"Betong is the destination on the list. Actually, it is not my list but Yui’s list. One of my friend invited me to join the group tour to Betong. And the itinerary look very interesting as we can visit 3 provinces Yala, Pattani and Songkhla in one trip. The package prices is not bad and Yui’s say yes immediately when I invited her to join this trip. And the trip started from 6-8 Dec."
Because of the promotion price of package so our flight is early departed from Bangkok. DD7102 is our flight which departed from Donmueang International Airport at 6.00am. But meeting time is 4.00am which mean Yui’s woke up at 3am. However, we were ready at airport on time for check in and started our day 1.
We checked in on time and it made us have 1.30hours free time at airport which is good for me as I prefer to sit at airport than run for final call. Traveling during covid-19 period we all have to follow new normal rule by wearing mask to everywhere and carry alcohol gel to wash our hands.
6.00am flight departed on time and the first light in Bangkok is so beautiful.
We arrived Hadyai International Airport on time as well and the view from the sky is so beautiful as well.
First meal on the way from airport is local famous menu in Hadyai “Fried chicken with sticky rice”. Normally I do not like sticky rice but this menu is except able.
The group separated to be minivan for more convenience to run around as the landscape of this area are mountains and small road in some area. The distance from airport to the first stop is around 2.30hrs.
First stop for today is the most famous temple for Thai people “Wat Chang Hai”. Wat Rat Buranara (Wat Chang Hai): This temple is located at Ban Pa Rai, Tambon Thung Phala. It is close to the railway (Hat Yai-Su-ngai Kolok route) between Na Pradu and Pa Rai Stations. Situated about 31 kilometres from the provincial city of Pattani, it is accessible via Highway No. 42 (Pattani-Khok Pho route).
Upon arrival at the Na Ket T-junction, proceed onto Highway No. 409 (Pattani-Yala route), pass Na Pradu Municipality and Occupational Training Centre (Wat Chang Hai). Then, proceed 700 metres further. This temple is over 300 years old and the builder still remains a mystery. The image hall features a life-sized Luangpu Thuat image, an ex-abbot. In addition, visitors will find a beautiful stupa, chedi, mondop, ordination hall, and bell tower. Luangpu Thuat, Wat Chang Hai The much revered Luangpu Thuat was an educational monk.
Legend has it that by stepping onto the sea, he was able to turn sea water into fresh water to quench the thirst of crew. During his boat trip to Ayutthaya, food and water supply was gone because of a storm. He died in Malaysia, and his body was brought back to Wat Chang Hai. The annual festival to pay respect to his ashes is in April. Visitors are welcome during 8.00 a.m.-5.00 p.m. daily.
Luangpu Thuat is one of the famous monk for Thai people. So, there are many Thai people visit this temple every day.
We went in to the chapel where there are the sculpture of Luangpu Thuat for people to worship.
After that we came out and direct to the local food shops. We got banana fritters, it’s hot but very delicious.
The banana inside is sweet but not too much and the crispy powder which over banana is a little bit sault so this is very good mixed taste.
After everyone finished worship at temple then all moved to the restaurant for lunch. The lunch today was at "Tara" Restaurant which very famous for seafood.
And here is our menu.
All food here are good quality and the taste is not bad. The prices are reasonable and services are great.
After lunch we continue to Yala province. On the way we stopped by to get good shots.
Yui was very enjoy this trip and view along the way.
This view is amazing. Look like we are at Ratchaprapa Dam in Suratthani.
Because of working day so there were not many people and car on the road. Then we got this fantastic shot.
And this is our new friends from this trip (a man in short pants)
We stopped to get good shots with one of landmark of Betong (district in Yala province). This wording “OK Betong” is from one of famous Thai movie. And become popular check in point.
We reached to the hotel late noon and the hotel is “Winter Flower Resort”. The room is not bad but because the weather here is cool for all year so they do not have air-con in room.
We had first dinner at this resort with the group.
And this is our dinner today. Steam chicken with sauce.
Stew pork with ginger.
There are nothing today because resort located far from city. The weather cool down in the night and we realized that we do not need air-con anymore.
Meeting time is 7.30am so we woke up at 6am to enjoy walking around the flower garden and get some nice shot.
Their flower garden is huge and mixed with variety of flower. The weather in the morning is so fresh.
We had light breakfast at resort and then depart to start program for today.
First stop of today was Piyamit Tunnel.
The Piyamit Tunnel is the Malaya communist’s base build for bombshells and storing food supplier.
The battlefield bases are located on the mountain top in the midst of the deep forests which separates the boundaries of Thailand and Malaysia covered the area of Yala province.
The Piyamit Tunnel was built in 1977 with the length of 1 km and 5-6 feet wide it took three months for excavation of 50 hard Manship and there are 9 entrance exit paths.
We paid for entrance ticket at THB40/person and then walked in to the tunnel.
On the way to tunnel are covered with green forest.
And we met this small guy. At the first sight I did know who is he. I just like the way he wears cloths look like uniform.
After tour guide explained us about the history of this tunnel then we step in side.
The tunnel is wide enough for walking through. This one look like Cu Chi tunnel in Vietnam but this one is bigger.
Inside the tunnel separated for sleeping area, sitting area and cooking area.
There is a small museum at the exit of tunnel. This museum showing the history and equipment which they use during staying in the tunnel. It is not easy for human to live in the tunnel and have to hide from the soldier outside.
At the museum I finally found out that the guy which I took photo with him is one of the soldier who was in the history.
Tour guide said that he is the one who love Thailand and prefer to stay here than return to his hometown in Malaysia.
The walk way from the entrance to exit is difference route and it made us see more clues of history.
And the highlight of this walking is a very big tree which is one of highlight for visiting this place.
I love the forest and always enjoy walking and listening the sound of the forest.
We finished walk tour to Piyamit Tunnel in 1 hour and ready to move to next stop.
There is a very famous black jelly shop in this area. So, we stopped by and try it.
I like the way they decorate the shop, actually they did not decorate anything just keep original house and put some furniture.
The taste of black jelly here is good and the syrup is not too sweet.
And this is unexpected menu. We thought that this is a coconut custard.
But actually, it is similar to one of Chinese appetizer. We have to drop some soy sauce and garlics and then eat. The taste is amazing. I like it.
And this is why we came here.
This village is look similar to Baan Mae Kam Pong in Chiang Mai which I just visit but this village still virgin and not too much crowded with tourist yet.
We continue to the Betong city and start city tour.
The first place that we visit is Betong Mongkollit Tunnel. The Betong Mongkhonrit Tunnel is the first and largest road tunnel in Thailand. It is located in Betong, Yala Province, Thailand. It is a curved tunnel, 268 metres long, connecting the town centre with a newer part of the town to the South-East. The tunnel was opened on 1 January 2001.
I noticed that the graffiti is all around this city.
And beside of graffiti there are colorful decoration in the city.
And next stop is the temple “Wat Bhuddhathiwas” where there is a footprint image of lord Buddha. And the Buddha-relics on the top of the chedi.
This temple located on the small mountain and we can see some part of the city from the 3 levels of chedi.
Lunch time again and today we had Chinese style lunch. The restaurant name "Ta Yen"
This is my favorite menu today.
After lunch we went to check in at the border of Thailand and Malaysia.
Yui was very happy to take photo with all signage
And this guy who we call A-jarn enjoy jumping everywhere.
We checked it at hotel “Grand Mandarin Hotel”. My room got very good view. This hotel is in good area and easy walk to the local market, restaurant and view point.
After checked in we spent around 3 hours to take a nap because we woke up early every day.
Our dinner today is free on own arrangement and I preferred to spent time at this shop “Roti”
After dinner we walked around the city to collect the graffiti shot.
I like this one the most.
And one of the highlight of this district for all tourist is this big postbox.
We walked back to hotel around 10.00pm. And go to bed because we have to wake up at 3am to visit the highlight of Betong “Sky walk”
3am is not the good time to wake up but we do not want to miss to visit sky walk and get some shot of sunrise so we have no choice.
4.15am group departed from hotel (we checked out from hotel as after sky walk we will continue to Songkhla).
We reached to the sky walk. There were some people already on que.
Everyone have to wear this shoes cover to protect the glass floor.
The weather is so fresh and there are the mist around us.
Finally, our que to enjoy the view on the glass floor. They limited number of people per round (around 50persons).
We expected to see sunrise from this skywalk but we were not lucky because there was too much mist today.
We came down from skywalk and spent few minutes at the meeting point.
I saw that there are some motorcycle taxi and got information that in case that we park the car at the entrance we can take motorcycle to the skywalk with only THB20/person and same price for go down.
We moved from the skywalk to another view point area.
And I like this view point even more than the sky walk. Because this area even we can not see sunrise but at least we can see the cloud.
We got many shots from this viewpoint.
And this is our breakfast
I like this congee so much.
In case that you are travel with small group you can try local food in this area. Price is cheap, food is good quality and clean.
We finished breakfast and the heading to Songkhla.
On the way we stopped at the old bridge which we passed on the way from Hadyai to Betong but we did not visit.
This bridge name “Yilaphan” this iron bridge is not far from the town of Banang Sata (km 35 - highway 410). A bridge that has historical value.
The original bridge, 6 meters wide and 50 meters long, was built to cross the Patani river by the Japanese army during World War II (WW2 - around 1941/42). It was built to enable troops and military assets moved from Malaya to attack Burma and India.
We left the bridge and heading to visit the most famous Chinese temple in Pattani.
We walked around the temple and worship to the god and goodness sculpture.
Lim Ko Niao Shrine or Leng Chukiang Shrine Located at 63 Anoru Road, Aneru Subdistrict, is a shrine that enshrines a sculpture of Lim Ko Niao Goddess of Goddess Ruby (Goddness Tubtim) on the 15th lunar month of the 3rd month of every year. The streets in Pattani City perform a fire wading ceremony in front of Leng Chukiang Shrine. Swim across the Tanee River at Dechanuchit Bridge. There is a large number of devotees attending the event every year. This shrine was built since more than 400 years ago and keep renovating till now.
Before left the shrine we got coconut ice-cream, very delicious.
Lunch today is seafood at “Monthathip Restaurant” which located by the sea. The venue is not bad but the taste of the food are average.
Here is our menu.
After finished lunch we went to the Samila Beach the most famous beach in Songkhla.
Long time that I did not see they riding the horse on the beach. This beach looks similar with Hua Hin. The sunshine and brighten sky today make the beach and sea more beautiful.
Left the beach and heading to the Songkhla city. We visit old town where there are history and graffiti.
There is a famous street in this old town call “Nang Ngam street” the reason is many winner from beauty competition are from families who live on this street.
We get of the van and start walking around the old town area.
And enjoy taking photos.
I like this area. Old houses still look good and even some house did renovation but still keep original style.
No high building and this area was registered to be World Heritage (hope they will get certification soon)
There are shops and restaurant selling local food.
We enjoy trying street food.
There is a postcard shop which still selling postcard with pictures of old town area. Only THB 20 plus THB 3 for post stamp then you can share your memory from this town to your family or friend.
There are many hostels with difference decorations.
Local teenager are the artist for almost graffiti.
All streets are clean.
I think this area is good for living.
And hope that they will keep maintain everything then this area will be the highlight which all tourist must visit.
We left the old town and heading to Hadyai as we booked air ticket from Hadyai to Bangkok tonight.
Hadyai is totally difference from Songkhla oldtown. All buildings here are more modern as this area is business area.
There are may high buildings. And the famous market “Kim Yong Market”
3 friends in our group were enjoyed shopping souvenir while me and Yui walked around but did not buy anything.
We still have time for dinner before check in at airport.
So, we agreed to have dinner here. And this is our dinner (the restaurant is recommended by A-Jarn)
All food are delicious and the prices also good.Finished dinner and it was time to go to airport.
We arrived at airport 2 hours prior to check in time so we still have time to take rest and check all photos which we took from day 1.
This is my first trip to Betong. I travel to Songkhla but stayed only in Hadyai city so I never know that there are hidden gems city like Songkhla oldtown.
Joining the group tour sometimes not boring as you can meet new friends and exchange experiences. This trip me and Yui got new 6 new friends and we might reunion again for our own trip.
I shared many photos to my friends and they really want to plan trip to Betong and Songkhla. In my opinion Betong is also lovely city to visit but we should stay longer. Then we plan new itinerary to Betong and Songkhla, just wait and see when will we go again. OK (next trip) Betong !!!
Friday, December 11, 2020 4:52 PM