The southernmost provinces of Songkhla, Satun, Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat have nothing to match Phuket, Samui or Krabi in terms of natural beauty and tourism facilities. The region does have its attractions, but they are rewarding only for those who like to explore every corner of the Kingdom, or for visitors travelling overland to or from Malaysia.
Hai Yai and Songkhla
Gateway to the Deep South is Hat Yai in Songhkhla province. Located 947km from Bangkok, this brash, modern town is a commercial, shopping and entertainment centre with good road, rail and air access but little in the way of charm.Much more attractive for the visitor is Songhkhla, an old and sleepy little coastal resort situated a 30 min drive by bus or taxi from Hat Yai . The town boasts two beaches pleasantly sited Son Onn Beach and the 3km pine-fringed stretch of Samila Beach while among cultural sights are Songkhla National Museum, the 400-year-old temple of Wat Matchimawat, Wat Chaimongkohom, where the main pagoda enshrines a holy relic of the Lord Buddha, and the 19th century Pak Nam Laem Sai Fort.North of Songkhla town extends the vast expanse of Songkhla Lake, Thailands largest body of inland water. It contains several islands and near Songkhla, there is Khu Khut Waterfowl Park, a sanctuary that supports about 140 bird species.