Hua Hin Town has a relaxing charm, the fishing piers, the quiet streets, but as Hua hin becomes more busy don't miss the surrounding areas. Cha Am is just 20 minutes away, try a trip at the weekend when it's busy with visitors from Bangkok and you enjoy the fun atmosphere, or weekdays when it is quiet. Take the Green pick-up bus from the Central Market ( just 7 baht ) and journey 10-15 minutes south of town to Khao Takiab. This is a lovely area where you will find Temples, the famous Golden Buddha, plus the great clear waters of Hua Don beach at Khao Takiab Bay. Relax on the beach loungers and beach chairs, have a meal on the beach, elephant ride, the Banana boats, maybe Jetski(be careful ! ) or just wander around the fishing village. You can also rent bicycles and explore the famous temple areas. Nice cafes and restaurants. If you go to Hua hin and don't spend time at Khao Takiab and the beach at Takiab Bay you are missing one of the best beach treats Hua hin has to offer. The beach is long and the water is crystal clear, it actually faces more south. Also get into the hills behind Hua Hin, also Elephant rides and a great view. Don't forget Pak Nam pran and the Sam Roi Yot National Park too.
Fondest memory: So glad that I discovered Khao Takiab Bay, Palm trees and beachchairs, cool clear water, certainly the best beach !
It was a choice between the bus and the train but we took Winston's suggestion and hopped on a cab to Hualamphong to catch the 1o'clock train.
We were railroaded by touts with official looking ID's as soon as we got off the cab and were ushered into a travel agency across the street. Fortunately, we'd already done our homework and knew the moment he tried to sell us a first class sleeper for over 700baht that we were in the wrong place. Firmly saying no, thank you, we went back inside the train station to buy our tickets.
Truth is, train travel is the slowest way to get to Hua Hin. Although it says rapid train on the rate sheet, it really didn't go any faster than a car with granny behind the wheel. Train travel is 4 hours, bus travel is 3.5 hours, and if you hire a car, the 200km distance will only take less than 3 hours.
For the experience and the best way to meet people, though, nothing beats the slow train.
While looking for the rest room as the train chugged along, I bumped into the washroom door while Luc was washing his face. He blurted out something in Thai to which I replied, "Excuse me?" He flashed a smile and said, "Wow, you speak English!"
Where else would we have met a really cool French guy who spoke perfect English with a British accent?
One of the reasons why I wanted to take the train going to Hua Hin was to see the train station which is an attraction in itself.
Arriving didn't seem so stressful here. Maybe because it was in the middle of the week and there were hardly any tourists around but the locals seemed more laid back and no one harassed you to get on their taxi.
The beachfront of Central Hua Hin Village (run by Central and Accor together with Sofitel) has a little bit too much of a concentration of umbrellas and lounge chairs. Since this is a public beach, this is where you'll see some of the vendors from the Chatchai Market during the day selling seafood snacks and cold beverages.
Because we arrived on a Tuesday afternoon around sunset, the beach was pretty quiet and not much business going on.
After checking in the first thing we did was take a long walk down the beach. As I said, we arrived on a Tuesday so the beach was pretty empty except for a few girls playing in the surf and a guy with a bodyboard.
The beach may have these big rocks but that's shouldn't stop you from swimming.
A short walk from Central Hua Hin Village and Sofitel at the end of Damnoen Kasem is Naretdamri. Here you'll find touristy restaurants with a mixed menu with Thai and Western food.
I imagine this street is probably busy on weekends and during peak months but when we were there, most of the restaurants were empty.
It seems there's never a lack of markets and bazaars selling all kinds of knick knacks and clothes.
Hua Hin's bazaar is at the end of Damnoen Kasem before you reach the beach.
This must have been a particularly slow night for the vendors. They were sitting around watching TV since there were no tourists buying their wares.
If you want to feel Hua Hin's energy, you have to go to the Night Market and Chatchai.
Here you'll find the usual stuff like clothes, handicraft, food...especially food!
Chatchai is known for street food...mostly seafood which is Hua Hin's specialty.
Please don't waste the morning and get out of bed before 6am to catch the sunrise.
Remember, Hua hin is on the west of the Gulf of Thailand so no sunset views here but the sunrise more than makes up for the lack of sunsets.
Getting up early isn't so bad if you get rewarded with views like these.
The beach is quiet and deserted at 6am. Occasionally you'll see someone out for a morning jog otherwise, you'll be pretty much alone and you can enjoy quiet, contemplative moments as you sit on the rocks.
When I'm alone like this, all those high rise hotels in the distance seem like they're more than just a few miles away.
Favorite thing: This guy was out there before me. At first I thought he was just out to enjoy a morning walk like I was until I came closer and saw that he had a plastic bag full of small crabs. With no words when he realized I didn't speak Thai, he motioned with his hands that they were to be cooked and eaten when he's caught some more.
Bing and I grew up together and we've travelled together before but this is the first time I've travelled with her and her husband.
On this trip I became official photographer and Toots became my official porter.
I probably would have enjoyed my room at the Sofitel more if I were honeymooning like they were but I wasn't so lucky on this trip.
I highly recommend that you stop by the Hua Hin Tourist Information Center. Here you'll find all sorts of free maps and brochures to help you decide what to do. I knew next to nothing about Hua Hin before arriving, and was able to organize a pretty interesting trip based primarily off information gathered here.
Location: The intersection of Damnoern Kasem and Phetch Kasem Road, two blocks east of the train station.
Hours: 08:30-20:00 daily
Whiter beach and you can find quiteness! I like this area in Hua Hin and when we get back, wouldn't mind staying here..
HuaHin has a miles stretch of semi white beaches that you can do all sort of water playing! Hubby was trying to do some surfing...
Many beach front hotels have concessions for wind surfing and sailing needs and power boats can be hired. Just asked your hotel staff about it.