I keep losing Vera. In my defence, it’s not my fault. We’ve spent a couple of weeks living in a three storey serviced apartment here in Thailand, and having multiple living floors is terribly confusing.
Ok, so it’s not too confusing. More confusing is picking which of the three bathrooms to use. (We’ve settled on just the one, in an endeavour to save the planet from unnecessary cleaning activity. Yay planet!).
Let’s have a bit of context. For the last six weeks or so, we’ve been rocking around Northern Thailand, peering at mountains, visiting hill tribes, photographing temples (turns out Thailand isn’t short of a temple or two) and filling our brains with sights and knowledge.
So when the opportunity to spend a couple of weeks doing a little bit less (ok, very much less), in a beautiful apartment a stone throw from two beaches and with pretty much guaranteed sun, naturally we quietly leapt at it with open arms. After all, the whole premise of visiting Thailand was based around relaxing beach time and summery warmth.
So it was that we found ourselves in Hua Hin. This is a beach town around 150km south of Bangkok, very popular as a holiday spot with both Thai people and foreigners alike, which whilst fairly developed, is still interesting enough to make a visit entirely worthwhile.
Here we’ve been revelling in the small choices that suddenly become so important when you slow the pace down. Choices like where to eat, which beach to visit, and quite how best to do as little as possible in the time available.
We have been out, of course. We’re relaxing, but the spirit of exploration is still very much alive. We found the two beaches on offer, and having decided which was our favourite for day time visits, and which was best for walking by the light of the moon, we ventured a little further afield.
Vera, for example, discovered that there’s a shiny mall in downtown Hua Hin, where she’s been able to indulge in all kinds of retail therapy. She’s also found out that tall European bodies were perhaps not in the designers mind for the majority of the therapy items.
I would normally not enjoy that sort of thing, but as the mall also turned out to be home to a cinema complex, I was able to be tucked away with a copy of The Hobbit to get my Lord of the Rings fix on.
Having visited the Hobbiton set and also having thoroughly explored every nook and cranny of New Zealand in search of Tolkien goodness, it was rather delightful to immerse myself back into that world for a few hours of popcorn munching fun.
So we found a mall nearby. And two beaches, both excellent for swimming and walking on. And countless places to eat. If that’s not enough to keep you entertained, spacious apartment and all, here are some more ideas for things to do in Hua Hin should you drop by:
Things to do when you’re not doing nothing in Hua Hin
Visit the night markets
Central Hua Hin is home to two night markets. There’s a more upmarket touristy one, which has all kinds of incredible looking freshly grilled seafood up for grabs, and is popular with visitors.
Near the main Hua Hin mall is another night market, more popular with locals and slightly cheaper (although featuring less of the roasted lobster options). Both markets are entirely worth a wander, either for food or souvenir hunting.
Climb up the Monkey Mountain
At the south end of the Hua Hin beach, in a part of town called Takieb Village (where we happened to be staying), there’s a hill you can climb. This is home to a tall golden Buddha statue, and also offers rather lovely views across the two beaches in the area. Good for watching either the sunset or sunrise.
Go to the beach
Ok, so I mentioned the beach already. There are two beaches here – the main strip, which is dotted with high rise apartments and is easily five or six kilometres long. We loved walking along this by the light of the full moon at low tide, when there was often no-one but us on it.
There’s another beach at the south end of town, just past the above mentioned Monkey Mountain. Large parts of it are backed by the Thai Army owned golf club, so there is far less development, and once you get past the opening few hundred metres of crowds, it becomes an expanse of largely unvisited gorgeous sand, with the odd fishing boat parked up, presumably for aesthetic purposes. Lovely.
Thoughts on our apartment
The property we stayed at is operated by the owners of the Nern Chalet here in Hua Hin. The Nern Chalet is a beach front hotel right at the southern end of the beach, and Vera’s got a full review of that property on the way soon.
It’s been really lovely to have an apartment to ourselves for some downtime as part of our Thailand trip, and this apartment is wonderfully located, a bit back from the beach in Takieb Village, which is at the southern end of Hua Hin. It’s both quiet and private, and comes with everything you’d expect, including cable TV and wireless internet.
The top floor is home to two bedrooms offering double beds – great for friends or a family. These do share one bathroom though, so you’d need to put some rules in place in the case of friends. (There are six apartments to choose from and not all of them have the shared bathroom if that's not your thing!)
The middle floor is home to the kitchen and lounge, as well as a nice big balcony and another bathroom with shower.
The lower floor is the property entrance, and has more living area as well as a large dining table. If you need plenty of space on your holiday, then you’d not need to look much further than this property!
In terms of local amenities, there are a couple of shops a five minute walk away which stock pretty much everything you might need. There are also a whole number of places to eat locally, and Hua Hin beach is about five minute walk away. If you want a pool, then the Nern Chalet itself is around ten minutes walk, and pool access is free for guests of the Ploen Terrace.
Getting into Hua Hin itself is also very easy. There’s one main street running all the way along the length of the beach, and covered pick up trucks known as Songthaew’s ply this route for 10 baht per journey (around 25 Euro cents). So if you want to visit the night markets or hit the cinema, you’re looking at around a fifteen minute ride, or around an hours walk along the beach.
As is fairly obvious from the post I expect, our stay at Ploen Terrace in Hua Hin was provided to us, in exchange for, well, actually, nothing. We just wrote this post anyway because we liked it so much. If you want to find out more, do check out their website,