, Amphoe Saba Yoi, Amphoe Sadao, Amphoe Sathing Phra, Amphoe Singha Nakhon, Amphoe Thepha and King Amphoe Hoi Khong.

Khao Noi

Located in proximity to Laem Samila, this small hill has a hiking path that wind up to the top where the statue of Prince Lop Buri Ramet (The Southern Viceroy) is situated. There is a viewpoint where it is possible to enjoy a panoramic view of the city. On the northeast is Suan Seri (Seri Park), a nicely landscaped park decorated with ornamental plants in animal shapes. Tamnak Khao Noi, on the south, was built in 1911 as the residence of Prince Lop Buri Ramet and was used by Their Majesties the King and Queen on a visit to the south in March 1959. Today the mansion is the residence of the Songkhla Provincial Governor.

Khao Kao Seng

Approximately three kilometers to the south of the famous Hat Samila is Kao Seng fishing village, which has one of the most beautiful beaches in Songkhla. Along the coastline are several pieces of rocks, one of which stands out above the cliff. The local residents refer to that rock as “Hua Nai Raeng”. Kao Seng is a corruption of the name derived from the Thai word “Kao Saen”, referring to the nine hundred thousand bahts treasure that is buried under Hua Nai Raeng. Kao Seng can be reached via the road to the National Coastal Aquaculture Institute.

The Institute of Southern Thai Studies

This Institute is situated on Ko Yo, near the foot of the second part of the Tinsulanond Bridge. Established in 1978 to undertake the study of southern arts and culture, the institute has been transformed into a live museum that exhibits comprehensive sets of local art and culture, and southern lifestyles.

The systematic exhibitions cover more than 30 rooms with displays concerning history, religion, tradition, occupation, folk play, handicrafts, and various artifacts. In addition, there are presentations that recount local wisdom, which has been accumulated and passed down through several generations. Other than the exhibitions and presentation, there are several viewpoints where visitors can admire Songkhla Lake and aquaculture farms in the institute. Admission fee is 50 baht. Call 0 7433 1185-8 for more information.

Ban Sattha

Ban Sattha or Home of Faith, the hill-top house overlooking the Tinsulanond Bridge that connects Ko Yo was built in 1991 and was completed in 1996. Surrounded by coconut plantations, the compound was built by local residents to honor H.E. Prem Tinsulanond, the Privy Councilor and Statesman, when he was Prime Minister. H.E. Prem graciously returned the house to the people of Songkhla.

Khu Khut Waterfowl Park

A residential area of hundreds of waterfowl is accessible from Songkhla via Tinsulanond Bridge and Highway No. 4083 totaling a distance of 32 kms. where a 3 km. access road branches off on the left. As a part of Songkhla Lake, it can be reached by boat from the park’s office. The best time for bird watching is in the cool season between November-February.

Wat Pha Kho

Wat Pha Kho or Wat Ratchapraditsathan was the seat of Somdet Pha Kho or Luang Pho Thuat Yiap Nam Tha-le Chuet, the most revered monk in the south. It is said that one day, a pirate ship sailed along the coast and saw Somdet Pha Kho who seemed different from other people walking in the area. The pirates wanted identify the difference so they docked and kidnapped him. However, the ship did not sail very far before it stopped for no apparent reason and had to anchor there for several days until they ran out of freshwater. Somdet Pha Kho took pity on them so he put his left foot in the sea, making it sparkle and turn into freshwater. The pirates became faithful, asked for his pardon, and took him ashore. From then on the people started to pay homage to the monk. The temple is located at Mu 6, Tambon Chumphon, on Khao Phatthasing, about 48 kilometers from Songkhla, on the Songkhla-Sathing Phra Highway.

Namtok Ton Nga Chang

Located in the Ton Nga Chang Wildlife Sanctuary, about 26 kilometers from the city, this 7-tiered waterfall is one of the beautiful waterfalls of the south. The waterfall offers scenic views, with the third level being the most beautiful as the stream is separated into two, resembling the elephants’ tusks. Trekking trails are provided for tourists with adventurous hearts.

To reach the waterfall by car, follow the Hat Yai-Rattaphum Road for 13 kilometers, then turn left at Ban Hu Rae and proceed for another 13 kilometers. Alternatively, a tuk-tuk can be hired to take visitors to the waterfall for two to three hours at between 300 baht to 400 baht. On the other hand, visitors can also take the minibus from the fresh market (Talat Sot Thet Sa Ban Hat Yai).

Namtok Boriphat Forest Park

Namtok Boriphat Forestry Park is about 52 kilometers from Amphoe Muang Songkhla. To get to this small all-season waterfall, drive along Highway 406, at the kilometer 35 and 36 marker, switch to use a dirt road and proceed for about one kilometer.

Dove Farms

Dove Farms at Amphoe Chana Amphoe Chana is 40 Km. southeast of Hat Yai. The cooing doves are popular with villagers. Dove singing competitions are organised annually between January and July among dove lovers in Chana and nearby provinces. The judging of the dove’s sound is based on pitch, melody and volume.

Wat Cha Thing Phra

This is a magnificent temple to visit particularly for archeology enthusiasts. Established in 999, the temple has several ancient ruins from the Srivijaya Period such as Chedi Phra Maha That, Wihan Phra Phutthasaiyat (reclining Buddha), and the bell tower. The monastery is located at Mu 4, Tambon Cha Thing Phra, just 200 meters from the District Office.