The beautiful beaches of Hua Hin(Stone Head), white sands and calm seas with the aromatic punch of freshly cooked seafood carried along with the breeze from Hua Hins restaurants. Two hundred kilometre south of Bangkok in Prachuap Khiri Khan Province, Hua Hin is a favored resort of the Thai people, a weekend escape from the hustle and bustle of Bangkok.
Since being constructed in 1926 Klai Kangwon Palace (“far from worries”) in Hua Hin has been home to Thai royalty, today it’s the preferred residence of His Majesty King Bhumibol. Although not open to public viewing the palace is still a major attraction from the outside for most visitors to Hua Hin. Moving on to your choice of residence if the Hilton and Marriott hotels are a touch to expensive for you there are plenty of spa resorts and an abundance of hotels and guesthouses to choose from.
I settled myself into the Araya Hotel in Chomsin Road just a stones throw from the seafront. Although a little overpriced by Thai standards at 1300 baht (24 Euro) the hotel staff were so helpful and friendly I almost checked out with their names tattooed on my arms.
Eating out in Hua Hin is made difficult by the sheer volume of restaurants to choose from. The most popular food venues are situated on the seafront in Naresdamri Road, take your pick from the numerous cuisines like Thai, European, Indian and the many seafood restaurants. For those who want to eat amongst the vibrant nightlife then pop down to the Night Market off Petchakasem Road, food stalls and plenty of restaurants serving Thai dishes and seafood and a market crammed full of souvenirs and goodies. For the singles nightlife head for Soi Selakam(near Hilton Hotel) plenty of western bars and working girls, very much like a “little Pattaya”. The Hilton Hotel is a late evening music hotspot where many of the bar girls go after their evening shift. Daylight brings with it plenty to do in Hua Hin.
A visit to the beach should be on most peoples daily list, be it to soak up the sun or swim in the calm waters. Take a 30 minute horse ride(8 Euro) along the beautiful white sands or just relax under a parasol with a cool drink and the compulsory seafood dish. Away from the beach try Ban Chang Safari Park, four kilometre outside Hua Hin it offers the chance to take a hours ride on an elephant around the reserve for 1000 baht (18 Euro) or for 300 baht a guide will accompany you to feed the working elephants. Visit Khao Tapiak (Chopsticks Mountain) known to the locals as Monkey Hill. Hire a tuk tuk for the short ride to Khao Takiap and look down to the Hua Hin coastline as your climb passes restaurants and through a fishing village up the mountain to the summit where stands a Buddhist Temple. The temple grounds and surrounding area is inhabited with hundreds of monkeys who wander freely amongst the visitors.
You do not need to be a railway enthusiast to visit Hua Hin Railway Station. One of the oldest railway stations in Thailand, Hua Hin Railway Station is an architectural marvel and considered by many Thai people to be the most attractive of its kind in their country. The station was built during the reign of King Rama VI and The Royal Waiting Room though not part of the original construction is the major attraction. Hua Hin Railway Station is situated at the west end of Damnoern Road.
Put on your apron and take a Thai cooking course. One day courses are available for you to learn to prepare and cook some Thai dishes. You will be picked up from your hotel early morning, taken to a local market to buy ingredients and then whisked away to learn new cuisine skills. The courses are taught in groups and your tour rep or hotel reception staff should be able to book you a place. Hua Hin has something for everyone and that brings me to MY VERDICT….Hua Hin is an ideal resort for families, couples, singles, young or old. A top class beach resort.