Keen to squeeze in some more beach time before coming home, after leaving Chiang Mai we headed down to Hua Hin, a beach resort South of Bangkok. Though the town itself is very built up and quite ugly, the beach is absolutely beautiful.
We had 4 days in Hua Hin and didn’t want to leave. As well as a stunning beach with the warmest water I’ve ever been in, we also found a water park and a wakeboarding spot. The waterpark was a little disappointing, with only a few slides, but that was more than made up for by the complete lack of queues, there was barely anyone there. Although none of the rides were that scary, some of them had a helmet requirement, which was a little bit overkill. The wave machine was very impressive throwing everyone around like crazy.
Paul was really keen to try the wakeboarding, and at the bargain price of £6 for 2 hours, we signed ourselves up. Using a cable mechanism, you were free to stroll up, pick a board, and jump in. Or if you’re me, fall in on your face repeatedly. Paul was starting to get the hang of it by the end of our session, managing a couple of laps before losing his balance. Although there are staff there who were giving advice, this seemed to be optional, and so for the most part you were left to your own devices. Good fun, but tricky.
The next day we woke up sore and achey, the usual after wakeboarding, so we had an easy day by the beach. For me, Hua Hin is up there with Rio for the beach, and definitely better than the islands we visited. The view is complimented by endless colourful kite surfers in the water. Hua Hin has the perfect weather for kitesurfing and so is a popular spot to learn. I would have loved to have tried it, but time and money meant I’ll save that for another day.
Night life in Hua Hin was quite a limited choice. Unless you were a middle aged Western man looking for a young Thai lady to hook up with, you were basically out of luck. All of the bars had ‘hostesses’ and walking by at night, the bars were full of young Thai women dressed to impress, welcoming any man to come in (including Paul). Our visit also coincided with the National Elections, which meant there was a 48 hour ban on the sale of alcohol, giving our livers plenty of time to recover.
Throughout our time in Thailand we had been meaning to catch a Thai Boxing match, and we got our chance in Hua Hin. Not willing to pay the 800B entrance fee, we went to a nearby bar and waited until the first match had finished. We were then happy to pay the reduced price of 500B and watch the 4 remaining matches. Looking at the leaflet, we were confused by the weight categories. 27kg, too light for a person, maybe that’s the weight difference? Our questions were answered when we walked in to find 2 kids fighting, couldn’t have been more than 14 years old. Oh man, what did we just sign up for? Fortunately, the fighting was actually very professional, with a very active ref, and far less violent than I had been expecting. Gradually the weights increased and so did the ages of the competitors. The winner of each match would walk around the audience with a 100B note in his mouth, looking for donations, a bit uncomfortable. An interesting experience, but still not something I would rush back to.
Day 3, restored back to health, we decided to give wakeboarding another shot. I was keen to actually get on the water and hoped that another 2 hours would do it, and Paul wanted to perfect his technique. I was put in any number of different starting positions but they all ended up with me in the water, often with my board still on the starting block. Argh! Despite the blue skies there was definitely a dark cloud hanging over me, stay away! Paul, on the other hand, mastered setting out and enjoyed a much more successful session.
Hua Hin was the perfect stop for us. Now that our trip is coming to an end, we were even more appreciative of the sun, sand, and natural beauty. Although sad to leave, I’m also looking forward to exploring more of Bangkok in our final week.