We decided to stop in the seaside town Hua Hin for 2 nights as we travelled north through Thailand. Hua Hin is on the main train line running between Surat Thani and Bangkok (and south from Surat Thani towards Malaysia and Singapore). The train station is centrally located in the town which makes for an easy and convenient stop-over place.
King Rama VII of Thailand selected Hua Hin as the location for his summer house in 1920’s and it is still a popular weekend destination for Thai people. There is also a large number of foreign residents and tourists.
It is easy to understand why King Rama VII chose Hua Hin with it’s 5 km stretch of beach and close proximity to Bangkok. The above photo shows some of the kite surfers, a popular Hua Hin past time.
Hua Hin is home to fabulous night markets selling all manner of famous Thai street food. We enjoyed the noise, chaos and buzz as we walked through smelling the delicious food being cooked and watching rows of people lining the street having foot massages while leisurely checking their mobile phones.
At the southern end of Hua Hin is the Buddhist temple (above) perched on a rocky headland called Khao Takiab. We caught a bus (*pick-up) to the end of the beach to visit the temple and walked the length of the beach back to our hostel.
*We discovered that a ‘green bus’ in Hua Hin actually refers to a green converted pick up, i.e. with two vinyl bench seats in the back… Following guidance from our hostel lady we spent ages looking for a bus (similar to those one would see in London…) until we realised we needed to look for a green pick-up! This was the case throughout Thailand i.e. ‘pick-ups’ are also known as ‘buses’.
Guilty pleasure alert… the Hua Hin Hilton has an open air sky bar on its roof. In the name of research it was necessary to visit in order to see an overhead view of Hua Hin… honest… Unfortunately the weather was overcast throughout the 2 days we were there so the view wasn’t as clear as it might have been.
As well as the night markets Hua Hin also has a number of modern air conditioned shopping malls which, given the 32 degree heat, come with a sense of relief as you step inside. The Market Village (above) has a large number of branded shops, a large Tesco supermarket and a great food court on the ground floor.
We found Hua Hin to be a wonderful mix of easy going night markets, modern malls, a wide open beach, friendly locals and hundreds of good bars and restaurants (more fantastic Thai food) so would certainly recommend a couple of days here if you are travelling overland between southern Thailand and Bangkok.