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  1. #1
    Mid
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    Southern influx hits Hat Yai

    Southern influx hits Hat Yai
    13/06/2011

    Up to 200,000 flee violence, straining the city's resources

    SONGKHLA : At least 200,000 people have moved to downtown Hat Yai district since 2004, sparking a real estate and commercial boom as the city bounces back from last year's major floods.

    Prai Pattano, Hat Yai municipal mayor, said most new arrivals had moved to Hat Yai from the far South, fleeing the ongoing insurgent violence which flared there in 2004.

    They had either settled permanently or bought a second home.

    The district has been a commercial and trading hub for the lower South for many years.

    He estimates the new arrivals in and around central Hat Yai now number at least 200,000, similar to the number of long-term Hat Yai residents living in and around the municipal area.

    Mr Prai added that the district was going through a boom, after recovering quickly from last year's deadly floods.

    Thanawat Poolsilp, chairman of the Songkhla Real Estate Association, said more than 100 housing estate projects with about 10,000 houses and five condominiums were being advertised.

    Migration of residents from the far South had pushed up demand for housing, causing a shortage of labour in the construction sector.

    Many housing projects sold out within less than a year of their launch.

    Krit Prathanratnikorn, managing director of the President Hotel in Hat Yai, said he had sold a 47-rai land plot to a business group for development into a large shopping and trading complex.
    The investment has pushed up land prices in the area by 20-30%, he said.

    Somchart Pimthanapoolporn, chairman of the Hat Yai-Songkhla Hotels Association, said tourism has recovered since the floods, and most hotels are fully booked on weekends and more than 70% full on weekdays.

    Mr Prai said Hat Yai was expanding to the west and south. Land is scarce in urban areas and people are afraid of living in flood-prone sections of the city. More housing and commercial developments are expected to go up on the city's southern periphery, connected by transport routes to the border with Malaysia.

    Mr Prai said he envisioned Hat Yai municipality would one day be administered as a special zone, similar to Pattaya and Chiang Mai municipalities, which have their own elected mayor.

    This would allow for more flexible management, and reduce red tape which had frustrated efforts to modernise the city. With residents' blessing, Hat Yai city plans to ask the government to grant it special administration zone status.

    Mr Prai predicted that if Hat Yai municipality was a specially administered zone, its progress would outpace that of Chiang Mai municipality.

    The city is strategically located near regional transport routes, and a planned Southern Corridor connecting Europe with Southeast Asia and China by land.

    bangkokpost.com

  2. #2
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    dirk diggler's Avatar
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    That's pretty nuts for the 'in town' population to almost double in 7 years.

    Lets hope they're all thirsty!

    As for hotels, book in advance for weekends. That extra 1 hour drive farther than Da Nok is such a wise move for our Malaysian neighbours.

    Hat Yai will have it's chance to shine, it's still pretty much tourist free.
    Lang may yer lum reek...

  3. #3
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    dirk diggler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mid View Post
    He estimates the new arrivals in and around central Hat Yai now number at least 200,000, similar to the number of long-term Hat Yai residents living in and around the municipal area.
    Hat Yai (Thai: หาดใหญ่, pronounced [hːt jj], also Haad Yai or Had Yai) is a city in southern Thailand near the boundary to Malaysia. Located at 71′N 10028′E, it has a population of 157,359 (2008) in the city itself and about 800,000 in the greater Hat Yai area. Hat Yai is the largest city of Songkhla Province, the largest metropolitan area in Southern, and third largest metropolitan area of the country. It is often mistaken as being the capital of the province, but 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 their close connection, and accordingly, Hat Yai and Songkhla form the Greater Hatyai-Songkhla Metropolitan Area.

    hmm.

  4. #4
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    harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    So it would seem the muslim campaign to drive out the infidel is working, thanks to spineless government.

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