1. Hat Yai Municipal Park

1. Hat Yai Municipal Park

Hat Yai Municipal Park is a large recreational park-cum-tourist attraction to the east of Hat Yai City in Thailand. Within the park itself, there are many points of interest.

2. songthaew at the entrance of park

2. songthaew at the entrance of park

3. directions to attractions within the park

3. directions to attractions within the park

How much time would one need to enjoy the entire park? Half a day, I would say, but quite impossible to cover the whole area in just a single visit.

4. statue of General Kuan Ti

4. statue of General Kuan Ti

 5. Goddess of Mercy complex

5. Goddess of Mercy complex

It is quite tricky to visit Hat Yai Municipal Park without your own transport. From the entrance of the park, there is a public shuttle (for a fee) that takes visitors to the Goddess of Mercy complex. Do take note that transport service may be unavailable on Mondays.

6. inside the complex

6. inside the complex

7. Goddess of Mercy flanked by Jade Maiden (玉女) and Golden Youth (金僮)

7. Goddess of Mercy flanked by Jade Maiden (玉女) and Golden Youth (金僮)

From building complex, climb more than 300 steps stairway to the Phra Buddha Mongkol Maharaj statue. This is the tallest Buddha statue in Southern Thailand.

8. mouth of the dragon

8. mouth of the dragon

 9. Supreme August Jade Emperor (L) & Laughing Buddha (R)

9. Supreme August Jade Emperor (L) & Laughing Buddha (R)

Named Phra Buddha Mongkol Maharaj, it stands at 19.9 metres (25 metres if include its base) and weighs 200 tonnes. If you have chartered a tuk-tuk, this is the area to alight.

10. Chinese zodiac

10. Chinese zodiac

11. Phra Buddha Mongkol Maharaj

11. Phra Buddha Mongkol Maharaj

This is also the place where you can take a short cable car ride to visit Brahma Statue (Lord Brahma Complex). Cable car ride (return trip) is ฿200 per passenger (foreigner), ฿100 (Thai adult) and ฿50 (Thai child).

12. cable car complex

12. cable car complex

 13. cable car system that links the Phra Buddha Mongkol Maharaj area to Lord Brahma Complex

13. cable car system that links the Phra Buddha Mongkol Maharaj area to Lord Brahma Complex

With own transport, you can drive right up to the Lord Brahma Complex, although you would need a vehicle powerful enough to cope with the steep roads.

 14. Lord Brahma Complex

14. Lord Brahma Complex

15. Lord Brahma

15. Lord Brahma

The religious aspect of the park, encompassing Taoism, Buddhism and Thai Buddhism, is just one part of Hat Yai Municipal Park.

 16. deities

16. deities

17. elephant statues

17. elephant statues

There is also the Planetarium, equipped with an 80-seat theatre. Another attraction is the King Rama V Monument. If you have time to spare, you can enjoy the main park where there is a calm lake, best for picnic.

 18. devotees participate in animal liberation ceremony

18. devotees participate in animal liberation ceremony

19. devotees pay homage to deities with lighting off long red firecrackers

19. devotees pay homage to deities with lighting off long red firecrackers

Now that I have visited once, I would surely want to go again the next time I am in Hat Yai. It would be best to go by own transport, in order to visit every point of interest at leisure. Do bear in mind to dress appropriately when visiting temples and wats in Thailand.

20. Thai girls in costumes ready for performance

20. Thai girls in costumes ready for performance

21. cable car ride back to Phra Buddha Mongkol Maharaj area

21. cable car ride back to Phra Buddha Mongkol Maharaj area

This trip was made possible by Dexma Express, Malindo Air, and 尚游 Premium Travel. Malindo Air Malaysia flies direct from Subang SkyPark Terminal (SZB) and Penang International Airport (PEN) to Hat Yai International Airport (HDY) every Monday, Wednesday, Friday & Sunday.

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