- Encounters with locals
- Beach / Seaside Resort
- Water Sports
Everytime I've been to Hua Hin, I've headed to the small hill at Takiap, which is at the end of Hua Hin's long beach. I can't say if it's the sight of monkeys playing on the hill or the amazing view from the top of the temple, but in any case, I really like this area. Hua Hin is a great place for anyone planning a relaxing vacation.
Although I'm not a big fan of the beach here, mainly because the water gets muddied by the waves on this part of the coast, it hasn't stopped me from appreciating Hua Hin for what it is. And, if I'm not mistaken, even the royal family have a house here.
Sites that you shouldn't miss are the railway station at Hua Hin, with its 'Royal Waiting Room' and the night market, a bit further along, where you can eat well and pick up souvenirs. I also recommend the day market at the town's entrance, which has a 50's/60's ambience.
If you're planning to go further afield, a few kilometers away you'll find the impressive Wat Huay Mongkol temple, with its huge Buddhist monk statue along with hillside vineyards - yes, it's true, they produce wine here!
When I set off to head for the islands further to the south during my trip to Thaïlande, I made a stop at the beaches of Hua Hin. With white sands and turquoise water, it resembles an earthly paradise.
However, this former fishing village has absolutely lost its traditional authenticity and picturesque appearance. Hua Hin has undergone considerable development and only the pretty train station, all in wood, seems to have been spared as high-rise buildings have invaded the resort. Hua Hin has also failed to resist the unsavory phenomenon of sex tourism. A short stroll in the streets is all it takes to see ageing Westerners arm in arm with Thai women young enough to be their granddaughters.
To round off the day I recommend going to eat at one of the stalls at the night market. The fish is delicious, and prices are more reasonable here than on the islands.
The coastal town of Hua Hin is a popular tourist resort, which has an unusual 'dual personality'.
On the one hand, there's the touristy side - activities, tourist attractions, shopping centres, traffic jams and bars that, once night falls, make their money from the sex industry. On the other hand, certain areas are far less frenzied - the long, sandy beach during the early morning, the nightly market, the authentic railway station and the local port, with its simple, fishing village feel. So there's an ongoing battle between, for example, streets where people party hard or the two gyms that organise Muay Thai competitions (a national sport I can recommend) and the peace and quiet that rules the rest of town once the sun goes down.
For my part, the town was an ideal departure point for reaching the WFFT, the Wildlife Friends Foundation of Thailand ). It's a sanctuary that takes in, protects and treats wild animals that are under threat. I highly recommend you spend a day at this amazing refuge, where you can get up close to wild animals (I helped feed and bath an elephant as well as helping to feed bears and gibbons), whilst learning about environmental issues at the same time. For those of you who want to get further involved, you can become a volunteer for one week to several months during your holiday in Thailand.