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Car Rental in Hat Yai

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Hat Yai

Car Rental in Hat Yai: a Perfect Mix of Natural and Cultural Landmarks

A very popular tourist destination for Indonesians, Malaysians, and Singaporeans, Hat Yai is the metropolitan center of Southern Thailand, boasting a solid infrastructure and great education, tourism, and shopping opportunities. Start your travels in the city by exploring its nooks and crannies and the numerous parks, markets, and religious buildings. Don’t miss the Khlong Hae Floating Market, where you can stock up on food goods before you drive out of the city to explore the area’s natural and cultural landmarks. Automobile hire is a convenient, cheap, and comfortable way to make the most of your visit to Southern Thailand!

The dry, very hot season in Hat Yai runs from January to April, and the wet season runs from May to December, with the greatest risk for flooding from November to December.

Both Southern and Central Thai dialects are used prominently in Hat Yai, and second languages are remarkably split by generation: while many older generation residents of Hat Yai speak Teochew, a Chinese dialect, many of the younger generation speak English.

Economic exchange takes place in the Thai baht, which is easily accessible via ATMs or currency exchange throughout the city.

Many travelers arrive in Hat Yai via air at the Hat Yai Interational Airport, located about 14 km southwest of the city itself. This is an ideal place from which to pick up your rental car as numerous international and national companies have offices there. You can also pick up rental cars in various spots throughout the city.

Some great day or weekend trips include a visit to Khao Nam Khang National Park with its waterfalls and historic tunnel, about a 1.5 hour drive south of the city and the more local Ton Nga Chang Wildlife Sanctuary, located 45 minutes west of the city and featuring a seven-tier waterfall!

Visa Regulations

The inhabitants of over 60 nations are permitted to visit Thailand visa-free for between 14 and 90 days, depending on your country of origin. Double-check which category you belong to before you book your hotel or hire your car.

Driving in Hat Yai

Road conditions are significantly better in Thailand than in neighboring countries, but it will still be necessary to be alert while driving and to drive defensively, as there’s an awful lot taking place on Thailand’s roadways – and with good reason! Hire a car – and consider also hiring a driver – to experience Hat Yai at its most intimate.

Left-Hand Driving

  • Traffic drives on the left-hand side of the road, though you may find that many rental cars are right-hand drive.

Speed Limits

  • The speed limit on motorways is 120 km/h.
  • On highways, the speed limit is between 80 and 90 km/h.
  • In towns, the speed limit is 50 km/h.
  • You can expect traffic congestion around rush hour throughout Hat Yai.

Other Regulations

  1. You will be charged to park on the street in the business areas of the city, such as along Niphat Uthit Road. If you do have to pay for parking, you’ll be approached by an attendant, who will give you a marker to place under your windshield wiper.
  2. An international driver’s license is required, as many rental agencies won’t rent you a car unless you have one, and your insurance will be invalidated without one. You can drive on an international driver’s license in Thailand for a full six months.
  3. Most motorways and expressways are tolled as you enter them, and you pay by cash, often around or slightly less than 45 baht per toll. Particularly if you are driving to and from Malaysia, you will encounter these toll plazas.
  4. It is mandatory to carry both your driver’s license and passport with you whenever driving.

Other Tips

  • Hat Yai’s city center spreads across three parallel roads, Nipatuthit 1, 2 and 3; colloquially, these roads are called Sai Nueng (road one), Sai Song (road two) and Sai Saam (road three).
  • Avoid driving in the far left lane throughout the city, as it is typically used for brief halts and the loading or unloading of trucks.
  • Keep an eye out for the ubiquitous and surprisingly daring moped and motorcycle drivers, and leave them some extra space between your car and the next when in traffic jams or at red lights.
  • Drive defensively in Thailand. Be alert, and use your side and rearview mirrors to keep a good sense of your surroundings, particularly in city traffic.
  • Driving at night, particularly cross-country, is not recommended. One-way rental is permitted by many car agencies, but double-check whether or not your rental company will allow you to cross the border to Malaysia, as you will need extra documentation to cross.

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