Beaches in Thailand are one of the amazing characteristics that Thailand has, and many provinces have a direct access to beaches in which tourists can enjoy.
Many of these destinations are beautiful and contain different and unique features and attractions of their own. With these characteristics, provinces in Thailand gain a lot of popularity, especially foreigners who are looking to experience or experiencing Thailand for the first time.
However, one of the provinces that has many attractions for tourists to experience Thailand as their first gate or introduction to Thailand, the province in mentioned is named Songkhla.
General Information of Songkhla, Thailand
In Malay, the province is called as Singgora as it was a city of the ancient Malay Kingdom of Langkasuka and it is heavily influenced by Srivijayan.
However, the province became a part of Thailand in the 18th century. It also used to be a port city where Indian, Persian, Arabian in the past used to trade their goods.
This means that the city is connected to the sea, not just one, but two! It is amazing to experience two seas or more at this place! Before you will get to experience them, you need to know the ways to get in to this province first.
To get to Songkhla, Thailand
Fortunately, there are many ways or options you can choose to travel here. The first way is to take a bus in which you can go to the Southern Bus Terminal in Bangkok to get a ride there. The distance from Bangkok to Songkhla is about 984 kilometers and it will take you around 12 hours and a half to get here.
As there is no direct flight to Songkhla, what you can do is to take a plane from Bangkok to the city of Hat Yai first, then you can take a minivan here. Another alternative is to drive here yourself which is very convenient and faster than taking a bus. Once you are here, get ready to enjoy what Songkhla is ready to offer!
Famous attractions in Songkhla
As mentioned before, there are various famous attractions you can go to in this province, especially the city of Hat Yai.
This city is basically the center of economy of the southern region of Thailand and it is also stated in the province’s motto as the center of trade in the south. The first famous attraction in the list is called Hat Yai Cable Car.
You will get into the cable car and observe the beautiful views from above which you can see some portion of the city views from up there, including the magnificent Songkhla Lake. It is also the point where you will take the cable car pass Khao Ko Hong in which you are in between the mountain.
If you happen to come here in the morning, you will be able to see the sea of mists that cover the entire city of Hat Yai in 360 degrees view. You can also choose to come at night as you will get to see a night view of the Hat Yai city which is totally different from the day time. As you are here in Thailand, there will be a lot of holy Buddhist sites around Thailand and up here is no exception.
Phra Phutta Mongkol Maharat, Songkhla
You can pay respect to Phra Phutta Mongkol Maharat which is a golden Buddhist statue with a height of 19.9 meters and it is the highest statue with a bless-giving form in all of the southern region. You can also see statues of Brahma the Creator and Guan Yin.
Songkhla is also a city of many beaches. There are a lot of beaches with white sand and crystal-clear water, but the most famous and special beach of Songkhla is Samila Beach which is also mentioned in the province’s motto.
The symbol of this beach that you must see and take a picture is the golden mermaid, including other special characteristics such as the beautiful views and islands that shape like a cat and a mouse.
You can relax on the white sand and have some fun in the clear water which can ease your mind of all the tensions you might currently have. If you want to let loose a bit, you can participate in activities like banana boat, jet ski, and sailing.
There are even more recommended places apart from the places mentioned above. These places below are what the locals recommended themselves.
Songkhla Central Mosque
Apart from the holiness of Buddhism culture, there is also a mosque for Muslims as well. Klang Dinul Islam Mosque or Songkhla Central Mosque is very outstanding and beautiful among the city of Songkhla.
It is a fine building and has been fine tuned to the very little details which people even consider this mosque as the Taj Mahal of Thailand. In the night time, there will be lights on the building and it is a sight that you need to see. It is what makes the city of Songkhla even more beautiful than what it currently is in the afternoon.
Koh Yor (เกาะยอ)
This place is a special and magnificent island with amazing views! This island has also been awarded with the Village Tourism Award. Once you are here, there are many attractions you can go to on this island.
However, if you want to experience Thailand, you must experience the culture of the people that live here. You could also take a boat tour of the island to see it much quicker. If you want to stay here, there are homestays you can choose to stay in which some of them are even situated on the water.
This makes you able to experience both the culture and the abundant nature here at the same time!
Wat Lham Por (วัดแหลมพ้อ)
Another highlight of this island is Wat Lham Por which is an old temple of Songkhla. This place has the most beautiful and biggest sleeping Buddha statue in Thailand that situated beside the Songkhla’s sea. It has also become the important symbol of Koh Yor and you can see it from the bridge when you are crossing over.
Other places on this island you can visit is museums, temples, Sea Bass Farms, and souvenir shops which you can buy the famous Koh Yor fabrics with great details and craftsmanship.
Stainless Steel Chedi (เจดีย์สแตนเลส)
Last, you can take a visit to the Chedi that was built with stainless steel with a height of 32 meters. In fact, this is the first Chedi in Thailand that uses this material to build. It literally shines with radiance when the sun light shines upon it. The door of this place has eight holes that shape like a circle in which you can go inside and pay respect to the Buddha statue.
Other Interesting Infotamtion
The motto for Songkhla is “Lovely Water Birds, Peaceful Samila, The City with Two Seas, Charming Tin Bridge, and The Land of Business in the Southern Region”.
To get around Songkhla
You can use songthaews or minivans and motorcycle taxis which are quite cheap. However, you can expect the price to be doubled at night time.
There are various choices of hotel you can choose from budget hotel to luxury resorts which can be very expensive. For budget hotels, the price ranges from 150 to 1,000 baht per night and for luxury hotels, the price could go up to more than 10,000 baht per night. Enjoy your stay at Songkhla!