Category Archives: Thailand

I had to put up with a 13-hour bumpy train ride on KTM’s Senandung Langkawi from Malaysia to Thailand. It was almost impossible to sleep.

A Hatyai Escape: When Floating Market Fails to Excite

The first post on my Hatyai adventure with Catea can be read here.

At Hatyai, crazy Catea and I got all excited seeing Thai words everywhere. It was totally a pleasant smell of freedom!

We got excited over every little thing – even their mineral water bottle because it was simply exotic. We insisted on bringing it home so that we could show it off but in the end I bought so many stuff that I had little space left for the bottle and had to throw it away %#*&%$!

The epic bottle that looks like our battery water filler bottle deserves some recognition, and hence…

Hatyai Floating Market

Hatyai Floating Market

Totally noob and wuliao I know but whatever.

Saw what looked like Bak Kua which was sold (barbeque/dried pork) at only 35 Baht (RM3.50) per packet so I bought it without hesitation.

Hatyai Floating Market

The taste was just meh and the meat too hard to chew. To be honest, I had and still have no idea what it was actually made of but I always imagined it to be the skin of snakes whenever I chewed on it! HAHA.

The Thais really know how to live their life. A simple house like below can have its own garden too!

Hatyai Floating Market

Like I’ve mentioned in the first post, we visited the Idea Market at Lee Garden Plaza where Catea bought some handmade shoes.

Later that evening we took a tuk-tuk to the Klonghae Floating Market. The Hatyai variation of tuk-tuk is totally different from and an upgraded version of Cambodia‘s.

Hatyai Floating Market

By tuk-tuk it was actually a mini truck with a shelter behind.

The uncle wanted to charge us RM50 for a round trip to the floating market but after bargaining with him to death he finally agreed to take only RM35. Teehee!

That made me feel like a terrible tourist.

Just in case you’re wondering how we communicated with the Thais, there are actually heaps of Thai-Chinese there who, even to this day are well-convesed in Hokkien, so there were no problems for us. Even the native Thais in Hatyai could speak some Hokkien to my utmost surprise!

Irregardless, our beauty in the photo below does know how to speak some Thai.

Hatyai Floating Market

When we got down at the Padang Besar custom and immigration checkpoint earlier that day for passport stamping, she was chatting away in Thai with some lady and I just gawked at them dumfounded like Ah Ngong.




Catea said once she went to A’Famosa at Malacca and beside her were two performers of Thai nationality who were having a conversation that went like:

Thai Guy: Suay mai? (“Do you think she’s pretty?”) *Referring to Catea*

Thai Girl: Mai suay! (“Not pretty!”)

At that instant Catea felt the urge to confront them upright and ask, “OOI, WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY NOT PRETTY???”

AHAHHAHHAHAHAHAHA!! You say siao or not this chick?

Upon arriving at the floating market, the uncle was kind enough to warn us of the approaching rain. From underneath the seat of the tuk-tuk, he then pulled out an umbrella and handed it to us, wanting us to take it just in case it rained.

Suddenly I was overwhelmed with a sense of guilt for bargaining so much with him. :(


Hatyai Floating Market

Big chunks of pork satay being sold at the entrance to the floating market for only RM1.50 per stick. Not exactly cheap for Hatyai standards but nevertheless still cheap for us Malaysians!

This is how the floating market looks like:

Hatyai Floating Market

Hatyai Floating Market

It started raining as we reached the platform where local Thai boat traders sold things to tourists.

The heavy rain had pretty much ruined the experience of sightseeing and eating at the market. Maybe it was a blessing in disguise because the crowds were not as heavy.

At the platform, just tell them what you want and they will pass you the item using a long bamboo stick.

Hatyai Floating Market

An assortment of drinks were sold at 20 Baht (RM2) per cup and if you pay 5 Baht extra, you get to enjoy your drink served in a clay mug of any design, which you can take home!

Hatyai Thailand

Fried bird eggs served in a banana leaf boat. Can’t remember how much it cost but price was certainly reasonable.

Hatyai Thailand

One thing I didn’t like about it though, was that they dripped some Maggi seasoning onto the bird eggs. Not that it didn’t taste nice, but I was expecting something more “local” than “glocal”.

Another instance of glocalisation at the Klonghae Floating Market, which I wished would cease to exist:

Hatyai Floating Market


I don’t know if I’m selfish to hope for “preservation” of local culture in a highly commercial place like this but sometimes you just don’t wish to see the same old stuff you can get in your own home country, overseas.

Anyway the rain turned heavy at one point and we had to wait at a shelter atop the canal while waiting for it to subside.

Then I noticed these cute Thai siblings:

Hatyai Thailand

Attempted to take an artsy photo but failed miserably. Le sigh.

Apart from the floating market, there were also stalls near the canal selling all sorts of stuff ranging from delicious-looking foods to fashion accessories to clothes and to plants!

Notice our beauty queen in a grey T below drooling over the food? HAHAHA.

Hatyai Thailand

We later came across a stall that sold exotic plants so I bought one of these home:

Hatyai Floating Market

Cost me freaking RM6 leh!

Thai version of “muachi”:

Hatyai Floating Market

Looks like it’s made of steamed rice and coated with sesame seeds.

The night was still young after we got back from the floating market. After refreshing at our guest house, we decided we had not had enough fun and found ourselves looking desperately for a night market to hang out. Will reveal which night market we headed to in the next post.

We were kinda craving some beer after eating so much at the floating market (crazy Catea ate so much more). So before taking off to the night market we headed to Robinson beside our guest house to buy some beer.

Catea and I keisi-ly told the cashier no need plastic bag, and so we went ahead to open our beer bottle at their fridge, and drank away immediately. We and our beer in the tuk-tuk as we were heading to the night market.

Hatyai Floating Market

Hatyai Floating Market

Alright, post ends here. Third post coming in a few days, so make sure you check back!

A Hatyai Escape: Land of Guaranteed Smiles

So Crazy Catea (a.k.a. the greatest travel companion) and I sneaked away to the land of smiles – Hatyai, to be specific – over the weekend.

For this first trip of ours, we had to put up with a 13-hour bumpy train ride on KTM’s Senandung Langkawi, which was impossible to sleep comfortably but a highly recommended experience nevertheless.

See the “compartments” in the sleeping class:

Hatyai Thailand

Well, not luxurious but what you pay is what you get right? RM60 (or RM54 if you opted for the upper berth) per person to me is rather reasonable.

Train departed from KL Sentral at 9.20pm and we were supposed to reach Hatyai the next morning at 10.30am.

One advantage of traveling by train is that you don’t have to deal with traffic hassle, unless you travel overnight by bus.

On our way back to Malaysia by bus, we we trapped in the traffic jam for 3 FREAKING HOURS MORE because everyone was hurrying back to Kuala Lumpur towards the end of the Hari Raya Haji day.

Anyway, back to the train…

Wanna know the width of the sleeping berth?

Hatyai Thailand The Land of Guaranteed Smiles

About my height.

So my feet chun-chun kena the barrier lor. After putting my luggage I practically had no leg space left.

I can’t imagine a person over 185cm tall sleeping in a berth like that.

Hatyai Thailand

The lower berth comes with a bigger window and part of it can be pulled open to about 40 degrees. That would make the berth more airy compared to the upper one.

Being a kiasu Cina, I printed out three copies of the train tickets and the ticket checker went like, “Kenapa print banyak-banyak?”

And I said, “Two copies (by two copies, my original intention was to give Catea one, which I never did) without the bar code and another copy with the bar code.”

And the ticket checker’s reaction to that was WTF.

Hatyai Thailand The Land of Guaranteed Smiles

Woke up in the middle of the night to the this sight…




Hatyai Thailand



It was Catea’s hair strands.

I woke up at 7 or so the next morning to be greeted with these amazing sceneries of the paddy fields in Kedah:

Hatyai Thailand

Hatyai Thailand

Hatyai Thailand

We arrived at the Hatyai station about an hour and a half later than the scheduled time due to a delay at the Padang Besar custom and immigration checkpoint.


Hatyai Thailand

Upon arriving at the station, a few Thais came barging in the train from behind like siao. This freaked us out lor, as we thought we were so suey even before stepping out of the train in Hatyai already got greeted by a robbery.

It turned out they were from local travel agencies trying to promote to us their services. LOL.

Hatyai Thailand

It was a great feeling seeing Thai words on signboards and signages!

Catea and I checking into Louise guesthouse.

Hatyai Thailand

Guess how much it cost us per night?

Only 300 baht, or RM30! If you think that is cheap, there are other guesthouses (on top of shops) that change only RM20 per night!

Hatyai Thailand

The policeman in the picture reminds me of something worth mentioning about Hatyai. There were policemen patrolling around major areas at night so that made me feel very secured as a tourist.

Good thing about Louise guesthouse is that it was situated RIGHT BESIDE Robinson.

Catea and I are not quite a fan of shopping centers in foreign countries but still if we were trapped in a rain, shopping centers would be the next awesome places to kill time!

We went to some market places, including the ASEAN market, Kim Yong market, and Suntisook Market about 10 minutes’ walking distance from our guesthouse and had lunch there.

Hatyai Thailand

See the big umbrellas in pink?

That was around where various market places were located. By “market places” they were actually three-story shops each compartmentalised into small units selling things like imported foodstuffs, electrical appliances, clothes, and even pornographic DVD’s.

Catea loved the chapfan there so much that she insisted to gaoguan the same store twice in two days! And this crazy chick could really eat, WTH!!!

Hatyai Thailand

Unlike Peninsular Malaysia, pork is widely available in Hatyai and cooked in many different styles. AND AND AND, it is also generously served in huge slices and portions, so if you’re a pork lover, Hatyai is probably your kind of place.

I remember Catea telling me there were McDonald’s pork burgers in Thailand but I forgot to check that out when I walked past the McDonald’s at Lee Garden Plaza.

Young Thai coconut I bought at 40 baht, of which after conversion cost me about RM4.

Hatyai Thailand

Which was freaking expensive, because afterwards Catea bought one for just RM3 from another stall. FML.

The coconut water was heavenly though!

After that, it was about to rain heavily so we went loitering at Lee’s Garden Plaza, a shopping center Catea insisted had to visit because it has her childhood memories.

That was when we got to see the Idea Market, which only opened over the weekend. People were very creative and made all sorts of creative and innovative crafts and sold them there at really reasonable prices.

Hatyai Thailand

Catea bought a pair of manmade (though I think it was more like semi-manmade) red polka dot shoes at RM20 or so and the lady customised them by knitting some decent knots around the shoes.

Hatyai Thailand

People in Hatyai were generally very friendly! You bargain with them for the 100th time and they would still smile at you, unlike our Ah Bengs at Petaling Street who would probably swear at you and chase you away.

Anyway, guess what this place was:

Hatyai Thailand

Mind you it wasn’t not a registration counter.

It was…

Hatyai Thailand


Why the hell was their cybercafe so sophisticated-looking one??

Last but definitely not least, the following picture was taken outside a hotel. Look at their flood-presenting measure.

Hatyai Thailand

And here comes the end of the first blog post on my Hatyai trip with Catea.

More to come, very soon.

Part II: A Hatyai Escape: When Floating Market Fails to Excite

Part III: A Hatyai Escape: Getting My Teeth Realigned