The hub of Songkhla province in Thailand’s deep south, Hat Yai, has embarked on a 200 million baht spending spree to greatly enhance its tourist attractions. Despite the ongoing tensions in this region of Thailand, Hat Yai is generally quite safe, especially for foreigner visitors.
Among the major programs are a new cable car, a planetarium, and an art gallery, all of which will go in its excellent public park, which will also get a general facelift. Mayor Prai Pattano wants to expand the city public park’s appeal from a leisure destination to include edutainment that can round off the experience.
The Mayor hopes to attract more visitors from Singapore and Malaysia, who come to Hat Yai on a regular basis to pay homage to the shrine of the Chinese goddess Guan Yin. There is also an amazing Buddha statue within a 900-rai forested park that has a lovely hill.
“We want to develop the park into a complete tourism complex,” the Mayor said. The cable car is expected to cost 100 million baht and take a year to build. But it will shorten the travel time to the iconic statues that lure foreign and Thai visitors all year round. The planetarium will have a powerful telescope so visitors, especially children, can peek at the universe. It will take two years to complete.