Songkhla is a border province in Southern Thailand, adjoining the state of Kedah in Malaysia. It has been known as a principal sea port and coastal trading post from time immemorial. As a historic town, Songkhla has inherited ancient ruins, arts, and places of cultural importance in addition to its unique tradition, dialect, and folk entertainment, a reflection of its rich cultural heritage for later generations to appreciate.
Songkhla has fine beaches, enchanting waterfalls, and a tranquil lake – a manifestation of its abundant natural resources. While Songkhla is noted for its fishery industry, Hat Yai, the major district of the province, serves as a transportation and communications hub of the South, with this bustling town linking with various destinations in the neighboring provinces and in Malaysia. Only 30 kilometers apart and with contrastive characteristics, Hat Yai and Songkhla can be ideal places for the tourist to visit: Hat Yai, a fast booming city in trade and business, while Songkhla remains a sleepy town still able to maintain its unique identity of ancient and historical flavors.
Lying approximately 2.5 kilometers from the municipal market, the beach is characterized by fine white sand and lined with shady pine trees. From Samila Beach one can see Laem Son Onn to the northeast and Chalathas Beach to the south. On a clear day, Kao Seng Hill can be seen further to the south.The major landmark of the beach is the Golden Mermaid statue, a prominent symbol of Songkhla.
Laem Son Onn
This is a promontory which lies northwest of Samila Beach. Hundred of pine trees line both sides of the road leading to Laem Son Onn. At the tip of the promontory is located the statue of Kromluang Chumphon Khate Udomsak, where the open view provides an ideal location for admiring the sunset and scenic beauty. Food stalls under the shade of pine trees offer a variety of delicious snacks and local dishes. From Laem Son Onn, Rat Island can be seen at its closest point.
Cat and Rat Island
These prominent marine landmarks facing Samila Beach and Laem Son Onn with rodent – like and feline shapes have been the symbol of Songkhla since ancient times. These islets’ coastal waters are favored by local anglers.
Kao Seng is a small fishing village 3 kilometers south of Samila Beach. Near the village is the National Institute of Coastal Marine Aquaculture and a Buddhist monk sanctuary. Kao Seng, the present name of the village, is a corruption of the name derived from the Thai word “Kao Saen”, refering to the nine hundred thousand Baht treasure and the rock is called Hua Nai Raeng.
Lying 100 meters behind the Samila Beach, this hillock is accessed by winding paved roads. At the foot of the hillock on the eastern side is a mini-park where food is sold to park goers and where tennis courts are available for the athletic-minded. On the northeastern side, there is a small topiary garden. The hilltop also contains a fitness park and the statue of Kromluang Lopburi Ramase. For nature advocates, a herd of wild monkeys roaming the slope freely is a sight to remember.
Recreational Garden (Suan Pa Prem) The garden is located on the shore near the head of the first section of Tinnasulanon Bridge (From Baan Nam Krachai to Koh Yo). This lakeside garden is filled with flowering and ornamental plants and provides shady and cool area for picnic. It also features a children’s playground.
The bridge is part of Highway 4146, linking Highway 407 (Hat Yai – Songkhla) and Highway 4083 (Songkhla – Ranode). It starts from the mainland side at Baan Nam Krachai, passing through Koh Yo, and is connected to Khao Khiao on the other side of the mainland. The bridge contains two sections. The first section links Amphoe Muang Songkhla at Baan Nam Krachai with the southern shore of Koh Yo island, 940 meters in length, excluding a tied beam of 100 meters at each end. The second section links the northern shore of Koh Yo island with Ban Khao Khiao on the mainland with a length of 1,700 meters, excluding a 225 meters tied beam.
Khu Khut Water Fowl Park
The park is located 3 kilometers off Highway 4083 at Moo 4, Tambon Khukhut, Amphoe Sathing Phra, 55 kilometers from Songkhla. The park has an area of 364 square kilometers. It is one of Songkhla Lake’s water fowl sanctuaries worth visiting and ideal for bird watching. According to a survey conducted by the Forestry Department, there are 44 families, 137 genuses, and 219 species of birds at the sanctuary. Boats can be hired for sight-seeing at a rate of 150 Baht per hour. The park is best visited during December to March when species of birds, both migratory and resident are in abundance. For further information, please call (074) 397042.
The beach is located 500 meters from the Sathing Phra District Office. The three kilometers long beach with crystal sand is serene and an enjoyable location for swimming. It is lined with pine trees, providing cool shade for relaxation.
The beach is about 53 kilometers from Songkhla on Asia 4 Highway. It is about 15 kilometers from Amphoe Chana and one kilometer off the main highway. Nearby is another beach called Haad Soi Sawan. These are ideal locations for camping and picnic. A small island across from the beach is Koh Khaam where fish abound and providing a good fishing site for anglers.
Songkhla Lake is the largest lake in Thailand covering extensive areas in Songkhla and Phatthalung province, The later some 80 kilometers from the estuary to the north. The width of the lake ranges between 20 to 25 kilometers. It is a fresh water lake except in the area close to the sea where the water is brackish. Numerous species of water plants and marine life are found in abundance in the lake.
Wat Tham Talord
The temple is located 25 kilometers from the District Office at Moo 6, Tambon Khao Daeng, Amphoe Sabayoi. The cave serves as a natural tunnel linking one side of hill with the other. Inside the cave are an ancient cement Buddha statue, approximately 100 reclining Buddha statues of varied sizes, and a statue of a 6 foot tall giant guarding the entrance of the cave. The cave provides cool shade and a relaxing atmosphere.
Roo Noksak Cave
The cave is located 14 kilometers from the District Office at Moo 4, Tambon Khooha, Amphoe Sabayoi. A crystal clear stream flows along the cave. Stalagmites and stalactites of various shapes and forms are most fascinating for visitors. Part of the 300 meters long cave is dark while the other is bright. Trekking through the cave is quite adventurous since trekkers have to climb some steep cliffs in order to complete the exciting journey.
Tone Nga Chang Waterfall
Waterfall is located in a wildlife reserve area 26 kilometers from Hat Yai. It can be reached by taking the Hat Yai – Rattaphum Road, turning left at the 13 kilometer milestone and going further for another 13 kilometers. Of all the seven cascades, the third one is the most fascinating, with the water falling into two large streams resembling an elephant’s tusks (Tone Nga Chang means “waterfall like an elephant’s tusks” in the local dialect). The water flows all year long. The area is also ideal for trekking and enjoying unspoiled nature.
Hat Yai City Municipality Park
The park is located 6 kilometers from Hat Yai city center on Kanchanavanit Road (Hat Yai – Songkhla). It is a recreational area for Hat Yai residents as well as other visitors. The park complex is decorated with beautiful flowering and ornamental plants. A pavilion was built jutting into a small man – made lake. A small size zoo and a bird park provide visitors with a glimpse of wild animals and various species of birds. At the foot of the hill near the bird’s park is a statue of King Rama V. On the hilltop is a shrine of the Hindu god Brahma. On the north side of the hilltop overlooking the scout camp is located a shrine of the Chinese goddess Kuan-Im
This waterfall is located in Amphoe Rattaphum on Highway 406 (Hat Yai – Satun) at Km. 34-35. A one kilometer road leads to the small and beautiful waterfall.
Located at No.189 Songkhla – Chana Road, Tambon Khao Roop Chang, Amphoe Muang, Songkhla, the open zoo houses a variety of animal species, domestic and foreign, ranging from camels, birds, red bulls, tigers, crocodiles, etc. The zoo serves not only as a place for viewing various species of wild animals, but also as an ideal bird’s eye view spot for admiring the scenic beauty of Songkhla. Food is available for visitors. For further information, please contact Tel. (074) 325037-8, 323649.
Khao Nam Khang National Park
The area in the park is covered with virgin forests where there are two waterfalls called Tone Dard Fah and Tone Lard Fah. The park can be accessed by two routes: 26 kilometers from Sadao and 31 kilometers from Nathawee on Nathawee – Baan Prakob Road.