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What to eat in Hatyai (Cheap and Good!) - Local's favourite

What to eat in Hatyai (Cheap and Good!) - Local's favourite

Hatyai is always a popular short getaway destination for Malaysians especially Penangites for its close distance. The journey from Penang to Hatyai takes approximately 4 hours depending on the crowd at the immigration. The queue at the immigration could take up to as long as 2-3 hours hence it would be not be very advisable to visit Hatyai during festive holidays (unless you don't mind the massive jam). The best way to travel in Hatyai would be by car, rented van or local tuk tuk.

During my recent visit to Hatyai, I got to sample some good and really cheap authentic local food, which is not known by tourists (yet). Here are the 8 places that you should definitely try out when you are in Hatyai next time!

* Please take note I do not have names for the restaurants as they are all in Thai (because they are local spots!), hence I will provide landmarks nearby, along with Google Map coordination or link to assist you.


1. Pad Thai (Thai stir fried noodles), Suki (Thai tang hoon) & Pad Si Ew (Wok stir fried hor fun)

Our first food stop was right after clearing custom at Sadao Immigration. For those who are already starving during the long journey, this is a good place to stop for a quick meal. Follow along the road and look for a big yellow tyre shop called Cockpit on your left. Turn into the street right before Cockpit and you will see a small eatery on your right. Opposite the shop is a sheltered hut for customers to dine in. We ordered 3 noodle dishes to share and I enjoyed the Suki (Thai tang soon) the most for its tanginess and spiciness.

Suki - Thai style tang hoon

Pad Si Ew - Wok stir fried hor fun

Pad thai in tang hoon

A simple, no frail cafe

A dining hut is located opposite the cafe

The cockpit tyre shop to look for

Total expenses: THB 150

Landmark: Cockpit SV Autotire

Address: Samna Kham, Sadao District, Songkhla 90320, Thailand.

Google map coordination: 6.539702, 100.415217 (approximate)

Business hours: Opens from 8AM till noon


2. Thai style pork koay chiap & Basil chicken rice

I bet you wouldn't even notice this place if I didn't tell you. This place is easily unnoticed as it is located in a very narrow lane. Again, I do not have the name of the place as I don't understand Thai but I could give you a simple direction to find this place.

It is situated opposite Hatyai Hospital and right beside Watson (on the left if you are facing Watson). When you see a narrow lane with a blue sign that seemingly leads to no where, that's the place you are looking for. Who would have expected to find good food there?!

Thai pork koay chiap

Basil minced chicken rice

See how narrow this lane is!?

"An arm's length"

The shop is right beside this Watson store (on the left if facing Watson)

Opposite view - Hatyai hospital

Total expenses: THB70

Location link: https://goo.gl/maps/PUxV85sgrpP2


3. Thai 'zhu char'

"Zhu char" is a hokkien term which means a Chinese stall (usually non air-conditioned) that provides a wide variety of affordable home cooked dishes that go along with rice. Here in Hatyai, we found a really good Thai style "zhu char", every dish we ordered were delicious! This place is popular among the locals based on the queue that was formed during dinner hours. And the price is really affordable! 5 delicious dishes for only THB400, wow!

Seafood Kaeng Som : Thai sour curry with sea coconut

I really love this dish and it's really spicy!

Two kinds deep fried pork is their signature dish - must order! This is so good! 

Braised bean curd with minced pork

Stir fried mixed mushrooms

Stir fried vegetables with eggs

The facade of the restaurant

Opposite view - near to Fourth 4th Cafe and New Season Hotel

Total expenses: THB 400

Location link: https://goo.gl/maps/6wfXf6Ni3m82

Business hours: 4PM - 9PM (closed on Sunday)


4. Pork leg rice & Chicken rice @ Kim Yong Market

Kim Yong Market is popular among the locals as well as tourists. After an early morning prayer (6:30AM) at Kim Yong Market, we proceeded to one of the coffee shops to have our breakfast. If you are an early and would like to have pork leg rice or chicken rice as your breakfast, this is one of the good options.

Pork leg rice

Chicken rice

Facade of the stall

Total expenses: THB 100 (THB50 each)

Location link: https://goo.gl/maps/PomKHZtLqNN2


5. Thai style 'koay teow'

One of my favourite during the entire trip! We tried both dry and soup koay teow and definitely loved it! Other than its hearty portion, the pork broth that comes along with the dry koay teow was sweet and tasty, the tom yam soup koay teow was delicious as well. You also have the option to add on duck egg to your noodles or get a packet of those pork skin and dip in the soup. Sinful I know but so good! Highly recommended!

Thai tom yam koay teow soup with duck egg

Dry koay teow and pork soup

Deep fried pork skin - sinful but yummy!

Facade of the coffee shop

Nearest landmark : Haadyai Village Apartment

Total expenses: THB 125

Location link: https://goo.gl/maps/gY2S9QbY6uy

Business hours: 7AM - 5PM daily (come earlier as they tend to sell out around 3-4PM)


6. Roast pork rice

I name this the 'power' roast pork. The fragrance and crispiness of the roast pork skin make you ask for more! If you love roast pork / siu yuk, look no further! I also like the accompanied sweet sauce which adds a little tanginess to the whole dish. Their char siew was ordinary and nothing to shout about but I'd definitely go back for its roast pork! Make sure you come early before it is sold out usually around 3-4pm.

Facade of the coffee shop

Opposite landmark: Jinarakorn Stadium

Total expenses: THB320 (portion for 4 pax)

Nearby landmark: Opposite Jinarakorn Stadium

Location link: https://goo.gl/maps/WAom9uK1jTF2


7. Pork Satay

Pork satay is considered as a luxury to us Malaysians because due to religion reasons, pork satay is not common in Malaysia. We happened to discover a stall selling good pork satay along a street near to 'Hatyai Green View Hotel'. Locating the stall was a little tricky for us but as long as you follow along 'Sangsri Rd' and find a clothing shop called 'Get Young', the satay stall is just in front of it.

Opposite view

Price: THB10 per stick

Location link: https://goo.gl/maps/anApjy69FzJ2

Business hours: 12 - 6PM daily


8. Mookata buffet @ Rim Rua Kratha Ron Restaurant

Mookata is a known as "Thai hot pot" which resembles a combination of Korean BBQ and Chinese hot pot. The center of the pot protudes which enables the meat to be grilled on top while other ingredients like fish balls or vegetables are cooked in soup. This dining concept is also getting popular throughout Malaysia and Singapore.

The experience of Mookata buffet in Hatyai was indeed an eye opener. Other than having a huge selection of meat and seafood at the buffet line, the dining space could take up to 450 tables! Most importantly, it was only priced at THB289 per person. This is definitely a heaven for big eaters and Mookata lovers. Of course, wastage of food is not encouraged and there is a fine for every 100gram of food not finished so make sure you only take what you can finish. This restaurant is also located near to the famous tourist spot, Wine Village hence it often becomes a dinner place for those who visited Wine Village during the day.

Rim Rua Kratha Ron Restaurant

Address: 569, Supasarnrangsan Road, Amphoe Hatyai, Chang Wat Songkhla 90110, Thailand.

Location link: https://goo.gl/maps/BMLxXn4nqkp

Business hours: 4PM - 12AM daily

Price: THB 289 per person


Check out my 'Hatyai Food Journey' video below!


Accommodation in Hatyai : BR Grand Hotel

  • Relatively new hotel
  • Quiet yet strategic location - not far from where all the actions take place yet remain peaceful with its neighbourhood
  • Decent and clean hotel with very affordable prices
  • Suitable for family or travellers with kids

Till next time~

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