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Hatyai has always been a quick holiday stopover for tourists around the region looking for an affordable place to relax.

It’s pretty popular for shopping as well as for some family time. Hatyai is a medium-sized city in the south of Thailand and it’s pretty accessible by land from Malaysia.

street food thailand

© Unsplash

Getting There

By Car

There are several ways to get to Hatyai from Kuala Lumpur. We’ve already covered how you can take a road trip from KL into Thailand . You’ll enter from the border town of Padang Besar, and Hatyai is just an hour’s drive from Padang Besar.

Malaysia – Thailand border © Diary of Getaway

Driving from KL to Hatyai is a pretty long trip of about 8 hours. However, it’s a scenic route and you can stop by places like Ipoh for some good Sar Hor Fun for breakfast. Make sure you have a co-driver so you can switch it up whenever anyone gets tired.

By Plane

There are regular daily flights from KLIA to Hatyai, and one of the most popular airlines is Thai AirAsia. Flights usually take about one and a half hours and cost about RM350 to RM450 depending on the season.


This is fastest and most comfortable way to travel, as you don’t have to worry about being tired from driving or the long travel period.

By Train

Nowadays, you can take the ETS straight from KL Sentral to Padang Besar. The ETS train is considerably faster than the traditional night sleeper trains. This trip will take about 6 hours. and there are about 5 trips per day.

Padang Besar train station

At Padang Besar, you can take a connecting train straight into Hatyai station which will take just under an hour. ETS train tickets from KL to Padang Besar cost RM 76 for adults and RM42 for children. Platinum class costs RM102 for adults and RM 55 for children. ETS tickets can be bought on their official website.

The connecting train from Padang Besar to Hatyai is THB50-THB70 depending on which class you choose. The third class is cooled by fans while the second class has air conditioning.

ETS Malaysia
Image credit: KTM Malaysia

Best Things To Do

Go Shopping!

Hatyai is known for its many street markets and night markets. This is the main reason why Malaysians love coming here. The best part is, you can haggle your way through anything.

Hatyai night market

© John Ragai/Flickr

Most of the vendors speak basic English and Mandarin ( some even know Malay) so getting your point across is no problem. You’ll find affordable and competitively priced clothes, kitchenware, decorative arts and crafts, fruits, as well as local snacks.

Colorful snacks at Hatyai’s night market

Head over to ASEAN Night Bazaar, Kim Yong Market, Hat Yai Floating Market and Greenway Night Market.

Visit Wat Hat Yai Nai Temple

The Wat Hat Yai Nai temple is home to a large reclining Buddha and showcases some of Thailand’s best traditional architecture. The temple is actually pretty close to Kim Yong market so you can combine your destination plans for the day.

wat hat yai nai temple

© david_dsym – Instagram

Eat, eat and eat

What is a visit to Hat Yai without some delicious Thai food? Here are some places you can head to when you’re there.

Chokdee Dimsum: Freshly made Dim Sum starting from THB 20 per basket. They’re also famous for their version of Bak Kut Teh.

Dimsum selection at Chokdee © The Coverage

Chen Loong: A popular breakfast spot selling braised beef or pork boat noodles.

Sujinda Seafood: Pick your own fresh seafood including fish, prawns, crabs, siham and lala. They’ll cook it in any way you like, whether steamed, stir fry, sweet and sour, etc.

Lemon steam fish at Sujinda © Wongnai

Nai Roo: Fusion Thai-Chinese ‘Tai Chow’ style place that has been around for decades

Where to Stay?

Hat Yai has a myriad of hostels, inns, hotels and resorts ranging from the humble student hostels to five-star hotels. You can check and compare the prices on Wego!

This article originally appeared on Shopback