Minivans are ideal for middle distance excursions.
More so if you want to take advantage of time and get to your destination as early as possible.
We didn't know what lies ahead if we had taken the stage bus, so, the chartered van came at a higher price.
But I couldn't ask for more as we reached Nakhon Si Thammarat, some 300km away from Hat Yai in record time.
The van dropped us off in the town area and we had to haul our luggage to Thai Hotel, where we stayed for a night.
A room there is about 550 baht and we specifically asked for a room with attached bathroom and as a bonus, WiFi is available free-of-charge to hotel guests.
The location of the hotel is convenient as it is in the central area of town.
Nakhon Si Thammarat is a large town with some historical sites.
One of the "must see" attractions here is the Wat Phra Mahathat Woramahawihan which is located about 5km away from the downtown area.
|Hat Yai's bus station|
|Getting ready for the journey to Nakhon|
Earlier, we met a Thai man of Chinese origin who told us where to eat.
It seems that there is a decent coffee shop at the corner of Bangkok Bank that serves chicken rice.
We took a walk around the area and found the place where we had lunch.
After a good fill, we went to a Hainanese coffee shop across our hotel called Cafe Hao where Roger had suggested a short ride to the historical temple.
We went back to our rooms and got ourselves ready with the bikes for the short excursion.
|At the train station|
|Wat Wang Tawang Tok - restored by the Siam Architect's society|
|Hao Cafe, a nice place to chill out in Nakhon|
Our first stop was the ancient city walls
This is a ruin and a large structure at the outskirts of the town area.
We snapped some shots and seeing the dark skies looming ahead, we wasted little time to head off to the historical Wat Phra Mahathat Woramahawihan.
|The historical city walls|
|Wat Phra Mahathat Woramahawihan|
|A scene from the historical temple|
|Buddha statues at the temple area|
We spent some time at the temple and headed down towards the City Pillar Shrine.
Just nearby, was the Tourism Authority of Thailand office.
We visited this facility and took some brochures of the province which will be used as our guide.
There were also illustrated city maps where most major attractions of the district are shown.
After the brief visit, we rode out of town and decided that its best to head back for a beer at a local grill opened by an expatriate.
Over a few drinks we chilled out in a relaxing atmosphere and recapped the day that was.
Dinner was just around the corner, so, we headed back to the hotel to keep our bikes.
|A street hawker at work with his wok...|
|Tom Yam goong!|
Excellent and cheap hawker fare!
We found a hawker doing stir-fried dishes around the corner at our hotel.
There was a steady crowd having their makan there, so, we waited a bit.
As soon as they cleared, we sat down and ordered some dishes.
Roger, who speaks a little bit of Thai, took the lead by ordering some dishes
We were amazed at the speed the dishes were prepared and the fare was excellent!
After a good fill, we bought some beers and snacks and headed back to our rooms to work out the expenses.
The bulk of the expenditure was the chartered van and I paid for the hotel rooms.
So, after splitting the cost, we were even.
Time to hit the sack for the short ride to Sichon...