October 21, 2010 – October 24, 2010
The bus departs from a dodgy little shop in town centre at 1am sharp. It has surprisingly huge comfortable buckle lounger styled seats and strong air conditioning.
KORR!! Beeps complaint again that I snored in the bus
The bus people looks scary, dodgy and horny.
If you pay RM 10 you go right pass custom and skip the queue. Thai people are also a corrupted bunch.
Night one, slept on the plane, night two, Tracy's apartment, night three mom's apartment, night four on the bus, night five in Lee Garden Hat Yai
Tut Tuts are the main get around taxi in Hat Yai. Instead of a car, they are cute little trucks opened at the back and can fit up to 8 passengers.
Bernice prefers the one she goes to everyday. This one sucks. U should try the other one. It is very different and good!!
Very strategically located near shopping districts and the market. There are close to 20 massage/saloon around and at least 5 pubs with live band close by. All these are only within very close walking distance. The free breakfast have both western and local selections and it's buffet style. And for $150 baht, you get a good buffet too!
It's not much different from Malaysia and not as exotic as Bangkok. The usual foods are steam chicken and intestines, stew pork joints (can be very deliciously serve with pickled vegetables and garlicky chilly sauce), Tom Yum noodle, fried kuey tiaws, durian rice & mango ricd and most surprisingly BKT!!
Thailand is the capital for massages. There are so many massage parlors for you to choose and the competition there is immensely high. In Hatyai, due to competition, most businesses have incorporated massages, manicure, pedicure, facial and hair grooming together. It's like a spa but only tiny, dodgy, oldish, in small shop lots but many many of them. You do not need to ask people or look for them because the moment you step out of your hotel, the masseuse sitting outside their shops will yell across the street and gesture for you to choose them. They make you feel very welcome, big smiles and exceptional service. There are various types of massages in Hatyai. Foot massages are most popular but there's also Thai Ancient massage, oil body massage and Turkish massage. Thai massage is like deep tissue massage, it's suitable after a hard days' labour work. I personally like oil because it's soothing and relaxing. Turkish is purely sexual where the masseuse slather your body with soap and use their own naked body to massage yours. I'm sure you'd most likely get a happy ending at the end. At least that was what I read. Being a masseuse must be hard in Thailand. As much as they regard themselves in a highly respectable and honest profession, they are often taken to be lower even to the prostitutes because hookers make more money than them. A masseuse roughly makes $30 baht per customer. They have no fix salary. The parlor provides them with 2 meals a day and they start work from 8am to 11pm. They do not take off days because if they don't work there's zero income. Bua, my masseuse told me that I was one of two customers she had all day. I looked for her twice so potentially she only made $90 baht that day. That's RM$9 or AUD$3 a day. For this she had to pay to attend a massage school near Bangkok for 3 - 6 months to learn the techniques of Thai massage.
It's a dry covered market filled with tens of thousands of bags, shoes, clothing and dried food. It's cool but it's warm.
There are many seafood restaurant in Hatyai but always look for the ones with prices on their menu.
First stop in Hatyai is to grab breakfast from the restaurant next to the bus stop. We had a plate of chicken thigh, some pork stew and BKT which cost us $360 baht! That's RM$36 for breakfast!! And it's not even delicious nor filing.
A small meal cost about $30 to $50 baht. Bua makes $30 per customer. I guess that's why she said she makes enough but there's nothing to save. Coz if the parlor offers her meals, the rest must be for lodging. Everybody should go to Thailand for massages and remember to tip handsomely. I regret not being able to go for one last time before leaving. Sigh.
In order to purchase tax free goods from Hatyai you must stay for 3 nights. Grog is good value, only AUD$15 for a bottle of Absolute Vodka!!