In Hua Hin
Hua Hin is rather a small coastal town and easy to navigate. The main town is the centre of the action with the majority of the restaurants, nightlife and hotels along Naresdamri Road. Visitors in Hua Hin may also wish to visit the night market that lies between Amnuaysin and Sasong Roads, and is a good spot to try some authentic and cheap Thai street food.
Though the beaches of Hua Hin do also have bars and restaurants they are certainly not as developed as other tourist regions of Thailand. The main stretch of 2 kilometre beach is located to the south and east of the town where you will find the Hua Hin Hilton Hotel and the Sofitel Hotel. Along this beach there lies smooth granite boulders which gives Hua (Head) Hin (Stone) it’s name, though it’s actually reversed and translates as the less morbid sounding Stone Head. The nearby beaches of Had Suan Son, Had Khao Tao and Had Khao Takiap have all been developed by resorts.
Around Hua Hin
To the north of Hua Hin lies the historical province of Phetchaburi with its many palaces, temples, caves and the excellent Phra Nakhon Khiri Historical Park. Phetchaburi was once a Royal Fort in the times of the Sukhothai and Ayutthaya Kingdoms, and the connection between the areas is noticeable with its prosperity and historic buildings. Though an excellent province to visit for tourists who want to learn more about Thailand’s past and culture, beach lovers will also enjoy Phetchaburi which boasts 80 kilometres of coastline as well, much of it undeveloped.
The only real town that has any tourist development along this length of coastline is Cha am, a long beach lined with Casuarina trees that is popular for weekend breaks amongst the Thai people until recent years has largely be ignored by foreign tourism. Visit this town/resort during the week when it is less busy with the locals and you’ll find an empty beach and a better choice of accommodation.
Further south from Hua Hin in the same province of Prachuap Khiri Khan is Pranburi, another little known beach resort coastal town, once again relatively undiscovered by foreign tourists but popular amongst the Thai people for short breaks. Travel further south from Pranburi and you will find Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park, home to a large variety of wildlife including over 300 species of birds.
All along this north eastern gulf coast from Hua Hin down to Chumpon there are pristine undeveloped beaches, limestone cliffs providing a magnificent backdrop to many of them. It’s certainly a coastline that’s worth travelling through slowly, stopping off at the occasional town and beach to fully appreciating its beauty.
Khao Takiab (or Takieb) is a moo baan (village) in the Amphur (district) of Hua Hin about 10km south of Hua Hin town. It gets its name from the hill at the south end of the beach called Khao Takiab which means 'Chopstick Mountain'. Khao Takiab is probably very similar to what Hua Hin was like many many years ago, although it is becoming more like it's larger neighbour every year. Whilst still retaining it's village charm Khao Takiab has all the amenities any holiday maker needs to enjoy...