Road Trip to Southern Thailand: Hat Yai [Part 1] – Samila Beach

Yes, this is another long delayed entry from me. Tomorrow is the Chinese New Year for 2014 but this trip was executed during the Chinese New Year break in 2012. This road trip was not a properly planned trip, it came out almost spontaneously and agreed upon by the whole family members almost instantly. My cousin was getting married in my hometown, the small border town of Baling in the state of Kedah. Instead of staying at my grandma’s house, my dad asked, “Let’s do a road trip and we stay in Thailand!”, in which we all answered with a resounding “Let’s!”.

Ya, satu lagi entri tertunggak dari aku. Esok tahun baru Cina untuk tahun 2014, tapi trip yang aku pergi ni masa tahun baru Cina 2012. Road trip ni tak rancang pun, spontan je terus pergi. Haha. Sepupu aku kat kampung belah mak di Baling, Kedah nak kahwin dan rancangan asalnya nak tidur kat kampung. Sekali ayah aku tanya, “Nak tidur kat Thailand tak?”. Kami satu famili pun apa lagi… mestilah “Nak!”.

For this road trip, I dubbed as the ‘Trans-Southern Thailand road trip”, we covered almost all southern-most provinces in Thailand by an MPV and armed with the built-in GPS. Yes, we did not even bother to get a map for this road trip. We also actually spent 3 days and 2 nights in Thailand apart from passing through the troubled provinces.

Aku panggil roadtrip ni sebagai roadtrip “Trans-Selatan Thailand” sebab kami lalu hampir keseluruhan provinsi yang ada di selatan Thailand kecuali satu. Dah lah tak pakai peta ke apa. Cuma guna gps sediabina dalam MPV yang kami naik. Lepas tu dari 1 malam jadi trip 3 hari 2 malam. Wilayah-wilayah bergolak kat selatan Thailand tu pun kami lalu.

So, this is the travelogue for Road Trip to Southern Thailand.

Jadi, inilah travelog roadtrip ke Selatan Thailand.

*****

22 January 2012

I just came back from Thailand last month (the entry here). So, when my dad asked my family whether we wanted to do a road trip to Thailand en route to my cousin’s wedding, of course I would say yes! So, after 2 hours of last-minute notice packing, off we went to Thailand. As Chinese New Year break has just started, the North-South Expressway was extremely full with cars and we were driving at a snail’s pace. We left home at around 2.00 am and we reached the border at around 6.00 am, just in time when the border gate was opened.

Aku baru je balik dari Thailand bulan lepasnya (entri di sini). Jadi, bila ayah aku tanya nak pergi road trip ke Thailand tak, mestilah nak kan. Gila kau tak nak. Hahaha. Lepas dah confirm nak buat roadtrip, aku pun berkemas dan dalam pukul 2.00 pagi, mula gerak ke utara tanah air tercinta. Jem teruk giler sebab esoknya dah raya Cina. Ngam-ngam sampai sempadan pukul 6.00 pagi bila pintu sempadan dibuka.

It took us a while at Hat Yai city to find this halal restaurant.

As the MPV that we were using was registered under somebody else’s name, a letter of authorization was needed by the Thai immigration officer. Gladly, they gave us a copy in which we just had to fill in the particulars ourselves.

Sebab MPV yang kami naik didaftarkan atas nama orang lain, kena ada surat kebenaran untuk bawa masuk kereta ke Thailand. Tapi, nasib baik pegawai imigresen Thailand bagi satu borang untuk kebenaran bawak masuk kereta tu. Buat cukup syaratlah. Terima kasih!

Welcome to Samila Beach.

To drive a car into Thailand, the original car grant (or endorsed copy), Thai insurance and also the authorization letter (if the grant is under someone else’s name) are needed, otherwise entry will be denied.

Nak bawa masuk kereta ke Thailand, apa yang kena ada? Kena ada geran kereta asal (atau salinan dengan cop JPJ), insurans Thailand (boleh beli sebelum masuk sempadan) dan surat kebenaran bawa kereta (kalau didaftarkan atas nama orang lain).

After we had passed the  Thailand immigration checkpoint, I felt so happy. Just a few weeks ago I was here and now here I am again, in the Land of Smiles. We stopped at a restaurant by the roadside at Sadao town to have our breakfast and continued our journey to the Hat Yai city centre.

Lepas je pintu sempadan dan urusan imigresen, aku tersenyum lebar. Ya lah, dah masuk negara Tanah Senyuman [Land of Smiles], haruslah senyumkan. Hehe. Kami singgah gerai tepi jalan, pergi sarapan. Harga dia ya Allah mahalnya. Sebab tau kami dari Malaysia kot. Lepas sarapan, kami teruskan perjalanan ke Hat Yai, bandar terbesar di wilayah Songkhla.

Hat Yai is the biggest city in the Songkhla province despite Songkhla being the capital city of the province. It is also the most famous city for Malaysians to go for a holiday and shopping in view of the close proximity with the border town of Bukit Kayu Hitam on the Malaysian side.

Walaupun ibu kota wilayah Songkhla ialah bandar Songkhla itu sendiri, tapi bandar Hat Yai lagi besar dan lagi ramai. Lepas tu, di Hat Yai, peluang nak berlaga bahu, punggung mahupun tangan dengan orang Malaysia sangat tinggi sebab orang Malaysia suka cuti ke Hat Yai dan membeli belah kat sini. Aku pun tak faham. Bukan murah sangat pun. 

The famous Golden Mermaid Statue, Samila Beach, Songkhla, Thailand.

When we reached the Hat Yai town, it was still early in the morning and most shops were still closed. We looked for hotels but most of the hotels were fully booked. This is the risk of having an unplanned travel. Nevertheless, hotel hunting was fun when you are doing it in a foreign land.

Sampai je Hat Yai, sebab pagi lagi, jadi banyak kedai tutup. Kami satu famili tak ada plan tak ada booking apa. Pergi dari satu guesthouse ke satu hotel nak cari tempat penginapan yang murah dan selesa. Mula-mula pergi ke Louis Guesthouse. Teringat kisah Fatt dan bila tengok sendiri keadaan dalam ni, terus tak jadi!

Finally, after several stops and inquiries, we managed to get 3 rooms at the V.L Hat Yai Hotel, situated at the Nipatuthit 1 Rd. It is close to the shops, to the downtown area and to the train station i.e. a very strategic location I would say. The only downside is the parking lot is across the busy road. So, good luck on crossing it.

Akhirnya, lepas tercari-cari, kami dapat 3 bilik di V.L. Hat Yai Hotel yang terletak di Jalan Nipatuthit 1. Lokasi hotel ni strategik, di tepi jalan besar, dekat dengan downtown. Tapi, jalan dia kadang-kadang agak sibuk. Selamat berjaya lah ya kalau nak melintas tu.

Can anyone translates this for me?

After we had checked-in and rested for a while,we went out for lunch at a Halal restaurant. It was hard without a plan and a map as we were actually driving round and round to find one, before we managed to finally find one.

Lepas selesai check-in dan berehat, kami lapar. Terus gerak cari tempat makan tengah hari. Tak ada plan dan tak ada peta memang sangat mencabar, lagi-lagi bila nak cari kedai makan halal. Lepas tawaf berkali-kali, jumpalah satu kedai makan halal di satu lorong ni.

After lunch, we drove all the way to Samila beach. We did no plan to dive in the water, so we just took a stroll there. I found the famous mermaid and took a photo there. The most famous icon at this beach is a golden mermaid statue. The statue was erected based on the local legends of a mermaid who always go to land and comb her hair with a golden comb. More on that can be read here.

Ke mana kami lepas makan tengah hari? Ke Pantai Samila lah jawabnya. Tak ada perancangan nak mandi ke apa. Kami ke sini semata-mata untuk jalan-jalan dan tengok patung duyung yang terkenal tu. Macam-macam gaya orang ambil gambar dengan patung tu. Ada yang mengarut-ngarut pun apa. Sebabnya, patung tu sendiri tak syariah-compliance. Lol.

Who wants some coconut ice cream?

Although there are some locals who were swimming in the sea water, I didn’t feel like doing so. The sand is white but the beach is not inviting enough for me to take a dip in. We bought some coconut ice-cream and just spent our time camwhoring there.

Aku perhatikan, ramai penduduk tempatan yang mandi manda di kawasan ni. Tapi, aku tak terasa nak mandi pun. Pantai dia agak bersih tapi di kawasan laut, banyak batu-batu di pesisir pantai dan airnya tak sejernih di kawasan lain di Thailand ni. Aku jalan di sekitar pantai dan bila nampak pakcik ais krim, terus beli satu ais krim kelapa yang sangat unik.

*****

To be continued – Part 2

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6 thoughts on “Road Trip to Southern Thailand: Hat Yai [Part 1] – Samila Beach

  1. ada dengar satu cerita..
    duyung tu duduk2 kat tepi pantai..
    orang2 pun bertanya..
    mengapa? kenapa?
    dia kata .. cari suami la..

    tu yang jadi ‘Samila ‘
    hehhehee…

    1. Hahahaah. Ok itu boleh diterima sebab samila dengan suamila tak jauh.

      Tapi mad sailor jadi mat salleh, ok tu tengah berkerut berfikir lagi. Haha

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