Impulsive Getaway: Hat Yai, Thailand.

Two weeks ago I mentioned that my friends and I loved taking impromptu trips. At one point we ended up in, Thailand. Today, I have decided to expose everything about our ‘Hat Yai Impulsive Getaway’.

Look, here’s the thing…our initial plan was to go food-hunting and sightseeing in Pahang during the Labour Day long weekend. We packed our hiking gear and were ready to leave KL at midnight with the intention to watch the sunrise on Bukit Panorama.

However, when three fickle minded people get together, it is a bit hard for things to go as planned. So BAMMMMM the road trip to Hat Yai was decided only two hours before we started the journey.

#throwback

From: Setia Alam, Malaysia

To: Hat Yai, Thailand

Date: 29 April 2017

ETD: 4:00AM

ETA: 3:00PM

 

We arrived in Hat Yai city late that afternoon and thankfully we managed to get a room at Kosit Hotel despite the busy Labour Day long weekend. After checking-in, we took a short break to freshen up before we headed out to the Khlong Hae Floating Market which was an approximate 20 minute journey by car.

After the floating market, we went back to our hotel area and took a stroll along the night streets where there was a festival of food and dance. It was a sight to see. That night I got to experience the wonders of THE famous Thai 7-Eleven which got me smiling from ear to ear, because Malaysia’s 7-E is nothing compare to what I saw in Thailand.

The next morning, I had one of the best breakfasts in my entire life which was only walking distance from our hotel. After our heart-warming breakfast, these three happy tummies bought ourselves new sunnies and some freshly cut fruits and we were all set for Songkhla (approximately 45 minutes from Hat Yai).

In Songkhla, there is a Golden Mermaid Statue which was sculpted based on a saga.  Once upon a starry night, there was a beautiful mermaid who combed her hair with a golden comb on the beach. However, she was frightened away by a young fisherman who was smitten by her beauty. He wanted to return her comb to her so he waited every day for her return, but she never came back.
(http://mermaidsofearth.com/mermaid-statues-mermaid-sculptures/public/the-golden-mermaid-statue-in-songkhla-thailand/).

Did I mention…I only had RM180 with me for this whole 2-night trip? Minus the hotel room and my daily food intake, I had less than RM100 with me. Do you know how depressed I felt when we arrived at the Asean Trade Bazaar??????? Food, snacks, drinks, clothes, skirts, bags, shoes, jeans, accessories. You name it! Everything was there! Nevertheless, with that tight budget of mine, I still managed to get myself a decent portion of sticky rice with fried chicken, one nice top and one palazzo pants. BOOYAAA!!! *do the doodle dance*

We spent more than 4 hours in that place, from one aisle to the other until our legs gave up on us. Since it was our last night in Hat Yai, I thought of giving my legs a massage treat with the remaining cash I had. To our surprise, Bell and I got ourselves a great bargain (since we were the last customers I guess) – RM35 full body massage each!

Frankly speaking, I am not the type of person who would gamble traveling to a foreign place without having my accommodation pre-booked as well as a limited budget but this time I took a chance and WHAT A TRIP THAT WAS!! Mind you, because we were entering Thailand via the Danok Immigration, the queue was too long, too long that I almost gave up and made a U-turn. However, I had to bear in mind that I came all the way with two other friends and we’ve come all the way, the least I could do is be patient and to remain sane.

All in all, this is by far the most impulsive and mind-opening trip I have ever experienced. I would love to explore more parts of Thailand for the food and scenery. On the other hand, I don’t think I would ever want to drive from KL and go through that three hours wait at the Danok Immigration ever again.

 Khlong Hae Floating Market. Gossshhhhhhh it’s like I stepped into food heaven. I could tell my eyes were sparkling the whole time, from one boat to another.

Mmmmm foodddd 😍😘😋

Songkhla. Upon arrival. First things first. Coconut Ice Cream. ☑️

The Golden Mermaid Statue. I have a half-Thai friend who told me that there was a myth following this statue. Supposedly, if you touch the statue, the mermaid’s spirit would follow you around. Don’t worry I haven’t got any fishermen trying to return a comb to me until now.

Asean Trade Bazaar.

Danok Immigration. For first timers like me, this is where your patience will be tested. 

Just a heads-up:

  1. If you are planning to drive into Thailand with your Malaysian car, you can organise your car entrance permit and insurance at the RTC building in Kedah. Compulsory: car grant letter, passport, IC, Driver’s licence and an authorisation letter from the car owner (if you are not the owner/the owner is not travelling together).
  2. At the Danok Immigration, please park your car at any available spots before the immigration booths. You are required to line up individually to get your passport and car entrance permit stamped (This was where my patience was tested for 3 hours). Do not get too intimidated by the strict-looking immigration officers, just continue to be polite and things will be fine. Plus, there are plenty of experienced Malaysians that would help you out, you just have to ask around, “What do I have to do? Where do I go? Is this the right lane?”

 

Stay tuned as Doya explores many more hidden gems around Malaysia (and if I’m lucky, than outside of Malaysia!) but for now, Annyeonggg~

 

4 hours in Malacca..

My two good friends and I have a habit of taking impromptu trips around KL (which always leads to areas outside KL). Our impromptu-ness once led us to Hatyai, Thailand.

However, this time we departed from KL at around 7pm on a Saturday night and ended up at THE famous Jonker Street Night Market in Malacca approximately two hours later.

MISSION: To hunt down for good food and coffee to wheedle our hungry bellies (because we only had some fruit loaf, Bahulu and plain water along the way..)!

As three hungry zombies, we strolled along the busy night market, we arrived at a beautiful hidden gem called ‘The Calanthe Art Cafe’ which was tucked deep in one of the alleys.

Breathtakingly Cool. Pretty. Relaxing. Nature-friendly. Artsy Fartsy. And of course it had the Hipster vibe to it.

Interior.

Coffee Butter Chicken Rice. All in one, the name itself, got me like “Aaahhh exactly what my tummy needs!” 

3 out of their 13 States Coffees.


Hafidz, Bell and I. Enjoying good food with good company surrounded by good ambience, what more can I ask for?

Unfortunately, we arrived in Malacca after 9pm and by the time we finished our meals at Calanthe it was already 11pm. We didn’t have much time to explore other cafes due to all the eye-catching street food and accessories displayed along the Jonker Street Night Market (which closes at 12am)..

However, The Calanthe Art Cafe deserves a thumbs-up. I would definitely give this place a 9 out of 10 for their looks, service, creativity in menu as well as their affordable price range. It’s a cafe that I will definitely visit again to try out other items on their menu! As my BFF/guide, Miss BellPolar would say, “It’s a must for me to come here every time I’m in Malacca”

Just a heads-up: 

  1. It is RM19.50 (one way) by car from Shah Alam to the Ayer Keroh (for Bandaraya Melaka) exit via the PLUS highway. Since this highway is now fully Touch n Go/Smart Tags operated only, please don’t forget to top up your cards for the return journey in case there are NO “tambah nilai” lanes available (Can you tell we had troubles looking for places to top-up our card at 3am on a Sunday morning? Hence this tip!) . 
  2. Though there might be a thin chance you could get a parking on the road sides, we wanted to have a “peaceful mind” (plus we were superrr hungry) while walking around the night market, therefore we paid RM10 per entry (for Saturdays) on the available paid parking spaces near the Jonker Street Night Market. 

Stay tuned as Doya explores many more hidden gems around Malaysia but for now, Annyeonggg~