Songkhla, one of
Thailand's important ports and coastal provinces, is located 950
kilometers from Bangkok. Occupying an area of 7,393 square
kilometers on the eastern side of the Malaysian Peninsula, the
province is bordered by the States of Kedah (Sai Buri) and
Perlis of Malaysia to the south and the Gulf of Thailand to the
In addition, Songkhla borders on Nakhon Si Thammarat and
Phatthalung Provinces to the north, Yala and Pattani Provinces
to the south, and Satun and Phatthalung Provinces to the west.
An undeniably historic town endowed with ancient ruins, arts,
and places of cultural importance, Songkhla, a melting pot of
Thais, Chinese and Malays, charms visitors with its unique
traditions, dialect, and folk entertainment. These
characteristics are reflections of the provinces rich cultural
heritage, which has been preserved and passed down from
generations to generations.
Hat Yai, a district of Songkhla, is perhaps better known than
the provincial capital itself. Hat Yai serves as a southern hub
of communication, trading and transportation as well as a
gateway to Malaysia and Singapore. In light of this, Hat Yai has
gained importance as the driving force of economic growth in the
Songkhla, or in its correct Malay form Singgora, was the seat of
an old Malay Kingdom with heavy Srivijayan influence. In ancient
times (200 AD - 1400 AD), Songkhla formed the northern extremity
of the Malay Kingdom of Langkasuka. The city-state then became a
tributary of Nakhon Si Thammarat, suffering damage during
several attempts to gain independence. Since the 18th century,
Songkla has been firmly under Thai suzerainty.
The Na Songkhla family's residence, now used as the Songkhla
National MuseumIn the 18th century many Chinese immigrants,
especially from Guangdong and Fujian, came to the province.
Quickly rising to economic wealth, one of them won the bidding
for the major tax farm of the province in 1769, establishing the
Na Songkhla (i.e. 'from Songkla') family as the most wealthy and
In 1777 the family also gained political power, when the old
governor was dismissed and Luang Inthakhiri (Yiang, Chinese name
Wu Rang 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.
In 1909, Songkla was formally annexed by Siam as part of
Anglo-Siamese Treaty of 1909 negotiated with the British Empire.
Songkla was the scene of heavy fighting when the Imperial
Japanese Army invaded Thailand on 8 December 1941.
Songkhla was not initially affected by the recent outbreak of
Pattani Separatism, which began in 2004. However, three bombs
exploded during the 2005 Songkhla bombings on April 3, 2005
creating concern that violence might spread into this province
Travelling from Bangkok you take Highway 4 passing Prachuap
Khiri Khan, Chumphon, Surat Thani, Nakhon Si Thammarat,Trang and
Phatthalung Provinces in order to reach Songkhla Province. The
total distance is 950 kilometers.
There are daily buses from Bangkok to Songkhla and Hat Yai. The
journey takes about 13 hours. From Hat Yai Bus Terminal, there
are buses to Bangkok and other provinces in the south. Buses
depart from a small bus station located across the ferry station
in the city. They include daily 2nd class buses that depart for
Bangkok 4 times a day (437 baht).
There is also one VIP bus that runs directly to Bangkok
departing at 4.45 p.m. with a fare of 870 baht. In addition,
first-class buses leave for Bangkok twice daily (562 baht) in
late afternoon and in the evening. In addition, there are also
buses depart from the same terminal to Chumphon (245 baht),
Nakhon Si Thammarat (100 baht) and Surat Thani (150 baht).
The State Railway of Thailand provides daily rapid and express
train services from Bangkok to Hat Yai. The trains depart from
Bangkok's Hualamphong Railway Station at 12.25 p.m., 2.20 p.m.,
2.45 p.m., 3.50 p.m. and 10.50 p.m. Travel time is about 17
The Thai Airways International has several daily flights
connecting Bangkok and Phuket with Hat Yai. The Air Asia ,
Orient Thai , Nok Air operate the flight from Bangkok to Hat Yai
and vice versa.
he Phuket Air offers a daily flight connecting Hat Yai and
Phuket. The flight time is 1.25 hours