. The beautiful beaches of Hua Hin (Stone Head) stretch as far as the eye can see, and their white sands and sky blue sea mixes perfectly with the aromatic punch of freshly cooked seafood, carried by the breeze from Hua Hin’s seafront restaurants.
Hua Hin is 200 kilometres south of Bangkok, in Prachuap Khiri Khan Province, and is a much-favoured resort for Thai people for escaping from the hustle and bustle of Bangkok for a few days of fun.
Hua Hin, Prachuap Khiri Khan Province
Klai Kangwon Palace (far from worries), was built in 1926, and ever since has been home to Thai royalty. Today it’s a favourite residence of His Majesty King Bhumibol. Although it’s not open to public viewing, the palace is still a major attraction from the outside for visitors to Hua Hin.
The resort has five-star Hilton and Marriott hotels lining the beach, but if they’re a touch too expensive for you, there are plenty of cheaper spa resorts and a great choice of hotels and guesthouses not far from the waterfront.
I settled myself into the Araya Hotel on Chomsin Road, just a stone’s throw from the water’s edge. Although it was a little overpriced by Thai standards at 1300 baht (24 Euro), the hotel staff were so helpful and friendly and the room comfortable and clean.
The resort has many restaurants to choose from, and the most popular ones are found on the seafront in Naresdamri Road. You can take your pick from loads of restaurants serving Thai, European and Indian cuisines, as well as some splendid seafood restaurants as well.
You can also sample typical Thai style nightlife at a night market off Petchakasem Road, where there are snack stalls and open-air restaurants serving scores of Thai dishes and seafood. The market itself is crammed full of souvenirs and the usual cheap clothing and bric-à-brac. It’s well worth a view.
Anyone searching for louder nightlife action can check out Soi Selakam, near the Hilton Hotel, where they’ll find plenty of western-style bars and sexy Thai girls. The Hilton Hotel is also a late-night music hotspot, and it’s where many bar girls go after their evening shift.
Daylight in Hua Hin offers you plenty to do
Visiting the beach will be on most people’s daily itinerary because Hua Hin’s white sands make it an idyllic place to be. You can take a 30-minute horse ride along the beach for 8 Euro and relax under a parasol with a refreshing drink and fresh seafood dish.
Away from the beach Ban Chang Safari Park is only four kilometres outside of town. The park has hour-long elephant rides around the reserve for 1,000 baht (18 Euro), or 300 baht, a guide will nurse you through hand-feeding the elephants.
Khao Tapiak, Hua Hin
I’d recommend a trip to Khao Tapiak (Chopsticks Mountain), which is known to the locals as Monkey Hill. It’s best to hire a tuk-tuk for the short but steep ride up Khao Takiap, but on your ascent, you’ll get a great view of Hua Hin’s coastline.
The short, but relatively steep climb, passes fish and seafood restaurants and a fishing village to the summit, where Wat Khao Tapiak and hundreds of monkeys will greet you. The temple grounds and surrounding area has hordes of monkeys who wander freely around, and you can feed them if you so wish. But be careful, they have very sharp teeth.
You do not need to be a railway enthusiast to visit Hua Hin Railway Station. It’s one of the oldest railway stations in Thailand, an architectural marvel, and considered by many Thais to be the most attractive of its kind in their country. The station was built during the reign of King Rama VI. The Royal Waiting Room, though not part of the original construction, is a major attraction. Hua Hin Railway Station is at the west end of Damnoern Road.
Try a Thai cookery course
In Hua Hin, you can put on an apron and take a Thai cooking course. One day courses are available and teach how to prepare and cook a few select Thai dishes. The cookery course fee includes an early morning pick up from your hotel, from there, you’re ‘whisked’ off to a local market to buy ingredients for your cookery lessons. The course teaches in small groups, and your tour rep or hotel reception will able to book you a spot or direct you to someone who can.
Hua Hin is an ideal resort for families, couples and singles. It’s a top-class beach resort with plenty to do away from its glorious white sands.