How I Tuk Tuk-ed around Hatyai, Thailand: Day One

 Instead of celebrating Chinese New Year in my hometown, this year’s CNY celebrations took on a very different twist where bro and I headed to Hatyai, Thailand for a couple of days! Uncle had an appointment for cataract surgery in the city so we tagged along as Mum and Dad felt we should go as we  both haven’t been to Hatyai! We left on the eve of Chinese New Year, which left us without a proper family reunion dinner… *sobs* 
We left our hometown at 5am and got to Sungai Golok at about 6-ish where we then parked the car at my Aunt’s home in Golok before heading to the van terminal in Golok to purchase tickets to Hatyai! Tickets from Golok to Hatyai cost 180 Baht per person. Personally, I would not recommend this mode of transport as it is a long 4 hour bumpy ride into the city and there were so many road blocks manned by soldiers along the way it did scare me quite a bit. 
I slept most of the way, which explains why I do not have photos of the van (am kicking myself for this now) but!! I have a ton of photos of yet another popular (if not only) mode of public transportation in Hatyai…. TUK TUKS!! 
That’s a very enthusiastic Aunt vs. a grumpy Uncle on board our very first Tuk Tuk! Aunt’s cousin’s sister-in-law came to pick us up at the Hatyai Van Terminal (makes me wonder if there’s a coach terminal around) and we pretty much sat in this Tuk Tuk for the rest of the day as Pi brought us out of town to….. 
Samila Beach! 
That’s the famous Mermaid statue in the distance… The King’s Granddaughter was at the beach so the guards cordoned off quite a huge area and sadly that included the Mermaid statue! =( 
This is the Cat and Mouse statue that represents the Cat and Mouse islands in this photo below: 
There’s a mythical story behind these two islands but I couldn’t really understand what Pi was saying (she spoke in a mixture of Thai and Mandarin) so all I did was nod and smile without understanding a single thing. >.<
The weather was really, really hot so bro and I walked round in search of a thirst quencher and we found this!! 
Coconut ice-cream!! Cost us 30 Baht / RM3!! I wish I went back for more as coconut ice-cream’s my favourite Thai dessert, so much that I always bug my Aunt to get me some should she head home across the border! 
As the heat was getting to all of us, our lovely Tuk Tuk driver (who happens to be Pi’s friend) brought us to the Songkhla Aquarium! 
A little tip here: if you want to visit the Aquarium, get a local to purchase tickets for you as locals are charged 100 Baht for a regular ticket which gains you admission into the Aquarium only whereas tourists are charged double! 
The Songkhla Aquarium is rather small but well stocked with various fish species! We even saw an elusive turtle or two but they scurried into the shadows before I could take a shot! Shan’t bore you lot with fish photos so I’m only posting one:
We were extremely lucky to have a lovely Tuk Tuk driver who insisted we stopped at random places (to the silly us who didn’t bother looking up places to visit in Hatyai). One of them included stopping on a bridge, where I took this shot of us hot, bothered but happy people in the Tuk Tuk:
Another one included this water-spewing dragon-like thingy around the Samila beach area:
whose body lay here:
When I saw this ‘mini arch’ I went ‘what on earth’s so artistic about an ARCH that it deserves such a massive space’ only to be informed that this is the body of the dragon-like thingy. O.o 
Sadly, we didn’t see the tail. =( 
All that touring around made us hungry (and Uncle agitated as he was really tired from the long Tuk Tuk ride as he’s quite tall and he had to be Quasimodo from the Hunchback of Notre Dame throughout the ride as the Tuk Tuk’s roof is rather low. Lucky for us, the Klonghae Floating Market was open! It only opens on Saturdays and Sundays so we were really lucky we managed to check it out! Sadly all stalls were on land as they were doing some renovations to the market! Nevertheless, the food was more than superb. It was orgasmic. The weather in Hatyai was unbearable for me but the good food made up for every single flaw this city had! =D 
Thai stuffed sausages that can take on any German Bratwurst, anytime! They even sell Pork Satay (see those thinly sliced pieces of meat on skewers at the bottom of this photo?) which wasn’t too bad! I’m not a huge fan of the meat as I sometimes find the smell unbearable. The sausages had glutinous rice and glass noodles stuffed in them and every single sausage I tried was perfectly seasoned and well-cooked! 
Colourful and tantalizing snacks / kuihs on display! I bought some as I just couldn’t resist sinking my teeth into these diabetes-inducing sweets. 
The Thais love coconut! Coconut’s used in nearly every sweet dish in Hatyai! Quail’s eggs are cooked sunny side up and this Apam-like snack was so good that I ate 3 ‘baskets’ of the stuff. #thisiswhyiamfat
It was so good that I had to show you a close-up of this! I need to learn Thai to understand what these friendly Thais are saying! They are so helpful to bro and I when we were lost along the streets of Hatyai but we were still lost as we couldn’t understand them. #fail 
+____+
We saw a baby elephant! It’s carer was selling sugar cane just so tourists could feed the animal. I felt really sorry for it and was about to photograph its sad-looking eyes when a group of Thai schoolgirls surrounded me and asked if they could interview me. #5secondsoffame
I have no idea why I’m using these random and incredibly lame hash tags. Hehe. 
So like any other celebrity *ahem*, they asked for a photo at the end of the interview:
I saw a lady walking about with peacock feathers and at the spur of the moment I said to Aunt 
‘Can we please have some?’
Aunt lovingly bought me 20 peacock feathers!!! Thank you so much!!! <3 We managed to get them at 20 Baht each. Hehe they were a bit of a chore to transport back to Kuala Lumpur though but truly worth it! =D
Can you guess what this it? 
Clue: it’s cold, and refreshing!! 
It’s an ice-cream stick!! The ice-cream is made only with ice cubes and salt! No electricity / freezer is used in the process of making this cheap (5 Baht) yet delicious treat! Fizzy drinks are poured into the metal tubes before they are chucked into their allocated slot in the drum and before you know it, it’s frozen and ready to consume! Such genius! 
That’s pretty much if for our Day One in Hatyai… All of us crashed upon arriving at the hotel! 
I hope you enjoyed this post! =D 

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