Located about 3 kilometres from Songkhla market (Thalat Supsin or Thalat Sot Thetsaban), Hat Samila is pleasantly free of crowds and a joy to amble along. The two islands off this part of the coast (Koh Nu - Mouse Island, Koh Maewo - Cat Island) are depicted in statues located at the north end of the beach. Alongside these statues is another, much revered statue depicting Mae Thorani (a Hindu goddess) as a mermaid. The statue is an iconic symbol of Songkhla (you'll see it on the postcards) and has become a shrine to locals who believe it has the ability to bring them good fortune. The sea here is suitable for swimming, and boats can be hired by the pier for deep sea fishing. This beach is never going to compete with Thailand's grander beaches, but for a more solitary experience and quiet contemplation, it can't be beaten.
How to get there: Hat Yai-Songkhla buses pass Hat Samila and songtaews to the beach are available from within Songkhla town.