What's in Songkhla Town?

For those traveling to Hatyai, you are probably there for a short stay. Taking a rest before crossing the border to Malaysia or going further north of Thailand. Hatyai may seem to be a quiet casual town for travelers to relax before heading to their next destination. I wouldn't recommend staying in Hatyai for more than two days. If you have enough time in this province, i would suggest you take a minivan or songthaew to Songhkla Town. There are a few attraction sites in Songkhla town that could keep you occupied including a free city tour.

GETTING THERE

I took a songthaew to Songkhla town which cost me about 20 Baht (80 cents SG). The ride with the locals took about 30 minutes. There were minivans heading to Songkhla as well but cost about 15 baht more. I wanted a taste of local living and opted for the cheaper option. Also, when you opt for the cheaper ones, it also means you are sacrificing comfort.

IN SONGKHLA TOWN
I was pretty much lost navigating around Songkhla town and was particularly fond of a free tram tour. I got to know about this via the hostel website that i was staying in as well as from the receptionist. It is called the Singora tram tour. It is a free Songkhla city tour by an open air tram. 

Tram timing:
The tram departs 6 times every day. According to their brochure: 9am, 10am, 11am, 1pm, 2pm and 3pm.

Route:
It departs from Thammarong Museum which is right next to Songkhla National Museum. Then it will drive through Songkhla Old Town area City pillar shrine. After which it continues on to Chaluthat Beach and you can spot the tail of the naga sculpture, the mid body and the serpent naga. The last stop will bring you to Tang Kuan hill.
I arrived about 11:30am and had missed the 11 am time slot as i was searching for the pick up point. Took me almost 1 hour searching for Thammarong Museum. Waited for the 1pm slot at the pick up point and there wasn't anyone around. Two ladies in a casual uniform holding a lunch pack came up and informed us that the tram will depart at 2pm instead of 1pm. We had nothing to do because the museums were closed. On a Monday, i was a bit surprised though it was closed. Instead we explored a little more around the area and took a nap inside the tram.

At 2pm sharp, the two ladies came back and the journey around the city begin. They were speaking in English quite well translating it back to Thai every few sentences as there were some locals in the tram too. We passed by all the places in the tram routes and i did not manage to get much photos as my camera battery died on me.
On the last stop, i alighted at Tang Kuan Hill and bought a ticket up to the peak via the lift. Upon reaching the top, there was a booth that shows a sign stated to buy praying materials (flowers, incense stick etc) required to give thanks to the God(s) as well as a form of donation to the location. I did not buy it and just went ahead to the viewpoint.

Right outside Tang Kuan Hill entrance, there is a few pushcart sellers selling food and i got myself an awesome coconut icecream for 30 Baht! Its 3x cheaper, bigger and way tastier than the night market ones that is found in Singapore.

In conclusion, the city tour covers the popular sites in Songkhla town within an hour and you can walk back to the area that you want to visit if you are interested to hang around more.

GOING BACK
I promised the songthaew driver to meet us back at where he drop us at 4:30pm but was a little late and he had left. Got a little bit lost on my way back but i didn't mind.

So if you are stranded and couldn't find anymore songthaew, ask around as there will be locals that will direct you to a spot by the road where there are many minivans heading to Hatyai. I got onto one at 45 Baht. Air conditioned and comfortable but the ride took almost 2 hours as the driver kept picking up and alighting passengers along the way.

Total spending on transport: 65 Baht/SGD$2.60

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