Watch English Movies in Hatyai Cineplex Central Festival

Hatyai Cineplex is a popular movie provider in Thailand. Two Cineplex theaters are found in Hatyai City, one at Central Festival and the other at Diana. There is also one in Songkhla Tesco Lotus, unlike those in Hatyai, this however shows English movies dubbed in Thai language ONLY. So foreigners from Songkhla, Sadao, Satun, and other nearby places have to travel to hatyai to be able to watch movies in English soundtrack.

My family and I particularly love Hatyai Cineplex in Central Festival. This is our go to movie theater whenever there’s something we’d like to watch on the big screen. Recently we watched Avengers:Endgame, and I’d like to share with you our experience in a short video down below. For parents who will be watching a 3-hour long movie with children, you might want to check out watching without bathroom break.

Hatyai Cineplex Central Festival is big, grand, and clean. It is fully equipped with several machines for electronic ticket, as well as ticket booth for those who would like to walk-in and purchase a ticket.
There is a huge waiting lounge in and out of the cinema. You could comfortable chill out there while waiting. The ambience of the place is great, heavily carpeted-floor, colorful movie posters in glass frame outlined in equally vivid, bright, colorful lights. These frames are beautifully distributed on the walls and ceiling. We love the design.

Hatyai Cineplex has IMAX, which allows you to experience a movie in 4G. We’ve tried this out when we watched Batman vs Superman, which we regretted both the 4G experience and the movie itself. There are people who love 4G but it is definitely not for us. We were dizzy the whole time, and had a splitting headache after.


Anyways, the restrooms are clean. However I’d wish there’s one in between the theaters. You see the restrooms are situated at both ends of the hallway way, separated by 6 to 7 huge theaters. So it is a pretty long walk especially if you’re taking a bathroom break right in the middle of the movie.


Hatyai Cineplex is located on the top most floor of Central Festival Hatyai. If you are driving there, you could simple type in Hatyai Cineplex Central Festival in your GPS device or google map.

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11 Things to Enjoy in Samila Beach, Thailand

Samila Beach is one of the two beaches in Songkhla Province in Thailand, the land of smile. It is famous to locals and tourists alike; one’s visit to Songkhla is never complete without stopping by Samila Beach. It’s a 2 kilometers stretch of beige sand, from the mermaid statue at the south end, near PB Samila Hotel, to the northern end where the magnificent sculpture of Nag the serpent is.

It is a major stop over for tourists coming to Songkhla from Malaysia, Singapore, or nearby provinces. A tour of Songkhla is incomplete without coming here, after all the symbol of Songkhla is found here.  For now, let me share with you some of the things that you could enjoy in Samila Beach.

Here are list of things you can do when in Samila Beach

1. Frolic in the beach, and the best time to do this is late afternoon, when the sun is still out; it’s warm, but not scorching hot. The water is low and calm; it is safe for children, and a perfect time for swimming and sunbathing. In terms of swimwear, there are no rules. Wear whichever you are comfortable in. People are tolerant, courteous, and generally are just minding their own business.

2. Picnic or read a book. A large portion of Laem Samila is shaded by canopies of tall Pine trees. Benches are available, lounging at one of them with your favorite read is another awesome way to relax at Samila beach. If you are with friends be sure to bring a picnic mattress and some snacks from the nearby 7-11 or local food stalls, lie down, relax and gaze up at the blue skies, feel the cool sea breeze, and “chat the noon away.”

3. Enjoy local snacks. Along Laem Son Rod, there are variety of places where you could grab something to eat. As mentioned there’s 7-11 just outside BP Samila Hotel near the roundabout. There’s an Amazon Cafe for coffee aficionados, which is right in front of the beach, on the hillside. And there are plenty of local food stalls along the road selling variety of street food, deep-fried hotdogs, deep-fried shrimp-pancakes, papaya salad, grilled meats, variety of local drinks, and Thai ice cream.

4. Play bubbles. This one is for the kids and kids at heart.  There is no need for you to make your own bubble concoction, you can rent it there for 30 baht (0.91USD or 3.81RM).

5. Horse riding. Yes, you read it correctly. For 150 baht (4.55USD or 19.07RM) you can go on a horse ride, and gallop the whole stretch of Samila beach. I know what you’re thinking, horse manure. Of course, horses do their thing there (they can’t help it ^_^), but it’s owners look after this and see to it that their horse is not soiling the beach. So what they do is they use tissue paper to collect the manure, and place this in a plastic bag (yep plastic bag), and dispose of properly in a bin.

6. Fly a kite. The beach is a nice place to fly a kite. There is no shortage of space and wind. In the afternoon when the water is low, it exposes a vast area of the beach, a totally great place to enjoy kite flying.

7. Beach volleyball. Samila beach has been a regular venue for Beach Volleyball competition which includes the Asian Beach Volleyball Championships and  the AVC Asia Beach Volleyball Championships. Next year, June 19 to 23, 2019  Samila Beach will host the 2019 edition of the men’s and women’s FIVB Beach Volleyball U21 World Championships.

8. Take a photo with Samila mermaid statue. One of the most photographed part of Samila Beach is the Bronze Mermaid Statue.  It had been the symbol of Songkhla for over 50 years. Sculpted in 1966, this blackened bronze statuette was the work of master Jitr Buabut who was honored as a national artist and awarded a visual arts award in 2002. He passed away in 2010 at the age of 100.

Another prominent statue found in Samila beach are the Cat and Mouse which represents Songkhla and the Island in front of Samila Beach respectively. There is a bit of wonderful history behind these statues which I will be sharing in the next post.

9. Sunset photography, Wedding photography or selfie. Samila beach can be a sight to behold especially during sunset. Visitors could not help take photos of the beach or take a selfie with the sunset, or the long stretch of khaki sand, or the bright azure sky, or the lush green, shady Pine trees, or mermaid statue at the background.

10. Walk and feel the sand. During the late afternoon when the water is low, it exposes a long, off-white powdery sand, a perfect time and place to re-connect with Earth; ditch your footwear, walk, and feel it. After a days work or a long, cold stay in a conference room, or after long hours of being cramped up in a vehicle, wake your senses up and get your daily dose of vitamin D and “sea” by hanging out on the beach.

11. Dine. And after all these, it is time to fill your growling tummy with fresh, yummylicious seafood or any Thai cuisine of your choice. You don’t have to look far, as there are several seafood restaurants along Laem Son Road just outside the beach shore.

So there you go. I will keep this post updated for what’s up and what’s new with Samila beach.

If you have comments, suggestions, and questions please leave them at the comment section below or you could send me a message at my Facebook page which you could find at the right side bar of the post. Thanks.

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Kayaking: What You Need to Bring


One of the major outdoor activity we had recently was kayaking. Kayaking is to move across a body of water through a kayak, which is low-to-the-water with double blade paddles, and paddlers sits forward with legs in front. Kayaking started with the Inuit as a way for hunting and fishing. And through the years kayaking became a sport, and nowadays people kayak for recreational purposes. In our case, we kayaked in a river called Wang Sai Thong in Langu district, Satun, Thailand. This is the major activity in this part of Satun, Thailand. 

Satun is one of the provinces in Southern Thailand, rich with natural beauty and resources like lush green rainforest, waterfalls, caves (Phu Pha Phet and Chet Cot); rivers, and a must go beaches; one of these is Koh Lipeh. Aside from this, the “disappearing tribe” of Thailand called the Sakai tribe can also be found here.

We went kayaking with our children, and of course they were beyond themselves with excitement. The first time we went there, they were still too young to go on a kayak. But this time, we thought they could already handle it, since the water was not so rough. If it was, we would not risked it for sure.

two kids kayaking
Diverse Outdoor Activities for Children

Having gone there, done it; here are some of the things that we found important.

1. Bring your own kids life jackets. Usually life jackets are available and are provided by the accommodation, however,  the sizes may not be the right fit. It is essential that life jackets fit, otherwise it could be uncomfortable and could possibly ruin the moment. And also it could restrict movement as well as block ones view of the surroundings. And another thing, if you are super particular about hygiene I think having your own life jacket is a great idea.

2. Wear a comfortable attire.  Most of the kayaks used here are sit-on-top,  with the foot rest almost the same level as the seat. So wearing jean shorts or other attire made of stiff fabric can be very uncomfortable and could cause abrasions on the skin. Cottony shirts and shorts are fine. Beachwears like top-bottom set,  burquini-type and wet suite-type beachwears are also great. One-piece or bikinis might be a little too much for the culture here,  and besides it won’t give so much protection in case the kayak tips over.

3. Anti-mosquito lotion. The place is surrounded by greeneries and water; two things mosquitoes love the most. Protect yourself from malaria and other diseases brought by mosquitoes. Anti-mosquito lotion is available in convenience stores and other SkinStore.

4. Pain relieving ointments. You would find this really handy and helpful as muscles would be stiff and sore the next day or even a few hours after. Wang Sai Thong river is 7 to 10 kilometers long, this could be a lot for the not so trained muscles.

5. Water-proof camera. Yes, yes, yes! Document every moment of it, every scream, every laughter; capture the emotions, the beauty, as well as the risks.

Oh by the way, the kayaks are generic. There are no special kayaks for our little ones. That’s why our children had to go with a guide.

Have you gone kayaking? Where? How was the experience?

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Driving Thailand: Nakorn Sri Thammarat Route

On this one day trip,  we visited Nakorn Srithammarat. It is one of the largest cities in the South of Thailand.

Windmills of your mind

On the way,  we were amazed by these incredibly huge windmills. There were approximately over fifty windmills scattered on both sides of the road. Wind is a great alternative source of energy.  It is environmentally friendly as this renewable power source does not emit greenhouse gas during operation.  Aside from these it is clean and does not consume water.  Hua Sai, where these windmills are located, is definitely stepping up their game with these non-conventional power source. Hua Sai is a district in the Southeastern part of Nakhon Sri Thammarat.  It is in between Ranot of Songkhla Province and Pak Phanang district.

We couldn’t get near the windmill as it is prohibited. I think this is not only a source of clean, affordable energy but could be a great tourist destination.

 

Finally in Nakhorn Sri Thammarat..

After almost three hours drive,  we reached our destination, Wat Phra Mahathat Woramahawihan, the main Buddhist temple in Nakhon Si Thammarat.  Its main stupa is called Phra Borommathat Chedi (Great Noble Relics Stupa, the center structure), which was constructed sometime in the 13th century and has already underwent several restoration works.  This 178-meter, bell shaped stupa is the most prominent structure in the temple.

The temple’s Ubosot and main Chedi

 

Other prominent features of the temple include

  • Countless seating Buddhas. These are found on the right wing of the temple upon entry.

Seated Buddhas

 

  • The reclining Buddha
  • Temple museum. It displays valuable artifacts which dates back to Bangkok period.  The collections were actually donations of visitors as part of their merit-making to the stupa of the temple.  The museum is a significant educational hub not only on an artistic standpoint but also in terms of history and culture of people before. This is a marvelous place to bring kids for some history lessons.
  • A forest of Chedis. Surrounding the main chedi are smaller ones. There are almost two hundred of them that it feels like you are walking in a forest of towering,  tall trees.

Chedis

 

Location:

Nai Mueang, Mueang Nakhon Si Thammarat District, Nakhon Si Thammarat 80000

opens daily from 8.00 a.m to 4.30 p.m

admission:  free

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Wang Sai Thong Waterfalls: Satun Thailand

Destination: Wang Sai Thong

Location: Nam Phut, La-ngu District, Satun 91110 (7°05’23.4″N 99°54’35.1″E

Wang Sai Thong falls is a great place to freshen up from the scorching hot weather of the summer.  This beautiful waterfalls known for its limestone minerals calcified on rocks, pool basin, and fallen tree branches is located at Moo 10, Baan Whang Na-Nai | Nam Phut, La-ngu, Satun Thailand 91110.  It is an hour and a half drive from Hatyai City. It is off the beaten track and going there without any help from a GPS, a map, or some friends who have been there could be a little confusing as there are numerous turnings as you enter the road going to La-ngu and away from the main road. For first timers, it’s better to venture this place with a GPS, or a detailed map, or be with people who know the area.

It has three levels of cascading,very cold waterfalls which drops into a wide pool of flowing fresh water.  What sets this waterfalls apart from other waterfalls in the south of Thailand is the presence of calcified limestone minerals on rocks, pool basin, and fallen tree branches; so your feet grip on to these which makes climbing up and going down easy and safe.  Aside from this, the pool at the foot of the waterfall are definitely wide but are not deep so it is safe even for kids to stay, play, and splash water around.

The waterfall is hidden under canopies of big, tall trees so it is a good place to picnic with family and friends as the place remain cool all throughout the day.

The place is open 24 hours from Saturday to Sunday.  It has a souvenir shop and restrooms which they need to improve immensely.

To give you a visual of the place take a look at this video.

 

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