Hat Yai is in the south of Thailand near the border of Malaysia, nearly 950 km from Bangkok.

Often Hat Yai is considered just a stopover on the way to the border.

But there’s a lot more to see than you may have first thought.

If you want to avoid crowds, this is the perfect Thai city to see cultural attractions, markets, and nature.

Here are the best things to see and do in Hat Yai on your next trip.

1. Phra Maha Chedi Tripob Trimongkol

This is a beautiful stainless steel temple located on the hills.

If you have to choose when to go, visit at night when the temple lights up the skies.

Explore the inside and surroundings as you learn through various Buddha statues and photos on display.

  • Opening Hours: Daily 9am-8:45pm
  • Address: 108 Poonnakan Rd, Kho Hong, Hat Yai District, Songkhla 90110, Thailand

2. Magic Eye 3D Museum

Enjoy a mind-boggling afternoon at Magic Eye 3d Museum.

Inside, you’ll find beautiful artwork and floor paintings that come to life.

Perfect for families and couples, take as many photos as you want at each painting.

If you get the right angle, you’ll look like you’re part of a cartoon!

This is a great place to spend 2-3 hours.

  • Opening Hours: Daily 9am-5pm
  • Address: 414 Kanjanavanich Rd, Hatyai, Songkhla 90110, Thailand

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3. Songkhla Central Mosque

An impressive architectural landmark in Hat Yai, this is a great spot to take some quick photos.

It’s a functioning mosque and there are a few food stalls around if you want to enjoy a snack with Songkhla Central Mosque in the background.

4/ Greenway Night Market

A great place to go souvenir shopping or snatching some bargains.

It’s opened daily from 5 pm to 10 pm except Mondays.

Greenway Night Market is also well known for their authentic cuisines in their food court.

5/ Asean Trade Bazaar

Just a short walk away is the Asean Trade Bazaar, also opened from 5 pm to 10 pm daily except Mondays.

There are more souvenirs on offer as well as cheap clothes, toys and mobile accessories.

On the second floor there are food stall serving authentic Thai food.

6/ Big C Hatyai

A more modern shopping complex where you can buy everyday goods or enjoy a mini shopping spree at Thai prices.

Try to base your hotel close by so you have easy access to travel necessities if needed.

7/ Hat Yai Municipal Park

This is a beautiful spacious park where families can relax and enjoy a picnic.

A large Buddha statue overlooks the park and is also a peaceful area to explore.

You can catch a Cable Car to the top of the hills for panoramic views of Hat Yai.

8/ Wat Hat Yai Nai

An open air temple, Wat Hat Yai Nai has one of the largest Buddha statue in the world reclining under its roof.

Spend some time here praying along with other monks.

Some events are held throughout the year so it can get busy.

9/ Hat Yai Khlong Hae Floating Market

Experience the unique Hat Yai floating markets and see how hardworking Thai locals make their earnings.

Wooden boats are aligned on the river selling different Thai cuisines.

If you’re interested in buying something, the owner will pass a basket attached to a long bamboo stick to collect the money and deliver the goods to you.

There are also vendors nearby selling clothes.

10/ Santisuk Market

Santisuk Market is opened daily from 9am to 7pm and is conveniently located in the city centre.

You can find more interesting bargains and try local cuisines.

This market is more for local necessities and is a great market to learn about the Thai culture.

11/ Kim Yong Market

There are plenty of interesting fruits, drinks, souvenirs, clothes and jewellery on offer at Kim Yong Market.

Like with most markets, make sure you bargain with vendors as they will quote higher prices for travellers.

This is one of the more popular markets for tourists.

12. Central Festival Mall

One of the more modern shopping centers in Hat Yai, this mall is centrally located.

There are over 250 stores, an ice skating arena, family restaurants and 10 movie theatres including an IMAX.

This is a must visit if you love shopping.

13. Namtok Ton Nga Chang

This waterfall is a bit out of town, but if you want a break from the noisy city, this is the place to cool down.

After a nominal fee of 200 baht, you’ll have access to explore the amazing natural views and dip your toes near the waterfall.

14. Songkhla Zoo

This is a large open-range zoo where you can feed some animals.

There are various shows throughout the day.

There is also a water park for kids to splash in and cool down on hot humid days in Hat Yai.

If you’d like to plan ahead, you can check other tours and activities that can be readily booked online.

Check Tours & Activities

For all new cities, I go overboard on my itinerary, just to see every major attraction. Countries I've visited include New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Cambodia, Japan and Thailand. Mostly Asian countries. Next target - Europe!