[ Day1 ] Phathallung Thailand with Hadthong Resort 金海滩度假村水晶岛旅游区

By Gaylen KaSai - Saturday, May 25, 2019

Thailand has always been a favorite when it comes to vacations, I think my passport has more Triangle Stamps compared to other stamps, however when it comes to travelling to Thailand the few names which will come to mind would be Bangkok, Krabi, Hadyai, Phuket and Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai. Well, on this recent trip to Thailand I realize Thailand has more to offer than just that! Thailand is a country which measures approximately 513,120 km2, it is the world’s 50th -largest country and the third largest in Southeast Asia. Thailand is famed for their beautiful beaches such as Phuket and Krabi and cheap shopping deals in Bangkok and Hat Yai but did you know that Thailand actually has 76 provinces in total. In the Southern Provinces like Krabi, Phuket, and Trang are sandy beaches and the in the northern provinces like Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Mae Hong Son you can find majestic mountains. That being said there are still 68 provinces in Thailand and lucky me I was able to visit one of them in my latest trip to Thailand! In between Trang and Songkhla lies a bashful little province called Phatthalung. To be honest, prior to this trip I never heard of Phatthalung before and I googled and all I got was very little information and photos of places to go and things to do. The only attraction that I managed to find was Thale Noi [Lotus Pond] and it was that which attracted me to go ahead with the plan and now that I am back I am already planning my second trip to Phatthalung.

Day 1
Getting there
There are no airports in Phatthalung, the nearest would be in Trang [ about 63.1m]  or Hatyai [ about 100.5km ], you can fly into either one of these airport and take a train ride to Phatthalung which will take about 2 hours. If you are from Penang like myself then you are in luck because I am going to share with you my hassle free Phatthalung Itinerary. This is an adventure I tell you.

This trip I traveled to totally hassle free with 金海滩度假村水晶岛旅游区 หาดทองรีสอร์ท [ Hadthong Travel & Resort] for a 3D2N Trip to Phatthalung which only cost us THB 5500 each, all inclusive and all we need to do is get ourself to Hatyai Airport or Dannok. We were travelling in a group of 4. We decided to drive into Dannok and parked our car at the duty free shop which cost us RM30 for 2 nights, and we walked about a 100m and cross into Sadao. Upon crossing into Sadao at about 10.15am, our Hadthong Travel shuttle picked us up with a very well maintain and comfortable 12 seater van. Our tour Guide for the trip was ‘Xiao Yong’ and he speaks fluent mandarin so there was totally no communication barrier.

Where to Stay
387 หมู่ 6 Tambon Falami, Amphoe Pak Phayun, Chang Wat Phatthalung 93120, Thailand

We were then driven to our hotel which took about 1hr 45 mins, Hadthong Resort is located in Pak Phayun, just beside Songkhla Lake. I was amazed at how huge the lake was and mistaken it for the sea. Did you know that Songkhla Lake is bigger than Singapore? Hadthong Resort is a 3 star hotel which is complete with air conditioned rooms, free WiFi, TV, Private Bathrooms, balcony and a 24 hour front desk and valet parking for driving guest. Continental breakfast is served at the hotel as well. There is a Chinese restaurant in the hotel as well. Upon arriving we had our lunch at the hotel. We were served 3 dishes and a soup.

Da Li Wang Soup
*This is a famous soup which is only available at Hadthong Resort and its pretty well know that they actually sell them in packs if you would like to try boiling this at home. This recipe has been passed down from generations to generations and I can tell you that it tasted really good, similar to our Chinese herbal soup

Kerabu Mango Salad My favorite, tasted even better because I always feel that Thai Mango taste better

Steamed Chicken Traditionally steamed chicken, it was bland so it suits me! I ate the most of it

Vegetables Fresh Kangkung, well I don't eat leafy vegetables but according to the boys it tasted very nice if compared to the ones they had

Fruits Fresh Fruits for dessert! Watermelon was sweet. I am a happy girl
Now, I liked the soup a lot, that’s me being Chinese. They even topped up the soup for us because I had like 4 bowls to myself. Lol. The dishes here is less commercialize and to be honest I like it a lot if compared to the ones I had before. After lunch we freshen up a little an headed to our first adventure!
Crystal Island 水晶岛 เกาะกระ

Crystal Island is an island that is filled with mysterious wonders. A walk round the island would be approximately 300 m and Crystal Island is located opposite Bird Nest Island [Koh Rang Nok ]. Let me share with you a little bit about Bird nest Island, the five island spread over 224 is home to flocks of swiftlets. The edible bird’s nest collected from Phatthalung is renowned for being the finest quality in Thailand due to the large size of the islands and their location in the middle of Songkhla Lake where there is a plenty of food, making the nests white and clean. Birds’ nests are harvested three times a year – in February, April and July-August. Normally, the islands are not open to tourists during the harvest season because they could disturb nest-making, and also due to the sensitivity of the area, which needs strict environmental control.

The boat ride will take around 20 mins from Hadthong Resort, the boat pier is just in front of the resort. Upon reaching Crystal Island, we were greeted by another Tour Guide who also speaks Mandarin. Stepping foot onto Crystal island we were greeted by a Huge Wishing tree, just like the ones we see in Hong Kong. On Crystal Island there are many statues of deities which you can pray too such as Goddess of mercy, 太上老君, 水拿督, 十八罗 , 四面佛 and etc. The statues of these deities are inside caves, which makes it so peaceful. You can also see bats in these caves. I am a Christian so I didn’t prayed but hubs did, but I felt that the whole Island was very serene and I really liked it. The island has definitely more to offer if you are like me, the guide will tell you many stories of the island which I find very interesting and some totally hilarious. There is one part of the island where I still couldn’t explain why, as I was walking through I could smell the aroma of coffee but there was no coffee trees or anyone drinking coffee in the vicinity. The whole island also has a smell, something similar to Patchouli or Ginseng and if you look on the ground as you walk you might be lucky to find some pieces of crystals, but remember t ask the guide if you can have them as souvenirs ok? Don’t simply bring it back with you quietly because you will regret it. No one should steal from Crystal Island. Next according to our itinerary, we were going to visit a grotto! I Yes, a natural small cave which holds many wonders. I was very excited to see this as we were told that we will need to be sleeping on a boat to enter the cave.  Now let me take you on a mini tour via photos. I won't be telling you everything so that you can experience it yourself.
The moment you step into Crystal Island you will be welcomed by this huge wishing tree. Write your wish on a paper and throw it up the tree, if it stay then your wish might just come true

The mirror pond. Wear something bright if you want your reflection to be clearer

This is the Silver & Gold Tree, touch it and bring it back with you. It is said that you will be blessed with all the silver and gold you need

Take photos with Mother Nature's creation

This is 太上老君 , you can pray as there are praying materials available

Do you see Goddess of Mercy ? Remember this photo spot! 

Crystal Island is a beautiful place! Full of nature's creation
Looks like we are in Alice in the Wonderland

Next we went to one of the place that I was pretty much looking forward to go. A grotto...somehow I find grotto very mysterious . Let's go

Nam Yen Cave 冷水洞 ถ้ำน้ำเย็น

If you are claustrophobic than this might not be your thing, otherwise this is definitely an experience not to be missed. Tham Nam Yen cave is located in Khao Chaison District of Phatthalung and it's quite a famous tourist attraction. Nearby would be the Khao CHaison Hot Spring which is also on the itenary. There are 3 caves here, The Namyen Cave, Lorkor Cave and The Tiger Cave. Each boat can fit up to 4 person and 2 tour guides, The whole cave exploration will take around 40 minutes. The entrance to the cave is very narrow which is why I mentioned earlier if you are claustrophobic then this might not be suitable. To enter the cave, we were told to lay flat on the boat to avoid our heads hitting the top. It was a really interesting experience as I have never imagine we could actually enter such a narrow opening. Lol. As we entered the cave, I was in awe! There were different rock formations that looks like subjects such as an elephant and boobies too! There were  bats in the cave which I find pretty amusing, do not worry because the water of the cave isn’t really deep , around 3 feet high. If you look closely, you will see that there are Crystal Formations on the rocks. We also bump into a white snakes, it is said that there are 2 white snakes in this cave and if you are lucky enough you will bump into them, we must be really lucky that day to have bump into one. These snakes are harmless. Now let me show you around.

Inside the Water Cave you will find many formations of 

going into the small entrance..it was really scary in the beginning 

Such  a narrow entrance
We were told to lie down to avoid hitting our heads. 
Once you are inside then you can sit back right up, until certain spots where is too low
Amazed at mother nature's creation
This whole thing was actually shining! You have to see it with your own eyes
this is the one that looks like boobies. Lol

 Khao Chaison Hot Spring บ่อน้ำร้อนเขาชัยสน

Nearby to the cold water cave is the a Hot Spring! Khao Chai Son Hot Spring is located at the foot of Chai Son Hill. There is a temple there where the hot spring is situated. On the other side of the hill there is a cool stream flowing underneath the hill and is a perfect place to relax and unwind.  It's one of the famous attraction here in Phatthalung so there are many locals here especially on weekend and holidays. There are a lot of monkeys here so be careful with your things. The monkey might steal your food or belongings. At first, I didn’t want to dip my feet in the hot spring worried that I might spoil my pedicure & manicure but I gave in because I saw kids and adults having such a great time in the Hot Spring Pool. The temperature of the hot spring was around 40 degrees and is great for soaking your feet after a long day. If you can soak your feet for around 10 minutes which is really good for the body as it helps blood circulate. There are other things to see at the park, .there's a lot of shop around that sells food and souvenirs too!

Soaking our tired feet at the Hot Spring, that's our guide Xiao Yong
This doggy was bullying me

Dinner at Hadthong Resort  金海滩度假村水晶岛旅游区
Big Head Prawns The prawns were so fresh and juicy. One of the best I have tasted
Marble goby fish / 笋壳鱼 Fresh! Becuase most of the fishes are caught here and the bigger ones are for exports while they keep the smaller ones here.
Tom Yam Gung
Too spicy for me, but the boys enjoyed it!
Steamed Pork Belly with Taro
Yummy! I seldom will eat pork with a layer of fat... but I ate almost 3 pieces. It must be good if not I won't risk the fats
Fruit platter!
Fruit platter not seen in the pic, but we were served my favorite Pineapple!

It has been a long day for us, so we headed back to Hadthong Resort for dinner! And boy was I delighted to see what’s for dinner! There was Big Head Prawns, Marble goby fish / 笋
壳鱼 or also known as the Lazy Fish, Tom Yam Gung, Steamed Pork Belly with Taro and fruit platter! The Big Head Prawn and Lazy Fish tasted very fresh! It was so good I didn’t mind a second helping of rice. Lol.  This dinner was included in our packaged, if you remember I mentioned earlier that there were 2 packages, one was THB 5000 while the other was THB 5500. If you opt for the THB 5500 then you will be able to enjoy this too! After dinner the resort treated us to a fun activity of Sky Lantern [ 孔明燈 ] as the weather permitted. A sky lantern is also known as Kongming lantern 孔明燈 or Chinese lantern, is
a small hot air balloon made of paper, with an opening at the bottom where a small fire. Wishes are written on the lantern and lit up and left to fly high into the sky, we were lucky as
there wasn’t much wind so our lantern flew really high up in the sky.

After we took our showers we gathered at the Garden area of Hadthong Resort for a drinking session as we admire the beauty of the lake in the nighttime. We could hear the sounds of the crickets. When we were all silent, the sound of the crickets were the only thing I could hear and for a moment I could feel that the whole earth is quiet. We went to bed at around 2am because I wanted to watch the sunrise early that day and we had a full day ahead tomorrow which included some very exciting sports - Water Rafting. I have never tried it before. Now, Let me summarize day 1, I was very excited when I left home and finally arrived in Phathallung and upon reaching Hadthong Resort we were greeted by the friendly staffs and our room was nice, it was spacious and economical, nothing fancy. Had everything it needs to have, so far so good tho I would very much love to stay in the suites facing the lake on my next trip, and yes I will share about the rooms soon and although I am not much of a person that loves nature because I fear those blood sucking Dracula called mosquitoes, but to my surprise there was very little of them here so I happily enjoyed nature. See you in the next post!

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  1. Great review of what else there is to see in Southern Thailand. Thanks Gaylen.

    1. You are welcome John. Thanks for dropping by my blog.

  2. Cheers to more happy vacations! But don't forget to do a dental treatment before the holidays to prevent yourself from dental problems!