I arrived in Hua Hin, Thailand, this past December just in time to celebrate the 88th birthday of King Bhumibol Adulyadej. The King, who is also known as Rama IX, is so revered in Thailand that they hold a five-day celebration for his birthday. Streets and buildings were draped with white lights and stages were setup for musical performances, but the highlight of the festival was carving what was reputed to be the world’s tallest ice sculpture of Buddha.
Since Hua Hin is the location of the King’s summer palace, the town has always gone all-out for his birthday, however this year’s celebration was more intense than usual due to the King’s declining health. As darkness fell and finishing touches were applied to the monolithic Buddha, locals gathered in front of the historic Hua Hin Railway Station for a candlelight ceremony to pray for the King. Read More
Click on title to view photo in large format: At the far southern end of the beach in Hua Hin, Thailand, troupes of monkeys roam the wharves and seafood restaurants around Khao Takiab mountain, searching for food. This pet Dachshund was fearless when confronted by one of these these aggressive Hua Hin monkeys, which was three times his size. When the dog didn’t back off, Read More
Click on title to view photo in large format: Slipping an offering into the slot in the belly of this seated Buddha at Khao Tao temple in Hua Hin, Thailand is said to bring the donor good luck. After making a donation, visitors are directed up a short stairway to a terrace containing more Buddhas and cast iron bells, then further up to a museum that contains Read More
Click on title to view photo in large format: Fishermen in Hua Hin, Thailand clean and prepare float lines after returning with the morning’s catch. Each day the fleet leaves before dawn from the canals and backwaters of Khao Takiab, on the south end of Hua Hin, returning when they have caught the day’s quota. Open-air restaurants next to the wharves display Read More
The seaside town of Hua Hin, Thailand, has been a sanctuary for almost as long as it has existed. The village was founded in 1834 when farmers from the drought-stricken north moved south in search of a better life. When the railroad reached Hua Hin in 1911, Bangkok’s elite began to build bungalows. Among those who were enchanted with Hua Hin were members of the Royal Family, and before long the King Rama V had also built a summer palace on the beach. Down through the decades, Hua Hin has continued to be a weekend escape for Thais, and more recently, for tourists from all over the world. While it has a reputation as a “beach town,” during my recent month-long stay I discovered that it offers much more than sea, sand, and sun. If you’re considering a visit, check out the following review of what to do in Hua Hin:
Hua Hin beaches are generally very shallow with mild currents, thus they are especially good for families with young children. Jellyfish can be encountered during certain times of the year, but warning signs are posted during these times.
• Hua Hin Beach: Located in the center of town, in front of the Hilton Hotel and Resort. Wranglers offer pony rides on this beach, and a variety of cafes and restaurants run the length of this beach.
• Khao Takieb Beach: Located at the southern end of Nongkae-Takieb Road, this beach offers affordable day rentals of chaise lounges and chairs. The seafood restaurants of Khao Takieb Hill are just steps away. Read More
Click on title to view photo in large format: Giant standing Buddha on Khao Takiab hill in the far southern reaches of Hua Hin, Thailand. The hillside is also famous for its bands of roving wild monkeys, which have perfected the art of snatching bags from anyone carrying food. Hua Hin is located on the Gulf of Thailand, less than three hours south of Bangkok. It is also the location Read More