The Route Around Songkhla Lake

| March 8, 2016

Driving around Songkhla Lake is easy, since all major roads are connected with one another, and they are asphalted. Various tourist sites are accessible by car. The route around Songkhla lake spreads across three provinces, namely Songkhla, Nakhon Si Thammarat, and Phatthalung, which are recognized as a southern rice bowl. Starting from the town of Songkhla. drive to the North on Highway No.408 lying in parallel with Sathing Phra Peninsula of Songkhla, with the Gulf of Thailand on the right and Songkhla lake on the left. The highway leads to the town of Nakhon Si Thammarat. But if you do not want to enter Nakhon Si Thammarat, you may turn to Highway No. 4151 in Hua Sa( District. This highway links with the highways no. 41, 4 and 43 heading for the South passing through Phatthalung towards Hat Yai and then turning to Songkhla again.
In the town of Songkhla, motorists may stop to have delicious dishes and buy some food as provisions. The famous indigenous food here includes Hat Yai fried chicken, khao yam bai yo, coconut cream rice with chicken curry, Khanom Chin (Thai rice noodle) with fish maw curry and various kinds of vegetables, Tao Kua, and seaweed spicy salad.
Adjacent to the Gulf of Thailand, Songkhla is a small peaceful town with long beaches lined with pine trees and small gardens. Hat Samila, Laem Samila, and Laem Son On, in particular, are the places where it is safe to swim. Two famous offshore islands here are Ko Nu and Ko Maeo.Visitors may take photographs with the bronze mermaid on the rock at Hat Samila for remembrance.
From the town of Songkhla, drive towards Tinsulanonda Bridge though Highway No. 407 and Highway No. 408. The longest bridge in Thailand, Tinsulanonda Bridge is 2,640 meters long and is divided into two sections. The first seelion links the southern coastal area at Ban Nam Krachai with the lower part of Ko Yo, or Yo Island. The other section links the northern Ko Yo with the coast of Songkhla Lake at Ban Khao Khieo.
Located 14 kilometers from the town of Songkhla, Ko Yo is an old fishing community rich in fruit crops. The Ko Yo fabric is a famous local product. Ko Yo is now open for tourism featuring the southern lifestyle and objects. Accommodations are also available for visitors. Looking from the top of the mountain on Ko Yo, numerous fish farms are seen in the lake around this island.

The asphalt road around Ko Yo has two lanes. The speed limit should be 20-40 kilometers an hour because there are many communities along the way. Some communities sell fish and some sell champada, a kind of aromatic fruit somewhat similar to jackfruit, on roadsides. At the end of the island is Wat Thai Yo, an ancient temple, where the old wooden house of the abbot has been preserved. Don’t miss tasty food prepared from fresh shrimps, crabs, fish. and squid available every day at restaurants there. The Tambon Ko Yo Administrative Organization offers boats for rent to those who want to make a tour of fish farms and the lake around Ko Yo.
Next, drive across Tinsulanonda Bridge to the north of Ko YO to return to the mainland, called Sathing Phra Peninsula, over 70 kilometers in length. The peninsula is enchanting with natural beauty and old temples in the Srivichai architectural style. Highway No. 408 is a major road of two lanes, which are flat throughout. Small holes are found in some sections of the road, so motorists are advised to drive carefully.
About 30 kilometers from Singhanakhon District is Sathing Phra District and 500 meters before the Sathing Phra District Office is a signboard on the left showing the way to Thale Sap No Hunting Area, which is commonly known as khu khut. Only a two-kilometer drive further are accommodations and a riverside restaurant. Specialties are fried mullet, mullet in tamarind flavored soup in the southern style, and ponyfish tamarind-flavored soup.
The khu khut area has been conserved since 1976 to maintain the wetland ecological system as a natural habitat for animals, especially aquatic birds. A total of 216 bird species is found in this area. Tourists may hire boats for bird watching.

In front of the No Hunting Lake Area Office is a high tower, from where a panoramic view of the lake can be obtained. In a large map, Songkla Lake like a lagoon is divided into three parts. The first part contains saltwater, the second part brackish water and the third part freshwater almost all year round. The three parts stretch over 974 square kilometers. Songkhla Lake is recognized as the largest Inland lake in Southeast Asia and freshwater here flow from the Nakhon Si Thammarat mountain range in the west. It is a major food source for more than 700 fish species, many of which are facing extinction. The lake feeds over 1.2 million people living around the area and is the locations of several cultural auractions, particularly Wat Phakho, Wat Chathing Phra, and Wat Siyang.
Apart from khu khut, Sathing Phra District is considered a rice bowl of Songkhla, as the side of Highway No. 408 is a large rice field surrounded with toddy palm trees. Around 30 kilometers north of Sathing Phra District is Krasae Sin District. From Highway No.408, turn left to Highway No. 4196 passing the district office along the waterway. The sea of pink waterlily, one of the most beautiful lotus varieties in Thailand, is found here. This Highway No. 4196 spreads around Ko Yai in Songkhla Lake and finally turns around to Highway No. 408.
Driving on the two-lane road to appreciate one ot the most beautiful palm forests in Thailand, passing through Ranot and Hua Sat districts, about 60 kilometers in length, turn left to Highway No. 4151 and then drive back to the west for about 54 kilometers until reaching Highway No. 14 in Cha-uat District of Nakhon Si Thammarat Province. Then turn left again heading for Pa Phayom District of Phatthalung Province towards Thale Noi No Hunting Area”, an aquatic bird conservation area and a large sea of lotus.

Songkhla Map Thailand

Category: Songkhla