This shopping complex is a must visit for you shopping kakis. Tuk-tuk ride from our hotel (and the area) usually cost 25 THB per person. There are plenty of tuk-tuk in front of the mall but they might try to overcharge. Ride back to Lee Garden Plaza area could reach 30 - 40 THB per person but I refused to pay 120 THB for 4 pax on a shared ride and so the driver agreed on 100 THB upon seeing me checking my phone.
He must have thought that I was about to call another tuk-tuk. Get yourself a local SIM for convenience.
So mengada! But people trying to overcharge you is normal la when you're a tourist. Pay if you're willing, walk away if you aren't.
|First check point|
Central Festival is probably the first mall in Southern Thai that I've visited. The shopping complexes in Bangkok had no security check (that I know of, dunno if now got) but it is common in southern states.
Considering that we visited a few days after the series of bombing in Thailand, we felt secure a bit la seeing all the security details. They check your bags so leave the usual clutters and bring only what's necessary.
The first check point got us into the mall compound. They have a flea market-ish setup in front of the mall. We saw cute socks and shoes and dresses and and soaps and phone cover and I don't remember what else.
|Second check point to get into the mall|
This is a huge mall. Our mission was the phone shops on level 3 (it's like their digital floor) so we didn't get to see much but from what little we saw, I'd say this mall probably have everything under its roof. We saw international brands like Mark & Spencer, Skinfood, Victoria's Secret and H&M. There are lots of eateries and familiar brands like CBTL and Starbucks. If you feel like catching a movie, there's a cinema too! Just check and make sure the language is not in Thai ;)
|Clothes selling for cheap (average 200 THB) at temporary kiosks|
Nice place to shop la. Especially if you miss The Curve or Midvalley - but with less crowd.
Few tips to get cheaper ride in Hatyai:
* Walk a bit from your hotel. Tuk-tuks in front of hotels tend to charge higher price
* Hire car rental from travel agency. They are more willing to bargain as compared to tour agents in hotels
*Stay at a centrally-located hotel. Hotel in a "remote" area means you're at the mercy of (limited/few) tuk-tuk drivers.