When most tourists think of a seaside resort in Thailand, usually Pattaya, Puhket, or Kho Samui often come to mind. If you spend enough time in Thailand, though, you’ll learn that for many the favorite seaside resort is Hua Hin—just two hours by coach or train from bustling Bangkok.
Unlike infamous Pattaya, the lesser-known Hua Hin is more grounded, with an element of sophistication and genuine altruism. Often portrayed as a family-orientated town, there are sights that cater to just about everyone. This quaint hot spot is advocated further by frequent visits from the royal family, who enjoy spending time in Hua Hin during Thailand’s blistering summer months.
Although Hua Hin is known for its Cicada Market, which has an eclectic mix of artisan products, the problem is that it’s busy and overpriced. Yet, there’s more to this coastal town than what meets the eye. On your next trip Thailand, be sure to discover what you never knew you could do in Hua Hin.
Explore Monsoon Valley Vineyard
It’s surprising that not many people are aware of the existence of a vineyard in Hua Hin. Yet, its optimal temperatures and terrain is ideal for grape cultivation. Monsoon Valley Vineyard specializes in growing a range of unique grape varieties and is pioneering the production of sumptuous local wines. Be sure to enjoy a glass or two while having lunch at the vineyard’s restaurant The Sala, which offers superb views of the vineyard. To reach Monsoon Valley, 45 kilometers west of Hua Hin, take the shuttle from the Hua Hin Hills Wine Cellar, an affiliate of the vineyard. A round-trip ticket costs only 300 baht, with pick-up times at 10:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.
However, wine tasting and vineyard tours aren’t the only options on the menu. For a particularly scenic and memorable off-the-beaten-path-adventure, visitors also have the opportunity to mountain bike along a three-kilometer trail. If this isn’t challenging enough, there’s also a one-kilometer trail designed for trained cyclists who have a thirst for more than just wine.
Take an art class at Baan Sillapin Artists’ Village
The Baan Sillapin Artists’ Village is a haven for talented Thai painters and sculptors who have years of experience perfecting their craft. The Artists’ Village, about five kilometers from the center of Hua Hin, allows tourists to learn some of the locals’ remarkable skills through observation, interaction, and demonstrations. Whether you’re a complete novice or a professional, there’s a variety of tailored classes for all levels. If you have children, there’s also a kid’s craft workshop; it’s a win-win for everyone.
After spending some time creating a masterpiece, visitors can reward themselves with authentic Thai coffee, with the use of fresh beans grown in Thailand. The café also serves signature dishes, such as Phad Thai or Khao Phad. To get to the Artists’ Village, a tuk-tuk costs approximately 500 baht. Alternatively, and for a cheaper price at only 20 baht, there’s a songthaew that picks people up at the corner of Chomsin Road. The price to take part in a course is 150 baht for adults and 100 baht for kids.
Discover the Pranburi Forest Park
Thailand’s largest mangrove forest is surprisingly unfamiliar to tourists. To navigate easily through the extensive forest, there’s a one-kilometer wooden walkway. However, the adventure doesn’t stop at the end of it, as there’s chance to go on a boat ride on the river after the walk.
Prepare to witness the natural habitats of many creatures that dwell in this ecosystem as well. Monitor lizards, crabs, and even snakes can all be spotted during this trip; so ensure that you always have a camera at the ready. The advised time to visit is around 1:00 p.m., as the mesmerizing sunlight through the canopies provide a mystical view and an experience like no other. Located 26 kilometers south Hua Hin, visitors can reach this enchanting forest either by tuk-tuk or songthaew. Entry to the park is free.
— Uncharted101.com (@Uncharted1o1) May 27, 2017