27 Nov - 29 Nov 2011 Hat Yai

Kingdom of Thailand aka The Land of Conditional Smiles
Songkhla Province
Thanon Niphat Uthit 1
Hok Chin Hin Hotel +6674243258
Adequate double room with private bathroom for THB 200.- or US$ 6.40 per night.

Click below for an interactive road map of the Hok Chin Hin Hotel in Hat Yai and for directions:

Enjoying our mandatory visa run from Malaysia to Thailand, exploring the vibrant and bustling city centre of Hat Yai which tries to please almost all the needs of its mostly male aka ah beng Malaysian Chinese and Singaporean Chinese clientele (“sexy shark fins and bird nests”, “sexy girls and boys”, “sexy underpants and sock suspenders”), tucking into fresh green papaya salad aka som tam and spicy Thai fishcakes aka tod mun pla at the daily night market, located in the northern part of Thanon Niphat Uthit 3, and relaxing thereafter (i) with the help of one of the best ever foot-reflexology treatments (THB 200.- or US$ 6.40 for 1 ½ hours) from May’s Buddy Massage +66807041663, for Matt only, and (ii) the best ever facial (THB 250.- or US$ 8.- for 1 hour), for Konni only.

“You have to taste a culture to understand it.”

Paying tribute to both (i) the gigantic 35-m long, reclining in-door Buddha at Wat Hat Yai Nai (but being much more impressed by the very worldly fresh-produce market with its friendly hawkers in the Buddha’s neighbourhood) and (ii) the monstrous 20-m high, sitting out-door Buddha in the Mahapanya Vidayalai College (where overweight young know-it-all monks read fluffy Buddhist motherhood statements [“… to cultivate mankind’s wisdom and to lead into the realm of peace and bliss …”] and practise batik but play neither rugby nor cricket and can't speak any English, agh shame).
“How many hours are there in a mile? Is yellow square or round? Probably half the questions we ask - half of our great theological and metaphysical problems - are like that.”

“Knowledge is the food of the soul."

Taking the regional bus (“Can, lah?” … “Can, lah!”) from Hat Yai’s decentralised central bus terminal to the Thai side of Padang Besar (45 km, 1 ½ hours, THB 42.- or c. US$ 1.35 per person), crossing the border on foot and being issued with a 90-day-visit pass for another “social visit” to Malaysia on arrival, free of charge and with the unique Malay smile as a bonus, forgetting to change our watches from Thailand’s Indochina Time (GMT + 7:00 hours) back to Malaysia Standard Time (GMT + 8:00 hours), taking the local Maraliner bus +60326979797 from the Malaysian part of Padang Besar to Kangar (35 km, 1 hour, MYR 4.20 per person), the state capital of Perlis, and thereafter another Maraliner bus +60326979797 from Kangar to Kuala Perlis (15 km, ½ hour, MYR 2.- per person), where we savoured the famous laksa perlis (a spicy fish gravy which is generously ladled over rice noodles and topped with boiled egg, cucumber, onion, garlic and herbs), and embarking eventually on the Ferry Line’s a/c “My Ferry 2” for the short ride to Kuah on Langkawi Island (15 nm, 1 hour, MYR 18.- per person) thus completing this pointless but nevertheless entertaining and interesting visa run.

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