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Danok / Hatyai / Songkla

5D 4N

Day 01 Danok Immigration Check Point (-)

Approximately 12.2km (25 mins) before Danok Immigration Check Point, just after Petronas Station, stop at any Thai Insurance outlets to prepare the Thai driving documents, to avoid refusal entry into Thailand. 

After completing all documentation at Thai Insurance outlet, drive further down to the Malaysian immigration clearance and the customs check. Next, it is a short drive to the Sadao border post on the Thai side. After screening tourist passport, approximately a 100 meters walk or drive is already Thailand.

Thai border Danok, has plenty to offer and is a destination worth considering for a short stay. The town itself is a cluster of sois joining the main road immediately after the Sadao immigration and customs checkpoint. The main road is Phetkasem Road, the longest highway in Thailand, running for more than 1,200 kilometres from the Malaysian border to Bangkok. The businesses in Dannok are mainly in three forms, the freight lorries carrying goods between Thailand and Malaysia, Malaysian tourists coming for a short break, either for shopping or partying and foreign nationals on Malaysian tourist visas, who comes to the border town to exit the country and then re-enter Malaysia for a further 30 days.

Dannok is a small but typical border town. There are variety of shops or market stalls with plenty of bargains but no large modern malls.

There are convenient stores, packed with various tempting snacks and dry foods that are considerably cheaper than south of the border.

Danok has a good selection of street food vendors. The streets are generally quiet until later afternoon, but then the main road and sois will be lined with vendors offering variety food.

Upon morning arrival at Danok Thai border check point, meet and greet our representative, pick up and transfer to hotel. Check in, refresh and relax. After a short relaxation, proceed for sightseeing in Danok.

Drive to the Good View Restaurant approximately 4km from the Thai south border, for an authentic tasty lunch at the waterfront. It's a floating restaurant, a table above the water of the little lake in a natural environment.The restaurant is an open concept, clean and has comfortable furniture. Ordered food is delivered by a little boat which takes the orders from the kitchen at the other side of the lake. The service is friendly and efficient. The menus are Morning glory, seafood bihun, Fried Kailan, Roasted pork, Song Tom (Papaya salad), Braised pork and Fried sambal petai prawn.

In 30 minutes on foot from the border is the Asian Cultural Village, an extensive area with attractions. One of the big attraction is the Dinosaur Park with its life-size replicas of prehistoric creatures, the Wulin Chinese Village, a park filled with models of pandas and a water fun park. After dark, a lot of the attractions are lit up in neon, making for lots of photo opportunities throughout the day. 

There’s a big choice of places offering Thai massage in Dannok, as in most Thai towns or cities. Massage parlors here are offering everything from a simple foot massage to a full body massage. It has quite a lot of nightlife to offer. 

There are two main areas for bars and clubs. The older establishments are on the sois near the border itself, and another area is towards the Asian Cultural Village. There’s plenty of choice whether you’re looking for just a relaxing drink a spot of karaoke or a more vibrant night clubs. 

There are enough things to do to make it worth a short stop if you’re making the journey from Malaysia to Thailand overland, or vise versa. After having a good body massage and dinner, walk back to hotel. Overnight in Danok.

Day 02 Danok/Hatyai City (B)

After breakfast, check out and proceed to Hatyai around 60km and approximately 45 mins to an hour away from Danok, a charming destination in Thailand that is comparable to the famous Bangkok, a shopping haven and a foodie's paradise that is also filled with its fair share of scenic green spaces and unique cultural experiences. Upon arriving Hatyai, transfer to hotel (subject to early check in).

After check in, drive to Samila Beach, approximately 34km, about 45 mins from Hatyai. It is a 3km stretch of white sand beach in the popular tourist town of Songkhla in Southern Thailand.

The Mermaid statue is the most famous feature at the busiest part of Samila Beach is the eastern end nearest Songkhla Town centre. In front of the famous mermaid statue is a long promenade ending in front of roundabout bearing the name ‘Samila Beach’. Lining the promenade are restaurants, shops and market stalls. At the beach end of the promenade is large concrete pavilion.

The history behind the mermaid statue is, it takes on the same pose as Mae Thoranee, the earth goddess, who appeared during the marathon length meditation session at the end of which the Lord Buddha achieved enlightenment. According to Buddhist scripture Mae Thoranee squeezed the water from her hair washing away the Demon God Mara and his army who were attempting to break the Lord Buddha’s concentration and thus stopped him attaining enlightenment.

Samila Beach is not a swimming or sunbathing beach. There are a lot of large ships in the bay and the water may not be that clean.The beach is somewhere people walk along or sit around. People also come to exercise, ride bicycles, and even horses, up and down the beach side promenade. Enjoy an ice cream, and a special jelly and fruit mix with coconut water, which is famous at the beach, sausage on a stick, and many more beach snacks!

The westward of the beach, the bay curves gently northwards for just under 3km with a wide border of pine trees all the way to far tip of the peninsular marking the end of the beach and opening of large river mouth linking the sea to the vast Songkhla Lake.

Another direction along Samila Beach brings you to another area with two more famous statues, the head of a mythological fire breathing serpent called a Naga, a three part sculpture with the body of the beast and its tail depicted in sculptures at points further down the coastline and the other major statue is of other Krom Luang Chumphon, also known as the Prince of Chumphon, who is credited with creating the modern Thai Navy particularly in shaping the way it was administered rather like Samuel Pepys in England.

Horse riding is also a popular activity on Samila Beach. There are lots of horses on Songkhla complete with keepers dressed as American cowboys for children’s activity. At 150 THB per person you get to ride a horse up and down the beach lead by the aforementioned cowboy attired keeper. Having your photograph taken on top of the horse costs 50 THB. The horses look very healthy and well groomed.

On the eastern  end of the beach is the cat and mouse statue, installed in 2000. There is a fiction history about a cat and a mouse turned into the two islands in the bay, named Cat Island (Koh Maeow) and and Mouse Island (Koh Nu).

After approximately 4 hours at Samila Beach, drive back to Hatyai city to explore the city's shopping centers the whole day, in between enjoy lunch and taste the varieties of food in Hatyai till the night markets crop up. Enjoy the bargains in the night market, have diner and transfer to hotel. Overnight in Hatyai.

Day 03 Danok/Hatyai (B)

After breakfast, proceed to Kim Yong Market, is the go-to pick for most locals and tourists, enjoy the quintessential Thai market experience. It is divided into several sections, take your time to explore each one of the areas as they specialize in different goods, such as food, clothing,  traditional Thai sweets, fabrics, herbs and spices, souvenirs, ware, handmade soaps, fresh produce, and the best one of all, and the Thai street food. Put your bargaining skills to the test for best deals from the vendors here.

Next, visit the HatYai Municipal Park, located in the heart of the city, which stretches across 200 acres on a hilltop, offering breathtaking views of the city and surrounding mountains, home to an abundance of lush greenery and beautiful botanical gardens, it is the perfect spot for nature lovers. Stroll leisurely, or try out any of the fun activities here, such as paddle boating, cycling, or hiking up trails that lead to scenic viewpoints. The highlight of the park is the Standing Buddha statue that has become a landmark of Hat Yai, standing at an impressive height of 20 meters. Take a cable car that brings you up to the top of the hill, and enjoy the panoramic views of HatYai.

Visit the Wat Hat Yai Nai, a stunning temple in HatYai, a marvel, and one of the largest reclining Buddha statues in Thailand is an impressive golden statue is 35 meters long and truly a sight to behold! It also houses several other statues, including a 3-headed elephant, a standing Buddha, and several other Buddha images, temple itself is a work of art. The temple has no walls, but features a massive traditional Thai roof and elaborate architecture. On the inside, a beautifully decorated main hall with intricate carvings and murals. It is a sacred site, so do come dressed appropriately!

Next, drive to the popular Khlong Hae Floating Market is another must-visit market in HatYai, a shopping along a canal, seems like a mini Bangkok. Vendors here sell variety of food, drinks, souvenirs, clothing, and other goods from their boats, making it a pretty unique experience for all tourists. The best part is the lively atmosphere created at the market with music and entertainment, making it a truly great place to soak up the local culture and flavours of southern Thailand. Enjoy all the local dishes available here such as Thai street food, noodles, fresh fruits and seafood. Enjoy the night at the floating market, have dinner and transfer to hotel. Overnight in Hatyai.

Day 04 Hatyai/Danok/Departure (B)

After breakfast, proceed for the last minute shopping at morning market at nearby vicinity till check out time. Later, check out and depart to Danok Immigration for onward destination. 

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