Hat Yai, Thailand, is a bustling commercial center and transportation hub 150 mi/240 km southeast of Phuket. The fourth largest city in Thailand, this southern gulf town has a slew of massage parlors, similar to those in Bangkok, that are popular with Malaysian tourists who cross over the nearby border for the nightlife.
Away from the center, there are waterfalls and pleasant mountain scenery (Ton Nga Chang, about two hours away by car, is the biggest waterfall in southern Thailand). There's also a gigantic reclining Buddha a few miles/kilometers west of town. Day trips can also be made to Songkhla, which has some reasonable beaches that are popular with Thais.
Flights depart from nearby Hat Yai International Airport. Trains and buses connect Hat Yai with other Thai and Malaysian towns.
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