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Songkhla

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Songkhla (สงขลา) is the provincial capital of Songkhla Province. The city itself is surrounded by beaches such as Samila (สมิหลา) & Son Awn (สนอ่อน) and also known as "the great city on two seas". With the beaches, some historical centres and nice green parks, this place is definitely a good battery recharge point before heading to more lively Hat Yai.

Understand

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Songkhla or Singgora in Malay, was a city of an old Malay Kingdom of Langkasuka with heavy Srivijayan influence. It has been under Thai suzerainty since the 18th century.

Previously a port and a coastal trading post where Indian, Persian and Arabian merchants came to exchange their products, this place was initially named "Sing Lha" after the 2 lion-shape islands at the mouth of the city's lake. Currently, these 2 islands are known to us as Ko Nu (Rat Island) and Ko Maeo (Cat Island).

In the 18th century many Chinese immigrants from Guangdong and Fujian came here. One of them won the bidding for the major tax farm of the province in 1769, thus establishing the Na Songkhla (i.e. 'from Songkla') family as the most wealthy and influential. In 1777 the family also gained political power, when the old governor was dismissed and Luang Inthakhiri (Yiang, Chinese name Wu Rang (吴让)) became the new governor. In 1786 the old governor started an uprising, which was however put down after four months. The post was inherited in the family and held by 8 of his descendends until 1901, when Phraya Wichiankhiri (Chom) was honorably retired as part of the administrative reforms of Prince Damrong Rajanubhab. The family's former home is now used as the Songkhla National Museum.

Get in

By bus

The government bus station has relocated to Th Nakhon Nok (ถนน นครนอก), a few metres from Viva Hotel.

To/from Bangkok: Air-con buses by The Transport Co. Ltd [1] (บริษัท ขนส่ง จำกัด (บขส.), bor-kor-sor) run between Bangkok southern bus terminal (สายใต้, sai-tai) and Songkhla bus terminal daily. The distance is ~984km and normally takes 12.5 hours.

To/from Chumphon: Class 2 bus (ม2) costs 290 baht, departs daily.

To/from Nakhon Si Thammarat: Class 2 bus (ม2) costs 125 baht, departs daily.

To/from Surat Thani: Class 2 bus (ม2) costs 125 baht, departs daily.

To/from Hatyai: Ordinary buses depart to Hat Yai from Th Ramwithi (ถนนรามวิถี) for 18B. From Hat Yai, you need to catch one at the bus stop along Th Phetkasem (ถนน เพชรเกษม), at the intersection close to Th Montri 1 (ถนน มนตรี 1).

By minivan

Minivans depart to Hat Yai from the Th Ramwithi (ถนน รามวิถี) for 30B. On the other hand, minivans leave for Yala and Pattani for 90B from southern part of Th Ramwithi (ถนน รามวิถี), at the intersection close to Th Chaimongkol (ถนน ชัยมงคล).

Get around

Songthaew plies around city for 12 baht. Motorcycle taxis did the same for 20B. Expect rates to double at night.

See

Ko Nu and Ko Maeo (เกาะหนู – เกาะแมว)

This well-known symbol of Songkhla is situated off the shore of Samila Beach. A legend says that a dog, a cat, and a mouse, on a Chinese sampan stole the merchant’s magic crystal and tried to swim ashore but drowned and lost their lives. The mice and cats became the islands in the Songkhla Lake while the dog died on shore and became the hill called Hin Khao Tang Kuan near the bay. The crystal was totally destroyed and became the white sandy beach called Hat Sai Kaeo.

Buy

Eat

Excellent weekend night food-market on Friday and Saturday in the centre of town with many food stalls.

Drink

Sleep

Budget

Mid-range

Splurge

Get out

Related Information




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A list of contributors is available at the original article on Wikitravel. Additional modifications may have been made by users at TRAVEL.COM [3].

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