Trip Start Jan 12, 2010
Trip End Dec 02, 2010

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Where I stayed
Cathay Guesthouse (160B)

Flag of Thailand  ,
Thursday, April 1, 2010

After Koh Tarutao, i headed to Hat-Yai, the big city of the south. Although must see sights and attractions are at a bare minimum here, it was a great place to chill and relax for a while. After day tripping for a week in Trang, again in Satun, and with all the trekking and sleeping rough in Tarutao i've just done, i needed a break from the whole backpacking routine. It was nice to have the time to reflect on the last 3months i've spent in Thailand and to also plan my next destination at leisure.

The only major attraction in Hat-Yai is in the form of a lovely public park, similar to the one i saw in Trang. The park is at the foot of a hill and if you're willing to walk (or rather climb) the extra mile, you're rewarded with a huge chinese style temple and grounds with a golden buddha at the top. Also, the summit had great views of both the cities of Hat-Yai and Songklah. As luck would have it, the peoples republic of China ICE DOME was in town for a limited time. There were some amazing ice sculptures ranging from Pandas and Dragons to trains and slides and everything inbetween. The sculpures were very detailed and some were gigantic. Walking around inside the ice dome was the first time i've felt cold since my arrival in Thailand. The only other outing i did worth writing about was my VISA run to Malaysia. I took the bus from Hat-Yai to Padang Besar (about 1hr journey). I then simply walked over the border into Malaysia, turned around and walked back into Thailand. The rest of my time here in Hat-Yai was spent browsing the big shopping malls, eating as a pastime and exploring the city.

Hat-Yai has some excellent night life. There were 2 places i really liked. One was "@Deep Wonder" which is a really nice little place below the Odean shopping mall. It had live bands playing from 21:30 until the early hours and had a great atmosphere. The other place was called "Sugar Beat" which was a little farther away (20-30 minute walk). This place was awesome. It was the perfect mix of western night club and eastern charm. Again, it had live bands with DJ music inbetween. However, unlike most clubs, the music was of a decent volume so you could actually talk with other people. I hate it when you can't hear yourself think and have to shout at the top of your voice all night. I have to say i'm really impressed with the bands i've seen in Thailand so far. They've all been so good. It was in Sugar beat i had a pint of Chang beer too (a rare occurrence for me as i don't drink alcohol). The waitress brought me the beer over so i explained to her i don't drink and didn't order it. She replied (while pointing) that the lady over there bought it for me. Not wanting to seem rude, i accepted it and went over to sit with this girl (who looked like an Asian Posh Spice) and we got chatting and had a nice evening together. Once the club closed we went back to her place where i discovered my Posh Spice was a ladyboy! I've been in Thailand long enough now to not be phased by this. Ladyboys are common here, and in general are good fun and company to be with - without getting up to anything unsavoury.

That pretty much concludes my time in Hat-Yai. I had a great time here. As i said before, Hat-Yai has very little to offer in the form of "must see" attractions but it's a great place to spend a long weekend, or to just take a break from backpacking. I'm now heading back to Krabi again. I spent over a month here before. During that time i met a lot of good people. I said i'd return for the Songkran water festival on the 13th April - I've bought my super soaker 2000 here in Hat-Yai so i'm armed and ready.
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Kelly on

That looks amazin Matty Moo... Hope ur havin a brill time.. My laptops broke so catchin up on all ur blogs now.. Ur lookin really well and have lost loadsa weight like me lol 3Stone :-)... Speak to u swn xx

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