Two and a half hours south east of Bangkok is a beach resort which has been described as the oldest and most traditional of all Thailand’s resorts. Perhaps this is due to the fact that Thai royal families built summer palaces here. Or, perhaps that it was a fashionable escape for residents of Bangkok to this once a quiet fishing village. Many of Bangkok’s rich and famous built their own beachfront summer homes to enjoy leisurely family weekends in a resort that has maintained its unique identity. What you will find, on your Hua Hin vacation, is that it combines the charm of an active fishing port with today’s modern tourist facilities. However, the local authorities have endeavoured to avoid the commercialism which has affected many of Thailand’s premier beach destinations.
The many activities you can undertake in this town include swimming, sunbathing, snorkeling, golf, spas, seafood restaurants, and good shopping – all the ingredients necessary for an enjoyable Hua Hin vacation.
In the evening, the winding roads, which feature a great variety of shops, restaurants and nightlife establishments, make for an interesting and relaxing stroll. The seaside restaurants built on stilts into the sea offer excellent seafood at still very affordable prices.
The 5 kilometre/3 mile beach is very attractive and clean. There is only one beach which runs from one end of Hua Hin to the other. On one side, you can find a Buddhist temple clinging to the cliffs, and on the other, a view of Khao Takiab, which translates as Chopstick Hill, which has some excellent views of Hua Hin and a good place to watch magnificent sunsets.
Buildings of Interest Which Add to Hua Hin’s Charm
The Hua Hin Railway Station is a must-see on your Hua Hin vacation. It is Thailand’s most beautiful train station of which the local people are very proud. The wooden building used to be a royal pavilion from a former palace. It is a landmark and somewhat iconic institution. The Royal Waiting Room that used to welcome the King and his court when they were visiting is still intact.
The Hua Hin Arts and Crafts Centre is situated in an old house and has a collection and exhibition of many contemporary works by Thai artists, as well as old furniture and many pictures about Hua Hin in the past.
I mentioned Thai royalty. The Klai Kangwon Palace was originally built for one of Thailand’s kings in 1929. This Spanish-style summer palace, 3 kilometres/2 miles from the centre, faces the sea and overlooks an extensive ornamental garden. The Thai Royal Family still come here several times a year.
What Else Is There to See and Do?
The answer to this question is lots. Let’s start with the 11 tier waterfall called Namtok Pa La-u. It is some 60 kilometres/ 36 miles away but a beautiful place to visit, with its verdant forest full of various types of birds and butterflies. It is situated in the Kaeng Krachan National Park, the largest national park in Thailand.
The Sam Roi Yot National Park is approximately the same distance away and is renowned for its limestone mountains, mangrove swamps, beaches, and several species of local and migrating birds. Some attractions within the park are Hat Laem Sala, a beach which can be reached by boat or on foot across a hill, and the nearby Phraya Nakhon Cave, which has a large hole in it so that the sunlight can shine through – allowing plantation to grow. Then there is Kham Kaeo, a cave with an abundance of stalactites and stalagmites.
Drinking Thai wine? Really? Well, there is a vineyard nestled in a scenic mountain valley close to Hua Hin that produces a Rhone type grape and operates daily tours which include a wine tasting. Not something you’d expect on a Hua Hin vacation!
For children and families, there is the Black Mountain Water Park, which features small slides, shallow pools, and a play area. The water park is part of a resort that also has private villas and a 30-acre golf course.
Thailand is well known for its night markets, and strolling through them on your Hua Hin vacation is no exception. Hua Hin Night Market will take you to food stalls, souvenirs, clothes, and wares. It is also a great place for people-watching and to enjoy one of the many seafood restaurants that line the road.
Cicada Market is the place for art and handmade crafts. Besides the crafts market, you will also find an art gallery, a beer garden, and live music. Open only on weekend evenings, the market is usually packed with weekenders from Bangkok. There is an open-air food court in a nice garden offering all kinds of savoury snacks. Part of Cicada Market’s philosophy is to help promote Hua Hin as an art destination and to provide a platform for local art groups to express their talents and creativity.
The Wat Huay Mongkol is a Buddhist temple which houses a huge Buddha statue set within a parkland. Worshippers gather here, pray with incense sticks, and ask for their wishes to be fulfilled.
For Hua Hin vacation ideas, please visit us at www.goway.com.