Exploring Betong: A Comprehensive Guide for a 4-Day 3-Nights Itinerary

Hello guys! Welcome back to my blog!
As some of you may already know if you follow me on Instagram @mizhippo, I recently took a short trip with my family to Betong, a charming town located in the southernmost province of Thailand, Yala.
It was a fun and relaxing short gateaway, and what surprised me the most was that this small town had so much to offer, in terms of attractions and activities; from beautiful natural landscapes to unique culture experiences.
During my trip to Betong, I had the opportunity to explore the town's famous landmarks and indulge in its delicious food. Besides that, I also visited a few local cafes, which gave me a glimpse into the local way of life and experience the town's unique blend of coffee and culture.
I received several direct messages on Instagram asking about the details of the trip, so I decided to share all the bits and pieces of a 4-days 3-nights trip to Betong.
This post is going to be long as it will cover all aspects of my trip, including my accommodation, dining experiences, and places I visited.
I hope my sharing give you some valuable information when you planning your own trip to Betong.
So, sit back, relax, and let's dive into my adventure in this charming town in Southern Thailand!

From Kuala Lumpur to Betong

To begin, let me share with you how we traveled from Kuala Lumpur to Betong, Thailand.
We opted to drive, and the journey took around 7 hours with one pit stop in Ipoh for a delicious dim sum breakfast.
After the pit stop, we continued our drive to Betong without making any further stops, except for some restroom breaks.
To prepare for the drive, you will need to bring along your car registration card and passport. Upon approaching Betong, there is a roadside counter where you can purchase car insurance for RM30 per car. Additionally, at the same counter, you can also buy a Thai SIM card for RM35, as you may need access to WiFi during your trip.
It is important to note that you should fill up your petrol tank before starting the journey to Betong, as the cost of petrol in Thailand is generally more expensive than in Malaysia.

Upon arriving at the Thai border, you will need to fill out some forms.
However, it is mandatory to have the ladies at the counter assist you in filling out the forms at the Thai border, where they will charge you RM3 per form for their services.
Once you have completed the forms, simply follow the instructions from one counter to another before crossing the border into Thailand.

Welcome to Betong!^^

Where to Stay - Butterfly Princess Hotel

After doing some research on the available hotels in Betong, we decided to stay at the Butterfly Princess Hotel as we discovered the hotel is relatively new compare to the others.
We had made our reservation a month prior to our trip, as this hotel tends to be fully booked almost every weekend.

The hotel is not situated in the city center, but it is only a 10-minute drive away from the center and approximately 15 minutes from the Thai border. We once attempted to walk to downtown, and it took us around 20-25 minutes, depending on our walking speed. However, due to the hot weather in Betong, I would said it's better to drive instead of walking. #hehe
Despite the hotel being situated outside the city center, there are several local restaurants, food stalls, and a coffee shop in the area. Moreover, there was a convenience store located just around the corner, and a 7-11 store across the road, making it extremely convenient for us.
The hotel lobby was spacious and spotlessly clean, and the staff were extremely friendly and helpful. To add to our positive experience, we were even welcomed with refreshing welcome drinks upon our arrival.

For our three-night stay at the Butterfly Hotel, we booked a deluxe twin room, which turned out to be quite spacious.
The room was furnished with two comfortable twin beds, a long table, cloth racks, a bathroom and a balcony.

The room has a generously sized bathroom that included a toilet, and also featured a bathtub, which was a pleasant surprise for us.
The hotel provided us with essential toiletries such as shampoo, body wash, shower cap, toothbrush and toothpaste.
Additionally, we were impressed that the hotel staff changed our towels daily.

The view from our room.
It's also worth mentioning that the hotel also provided numerous TV channels, including access to Netflix. With such entertainment options available, we could have easily spent an entire day indoors without going out.

Food in Betong

After not having had authentic Thai food for quite some time, we were eager to indulge in some local Thai cuisine during our trip. A quick Google search led us to Baan Khun Chay Amphor Restaurant, and we all were excited to try out this highly rated restaurant and see what they had to offer.

With high expectations, we ordered a variety of dishes to try the diverse flavors of Thai cuisine.
Some of the dishes we ordered were Tom Yam, Green Curry Chicken, Lemon Steam Fish, Fried Pork, Papaya Salad, and Fried Belacan Bilin. These classic dishes are well-known for their distinct Thai flavors and are a must-try for any food enthusiast visiting Thailand.

When we arrived at 5pm, the place was less crowded compared to 7pm, and one thing about the restaurant is that the service tends to be quite slow even though we arrived there early.
Well anyway, including drinks and local beers, our bill came up to around THB1820, about RM235 for the eight of us.

Baan Khun Chay Amphor Restaurant Add: Tambon Betong, Betong District, Yala Thailand
Opening hours: Daily 830am to 830pm

I would highly recommend Jia Yean Restaurant as another local Thai restaurant to try.
We discovered this gem through Facebook and were impressed by their excellent service and reasonable prices. The portions served here are also larger than those of Baan Kun Chay Restaurant.
Including drinks, we paid a total of THB2100, about RM272 for a group of eight people. This is quite reasonable considering the quality and quantity of the food. We particularly enjoyed the bilins in Betong, so we ordered one with belacan and the other stir-fried. The lemon steam fish was also a standout dish, as well as the papaya salad, sizzling tofu, prawn grass noodle, and fried pork. Overall, we had a great dining experience at Jia Yean Restaurant and would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for authentic and affordable Thai cuisine. Jia Yean Restaurant
Add:  Q3C9+GQQ, Betong, Betong District, Yala 95110, Thailand
Tel: +66 81 898 8745
Opening hours: Daily 11am- 2pm, 4pm - 930pm

We were recommended Bai Yok Restaurant by our half-day local driver, and we were happy to find that it was air-conditioned, which made our dining experience more comfortable.
The restaurant was slightly more expensive than the other two we had visited earlier. However, we found the comfortable atmosphere inside with air conditioning worth the extra cost. We ordered five dishes, including belacan bilin (again!), steamed chicken, cold tofu, fried pork knuckles, and pork tendon. The steamed chicken and fried pork knuckles are popular dishes in Betong as most of the restaurant we went offer the same dishes, so we wanted to try them at least once.
Overall, the food at Bai Yok Restaurant was decent, but we found that the two other Thai restaurants we visited earlier in our trip offered better cuisine, also they do not include the prices for their fish dishes.

Bai Yok Restaurant
Add: Betong District, Yala 95110, Thailand
Tel: +66 86 964 4692
Opening hours: Daily 10am - 8pm
Before we arrived in Betong, we did some research about this famous fish maw soup called Lao Cai Fish Maw老蔡鱼鳔羹. We love fish maw, so we couldn't wait to try it the next day in Betong. The stall only opens in the morning until the broth runs out, so it's better to arrive early to avoid any disappointment.

The dish comes from a large container, and the workers will use a scoop to put it into bowls for you to eat at the tables. 看到都流口水了!

The fish maw broth comes with ingredients such as mushroom quail eggs, and also pig blood curd.
Look at the fish maw, it has a thick, bouncy texture that goes 'doink doink', and the flavour is so rich and savory. 真的很好吃!
I couldn't resist the temptation to order another bowl and my mum insisted to go back again on our last day before coming back to KL. Lao Cai Fish Maw老蔡鱼鳔羹
Add: Q3FC+82, Betong District, Yala 95110, Thailand
Tel: +66 98 016 6821
Opening hours: Daily 6am - 10am

During our trip, we also explored some of the local food stalls that served Thai pork knuckle rice 泰国猪脚饭 and pork organ soup猪杂汤.
The pork knuckle rice was cooked to perfection, with tender and juicy meat that paired well with the fragrant rice. The pork organ soup, on the other hand, had a rich broth that was bursting with flavors and spices. We enjoyed trying out these dishes as they gave us a taste of the local cuisine and were quite affordable as well.
If you have visited Bangkok before, you may be familiar with one of the popular Thai dishes, Wanton Mee 云吞面.
We found a local eatery situated behind the clock tower, near the big post box, that served Wanton Mee and decided to try it out.
They serve a delicious wanton mee that is definitely worth trying and satisfies our craving.
As a side note, I also like the Thai clear noodle soup which I can add the spices and vinegar myself to my desired level of spiciness and sourness.

I was really surprised by how delicious Yao zha guai 油炸鬼 was in Betong! Before my trip, I had never heard of this dish, so I wasn't sure what to expect. But after trying it, I realized why it's so popular among the locals. The deep-fried dough paired perfectly with the kaya sauce-based dip, and it was crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. I highly recommend trying this dish if you ever find yourself in Betong.

If you happen to be at the Skywalk Ayerweng, you should definitely check out the Betong Grass Jelly Shop. This shop is located in the Hakka village which is on the way to the Skywalk. It's a great place to stop by and try some of the locally-made grass jelly, which is a popular dessert in the area.

The grass jelly here has a very bouncy texture and distinct taste. Unlike other grass jellies, it has a flavor that is similar to Gui Ling Gao 龟苓膏, a type of Chinese herbal jelly, rather than the typical Liang Feng 凉粉 style. Make sure to stop by this shop and try it out for yourself!

Betong Grass Jelly Shop
Add: R33C+QCX, Tano Maero, Betong District, Yala 95110, Thailand
Tel: +66 73 230 413
Opening hours: Daily 8am - 2pm

After having plenty of authentic Thai cuisine during our trip, we decided to switch things up and try out a Thai Mookata buffet at Iam Cafe.
The buffet offers an all-you-can-eat option for only THB 299 per person with no time limit.
The restaurant was filled with many locals, which we took as a good sign.

We were delighted to find a wide selection of dishes to choose from, ranging from pork, chicken, seafood, and vegetables to tofu, sushi, Thai salad, and different beverages. They even had ice cream and cakes for dessert! :)
Overall, it may not have been the best buffet we had ever experienced, it was still a pleasant and decent enough option to try out different Thai dishes with a variety of options to choose from.

Iam Cafe
Add: 95 ถ.จันทโทัย Betong, Betong District, Yala 95110, Thailand
Tel: +66 95 198 8770
Opening hours: 2pm - 10am

Attractions - Where to Visit in Betong

Now, let's move on to the tourist attractions we visited during our trip to Betong.
The first destination was the Piyamit Tunnel, which is the underground tunnel that constructed during the Vietnam War and was used as a hideout by communist guerilla fighters.
It took us around 30 minutes to drive from Betong downtown to the Piyamit Tunnel.
When we arrived there, it was around 1pm and the place was still quite crowded with visitors.

When I first heard about the Piyamit Tunnel in Betong, I was really excited to visit.
I had read about its history as a secret hideout and base for communist guerilla fighters during the Cold War era, and was curious to see the tunnel and learn more about its significance.
We paid the entrance fee at THB60 per person, and then started our tour.

The Piyamit Tunnel complex turned out to be much larger than I expcted.
To reach the final tunnel, we had to climb the stairs amidst the lush green jungle.
Even though we were breathing heavily, we enjoyed the beautiful view.
There were lots of trees and plants on both sides, and we could smell the strong scent of the jungle.

Maps can be found at many corners around the tunnel area, making it easy to navigate and explore the surroundings.

During our journey towards the final tunnel, we also saw some fascinating places like the kitchen, where food was prepared, a room for doing laundry, and an old, rundown guard post.
It was interesting to see how the soldiers lived and worked in the tunnel during the war.

After a tiring walk through the jungle and some climbing up and down, we finally reached the tunnel.
Surprisingly, we found out that there were total 9 entrances and exits within the tunnel, which made it even more interesting to explore.

The Piyamit Tunnel is an interesting sight to see.
It is amazing to see the fine details and skilled work that were put into making it, also think of how it was carved and made during ancient times, without the help of modern technology.
As we walked through the dark and damp tunnel, we had to be careful on the uneven ground and also the low ceiling.
Despite the musty air, the chill inside was a refreshing after the hot weather outside.

What made the tour interesting was that halfway through the tour, the electricity suddenly went out, which scared us a lot.
The tunnel was completely dark and to make matters worse, we were the only eight people trapped inside without any source of electricity!
It was a surreal experience relying solely on the flashlight on our phones to guide us to the nearest exit.
We cautiously walked through the dimly lit tunnel, trying not to trip or fall.
To be honest! It was definitely an unforgettable experience that we wouldn't want to repeat anytime soon! 真的吓死宝宝我了!

Exiting from exit number 6, we felt a great relief upon finding our way out of the tunnel.
Finally being able to breathe in fresh air again was definitely a refreshing sensation after being in the tunnel.

There is a museum showcases the history of the communist war and serves as a memorial for its members.
It also houses a collection of artifacts and items from the past that can only be seen in museums.

That concludes our trip to Piyamit Tunnel. :)
Before leaving the compound, there is a tree called the "thousand year old tree" 千年树 which is very old, huge, and tall that worth a stop for a picture.

The Skywalk Ayerweng is another popular destination that you shouldn't miss when visiting Betong.
It is a raised platform that offers a panoramic view of the surrounding area.
From the top, you can see the beautiful landscape of the town, including the mountains, trees, and the colorful rooftops of the buildings below.
It's a great spot to take photos and enjoy the cool breeze.

In order to arrive at the mountain on time, we had to leave the hotel at 4:30am.
Since it was too early and we were not familiar with the road, we decided to rent a van for half a day to visit the skywalk.
We paid THB2800, about RM362 for the half day service, which turned out to be a good choice as we realized that it would be risky to drive on the mountain road as it would be too dark and we were not familiar with the direction and the road.
And from the foot of the mountain, you can rent a motorbike or a tuk-tuk to go to the top of the mountain.
The cost to share a tuk-tuk with 10 people when going to the mountain is THB30 per person, and the return trip is THB20 per person.

For the skywalk, we paid a fee of THB60 per person which also included the use of recycled sock slippers.
It is required to wear sock slippers to protect the glass floor and prevent slipping.

Standing on the Skywalk at the top of the mountain and watching the sunrise is truly an awe-inspiring experience.
The view is breathtaking, and as the sun slowly rises above the horizon, the sky is filled with a stunning array of colors.
You can feel the warmth of the sun on your skin and the cool breeze blowing through your hair.
It's a peaceful and tranquil moment, and you can't help but feel grateful for the opportunity to witness such a beautiful sight.

The view of the egg yolk from the skywalk is absolutely stunning, as well as the mountain view that is partially obscured by the clouds.
It's definitely worth seeing!

We climbed up the stairs, one after another, until we reached the top, where we were greeted by strong winds blowing around us.

Well, if you don't want to pay THB60 to access the skywalk, you can climb the stairs on the left side for a similar view.
Although the view may not be as high as the one from the top skywalk, it is still worth seeing because it is beautiful in its own way.

It's a wrap at the Skywalk Ayerweng!

There are many attractions to explore around the Skywalk and Piyamit area, including a hot spring and a winter flower garden.
Since we had hired a half-day driver, we decided to visit the flower garden for a leisurely stroll.

The winter flower garden in Betong is a picturesque garden filled with colorful flowers, lush greenery, and beautiful landscapes.
The garden has a wide variety of flowers, including chrysanthemums, petunias, and roses, among others.
It is a popular tourist destination for visitors to enjoy a peaceful stroll amidst the natural beauty of the garden.

The winter flower garden in Betong offers a picturesque setting with numerous spots perfect for taking photos.
However, the weather can be very hot and challenging to manage while walking around the garden.

With my dad and mum <3

Some other attractions to visit in Betong include the Mongkollit Tunnel, which located just a few kilometers from the city center.
It was built during the Second World War by the Japanese Army as a means of transporting supplies and troops.

This is a picture of the clock tower during the daytime in Betong.
It is one of the landmarks in the city and a popular tourist attraction.
The clock tower is located in the city center and is surrounded by shops and eateries.

At night, the clock tower is lit up with colorful lights, creating a beautiful and vibrant atmosphere.

Another place in Betong where you can take pictures is the big post box.
It is quite famous and popular among tourists because of its unique design and vibrant red color.
The post box is located near the clock tower and you can easily spot it while walking around the town center.

Here are some pictures of Betong city center during the day and night.
We visited during their public holiday, Songkran, so many shops were closed.
However, we still found plenty of food stalls on the streets and in alleys, open day and night.
Anyway, there are also other attractions such as Wat Phuttha Thiwat that we didn't have the chance to visit. So, if you are interested in temples, it might be worth checking out.

Cafe Hopping in Betong

Finding a good cafe in Betong is quite challenging, as some of the previously popular ones have closed down.
However, I was pleasantly surprised to find some decent cafes that were definitely worth a visit, especially in a small town like Betong.
The first cafe I visited was the Jiajai Coffee Bakery and Thai Desserts, located at the downtown area.

Jaijai Coffee Cafe provides a comfortable and relaxing atmosphere to enjoy a cup of coffee and indulge in some delicious local kuih.
The cafe not only offers excellent coffee, but also a selection of delectable treats that are definitely worth trying.
We tried several varieties and found them to be quite enjoyable.

Jiajai Coffee Bakery and Thai Desserts
Add: 57 ถนนจันทโรทัย เบตง, Betong, Yala 95110, Thailand
Tel: +66 93 615 4629
Opening hours: Everyday 830am-530pm

While exploring the city of Betong, I came across Lot18 cafe & Bar, which gave off a cozy and inviting ambiance.
It was the perfect spot to relax and unwind. I was pleased to find that the coffee was not only great but also reasonably priced.
I ordered an ice honey americano for only THB650 and it was delicious.

Such a cozy and relaxing spot to enjoy some good coffee and unwind.
The interior design is stylish and modern with a rustic touch, and the atmosphere is calm and peaceful.
The cafe offers both indoor and outdoor seating areas, which provide different vibes for customers to choose from.

Lot18 Cafe & Bar
Add: 18 ถ.ฉายาชวลิต Betong, Amphoe Betong, Yala 95110, Thailand
Tel: +66 81 095 4774
Opening hours: Daily 7am- 5pm

After spending some time exploring Betong, we felt like having something cold and refreshing, so we decided to look for a place that serves bingsu.
A quick Google search led us to Lay's Cafe Bingsu & Dessert, and we were immediately drawn in by the pictures of their beautiful bingsu creations.

Despite the slow service, the quality of the bingsu at Lay cafe did not disappoint.
Although it took a while to be served, we were happy with our orders of the Mango Sticky Rice Bingsu and Red Watermelon Bingsu, which were priced at THB159 each.
The flavors and textures were spot-on, making it a refreshing treat on a hot afternoon.

Lay's Cafe Bingsu & Dessert Add: 63/1 ถ.ภักดีดำรงค์ Betong District, Yala 95110, Thailand
Opening hours: Daily 1130am - 9pm

That's a wrap for our trip to Betong!!!
It's important to cherish the small things in life because time passes by quickly. I'm grateful that I took a break from work to spend four days with my family, especially my parents. As we age, it becomes more essential to treasure every moment we have with our loved ones and create lasting memories. These moments are invaluable and will be cherished forever.

So yea! That's all about my Betong trip sharing today!
Thank you for taking the time to read my lengthy post about my 4-day-3-night trip to Betong. I hope you found the information helpful and enjoyable.
It was a great adventure exploring the various attractions, from the Skywalk Ayerweng and Piyamit Tunnel to the Winter Flower Garden and the local cafes. Betong is a charming town that is well worth a visit, and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for an off-the-beaten-path destination. Thank you again for reading, and I will see you soon on my next post!


joey said...

Hi Ivy, thk u so so much for sharing ur passion. Envy.😊
May l ask for ur advice if back packing alone to Betong on public transport is doable ? Any tips is appreciated. 🙏🏻 Tqvm

hiphippopo said...

Hi, sorry about my late reply. It's easy to get around in downtown Betong if you stay in the city. For going to the Piyamit Tunnel and skywalk, you can probably book a private ride through your hotel. However, I'm not sure if there's public transport from KL to Betong, maybe can check more info on google. :) Anyway, thanks for dropping by my blog, and I hope to see you around again. :)

Anonymous said...

Hi, is Grab car available in Betong? Thanks

hiphippopo said...

I think Grab is not easy over there. But if you stay in the city, it's very convenient to walk around.

Anonymous said...

Hello! I was wondering if you encountered any night markets during your visit? If you did, by any chance, do you know their opening and closing times, the days they are held, and where they are located? There is very limited information about Betong's night markets on the internet unfortunately.

Thanks in advance!