Friday, June 2, 2017

[Travel/ Food Guide] Itinerary to Hatyai, Thailand (合艾,泰国) 2017

When the travel bugs bite, it is a time to plan for a trip but it gets tough and grueling to the wallet especially when there is a dip in Malaysian Ringgit. Naturally, visiting neighboring countries becomes a popular choice. We continued our previous food adventure to Hatyai, Thailand (read our 2016 entry here) but the short trip was not sufficient to cover a lot of places.

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New Updates:
  • Tuk Tuk Drivers around Hatyai have the tendency to over-charge passengers/ tourists; we fell into the trap for a couple of times without negotiating with them. The rate within town should be THB 20 per ride but they tend to charge THB 30 per ride. Do take note on this.
  • Food costs have increased recently, probably due to the dip in Malaysian currency; many things in Hatyai are no longer that attractive (in terms of pricing).
1) Bankampu Hatyai Fresh Seafood 
Pork Free
Service Charge: No
Government Tax: No
Address: 22/4-5, Lamaysongkoa Road, Hatyai, Songkhla, 90110, Thailand.
Business Hours: 11 am to 10 pm. Opens Daily.
Contact Number: +66 087-109 8777
Bankampu Facebook Page

Signature Crab Platter (THB 450)

Stir Fried Petai with Prawns (THB 180)

Steamed Squid with Spicy-Sour Thai Sauce (THB 250)

Prawn with Thai Glass Noodles (THB 350)

Tom Yum Kung Prawns (THB 450)

Bankampu Fried Rice with Crab Meat (THB 200/ large)

Bankampu gained its popularity over social media few months back- netizens were fascinated by its signature dish's appearance- cooked and de-shelled Flower Crabs beautifully plated. But the fame has driven the place to fast become one of the tourist traps in town. Not that we were unsatisfied with the food quality but the hefty prices put us off (given the miserable portion); hands-down double the prices in some Thai restaurants at Hatyai.

The signature Crab Platter was only good in picture, the Seafood sweetness was no where to be found, we suspect that they blanched the Crabs and it washed away the flavors of the Sea within the crustacean. Other dishes were standard-average but if you must visit this place, make sure you order their Bankampu Fried Rice with Crab Meat. Probably the quality of Rice was superior, the Fried Rice turned out to be unexpectedly delicious. We were also pleasantly surprised by the fact that it was not greasy at all. The total damage for this meal (6 of us) was approximately THB 2,100 and the portion was a little less-satisfying.

2) Qing Jie Picked Mustard and Pork Intestines (清姐猪肠咸菜)
Service Charge: No
Government Tax: No
Address: Thanon Lamai Songkraw 1, Hatyai, Hatyai District, Songkhla, 90110, Thailand.
Business Hours: 7:30 am to 2 pm. Opens Daily.
Contact Number: N/A

Thai Braised Pork Leg (THB 200)

Roasted Pork (THB 100)

Pickled Mustard Soup with Roast Pork (THB 100/ with Rice)

We'd suggest you avoiding this place if you do not fancy pork, the porky stench may put you off as you enter the restaurant. Qing Jie is one of the highly applauded eateries in Hatyai... for its Roasted Pork (Sio Bak) and pickled Mustard Soup. We were discouraged by the hygiene, the floors were greasy and waste was seen everywhere. The cantankerous proprietor rushed us to order but even after the bad dining experience, the food did live up to our expectations. The crackling fatty Roasted Pork was crisp in texture with spot-on seasoning. Just when you thought it might be a little heavy, the refreshing pickled Mustard Soup with the right acidity cuts through the greasiness. You can forget about the braised Pork Leg though, nothing particularly exciting about this dish. Also, we thought the price points were too high (given the portion).  

3) Betong Wan Ton Mee (勿洞云吞面)
Service Charge: No
Government Tax: No
Address: Thanon Lamai Songkraw 1, Hatyai, Hatyai District, Songkhla, 90110, Thailand.
Business Hours: 6 am to 12:30 pm. Closed on Thursdays.
Contact Number: N/A

Wan Ton Mee (THB 50)

We were a little underwhelmed after the breakfast at Qing Jie so we walked cross the street over to Betong Wan Ton Mee. It was pretty similar to those found in Penang except that the Soy sauce was not as sweet as compared to those found in Penang. It was however, generously flecked with deep fried Pork Lards. The seasoning was a little weak but it was pretty decent to enjoy with the Thai Chili sauce. 

4) Somtam Chaba
Service Charge: No
Government Tax: No
Address: 234/4, Soi 4, Supasanrangsan Road, Hatyai, Songkhla, 90110, Thailand. 
Business Hours: 10 am to 10 pm. Closed on Tuesdays.
Contact Number: +66 074- 225 315
Somtam Chaba Facebook Page

Grilled Pork (THB 100)

Grilled Chicken (THB 100/ half bird)

Winged Beans Salad (THB 70)

Preserved Crab Salad with Vermicelli Noodles (THB 70)

Stir Fried Flower Clams with Thai Basil (THB 80)

Seafood Tom Yum (THB 200)

Salted Egg Salad (THB 50)

Grilled Squid (THB 80)

Salt Baked Fish (THB 60/ kg)

Somtam Chaba was one of the best Thai restaurants we've visited in our recent trip to Hatyai. Approximately 5 minutes drive away from Lee Garden, Somtam Chaba boasts over a range of authentic Southern Thailand dishes and delicacies. It is not too well-known amongst tourists and the crowd is usually local Thai. English menu is not available so making orders can be troublesome. Prices are very affordable, just to give you an idea; the 6 of us had 9 dishes (with Rice and drinks), the damage was merely THB 1,100. 

Notable highlights are Grilled Chicken, Salt-baked Fish and Grilled Squid; all of them are brilliantly paired with Thai Chili dip. The Thai Salad dishes were expertly spiced either. The portion can be a little underwhelmed for some but given the competitive rates, this place should make it to your must-visit list.

5)  Swensens Ice Cream
Service Charge: No
Government Tax: No
Address: Ground Floor of Lee Garden Plaza, 29 Prachatipat Road, Hatyai, Songkhla, 90110, Thailand
Business Hours: 10:30 am to 10 pm. Opens Daily.
Contact Number: N/A

Mango Trio (THB 189)

The famous Ice Cream brand- Swensens may not sell in Malaysia but it might be otherwise in Thailand. On our visit, the seasonal offer of Mango series caught our attention, particularly the Mango Sticky Rice-inspired sweet treat- Mango Trio, which consists of Pandan-flavored Glutinous Rice (topped with julienned Coconut Meat) and 3 scoops of Mango Ice Cream; served with thick Coconut Cream. The concoction was amazing, the Mango flavor was bold and the Coconut Cream served its purposes here.... to introduce a sleek creaminess with a touch of saltiness to the dish, that cuts through the sweetness slightly. It was a dish best shared with friends.

6) Eat Pot by Cafe Chili
Pork Free
Service Charge: Yes 10%
Government Tax (VAT): Yes 7%
Address: 5th floor of Central Festival Mall, Chang Wat, Hatyai, 90110, Songkhla, Thailand.
Business Hours: 11 am to 10 pm. Opens Daily.
Contact Number: +66 02 160- 2445 

Signature Som Tam with Vermicelli Noodles (THB 99/ basic package + blanched Long Beans THB 25 + raw Cabbage THB 25 + Century Eggs THB 25)

Central Festival Mall is the most happening shopping mall in Hatyai, Thailand. It houses quite a number of international brands as well as eateries. One needs not worry about meals here due to the unlimited options and most of them are quite wallet-friendly. While we were quite tempted by the selection of Japanese eateries, we thought we should try the Thai restaurant since we were in Hatyai (duh). 

Eat Pot by Cafe Chili is a renowned chain restaurant brand in Thailand, the offering is huge but since we wanted something light, we had their Som Tam with Vermicelli Noodles. It was a refreshing concoction with the option to add on any of your preferred ingredients (to choose from the selection). The flavors were amazing and the Century Egg was a notch better than others. The Yolk was in runny state and everything just amalgamated perfectly. Though the price tag can be a little hefty, it did justify the portion and the quality. 

7) i-Kitchen Dessert Cafe
Pork Free
Service Charge: No
Government Tax: No
Address: 4th floor of Central Festival Mall, Chang Wat, Hatyai, 90110, Songkhla, Thailand.
Business Hours: 11 am to 10 pm. Opens Daily.
Contact Number: N/A

Thai Tea Bingsu (THB 145)

Those with a sweet tooth should definitely plan for a visit to Central Festival, the most-happening mall in Hatyai. There are countless of dessert outlets and ice cream parlors within the mall, waiting to be unearthed by dessert lovers. One particular place that offers good Bingsu is i-Kitchen Dessert Cafe on 4th floor. The Bingsu menu is rather extensive but it is not a one-trick pony, the Toasts might worth your time and penny too. 

Since we were in Thailand, we decided to try their Thai Tea Bingsu- expertly shaved Thai Tea-flavored Ice jeweled with Salted Caramel Croutons and topped with 'Pearls'. The shaved Ice was light and easy on the palate but packed with a powerful flavor of Milk Tea. Best of all, the sweetness was carefully tuned to the right dot, it was so light that I thought I could finish it entirely myself. 

8) Asean Night Market
Address: Chotevittayakul 5 Rd, Tambon Hat Yai, Amphoe Hat Yai, Chang Wat Songkhla 90110, Thailand
Business Hours: 3 pm to 10:30 pm. Opens Daily.

One of the largest night markets in Hatyai, the Asean Night Market is not new, it was introduced in 2014 and is now a well-established night market with plenty of stalls and vendors. It is divided into 2 floors- the ground floor sees apparels, fashion accessories, toys, knick-knacks on sale while the upper floor is dedicated to a food court which serves mostly Halal food. Thought the night market is quite big, most items are repetitive. The roofed night market gets pretty stuffy during sultry warm weather, so be prepared for that. If I must comment whether I'd prefer Greenway or Asean, Greenway definitely has an edge over Asean.... for its more outdoorsy atmosphere and the brilliantly spaced layout.

9)  HY Square (Night Market)
Address: Phet Kasem Rd, Tambon Hat Yai, Amphoe Hat Yai, Chang Wat Songkhla 90110, Thailand
Business Hours: 5 pm to 1 am. Closed on Wednesdays.
Direction: Opposite to Greenway Night Market

HY Square Market is one of the latest new night markets in Hatyai, it was still a vacant land on our last visit to Hatyai in 2016. The relatively new HY Square Market is just across the street from the very happening Greenway Night Market. It is fairly small but it has everything there- from street food, artistic knick-knacks and fashion accessories/ apparels. Though it is less-happening here as compared to the two established night markets- Greenway and Asean Night Markets, the atmosphere is more relaxed and the stalls are well-spaced. We would not recommend to travel here all the way just to visit this night market but if you are in the vicinity (after visiting Greenway and Asean), this place is worth your time. 

Have Fun and Travel Safe in Hatyai!


  1. Wowwww!!! The pla-meuk neung prik manao is more expensive than the one I had here that night - post on it in my blog...tomorrow, I think!

  2. Ooooo...pork leg! Yum yummmm!!! Bet you enjoyed that! Hehehehehe!!!

  3. I really appreciate your post and you explain each and every point very well and the pictures are really great. Thanks for sharing this information. And I’ll love to read your next post too.

  4. I always have wanted to visit Vietnam and just now, I got to know of the visa service and I will be getting my visa to go to Vietnam from them.

  5. Hi, I'm very confused at the real location of somtam chaba as I found two different addresses, both are very far (> 30 min drive) from Lee Gardens Plaza. Can you clarify on how you got there from city centre? Your information would be very useful as their website is in Thai, which I dont understand. Thank you.

    1. Hi, yes the place is not near. We hired a guide so the guide brought us there, the place is quite secluded, even catching a tuk-tuk was rather challenging for us. Suggest you to show the website to the hotel receptionists and get them to talk to the tuk-tuk drivers.