Near the Malaysian border 460 mi/740 km south of Bangkok, Songkhla, Thailand, lies near Songkhla Lake and a bird sanctuary. In December 1941, Japanese troops landed on nearby beaches, invading Thailand before heading south toward the Malaysian cities of Perlis and Penang and later capturing Singapore. Known as "the great city on two seas," the former fishing village has a few nice parks and beaches, but otherwise holds little interest for visitors. Many travelers skip Songkhla and head straight to livelier Hat Yai. If you do choose to visit, the bird sanctuary is worth a half-day trip (go there via boat or canoe). There are also a number of interesting villages in the region.

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