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smo

What's it like to live in Songkhla?

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I'm sure as someone who lived in Hat Yai for over 8 years I'd be qualified to answer this question.

1) Dont rely on public transportation. It's limited. There are Win Bykes at certain areas, but not scattered enough. There is no UBER or GRAB BYKE (last I tried there are none.) Get yourself a byke, it's the best means for transportation.
Songkhla people drive at the same rate as Bangkok, albeit, slightly better. It's worse in Bangkok but Nakorn Sri Thammarat is much, much worse. (Referring to the driver's attitude.)

2) Good condo cost about 5,000 baht. Normal Thai style dorm cost 3,000-4,000 baht. A single house rent cost 6,000-8,000 baht depending on the area. A 8,000 single house is very comfortable, 2 bedrooms, kitchen, garage, 2 or 3 bathrooms.
Good condo, ASEAN Condo or the High-class dorm "Neca" should be good for a single guy/woman living here.

3) There's lots of PSU events, there are teachers and lecturers as well as English Facebook clubs setting up assembly every now and then, hey I've never got the chance to be in there but I am in the group.
Search for this group "English Corner - PSU (Hat Yai)"

4) Avoid going out at night alone. There shouldnt be problem if you go as a group.
However, avoid going alone at night. I liked driving at night (12am-4am). I got mugged at 2am in the center of the city. They were teens driving bykes around the Hatyai Municipal but probably because my wife was with her bag clearly visible.
Other than that, hat yai is very safe. I'd still drive outside at night and see the sleeping city, though with a much more awareness around.

5) There are different areas for food in Hatyai. If you want Muslim food go to Hat Yai Nai, it's the Muslim community with some good Mus;im foods.

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Extra: It takes 30-45 min drive from Hatyai to Songkhla. The food in Songkla beach is 2 times cheaper compared to tourist trap areas, Lipe, Phuket, Pattayam etc.
The sea is well, not as clean as Lipe though.
Get yourself an AIS 3G-4G SImcard and they cover the entire SOngkhla area quite good. I was surprised when my 3G-4G was faster than the lame TRUE CORP internet.

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PSU pool is open for a fee, it's much expensive compared to other pools unless you are a PSU Student/Staff.

I'd recommend going to Songkhla at 8-9am, there's a market every Sunday. Vendors sells at every places, especially old statues, relics, etc. Pretty fascinating for me.

Songkhla-Hatyai is much, much cheaper to live compared to other part of Thailand.

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Hey I never know we had many expats living in Hatyai/Songkhla :) Almost all of my buddies went back to their home country ever since the previous visa issue.

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20 hours ago, Stocky said:

Well we're just about to head into the wet season down south, the north-east monsoon should be with us next month. November and December are the wettest months in Hat Yai, that's the time we can get flooding. Best month to visit is February, but January and March are also good.

Thanks Stocky for the weather forecast, it's been raining everyday here in BKK this month too so monsoon everywhere it is! Look like Jan/Mar would be good time to come to Hat Yai, I'll leave Feb to the tourists in case there's a rush...(Come to think of it maybe post Songkran would be even better!)

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1 hour ago, Seizhin said:

1) Dont rely on public transportation. It's limited.

If you're living in Hat Yai town there's plenty of public transport, certainly Uber and Grab Whatever haven't reached us, but there's no shortage of songthaew and tuk-tuk around.

 

1 hour ago, Seizhin said:

4) Avoid going out at night alone.

In thirteen years of living here I've never had a problem. Because of the extra army presence around town it's probably safer that most cities in Thailand. I guess you were just unlucky.

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2 hours ago, Seizhin said:

I'm sure as someone who lived in Hat Yai for over 8 years I'd be qualified to answer this question.

1) Dont rely on public transportation. It's limited. There are Win Bykes at certain areas, but not scattered enough. There is no UBER or GRAB BYKE (last I tried there are none.) Get yourself a byke, it's the best means for transportation.
Songkhla people drive at the same rate as Bangkok, albeit, slightly better. It's worse in Bangkok but Nakorn Sri Thammarat is much, much worse. (Referring to the driver's attitude.)

2) Good condo cost about 5,000 baht. Normal Thai style dorm cost 3,000-4,000 baht. A single house rent cost 6,000-8,000 baht depending on the area. A 8,000 single house is very comfortable, 2 bedrooms, kitchen, garage, 2 or 3 bathrooms.
Good condo, ASEAN Condo or the High-class dorm "Neca" should be good for a single guy/woman living here.

3) There's lots of PSU events, there are teachers and lecturers as well as English Facebook clubs setting up assembly every now and then, hey I've never got the chance to be in there but I am in the group.
Search for this group "English Corner - PSU (Hat Yai)"

4) Avoid going out at night alone. There shouldnt be problem if you go as a group.

 

1) I will have to stay close to the songthaew routes: a) physically I am  no longer strong enough to handle the weight of a motorcycle b ) for safety reason I don't want to venture far from the popular areas on my own, thus what boundaries the songthaews serve that would be my stomping ground. Sorry to hear about what happened to you and wifey, I always keep in mind that no matter where we happen to be there's always bad elements present, just don't give them the opportunity (in the dark of the night, being alone, looking lost, etc.) to jump on us. 

 

2) the general rental rates sound really good ("good condo at 5000"). Again, for safety reason, I would want to live in condos as opposed to houses (no matter how much I wish to have a little garden, veranda to sit out and have my coffee/tea.) Where I live in BKK, the building has guards (x2) at the front round the clock, the reception is also manned 24 hr, CCTV in the parking lot and at elevator landing on every floor. 

 

3) the English corner on PSU campus sounds great! I guess I will have to actively  get on with my facebook account to get connected with them. Regarding the pool fee, I'm fine with that. I used to have membership to the fantastic Sport Complex of SAT just down the road, and have access to their great pools at a minimal expense, until recently my body can't take the chlorine dosage in the city water anymore (main reason I look for a place to live "near the sea.")

 

4) The Sunday morning market in Songkhla sounds irresisitble, a real flea market as in the good old days! You can count me as a faithful attendant already. Also glad to hear "The food in Songkla beach is 2 times cheaper compared to tourist trap areas, Lipe, Phuket, Pattayam etc." I can hear my wallet heave a big sigh of relief!  

 

All in all thank you Seizhin for taking the time to give out very useful information on divers aspects of living in Hatyai. Really appreciated that and all the best! [Maybe we can meet over for coffee if you have the time once I get there and you can tell me more about (the exciting!)life of local expats...]:stoner:

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On 13/10/2017 at 10:39 AM, smo said:

I'll leave Feb to the tourists in case there's a rush...

Busy times in Hat Yai correspond with the main holidays in Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore.  Chinese New Year is mid-February next year, but apart from then Hat Yai in February won't be any busier than usual. We don't have well defined high and low seasons, and the only farang tourists we see are just passing through.

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20 hours ago, Stocky said:

Busy times in Hat Yai correspond with the main holidays in Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore.  Chinese New Year is mid-February next year, but apart from then Hat Yai in February won't be any busier than usual. We don't have well defined high and low seasons, and the only farang tourists we see are just passing through.

Thanks Stocky, for the heads up.
Been watching those mouth-watering "Must-eats in Hat Yai/Songkhla" youtube videos. I notice quite a bit of our neighbors to the south making trips to Hat Yai, looks like to them just a quick hop over the border for shopping and... fun in the big city. There are Chinese tourists too - of course they're everywhere, it's a fact of life in Thailand - but not a place they would hang around long as say BKK (just like as you mentioned for farangs, just passing through.) I was hoping for more videos that show residential areas of Hat Yai, but so far all the videos aim for visitors, to be expected.

 

Songkhla appears very charming, definitely a small town feel. Surprising I didn't see a single person going into the water on its immense beach(es)? The locals just stroll along or sit around...I have visions of myself rolling down to the water from my hammock, and then rolling back up, repeat. Both Songkhla and Hat Yai seem like places where one can eat oneself to oblivion, I better get my tummy up to the task!:smile:

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3 hours ago, smo said:

There are Chinese tourists too

Yes. Hat Yai has a large ethnic Chinese population, so we've started to attract tourists from the Mainland, come to see how the diaspora is doing. Indeed, Kunming Air has just started flying twice a week from Hat Yai to Kunming City, in Yunnan province.

 

We also see a quite a lot of Indonesian tourists too.

 

But as you say Hat Yai tends to be a weekend city break, for shopping and letting your hair down. We get a mix of families, young couples and lads and lasses looking for a party weekend. Those looking for a quick leg-over don't venture much further than the border towns of Dannok or Sungai Golok. 

 


 

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On 10/13/2017 at 11:50 AM, smo said:

 

1) I will have to stay close to the songthaew routes: a) physically I am  no longer strong enough to handle the weight of a motorcycle b ) for safety reason I don't want to venture far from the popular areas on my own, thus what boundaries the songthaews serve that would be my stomping ground. Sorry to hear about what happened to you and wifey, I always keep in mind that no matter where we happen to be there's always bad elements present, just don't give them the opportunity (in the dark of the night, being alone, looking lost, etc.) to jump on us. 

 

2) the general rental rates sound really good ("good condo at 5000"). Again, for safety reason, I would want to live in condos as opposed to houses (no matter how much I wish to have a little garden, veranda to sit out and have my coffee/tea.) Where I live in BKK, the building has guards (x2) at the front round the clock, the reception is also manned 24 hr, CCTV in the parking lot and at elevator landing on every floor. 

 

3) the English corner on PSU campus sounds great! I guess I will have to actively  get on with my facebook account to get connected with them. Regarding the pool fee, I'm fine with that. I used to have membership to the fantastic Sport Complex of SAT just down the road, and have access to their great pools at a minimal expense, until recently my body can't take the chlorine dosage in the city water anymore (main reason I look for a place to live "near the sea.")

 

4) The Sunday morning market in Songkhla sounds irresisitble, a real flea market as in the good old days! You can count me as a faithful attendant already. Also glad to hear "The food in Songkla beach is 2 times cheaper compared to tourist trap areas, Lipe, Phuket, Pattayam etc." I can hear my wallet heave a big sigh of relief!  

 

All in all thank you Seizhin for taking the time to give out very useful information on divers aspects of living in Hatyai. Really appreciated that and all the best! [Maybe we can meet over for coffee if you have the time once I get there and you can tell me more about (the exciting!)life of local expats...]:stoner:

 

Thus would Joe Somchai be able to give directions?    Are the PSU students capable in English?

 

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