Hat Yai Park or Hat Yai Municipal Park is a huge compound consisting of an ice dome, big lagoon, planetarium, cable car connecting the two hills and temples. Standing Buddha complex occupied one of the hills. This park is very much visited on weekend as locals spend their weekend to chill, relax and enjoy their free days. For tourists, this park should be in your itinerary.
The park is located around six km from city proper. I took a tuktuk bound to Songkhla City’s direction and alighted at the park. The park is so easy to spot. I paid 10 baht only. When I stepped at the entrance, I decided to just walk to the temple. I only visited the place because of the temple on the hill-top. There are two roads to follow. I saw two girls walking and decide to follow their path. We turned left. We climbed up the hill. It was more than a kilometer already and saw signage pointing to the cable car. I talked to the girls when I overtook them. Viola, I was in the wrong way. The temple is in the other hill but could still be reached following the same road we took. Though, there is a shortcut and that is the way when you just go straight when you entered the park. Another note, there is free ride tram that brings the visitors from the park entrance to the temple entrance.
Anyway, I decided not to turn back. Nothing to worry, the hills are connected by cable car. I was tired to follow the long path trekking ultimately to the temple. So I decided to take the cable car. The road leading to the cable car is so narrow and steep. I took the cable car to bring me to the Buddha complex.
The complex’s main attraction is the standing Buddha. It is a 20-meter golden standing Buddha overlooking the busy city of Hat Yai. There is an underground museum or gallery beneath the standing Buddha which showcases the different popular monks. The Buddha is known to locals as Phra Buddha Mongkol Maharaj which was established during the birthday of King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
I went down the hill following the stairs. There is another temple at the foothill dedicated to Guan Yin, the Chinese Goddess. There is also a statue of laughing Buddha called Budai. At the first stair, you will be going inside and welcomed by a dragon head.
It was my first time to see standing Buddha as huge as that. In Buddhist community, it symbolizes fearlessness. The time is ticking and I need to be back to the hotel. I need to visit the Khlong Hae Floating Market at night.