Songkhla / Hat Yai

is an eastern coastal province in southern Thailand edging the Thai Gulf. The province covers some 7,150 square kilometers. The provincial capital is 950 kilometers south of Bangkok. Linked to the provincial capital by a 30 minutes road journey along Highway 407, Hat Yai is Songkhla's and southern Thailand's principal commercial, communications, entertainment and chopping center. Songkhla was formerly known as Singha-la (a lion) by Indian, Persian and Arabian merchants since the petite off shore Cat and Rat Islands presented a somewhat leonine appearance from the sea. Once a medieval pirate stronghold, Songkhla is a sleepy historic town with a thriving fishing community edging the fine Samila Beach and the Great Songkhla Lake, Thailand's largest body of inland water.


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