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Songkhla

Travel Guide Asia Thailand Songkhla

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Introduction

Songkhla is the provincial capital of Songkhla Province in southern Thailand. Located about 30 kilometres from Hat Yai, it is a quiet seaside resort. The town in on a peninsula surrounded by beaches, the most famous being Samila.

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Sights and Activities

  • Wat Matchimawat - Wat Matchimawat (Wat Khlang) is a large temple and the most important in Songkhla. Address: Sai Buri Road
  • Songkhla’s City Pillar - Songkhla’s City Pillar is a Chinese style shrine. Address: Nang Ngam Road
  • Songkhla National Museum - The Songkhla National Museum is open from Wednesday to Sunday Address: Chana Road., Price: 150 Bt
  • Mermaid statue & Samila Beach - The golden mermaid is the symbol of Songkhla, and is located near the Samilla hotel. East of this statue are the cat and rat sculptures. Samila Beach is nice to walk along, edged by casuarina trees.

Take a free city tour by tram. This leaves 6 times a day at 9:00,10:00 and 11:00am and 1:00, 2:00 and 3:00pm from the old city wall/museum. It takes about 45 minutes.

  • Walk around the old city. There are basically 3 streets, Thanon Nakhon Nork, Thanon Nakhon Nai and Thanon Nang Ngam. Some interesting architecture and a few temples and wats.
  • See the dragon or great serpent Nag. It's in 3 places - the serpent's head at Laem Son Orn, Suan Song Tale, the navel at Lan Chom Doaw, Sabua Laem Samila, and the tail in the area of Samila Beach, Chalathat Road.
  • Go to Tang Kuan Hill (monkey mountain) and take the lift to the top, 30 Baht. Great views over Songkhla.
  • Walk along the river from the serpent head at Laem Son Orn.

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Weather

Songkhla has a hot and humid tropical climate. Daytime temperatures are mostly around 30 °C or a little higher, while nights are mostly around 24 °C. The average annual precipitation is about 2,000 mm with almost half of that falling from late October to December.

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Getting There

By Bus

Big bus, vans and songthaews from Hat Yai. Can catch them from the clock tower. The Transport Company has many buses to/from Bangkok, while there are also connections to/from Chumphon, Nakhon Si Thammarat and Surat Thani.

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Getting Around

By Public Transport

Free tour of the city by tram. Leaves from the old wall/museum, 6x a day, on the hour.

By Foot

Songkhla is small enough to walk around.

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Eat

Thanon Si Suda has many bars. There are also several eating places, both Thai and Western, as well as a couple of coffee shops and bakers.
Night food-market on Friday and Saturday in the centre of town with many food stalls.

  • Mudmee Restaurant - Set back in an alley opposite Singora Hotel. Great food including Isaan food. Address: Thanon Sai Ngam, Hours: 09.00-22.00
  • Bunchu Restaurant - Variety of Thai dishes at reasonable prices. Address: Thanon Sai Ngam

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Drink

Thanon Si Suda has many bars.

  • Corner Bier - Small friendly bar run by an expat, popular with bikers. Address: Thanon Sai Ngam / Thanon Si Suda
  • Buzz Stop Irish Bar - Irish bar, open all day and does all day breakfast. Address: Thanon Si Suda
  • Potato Bar - Address: Thanon Si Suda
  • Victory Bar - Address: Thanon Si Suda
  • VRSO (Aunties) - Address: Thanon Si Suda

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Keep Connected

Internet

There are countless internet bars across the country in big and small towns. Internet cafés are widespread and most are inexpensive. Prices as low as 15 baht/hour are commonplace, and speed of connection is generally reasonable, but many cafes close at midnight. Higher prices prevail in major package-tourist destinations (60 baht/hour is typical, 120 baht/hour is not unusual). Keyloggers are all too often installed on the computers in cheap cafes, so be on your guard if using online banking, stock broking or even PayPal. Remember that in the smaller towns and more traditional areas the owners and staff of internet bars prefer if customers take off their shoes at the entrance and leave them outside. This might seem strange although this gesture goes a far way to make friends and give a positive image of foreigners to Thai people.

Outside the most competitive tourist areas, free Wi-Fi is not as common as in neighbouring countries in many budget hotels and guesthouses and they may charge small fee for Internet by LAN or Wi-Fi even if you bring your own laptop. Wi-Fi is commonly available in cafes and restaurants serving Westerners.

Phone

See also: International Telephone Calls

The international code for Thailand is 66. 999 connects to all emergency services. Standard GSM emergency number 112 is supported in mobile networks. 911 for Tourist Police Department, English available.

For mobile phone users, Thailand has three GSM mobile service providers - AIS, DTAC and Truemove - which may be useful if you have a mobile phone that will work on either one or both of the GSM 900 or 1800 frequency bands (consult your phone's technical specifications). If you have one, you can buy a prepaid SIM card for any of the Thai carriers in any convenience store for as little as 50-200 baht and charge it up as you go. Using your own mobile phone while on holiday with a Thai pre-paid SIM card can save a lot of money and lets you give your number to family back home, so they can have an emergency contact number.

Post

Thailand Post is the Thai postal service that deals with all local and international mail in Thailand. The business is operated from local post offices. Post offices are easy to recognise with their red white and blue motifs and the words 'Thailand Post' in English and Thai above the entrance. They are open from Monday to Saturday, usually 8:30am to 4:30pm (main ones until around 8:00pm), though keeping shorter hours on Saturdays (usually until 1:00pm). They are generally closed on Sundays and Public Holidays. Each post office offers a comprehensive service which includes an Express Mail Service (EMS) and parcel post. They also have a price calculator for letters, postcards and parcels, both domestically as well as internationally. They also have a track and trace system and money transfer services. If you want to send packages, it might be a good idea to check with private courier companies like DHL, TNT or UPS, as they are fast, reliable and generally quite competitively priced.

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This is version 39. Last edited at 10:58 on Nov 5, 13 by Utrecht. 2 articles link to this page.

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