The past glory just gone and the true reality of today bite really hard for this former railway-junction town. Hat Yai (หาดใหญ่) railway station use to be the heart and soul of this town that rise up from a village to the biggest commercial trade post in the southern Thailand due to the perfect point of railway junction that links to both coasts of Malaysia and Thailand . See map here
Today only few of travelers use it as a stepping point to Bangkok or Malaysia.Yes ,There are still full function train runs and overnight trips to Bangkok and also an international train to Butterworth town in Malaysia(across from Penang.) But air-con bus to Bangkok or even a low cost fly trip seem to be a better option than the railroad one .Also the trip to Butterworth or Penang in Malaysia can be reached easily by a shared Taxi or Minivan which will depart instantly with enough people on boards. Then overnight stay in Hat Yai becoming unnesssary.
I never visit this station for several years and the walking trip there last week revealed some shocking sight like the decaying empire rather than the thriving railway junction . There was stair and lift leads to a 3 stars hotel (Rajthani hotel) up stair of the station but the path way just closed and got a haunted house atmosphere.
Yes we can catch trains runs up and down . I still found it’s a nice way to see the world and travels by train will let u pass through the real villages ,communities, not just the commercial parts and gas stations like those big road.
Hat Yai owned it’s existence to the railway-junction . Right now it’s still a big city but the rail is not their main artery any more.
The sign here said Haad Yai .But you will see the other sign in side said Hat Yai . Haad Yai is more like an old archaic usage and now seem like the Thai authority prefer it as just “Hat Yai” .
Also take a noted that they not bother to say : a railway station at all .Because in the old time the place is the one and only station to reach Bangkok . No road or plane in exist.