Hua Hin is located approximately 280 kilometres (172 miles) southwest of Bangkok on the east coast of the Gulf of Thailand and has got to be one of the finest beach destinations in the country. The reason is the simple fact that it has not become as overcrowded as the most popular resorts like Pattaya or Phuket.
If you want to get away from it all and need a little tranquillity from the crowds, this is the place to be. It may not last too long.
The beach here is wide and long and uncluttered except for the fishing village at its most southerly point. You can take a stroll down to the pier in the morning or evening and watch as the fishermen unload their catch. During the day you can just laze on the beach or hire a horse and simply go for a trot on the beach. Some say that this is the ideal place for a round of golf.
At night take a walk through the thriving night market where you can dine on some of the day’s catch at several fine restaurants, after which you can take in all the local shops for handicrafts and other assorted knick-knacks.
Shops here stay open quite late, so you can take your time. As for luxury accommodation, there are a number of top international hotels and resorts such as the Hilton Resort, the Anantara Resort, the Marriott Hotel as well as some excellent local hotels.
Getting there by Air and Road
Although there is an international airport in Hua Hin, there is only one airline called SGA that operates out of Bangkok. This domestic shuttle flight service does daily flights to the resort town. I believe in time that there will be flights from here to many major airports around the world.
You can hire a car in Bangkok, then choose to drive to this region on the Thonburi Paktho Road out of the city. Travel past Samut Songkhram and once there, turn left onto the Petchkasem Highway in the direction of Prachuab Khirikhan.
Another alternative is to drive out of Bangkok on the Phuttamonthon Route heading towards Prachuab Khirikhan via Nakhon Pathom and Ratchaburi before reaching Phetchaburi and then on to Hua Hin. This is the longest route of the two, but hey! Who cares if you have the time. Just enjoy the scenic drive.
Getting there by Train or Bus
A train trip is an excellent way to travel to this coastal resort town as the construction of a railway link from Bangkok ensures excellent accessibility. You should remember that any train journey in Thailand can be a tremendously adventurous experience and this particular one is certainly no exception.
If not by air or road, then train travel is your best alternative. Train tickets can be purchased from the newly renovated Hua Lamphong Station at Rama IV Road in Bangkok. You may want to purchase a ticket for the air-conditioned carriage unless you prefer the heat of the 3rd class non-air-conditioned carriage. It’s entirely up to you.
The journey by air-conditioned bus from the southern bus terminal in Bangkok to Hua Hin leaves every half hour from 5:00 am in the morning until 10:00 pm at night. The journey takes about three hours at a cost of around 200 Baht.
Attractions in Hua Hin
Laung Pho Tuad is a big Buddha statue located at Wat Huay Mongkhon temple situated close to the Burmese border to the west. Although this Buddha is of spiritual importance to the people of the south, many others travel afar to pay their respects.
It is believed that by soaking his leg into the sea this Buddha has turned seawater into freshwater as he has links to supernatural powers. The royal family often visits the temple and her majesty the queen has her initials installed in front of the statue.
Please just remember that when visiting this temple, it is very important to know what to wear as proper attire is essential when entering any temple in Thailand. That simply translates to no beach gear, short skirts and shorts. The entrance here is free and the temple is open daily from 6.00 am until 9.00 pm.