Samila Beach is a 3 km stretch of white sand beach in the popular tourist town of Songkhla, near Hat Yai in Southern Thailand.
The most famous feature of Samila Beach is its mermaid statue. The mermaid statue takes on the same pose as Mae Thoranee, the earth goddess, who appeared during the marathon length meditation session at the end of which the Lord Buddha achieved enlightenment. According to Buddhist scripture Mae Thoranee squeezed the water from her hair washing away the Demon God Mara and his army who were attempting to break the Lord Buddha’s concentration and thus stop him attaining enlightenment.
About Samila Beach
The busiest part of Samila Beach is the eastern end nearest Songkhla Town centre. In front of the famous mermaid statue is a long promenade ending in front of roundabout bearing the name ‘Samila Beach’. Lining the promenade are restaurants, shops and market stalls. At the beach end of the promenade is large concrete pavilion.
Samila Beach is not a swimming or sunbathing beach. There are a lot of large ships in the bay and the water may not be that clean.The beach is somewhere people walk along or sit around. People also come to exercise, ride bicycles, and even horses, up and down the beach side path. They also come at sunset to enjoy an ice cream, a sausage on a stick, draw pictures of the bay, or (like me) a beer. The proportion of tourists to locals using this public area appears to be about 50/50.
Looking westwards along Samila Beach from the mermaid statue the bay curves gently northwards for just under 3 km. For the entire length of the bay there is wide border of pine trees all the way to far tip of the peninsular marking the end of the beach and opening of large river mouth linking the sea to the vast Songkhla Lake.
A walk along Samila Beach brings you to another area with two more famous statues. The first is the head of a mythological fire breathing serpent called a Naga. This is a three part sculpture with the body of the beast and its tail depicted in sculptures at points further down the coastline. The other major statue is of other Krom Luang Chumphon, also known as the Prince of Chumphon, who is credited with creating the modern Thai Navy particularly in shaping the way it was administered rather like Samuel Pepys in England.
Horse riding is a popular activity on Samila Beach. There are lots of horses on Songkhla complete with keepers dressed as American cowboys. This is a children’s activity. For 150 THB per person you get to ride a horse up and down the beach lead by the aforementioned cowboy attired keeper. Having your photograph taken on top of the horse costs 50 THB. The horses look very healthy and well groomed.
The other famous statue on Samila Beach is the cat and mouse statue at the eastern end of the beach. This large statue was installed in 2000 to commemorate the local legend of the cat, the mouse, the dog and the magic crystal. According to the legend a Chinese merchant ship carrying a magic crystal was passing by Simila Beach when the ships’s dog, cat and mouse, working together as a team, stole the magic crystal and made a bid for freedom by attempting to swim to the shore. Neither dog, cat, mouse or magic crystal ever made it to the beach. The dog turned into Tang Kuan hill, the cat and mouse turned into the two islands in the bay, named Cat Island (Koh Maeow) and and Mouse Island (Koh Nu).
Location of Samila Beach
Samila Beach is located 4.1 km from Songkhla Bus Terminal.