Hat Yai

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Hat Yai

City of Hatyai
Hat-Yai city view.JPG
View of Hat-Yai from Wat Khok Nao pagoda tower.
Seal of Hat Yai.png
Thailand adm location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Hat Yai
Location Hat Yai in Thailand
Coordinates: 7°1′N100°28′E / 7.017°N 100.467°E / 7.017; 100.467 Coordinates: 7°1′N100°28′E / 7.017°N 100.467°E / 7.017; 100.467
CountryFlag of Thailand.svg  Thailand
Province Songkhla
District Hat Yai
10 December 1935
16 March 1949
24 September 1995
  TypeCity Municipality
  MayorPrai Pattano
   City Municipality 21.00 km2 (8.20 sq mi)
  Land20.50 km2 (8.00 sq mi)
  Water0.50 km2 (0.20 sq mi)  2.38%
852.79 km2 (329.26 sq mi)
Area rank21st
 (2019) [1]
   City Municipality 156,802
(Registered residents)
  Density7,467/km2 (19,340/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+7 (ICT)
Calling code 074
Airport IATA: HDY
Website hatyaicity.go.th

Hat Yai (Thai : หาดใหญ่, pronounced [hàːt jàj] , also Haad Yai or Had Yai) is a city in southern Thailand near the Malaysian border. Located at 7°1′N100°28′E / 7.017°N 100.467°E / 7.017; 100.467 , it is 946 km (588 mi) south of Bangkok, and has a population of 156,802 (2019) [1] in the city itself and about 800,000 in the greater Hat Yai area. Hat Yai is the largest city of Songkhla Province, the largest metropolitan area in the south, and the third largest metropolitan area of the country. It is often mistaken for being the provincial capital. In fact, Songkhla is the capital and the center of administration and culture while Hat Yai is the business center.



Originally named Khok Samet Chun (โคกเสม็ดชุน, "shore eugenia knoll"), Hat Yai was a small village until the southern railway was built there, making it one of the major rail hubs of the line. The junction which connected the town of Songkhla with the main route was formerly in the U Tapao area, but was later moved to Khok Samet Chun in 1922 when the U Tapao area turned out to be flood-prone. At that time, Khok Samet Chun had only four residents, but thanks to the investments of Khun Niphat Chinnakorn (謝枢泗, Jia Gi Si, 1886–1972, Hakka Chinese), the railway contractor for the railway line from Nakhon Si Thammarat to Pattani, it quickly grew into a small town.

In 1928, Hat Yai was made a community (chumchon), which was upgraded to a sanitary district ( sukhaphiban ) on December 11, 1935. It covered an area of 4.4 km2 (1.7 sq mi), and was administered by the first mayor, Udom Bunlong. In 1938, the municipal administration building was completed. On March 16, 1949, Hat Yai was granted town status ( thesaban mueang ). On May 10, 1961, the area covered by the municipality was increased to 8 km2 (3.1 sq mi). As a result of the town's continuing growth, on August 13, 1968, a larger, new municipal administration building was opened. On April 24, 1977, the total area of the municipality was enlarged for the second time to 21 km2 (8.1 sq mi). Finally, in 1995, the town was upgraded to city status ( thesaban nakhon ). [2] There are a total of 102 communities (chumchon), divided into 4 zones.

The name "Hat Yai" is a short version of "mahat yai", meaning big mahat (Thai : มะหาด) tree, a relative of jackfruits in genus Artocarpus .

Southern violence

As the major economic center of lower southern Thailand, Hat Yai has increasingly become a target of terrorism in the separatist campaign conducted by the Patani United Liberation Organisation and similar radical groups.

On April 3, 2005, bomb attacks were carried out at a Carrefour Hypermarket and Hat Yai International Airport, killing two and injuring dozens.

On September 16, 2006 a series of bomb attacks killed four and injured more than 70. Although no group has claimed responsibility, local separatists are presumed to be responsible. [3]

On March 31, 2012, a car bomb exploded in the Lee Gardens Plaza Hotel, killing at least 5 and injuring hundreds. Both Thai nationals and Malaysian tourists were among the victims. The Royal Thai Army believes that members of the Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN) group carried out the terrorist attack.

On May 6, 2014, two bombs exploded in front of a convenience store and a police station, injuring 9 people.


Hat Yai Junction, the largest station of southern Thailand HAT YAI TRAIN.jpg
Hat Yai Junction, the largest station of southern Thailand

Hat Yai Junction has become the transportation hub of southern Thailand since the railway was constructed. One of the largest railway stations in the south, Hat Yai Railway Station is an international railway station which handles 28 passenger trains per day, including 26 trains served by State Railway of Thailand and 2 trains served by KTMB of Malaysia. Hat Yai is also the hub for local train services in southern Thailand.

Parallel to the railway line is the Asian highway 2. Asian highway 18 originates in Hat Yai and runs south along the east coast of the Malay peninsula.

Hat Yai Bus Terminal is a major transport hub in southern Thailand. It offers bus services that link Hat Yai with nearly every town and city in the southern region as well as other destinations, including Bangkok and Nakhon Ratchasima. Hat Yai also has a minibus terminal which hosts the largest minibus service in southern Thailand. There are also several private minibus services which focus on tourist destinations, including Phuket, Ko Samui, Ko Pha Ngan, Pak Bara Peer in Satun (a gateway to the islands in the southern Andaman Sea), Langkawi, Penang, Kuala Lumpur, and Singapore. The minibus service has gained popularity in recent years as minibuses are considered a faster way to travel.

Hat Yai International Airport, 5th busiest airport of Thailand Hat Yai International Airport.JPG
Hat Yai International Airport, 5th busiest airport of Thailand

Hat Yai International Airport (upgraded to an international airport December 1972) is 9 km from downtown, serving destinations throughout Thailand and connecting the city to Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. It is also an important airport for Muslims on pilgrimage to Mecca. The airport is listed as Thailand's 5th busiest airport, serving 4,256,107 passengers in 2018.


There are two main hospitals in Hat Yai. Hatyai Hospital is operated by the Ministry of Public Health, while Songklanagarind Hospital is a university hospital operated by the Faculty of Medicine, Prince of Songkla University.


Demographically, Hat Yai is notable for a higher proportion of Malay-Muslim and Thai Chinese citizens than other cities of comparable size in other regions of Thailand. The population of Hat Yai was 156,802 as of 2019, [1] ranked 4th in the country after Bangkok, Nonthaburi, and Pak Kret.


Prince of Songkla University is the oldest and largest university in southern Thailand. The main campus is near Hat Yai downtown; the campus area covers Hat Yai city and Kho Hong town. This public university is always ranked one of the top national universities. The first and the only private university in southern Thailand, Hatyai University, is also located in the urban area of Hat Yai. In addition, Ramkhamhaeng University's campus is near the international airport.

Hat Yai is also home to several famous high schools, including the country's top ten, Hatyaiwittayalai School (public). [4] Another well-known public school is Hatyaiwittayalaisomboonkulkanya School, the former branch of Hatyaiwittayalai. In addition, there are several popular private schools in greater Hat Yai, including Saengthong Vitthaya School, Thidanukhro School, and PSU Wittayanusorn School.


Hat Yai has a tropical monsoon climate (Am), which is hot and humid, like other parts of Thailand. Hat Yai has only two seasons; wet and dry. The wet season, which is influenced by monsoon and rain storms, is from April to December, while the sunny dry season is only from January to March. Additionally, there have been occasional floods in Hat Yai, due to the heavy rain; it can rain for twenty-two days in November with more than 317 mm (12.5 in) of precipitation.

Climate data for Hat Yai (1981–2010)
Record high °C (°F)35.4
Average high °C (°F)31.0
Daily mean °C (°F)26.0
Average low °C (°F)22.0
Record low °C (°F)18.3
Average rainfall mm (inches)53.8
Average rainy days8.
Average relative humidity (%)80777678818079798285878581
Mean monthly sunshine hours 182.9166.7186.0144.0114.7111.0114.7114.7108.0111.6105.0108.51,567.8
Mean daily sunshine hours
Source 1: Thai Meteorological Department [5]
Source 2: Office of Water Management and Hydrology, Royal Irrigation Department (sun and humidity) [6]


The central area of Hat Yai city Hat Yai.JPG
The central area of Hat Yai city

Hat Yai has a reputation for being a shopping destination for both Thais and foreigners. There are numbers of department stores, shopping malls and markets throughout the city. Suntisook Market on Nipat U-tid 1, 2 & 3 roads are among the best-known. Their main products are imported processed food, cosmetics, fabrics, gadgets and electrical appliances. The city's major wet market is located near the railway station. And another one is Kim Yong market on Supasarn Rungsan road.

Kim Yong market (also Gim Yong) is a famous market located in the center of Hat Yai, Songkhla. It was established by Xi Gim Yong (徐金榮), a Chinese man who was an influential businessman, in 1928. The market is divided into 2 parts. The first part is a 2-floor building previously called the “Chaloemthai” cinema. The second part is an outdoor market, alongside the road.

The goods in this market are varied and each part of the market is different. On the first floor of the building, there are fresh foods, such as vegetables, meats, certain seafood, groceries, clothes, snacks, and dry foodstuffs. It is well known that Kim Yong Market has many kinds of dry foodstuffs from China and snacks like chocolates and chips from Malaysia. On the second floor, there are electric appliances which are made in Thailand and China. All of these imported goods are inexpensive because they are tax-free. Outside of the building, many shops and stalls can be found along small streets. Most of the shops sell batiks from Indonesia and Muslim clothes while the majority of stalls sell foods and fruits. Moreover, chestnut is another popular product, which visitors prefer to buy. You can notice chestnut stalls easily by the man who roasts the chestnut and by the smell.

Because of the variety of goods in this market, it is able to attract a large number of people, not only local people but also foreigners and travelers. By noticing a lot of shopping bags in their hands and the excitement on their faces, it is not a surprise that this market is considered as the main artery which nourishes the city's economy.

The city has two large weekend markets, namely Asian Trade and Greenway, which are both located on Kanchanavanit Road. They mainly sell second-hand products, including clothes, shoes, decor and souvenirs. In addition, there are several large shopping centers in the city, including Diana, Odean, Robinson, Central, Siam Nakharin, Big C, Big C Extra, Tesco Lotus and Makro. By the end of 2013, Central Festival, one of the largest shopping centers in Southern Thailand.


An important Buddhist temple is Hat Yai Nai Temple or Wat Hat Yai Nai. It is home to the third largest reclining statue on the planet. People travel from all over Thailand just to pay respect to this statue[ citation needed ].

Held on the first night of October, Chak Phra is a Buddhist festival specific to the south of Thailand. It is celebrated with Buddha boat processions or sports events like a run up Khao Tang Kuan hill. In September or October at the Chinese Lunar festival, the Thai and Chinese present their offerings to the moon, "queen of the heavens", in gratitude for past and future fortunes.

Hat Yai is also well known for its spectacular celebrations of the Chinese New Year festival. Although Thai elements have been incorporated (for example, Thai pop stars have been invited to perform), the celebration remains distinctively Chinese. “Despite being several generations removed from Hat Yai's original Chinese pioneers, the New Year celebration provides strong evidence that the community is still influenced by and strongly identifies with its Chinese roots. [7]

One of the southern temple, well known for Jatukam, nine faces deity pray. Hatyai 118 Jatukam temple.

Unnamed Road, Tambon Khuan Lang, Amphoe Hat Yai, Chang Wat Songkhla 90110, Thailand

Related Research Articles

Songkhla Province Province of Thailand

Songkhla is one of the southern provinces (changwat) of Thailand. Neighboring provinces are Satun, Phatthalung, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Pattani, and Yala. To the south it borders Kedah and Perlis of Malaysia.

Yala Province Province of Thailand

Yala is the southernmost province (changwat) of Thailand. Neighboring provinces are Songkhla, Pattani, and Narathiwat. Yala is one of two landlocked provinces in southern Thailand, the other being Phatthalung. Its southern part borders Kedah and Perak of Malaysia.

Hat Yai International Airport

Hat Yai International Airport is an international airport in southern Thailand in Songkhla Province near the city of Hat Yai. It is under the management of Airports of Thailand, PLC (AOT). Annually, it handles more than 1,500,000 passengers, 9,500 flights and 12,000 tons of cargo. Expansion plans are in the works, as the airport is designed for 2.5 million passengers, was already seeing 3.56 million using it in Sept 2015, will be expanded to 4.5 million capacity scheduled complete by 2018, and 10 million by 2030.

Songkhla City in Thailand

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State Railway of Thailand

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Padang Besar is a border town located in the northern part of the state of Perlis in Malaysia as well northmost town in Malaysia. It is situated on the border with Songkhla province, Thailand, 35 kilometers northeast of Kangar and about 57 km southwest of Hat Yai. The town opposite Padang Besar in Thailand is also known as Padang Besar, although the locals here usually refer to the town as "Pekan Siam" or Siamese town. The town is a "shopping heaven" and popular destination for Malaysians because of the duty-free shopping complex in between the border checkpoints of the two countries. The town attracts several thousand visitors from Peninsular Malaysia and southern Thailand every weekend and during public holidays.

The 2005 Songkhla bombings were a series of three bombings that took place on 3 April 2005 in the cities of Hat Yai and Songkhla of Thailand's Songkhla Province. They and are believed to be part of the ongoing south Thailand insurgency. At least two people were killed and 66 were injured in the explosions.

Hat Yai District District in Songkhla, Thailand

Hat Yai District is a district (amphoe) of Songkhla Province, southern Thailand.

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A series of flash floods hit different areas of Thailand and Malaysia in 2010. Separate but related floods began in the Northeast and Central Thailand in early October due to abnormally late monsoon moisture over the Bay of Bengal, overflowed the Chao Phraya where the rivers meet, and affected Bangkok, and in the South were triggered by a tropical depression about two weeks later, and was later aggravated by related La Niña monsoon rains. Floods subsequently occurred in the Malaysian states of Kedah and Perlis in November 2010.

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Hatyai Hospital Hospital in Songkhla, Thailand

Hatyai Hospital is a hospital in Hat Yai, Songkhla Province, Thailand. It is classified as a regional hospital under the Ministry of Public Health, and it is one of two main hospitals operated by the MOPH in the province, the other being Songkhla Hospital. It serves as a referral centre for nearby community hospitals mainly within Songkhla, but also in parts of Pattani and Satun Provinces. It nominally has a capacity of 640 beds, but as is often the case with most regional hospitals, faces problems of overcrowding and is over-capacity most of the time.

Hat Yai Junction railway station

Hat Yai Junction is an international railway junction and a Class 1 railway station for the State Railway of Thailand in the center of Hat Yai City, Songkhla Province, Thailand. The station is located 928.585 km (577.0 mi) from Bangkok's Thon Buri railway station and serves as a junction for the mainline Southern Line towards Pattani, Yala and Sungai Kolok and the Butterworth, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore Line. The station also includes a large locomotive depot adjacent to the station.

Southern Line (Thailand)

Further information: SRT Southern Line route map

Pattani railway station or Pattani railway station is a railway station located in Khok Pho Subdistrict, Khok Pho District, Pattani. It is a class 1 railway station located 1,009.209 km (627.1 mi) from Thon Buri Railway Station. The station opened in April 1917 as Khok Pho Station, as part of the Southern Line section between U Taphao Junction -Khlong Sai. The line extended further south, terminating at Su-ngai Kolok in September 1921, where it linked up with the Malaysian railway.

Chana railway station is a railway station located in Ban Na Subdistrict, Chana District, Songkhla. It is a class 1 railway station located 964.503 km (599.3 mi) from Thon Buri railway station.

Faculty of Medicine, Prince of Songkla University

The Faculty of Medicine, Prince of Songkla University is the sixth oldest medical school in Thailand located in Hat Yai District, Songkhla Province and is the fourth oldest faculty of Prince of Songkla University, opening in 1972 by royal decree.

5th Infantry Division (Thailand) Special operations force of the Royal Thai Army

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Songkhla Hospital Hospital in Songkhla , Thailand

Songkhla Hospital is one of the two main hospitals of Songkhla Province, Thailand operated by the Ministry of Public Health the other being the larger Hatyai Hospital. It is classified under the Ministry of Public Health as a general hospital. It has a CPIRD Medical Education Center which trains doctors for the Faculty of Medicine of Princess of Naradhiwas University. It is an affiliated teaching hospital of the Faculty of Medicine, Prince of Songkla University.


  1. 1 2 3 "รายงานสถิติจำนวนประชากรและบ้านประจำปี พ.ศ.2562" [Statistics, population and house statistics for the year 2019]. Registration Office Department of the Interior, Ministry of the Interior (in Thai). December 31, 2019. Retrieved March 10, 2020.
  2. "พระราชกฤษฎีกา จัดตั้งเทศบาลนครหาดใหญ่ จังหวัดสงขลา พ.ศ.๒๕๓๘" [Royal Decree Establishing Hat Yai city municipality, Songkhla province, B.E.2538 (1995)](PDF). Royal Thai Government Gazette. 112 (40 Kor): 19–23. September 24, 1995. Retrieved March 10, 2020, effectively on 25 September 1995
  3. "Four killed in Thai bomb blasts". BBC News. September 17, 2006. Retrieved May 4, 2010.
  4. "Top 100 High Schools in Thailand (in Thai)".
  5. "Climatological Data for the Period 1981–2010". Thai Meteorological Department. p. 25. Retrieved August 8, 2016.
  6. "ปริมาณการใช้น้ำของพืชอ้างอิงโดยวิธีของ Penman Monteith (Reference Crop Evapotranspiration by Penman Monteith)" (PDF) (in Thai). Office of Water Management and Hydrology, Royal Irrigation Department. p. 124. Retrieved August 8, 2016.
  7. Robert Cummings, “ Examining the Continuity of Chinese Cultural Characteristics of the Thai-Chinese Community in Hat Yai Through the Chinese New Year Festival,” Rian Thai : International Journal of Thai Studies 9 (2016), 169–202 (201).