Our journey from Hat Yai International Airport to Songkhla – May 2017
Hat Yai International Airport is a small and friendly airport. Our Air Asia flight arrived on time 17:25 and getting out was quick and easy. This was our first time to Hat Yai. With a bit of research we found that the taxi from the airport to Clock Tower would be around 300฿ or to Songkhla around 800฿. But someone had also vaguely mentioned about a blue and a black songthaew plying from the airport to Clock Tower. As the Clock Tower is a central place it would not be difficult to find a taxi (around 500฿) or a songthaew to Songkhla. This was good enough information for us first-timers.
As we walked through the departure hall we were quoted 680฿ to Songkhla. That was a good price but we wanted to find out more about the songthaew. We politely declined and walked straight through the parking lot (don’t turn right or left just walk straight to the far end of the parking lot) by the road side. Just then a blue and white songthaew just pulled in. It was going to the Clock Tower. We jumped on, 30฿ per person plus 10฿ each for luggage. It waited till it was packed 10 people in and two standing with bags and suitcases. If you dont see a songthaew we suggest wait for a few minutes, it will come.
The locals are very friendly and told us there was an AirCon White Van from the Clock Tower to Songkhla for 30฿ per person and they also guided us to the Songkhla van pick-up point. We were chuffed as everything was going so smoothly. Our journey from the Airport to Clock Tower was around 45 minutes.
We were in luck, the songthaew dropped us right next to the white Van. People were already in. It took off as soon as we got in. It was such a joy sitting in the coolness. The cost for this journey was listed in front 34฿ per person.
Everything was perfect till we realised none of the passengers understood English. Our hotel map and address was in English (how silly of us). It was already late and dark. Thanks to the AIS data sim card I had got in Chiang Mai. With the help of google maps and sign language we were able to communicate. We got help from a young girl who recognised our road. She dropped us off at the junction and also arranged for two motor bikes, instructed them where to take us. Then she jumped into the van again and took off. Yes the van driver waited till she could sort us out. We could not thank the girl or the van driver enough.
A note to ourselves: Remember to print an extra copy of the address and directions in their countries language.
The motor bike took 20฿ each for a 3 minutes ride and dropped us right in front of our hotel, Club Tree Hotel.
In total we paid 188฿ for the two of us from the Hat Yai International Airport to our hotel in Songkhla. It probably took us around 40 minutes longer than a private taxi. Travelling like a local from Hat Yai Airport to Songkhla is not only easy and cheap but was fun and we experienced a lot of kindness from the locals.
What we think: If you’re arriving in the evening and you are a first time traveler in the area like us then we suggest taking a taxi. But otherwise we recommend travelling like a local and have the full experience.
What do you think, what was your experience… we would love to know in the comments below.