DANOK - This border town, known for parties that go on until the wee hours of the morning had been preparing for the mother of all parties on Christmas eve.
But with the explosions rocking Danok and two other nearby towns, it was soon reduced to being a ghost town with thousands of Malaysians fleeing back across the border into Malaysia.
At Oliver Hotel, which saw the biggest explosion, the Christmas tree in the lobby was badly damaged and its ornaments strewn everywhere.
As frightened Malaysians fled the border towns of Danok, Padang Besar and Sadao, there was a more than 1.5km long bumper-to-bumper crawl at the Malaysia-Thai border of Bukit Kayu Hitam.
Malaysian Johar Jaafar, 41, a staff member at the duty free zone outlet near the Bukit Kayu Hitam Immigration Complex, said he heard a loud explosion at about 11.30am yesterday.
"I rushed over the border to the scene. It was chaotic.
"I have never seen anything like this before. It was terrifying.
"I helped pull out some of those injured to safety and waited for the ambulance to arrive," he said, relating his experience.