Hua Hin, the place where Thais go on holiday

Posted on August 17, 2011

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While the islands of Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and the buzzing resort of Phuket are beautiful, have wide sandy beaches, turquoise seas and vibrant night life, they are also jam packed full of tourists, girlie bars and beer halls. If you want to get away from all this and see a real Thai beach resort, then head to Hua Hin, only a three hour drive or train ride south of Bangkok. Hua Hin is the resort favoured by Thai people; it’s where the locals go on holiday.

Thais have been coming to Hua Hin’s golden beaches for years, while western tourism has only just put it on the map. Hua Hin’s rise to fame as a ‘glamorous getaway’ among the Thai population began in 1922 when King Rama VII decided it would be the perfect place for his summer home and built ‘Phra Ratchawang Klai Kangwon’ or ‘Far from Worries Palace’.

Today, Hua Hin is still a popular holiday destination for the Thai royal family. Hua Hin town itself is a tranquil town with modern conveniences, but a far cry from the party cities of Bangkok, Phuket or Koh Phangan and really only comes alive for its bustling night market. The market is a great place for picking up an array of Thai handicrafts, including carved statues, Thai lamps, silk bedcovers and traditional Thai art. It’s also a great place to try some local Thai street food, from the many stalls along the roadside selling an assortment of noodles, grilled seafood and coconut pancakes.

Here you can relax on the quiet beach, where the only disturbance will be a few locals offering you a Thai massage. Other activities on the beach include jet skiing or horse riding. Hua Hin beach is one of the best places for horse riding in Thailand, giving you the chance to kick up sand as you gallop along this wide stretch of coast.

Or if you’d prefer a touch of the more cultural and spiritual side of Thailand, then Hua Hin is perfect for that too. At one end of the beach stands a huge 20 meter tall golden Buddha watching over Hua Hin and the surrounds. Spend an afternoon walking to the end of the long beach and climb up the stone steps that lead up the rock behind the statue. Up here you will find a traditional Thai Buddhist monastery complete with orange robed monks. You are not encouraged to enter the monastery, but are free to wander round sacred caves and climb to the top of the cliff, where you will find another large Buddha statue.

Whatever you decide to do here, Hua Hin will delight and charm you. Just make sure you go before everyone else does.

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Posted in: Hua Hin