Downtown Hat Yai Thailand

View of Hat Yai Thailand

I attended a Western/Thai wedding in the most famous of local Hat Yai malls. The top levels contained a fancy hotel with banquet hall. Replete with all amenities.

I took these photos from the upper pool level. I gazed out upon the city, snapping memories, while everyone else swam.

Hat Yai looks more populated than it actually is. At only about 150,000 people, Hat Yai is only slightly larger than Victoria BC , Canada – a very quiet, sleepy town.

Hat Yai (Had Yai, Haad Yai) does not sleep, ever.

 View From Central Mall Hat YaiAtop Central Mall Hat Yai Thailand

Hat Yai, named after the mahat yai (a fruit tree), was a small village until the train came through. This turned the community into an industrial centre by the early 1970’s.

As a city, it is more residential-ly multicultural than the rest of Thailand. It has a larger settlement of Chinese, and Malay-Muslim persons than anywhere in the central or northern regions. This is often the cause of strife.

I did spend one night cowering alone in my home, listening to the surreal sounds of bombs going off just a few blocks away.

The violence affected my daily life, it didn’t go unnoticed. At one point the Thai Canadian Consulate came to my school to check on me, after a bombing incident – another story for later.

Local Water Buffalo

Hat Yai is the fourth largest metropolitan city in Thailand behind Bangkok, Nonthaburi and Pak Kret. But that doesn’t mean you won’t find signs of Thai style ranching or farming – right downtown.

My host home was one block off of a major roadway, where I took the below photo. The cattle were coming from the direction of highway.

Thai Cattle

I never did get used to the cultural differences between this part of Asia and my home in northern North America, but I certainly always appreciated them. It doesn’t take much to fascinate this farrang!

You can follow this trip by heading to the ‘Living In Thailand‘ section, or you can enjoy many more photos of Thailand by heading to the Habitual Runaway on Facebook.

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