Where to Go
While Hat Yai is the transportation hub of southern Thailand, there are slightly less options for getting to the capital of the province, Songkhla city. That said, it is a short and easy ride between the two major provincial destinations, and visitors heading to Songkhla are well served by first traveling to Hat Yai and then obtaining transfer to Songkhla.
Once in Songkhla, there are various methods of public transportation for getting around the city, including rental car from Hat Yai.
The State Railway of Thailand provides daily rapid and express train services from Bangkok to Hat Yai. There are six trains departing each day from Bangkok's Hua Lumphong Railway Station that service Hat Yai. Travel time is about 17 hours. For further information call 1690, 0 2223 7020, 0 2223 7030, Hat Yai Railway Station at 0 7424 3705, 0 7423 8005, or visit www.railway.co.th
From Bangkok take Highway No.4 through Prachuap Khiri Khan, Chumphon, Surat Thani, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Trang and Phatthalung Provinces in order to reach Songkhla Province. The total distance is 950 kilometers.
From Bangkok there are daily buses from Bangkok to Songkhla and Hat Yai. The journey takes about 13 hours. For the current schedule and further information contact the Southern Bus Terminal at tel: 02 435 1199-200 or visit www.transport.co.th. For Hat Yai, call the Transport Co., Ltd. (Bo Kho So) at tel: 074 23 2789, 0 7423 2404, Piya Tour 0 7442 8972, or Thai Doen Rot 0 7442 9525.
Several domestic and international air carriers have daily flights connecting Bangkok and other Thai and Asian cities to Hat Yai, but there is no regular air service to Songkhla town.
By Rental Car or Motorbike:
It is possible to rent a car in Hat Yai and then drive to Songkhla. Be aware however that only Commercial First Class Insurance provides full coverage on rental cars (as opposed to limited personal or third party only insurance). Most international car rental agencies will offer this insurance (some only for those with a valid international driver’s license) while local companies may or may not. You may wish to request a copy of their insurance policy and ensure that it states "For Commercial Use". Regardless, inspect rental vehicles prior to rental and drive with caution, particularly as traffic in Thailand can be quite confusing, especially the habit of Thai motorcycles drivers to drive on the wrong side of the road.
For around 100 to 300 baht per day you can hire your own motorbike in Hat Yai or Songkhla, which will typically require you to leave your passport as a deposit. Be sure to inspect bikes prior to rental and drive with extreme caution as rental motorbikes are not normally insured and accidents are frequent. Helmets are required by Thai law.
By Tuk Tuk:
Transportation around Hat Yai is most convenient by the four-wheeled 'Tuk-tuk' minibuses that accommodate up to 10 people. Fares begin at 5 baht per person for local routes and higher for longer distances.
Transport within Songkhla by samlor/trishaw, a three wheel push-bike powered carriage, begins at around 10 baht per person for short voyages around town.
Transportation between Hat Yai & Songkhla
The green bus No. 1871 leaves the bus stand on Phetkasem Road in front of the Hat Yai Plaza Theatre (clock tower) every 30 minutes from 6.00 AM until 7.30 PM. The fare is 9 baht per person.
By minivan and share taxi:
Minivans and share taxis normally leave from Ramwithi Road in Songkhla for Hat Yai at the rate of approximately 20-30 baht/person. A taxi service between Hat Yai and Songkhla is available from 6.00 a.m until 10.00 p.m. The taxi stand is at the Hat Yai President Hotel. The fare is 15 baht per person and taxis typically will wait for 7 passengers before departing.