[Places To See Before You're Too Old]
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21 December 2009

Haadyai, Thailand

Hat Yai, Thailand (Thai : หาดใหญ่) is a city in southern Thailand near the boundary to Malaysia. With a population of 157,359 (2008) in the core city and about 800,000 in the Greater Hat Yai. Hat Yai is the biggest city of Songkhla Province and the largest metropolitan area in Southern Thailand, and is thus often mistaken as being the capital of the province. However Songkhla is the capital and the center of administration and culture while Hat Yai is the business center. The two cities are considered as twin cities due to the close connection, accordingly, Hat Yai and Songkhla form the Greater Hatyai-Songkhla Metropolitan Area. The name "Hat Yai" is a short version of "Ma Hat Yai", meaning big Ma Hat (Thai: มะหาด) tree, a relative of jackfruits in genus Artocarpus. Originally named Khok Sa-Met Choon, Hat Yai was a small village until the southern railway was built there. The junction which connected the town of Songkhla with the main route was originally located in the Utapao area, but was moved to Khok Su-Met Choon in 1922 when the Utapao area turned out to be flood prone.

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