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BANGKOK 23 March 2019 05:21
songhklasid

Trip to songhkla

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G'day all, was looking to take lady friend to songhkla, staying at b p samila, enjoying the seafood from the restaurants on samila beach, day trip to Ko yo, the thing is I haven't been to songhkla for at least 15 years, before the trouble in the south was a problem, Is songhkla still safe to walk around, are the seafood restaurants still there, I just want to assure my Chiang mai girlfriend it's safe, and nothing to worry about, 

thanking you all for your help.

cheers songhklasid.

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Thanks champ, that confirms what I was thinking, be there end of next month, thanks again .

songhklsid.

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You'll be very surprised by all the changes if you haven't been there for 15 years. It's generally very safe -- the main threat to your safety will be on the roads. I hope you enjoy your trip and please let us know how it goes.

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Weill certainly do, looking forward to it now, & sharing the best seafood with my Chiang mai lady,my previous visits I visited the "dark side" as it was known then , the cosmos, offshore bar, & the office , are they still happening ?

 Just interested, memories ! 

Cheers SS.

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12 minutes ago, songhklasid said:

 "dark side"

Haven't been through there after dark in an age, most recent was trip in daylight to the Indonesian Consulate. It looks remarkably seedy, but then these areas always do in the harsh light of day. I noted that The Office is still there, it's just by the consulate. The Buzz Stop (Irish Bar) is just round the corner and does a good breakfast, looks like it could be festive in the evening. Don't forget to post some reviews of bars & restaurants after your trip. Have fun.

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I was just there two weeks ago and it is absolutely safe. I never even thought of any concern walking around at night.

 

The seafood places along the beach near BP Samila can be kind of a ripoff sometimes - just watch what you order. Another suggestion if you want a great meal and don't want to spend a lot of money on it: try the corner shop on the roundabout next to BP Samila. Very tasty with cheap fish and seafood dishes. It's been there for ages and there are always locals eating there.

 

I didn't check any out, but there is a new string of restaurants and night spots along the beach road to the right (facing the sea) of BP Samila. Some of them look sort of upscale.

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I had to travel to and stay in Songkhla a few years ago over 30 times for business. I found it to be a nice place, no troubles. I or my colleagues stayed at most places. BP Samila is a bit worn out. Better in my opinion are The Singora Hotel (round the corner for the irish pub) and the relatively new Songkhla Mermaid Hotel on the sea front. Be aware that unless things have changed, the oil industry companies book up the rooms in advance for their staff so don't leave it to the last minute to make a booking.

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Agree with the recommendation for Mermaid over BP Samila. It's newer and nicer I think, but you need your own car if you stay there since there are no restaurants or shops within easy walking distance. If you do stay there, ask for an upper floor room and you will at least have a partial sea view.

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1 hour ago, Bredbury Blue said:

I had to travel to and stay in Songkhla a few years ago over 30 times for business. I found it to be a nice place, no troubles. I or my colleagues stayed at most places. BP Samila is a bit worn out. Better in my opinion are The Singora Hotel (round the corner for the irish pub) and the relatively new Songkhla Mermaid Hotel on the sea front. Be aware that unless things have changed, the oil industry companies book up the rooms in advance for their staff so don't leave it to the last minute to make a booking.

 

I stayed very recently at BP Samila and it's much better than it was on previous stays 3-7 years ago.  Besides, it's the only hotel in Songkhla right on the beach.  The Singora is at "Expat Corner", the only part of Songkhla with hookers and other foreign catering amenities.   A great reason to steer clear.

 

If I go back to Songkhla, I'll stay at BP Samila again.   Aside from being much improved, they have a very nice breakfast buffet vs a mediocre (at best) offering at Singora.   It's head and shoulders above the Mermaid and Singora nowadays.

 

Besides, was it the Mermaid or the Pavilion Beach next door that burned down? In any case, they are across from the beach, not right on it.  One photo from my room at BP Samila, the other showing why Samila Beach is always nice and trash free, even after a storm...

 

Edit:  And if you're going on a weekend, (Friday or Saturday night) forget the restaurants for dinner, go to the main square, and get the street food at the evening market.  One of my favorite events/ places to eat in Thailand is that weekend walking market.  Another excellent street food market is every evening from 17:00 on at the road that runs away from the beach between the Mermaid Hotel and the Navy Air Station.  Amazing 500 meters of street kiosks selling great and cheap food.

 

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43 minutes ago, bubba said:

Agree with the recommendation for Mermaid over BP Samila. It's newer and nicer I think, but you need your own car if you stay there since there are no restaurants or shops within easy walking distance. If you do stay there, ask for an upper floor room and you will at least have a partial sea view.

Needing a vehicle and an upper floor room to get a good gulf views are the reasons why I still prefer the Samila Beach to the Mermaid. Beach-side pool and restaurant, large verandas with full beach and gulf view from all rooms beach side. Nearby restaurants, parks and nightlife are also great for chilling. Public transportation is easily found and the hotel will arrange private transport.

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13 hours ago, songhklasid said:

Weill certainly do, looking forward to it now, & sharing the best seafood with my Chiang mai lady,my previous visits I visited the "dark side" as it was known then , the cosmos, offshore bar, & the office , are they still happening ?

 Just interested, memories ! 

Cheers SS.

The darkside and the bars are still there; however, since the O&G slowdown many of the bars are cashier only. The Cosmos and the Offshore are mere shadows of their former selves; the Wow and the Anytime bars are more lively. The Office is back open now offering good sports bar & grille fare. Around the corner and down the street are several other bars and restaurants--the Corner Beir, the VIP,  Oscars, Hot Bread Shop. However, all pale in comparison to the O&G heydays of old.

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3 minutes ago, smotherb said:

The darkside and the bars are still there; however, since the O&G slowdown many of the bars are cashier only. The Cosmos and the Offshore are mere shadows of their former selves; the Wow and the Anytime bars are more lively. The Office is back open now offering good sports bar & grille fare. Around the corner and down the street are several other bars and restaurants--the Corner Beir, the VIP,  Oscars, Hot Bread Shop. However, all pale in comparison to the O&G heydays of old.

 

I'd add that The Office used to serve up one of the best burgers I've found in Thailand, and Da Zorro pizzas were a high point for my trips to Songkhla (though I haven't had one of either in a while, any updates?)  Their pizza is different, and not to everyone's tastes, but I loved them.

 

 

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Just now, impulse said:


I'd add that The Office used to serve up one of the best burgers I've found in Thailand, and Da Zorro pizzas were a high point for my trips to Songkhla (though I haven't had one of either in a while, any updates?)  Their pizza is different, and not to everyone's tastes, but I loved them.

 

Yeah, the Office does the same burgers, curries, meat pies and Zorro does pizza, calzone, and good lasagna. Farther down the street, the Hot Bread Shop bakes its own breads, sausage rolls, meat pies, Scottish Rowies, and has great pressed sandwiches, home-made pastrami, and split pea soup. Oscars offers home-made curries, nan and chutneys.

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1 hour ago, bubba said:

Agree with the recommendation for Mermaid over BP Samila. It's newer and nicer I think, but you need your own car if you stay there since there are no restaurants or shops within easy walking distance. If you do stay there, ask for an upper floor room and you will at least have a partial sea view.

 

BP Samila is a fine older hotel that came upon hard times, but has recovered greatly with the influx of Chinese tourists.  The first time I stayed there 6-7 years ago, it was obvious that the place had fallen into disrepair.  The last time (3 months ago), it had recovered most of its former glory.   It's one of the few hotels in Thailand where they actually run the A/C while I'm not in the room, to keep the humidity down.  It is SO nice to come back to a cool room after the Songkhla heat, and not suffer the smell of mold and mildew from the humidity.

 

The Mermaid is a cookie-cutter hotel like thousands of others.  It's nice.  It's adequate.  It's newer.  But it never will have any glory days, and it's across the street, not right on the beach.  That said, if you decide to stay there, go for the 500 meter long street food market around the corner for dinner.

 

Regarding the influx of Chinese tourists, don't knock them until you have seen them.  There are some smoking hotties posing for photos on Samila Beach every evening, and everyone has to get a shot in with the Songkhla mermaid.  They are more polite, in general, than most of the Chinese tour groups.  There is a Chinese consulate in Songkhla, and that may be one reason for the high grade Chinese tourists.

DSCF4893.JPG

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