Songkhla of Songkhla

JOURNEY TO THE WEST edition (5 of 10)
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The Couple on the rented motorcycle.
It was an excellent decision to rent a motorcycle for 200 Bath per day. It allowed us to reach many places more freely and efficiently. This was also the first time I drove abroad. I did not find any trouble to drive here though, as Indonesians also drive on the left side. Besides, the drivers here seemed to obey the traffic rules more than in my country.

We were now heading to the capital of the Songkhla Province which was only about 20 km away from Hat Yai. Reaching the Chana Street, we parked the motorcycle right in front of the Phathammarong Museum where we took a tram tour around the city. The so-called Singora Tram Tour, runs five times daily at 09.00, 10.00, 11.00, 13.00, 14.00, and 15.00. The tour is basically free of charge but donation is much welcome. The tram passed many interesting places in Songkhla. Unfortunately, the narration was only in Thai language, so we didn't understand a word the guide said during this tour. Still, it is highly recommended for those who visit Songkhla for the first time to make Phathammarong Museum as the starting point and join this introduction tour.

The tram was parked in front of Phathammarong Museum.
Kristin was under the Phathammarong Museum's ground.
The tour was guided by two girls (one was driving the tram).
After the tour, we refilled our stomach which was starting to complain. Then we rode the motorbike back to the places passed by the tram before. We had learned how to get to those places from the previous tour. First, we visited a hill named Tang Kuan. We parked at shaded area downhill near big trees with many birds and monkeys around. We were amazed to see humans and animals live together peacefully here in Thailand. In Indonesia, we normally see young boys enjoy shooting flying birds and do other kinds of violence to animals. But living together with animals had its drawbacks too just like what happened to us. When we got back from the hill, we found the motorcycle got defecated by the birds and the things we put in the front container scattered on the ground by the wild monkeys. So travelers, please consider where you park and don't ever leave any luggage on your motorcycle. Still about parking, we did not pay a cent for parking neither in Hat Yai nor Songkhla. Even at tourist sites, there's no parking charge at all. How nice that was!

Tang Kuan Hill is accessible by a cable lift. It was 30 Bath for the return trip up and down the hill. The lift moved diagonally and very slowly. However it did not take so long because the hill was not very high. From the hilltop we could see beautiful scenery of Songkhla's lake and peninsula. There are also some old Buddha relics and interesting things like the big bell donation and love locks.

Many birds and monkeys were outside the Tang Kuan Hill Lift Station.
What a surroundings!
We're looking down from inside the cable lift.
View captured from Tang Kuan Hill.
A brilliant way to ask donation; people buy small bells and put them there.
When the case is full of the donated bells they will be re-cast to be a big bell
as this case and placed at this point.
Kristin in front of the love locks which attract many couples
to come and 'lock' their love here.
Another interesting object in Songkhla we saw earlier from the touring tram was "The Great Serpent Nag". It's basically a three-dragon's-body-section sculpture (the head, body, and tail) with the head and the tail are about 3 km apart, as if the dragon is half-buried underground. We now moved to see the dragon's head from near. The local government has provided a free wi-fi facility in the area for people to hang out there. We did not have a chance to test whether the internet worked well, we just took some pictures and then quickly went away because it's midday and extremely hot.

Finally, we did not miss a visit to the most famous attraction in Songkhla. It was Samila Beach where we could find some legendary statues like a cat, a rat, and a mermaid. We saw many foreign tourists (mostly Malaysians) also made a visit there. I'm sure there would be more people coming on weekends. And so it's a big opportunity for the local people to do a money-making here. Many of them were selling drinks, souvenirs, coconuts and other fruits. Some others rented out horses to ride around the beach. There was also an old lady running a matchmaking business there. Absolutely, we did not use the old lady's service. She did not seem to speak English anyway.
In front of the Songkhla Aquarium's entrance.
The head of the Great Serpeant "Nag" is a water spout
just like Merlion in Singapore.
The gate to the very popular Samila Beach.
The legendary cat and rat sculpture at Samila Beach.
Two small islands near the beach are named after them,
Ko Nu (Rat Island) and Ko Maeo (Cat Island).
The most famous icon of Songkhla, the golden mermaid, at Samila Beach.
The miniature was sold for 10 Bath only. So cheap, isn't it?
As the sun was setting down, we decided to leave Songkhla and take a rest before exploring Hat Yai again at night. But before leaving the capital city, we had an opportunity to see the Tinsulanond Bridge, the longest concrete bridge in Thailand. The bridge would take us to Ko Yo, a small island in the Songkhla Lake, which is another important tourist attraction. But we did not go through it. We were satisfied enough by looking at the bridge when the sun was about to set.

A nice park near to the Tinsulanond Bridge
but sadly it was not well-maintained.
Tinsulanond Bridge
We took a different road back to Hat Yai where we spotted a big mosque.
This was the biggest we ever saw in Thailand.

4 comments:

  1. Whether you are an experienced motorcycle tourer or just wish to experience the glorious freedom of riding a motorbike, this tour is ideal for you. Overview of our tours.bigbiketours.net booking

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  2. Experience Thai cooking the way it is supposed to taste.Thailand motorcycle tours

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  3. Hi, may I know where you rent your scooter in Hat Yai? I am traveling to Hat Yai next month, I plan to rent a scooter to explore Hat Yai and Songkla.. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Adam, we rented a scooter from a guesthouse called Cathay Guesthouse (93/1 Niphat Uthit 2 Road)

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