Recommendation trip from 2 volunteers, Sarah and Sini from Belgium and Finland respectively by their experience for other volunteers or next travelers.
Where to sleep?
There are a few, very nice guesthouses near the Kimyong market. We chose one, which is good and not too expensive.
We don’t know the name of the guesthouse. It is clean; there is a bathroom on the floor (toilet and shower). In the room you have a fan and a little closet.
The price for one room (2 beds) is 300bath per night.
You can take your breakfast in front of the guesthouse; you just cross the street. The breakfast will turn around 50-70 bath if you take something to eat and a drink.
You are at 10 minutes from Kimyong market and 5 minutes from the Hatyai train station by feet.
It is the house with the green and yellow “roof” at the front. So on the picture there is a Van in front of it.
What to do?
Kimyong market: You can find everything in this market. You can find local food, drinks, clothes, and any stuffs you want.
Hatyai Cineplex: The Hat Yai Cineplex is in the (huge) shopping mall “central festival”. You can go there by took-took or motorcycle. You can see movies in English with Thai subtitles.
Hatyai municipal park: On the road to Songkhla at 10 mins from the city by Songthaew you can find the park. There is a lake, and some little food shops. There is a hill in the park where you should definitely go. You can go on the hill with a little bus. On top of the hill there is a little temple with a very big Buddha. You also have an incredible view on Hatyai and Songkhla. You can also take a cable car to a temple that is on the other mountain. The price to take the cable car is about 200 baht. Personally, I didn’t wanted to pay but people say it is very beautiful.
Massage: Around the Kimyong market you can find a lot of massage places. If they make you pay more than 200 baht for one hour, look for a cheaper place ;-)
Temple: Near Kimyong market, there is a beautiful temple. But I guess, there are temples everywhere so it isn’t that incredible…
Floating market: The floating market is also a little bit outside the city but you can go there by taxi. I don’t know the price to go there because I have always been there with someone with car. The floating market is at the same place than the temple where you can make the “Buddhist community project” with VSA (Whoaw, 2 in 1). There are little boats on the river and each boat is actually a food stand. There is also a bigger market at the same place but on the ground. It is a beautiful place. I really recommend it!
Where to eat?
Actually you can eat on every street market but there is also an interesting Indian restaurant at the corner of the guesthouses street. (see the plan I draw)
But careful it is very spicy!!
Where to sleep?
We found a very good guesthouse at a very good place in Songkhla,
The guesthouse is in the street behind the national museum. So it is next to the city wall, the walking street (Friday and Saturday evening) and…. THE BEACH!!!
If you come from Hat yai with the Songthaew, it is very easy to reach because you just have to get out of it at the end so when the driver will kick you out (at the beginning of the walking street) ;-)
The place is vey nice, clean, the people are nice. One room with double bed is 250 baht per night. It is cheapest we found, if you find cheaper please tell it to the new volunteers
Toilet and shower are on the floor. You also become a towel and a bottle of water when you arrive.
What to do?
Samila beach: The most famous and beautiful beach in Songkhla! You can go there by taxi (more than 20 bath!!!) or by feet if you are at the guesthouse but it will take about 15-20 minutes walk. The water is very warm, you can by things to eat and drink at the beach but it will be more expensive than in other places of the city.
Walking street (Night market): The walking street also named night market is in the street between the city wall and the national museum. It takes place every Friday and Saturday evening. You can buy Thai food, Japanese food, nothing is expensive and everything is very good!! You can also find clothes, shoes, bags, jewellery, electronic stuffs… actually you can find everything. I really recommend you to go there!!
National museum: Hum… none of us has been there but I think it is a very interesting museum. Thai culture is fascinating. The park around the museum looks also lovely. If you go there, don’t forget to tell about it to the next volunteers.
Songkhla aquarium: We haven’t been there also but you can try it. It is quite new apparently.
Koh Yo (Island): It is the Island in the middle of the Songkhla bay. 2 bridges connect the island to the earth. The best way to go there is to take Songthaew. There is the museum where VSA has a project. It is a very big museum on top of the hill so you have a very good view on the city and her bay. If you want to learn more about Thai culture, it is the perfect place to go. There is also a little temple on top of the hill so you can have a very beautiful view on the bay, the city and the see. If you want to go there you need to hop off a little after the bridge. Ask people the way, they will help you. Normally you should go on a way which turns a little on the left. At a moment there is a little coffee shop where you can ask the seller if she goes to the temple and drive you. If not you can walk up or ask a driver to pick you up. People are very nice and helpful and will ask if you need help. You can also see the textile village if you are interested in fabrics and textiles (we had a volunteer who was a fashion designer with us).
Songkhla Zoo: VSA has a project there. The zoo is HUGE so you need a motorcycle or a car to move in the zoo. If you go there you will see lots of amazing animals like tigers, elephants, monkeys, zebras, …
There is a “tiger feeding show” at 11:30 every day except on Monday. It is amazing; you really have to see it.
Temple on the hill: There is a temple on the hill behind the guesthouse. This is an incredible place! First you have to take a few steps (tiring but you will loose some weight!). First you will arrive at a abandoned house or temple but you have to go further and take again a few steps. Then you will arrive at the little temple, you will be on top of the hill. There is a big Buddha, a lighthouse, bells, etc. You will have an incredible view on Songkhla, the bay, Koh Yo and the sea! Just amazing!!!!
BULON LEH ISLAND
Koh Bulon Leh is a little island on the west coast of Southern Thailand. When I and Sini first decided that we wanted to discover more than Songkhla and Hat yai in Thailand, we decided that we don’t wanted to travel far and expensive but near and cheap.
Bulon is a very little and calm island on the north of Koh Tarutao. You can see it on a map on Google or in any guidebook you find in the learning home. For French speaking volunteers, I wrote some notes about the island in the “Guide du routard” which is in learning home. It is in the last pages,
If you want some holiday to relax, it is the place to be! There are no cars; you can make some little walks, rest, have a massage on the beach (soooooo gooooood!) and make some snorkelling.
The only thing is that after a while you could feel bored because there is nothing to do so I wouldn’t advice you to stay more than 5 days but as usual it is up to you!
From Bulone it is very easy to reach Koh Lipe (more famous and very beautiful), Koh Tarutao, etc.
How to go there?
The boat leaves around 12:30 at Pakbara pier. To arrive at time we left learning home at 7 a.m. to catch our bus around 8 a.m.
Be careful with the time because there is only 1 boat a day, which goes to Bulone.
From learning home (it is the only place every reader knows I think...):
Take the Songthaew, which can bring you to Hat yai. Say to him you go to “Tesco lotus”. At Tesco you step out and you will see that just on the right of the shopping mall there is a bus station.
Take your ticket at the bus station to PAKBARA. I paid 130 bath. It takes around 2 hours to reach Pakbara.
At Pakbara find any agency and take your ticket for Koh Bulon Leh. It cost me 800 baht for go and return.
Take your boat on time. Around 45 minutes boat.
When you arrive at the island, you change boat and go on a long tail boat that can go very close to the beach. So don’t be afraid if they ask you some 50 bath more.
WAOW! You just arrived on the island!!
Where to sleep?
There are different places to sleep. You will see there are just bungalows and no hotel. But it is possible to find some cheap bungalow, no worry!
We slept in Ban Sulaida bungalows. It was cheap and very beautiful. We had a bungalow with shower and toilet for 500 baht per night. Because we were 2, it just cost us 250 bath per night each. It is one of the cheapest places.
Some good addresses:
You can find all the phone numbers from the bungalows on the website travelfish:
When you arrive just ask someone where your bungalow is, the island is so small that everybody can help you to find your way
Where to eat?
First you have to know it is very difficult to eat a whole meal (food+drink) under 100 baht.
The Ban Sulaida Bungalow resort is a very good place to eat! It is quite cheap and you have a lot to eat. The food is very good and you always meet some people and this restaurant. The first time we eat there we met a Polish family who offered us the rest of the fish they couldn’t eat anymore. The same evening we met a Dutch guy and a Swiss girl!!
There is also an Italian restaurant on the,bay. It is expensive and not the best Italian I know but if you want to change your Padthai diet it is quite nice. ;-)
Actually all the restaurants are good. I will just inform you, not to go to the Panka resort restaurant because it is expensive, you have only a little bit of food and it is not tasty…
You can try the Bulon resort restaurant but it is also quite expensive.
Were to go out?
Actually there is only one place where you can go out on this very tiny island.
This place is the Coconut bar.
Put the entire “hippie” clichés together and you will have this bar.
Shirtless guys with rasta smoking weed are the waiters, images of Bob Marley or Che Gevara are everywhere, Bob Marley’s music is the main music you will hear, perhaps you will see some acrobatic fire show…
Anyway, even if you are not a big hippie fan you HAVE to see this place once, it is really fun and the atmosphere is quite good!
Where to rent/buy some snorkelling stuff?
Perhaps you are like me and you don’t have snorkelling stuff with you. NO WORRY!
You can buy some expensive stuffs at Pakbara OR you can rent for 50 baht a day some stuffs at the Bulon resort.
It is 50 baht a day if you take the mask and the tuba.
It is more expensive if you take the palms but I forgot the price sorry… If some volunteer goes there, can you please write the price? Thank you! !
ENJOY YOUR TRIP