Prachuap Khiri Khan province’s capital, Hua Hin, is located 281 km. south of Bangkok. The old town was abandoned during the fall of Ayutthaya in the 1760s and a new settlement was established in 1845. Hua Hin is one of Thailand’s most popular seaside resorts among overseas visitors as well as Thais. Located on the
sunrise (west) side of the Gulf of Thailand, Hua Hin lies some 200 km. or a three-hour drive southwest of Bangkok and is renowned as Thailand’s most traditional beach resort. It was here, in the 1920s, that King Rama VII built a summer palace, thus creating a vogue among high society for Hua Hin as a favourite retreat from Bangkok’s summer heat. Today the Royal Family continues to reside at Hua Hin for part of the year. Hua Hin is noted for its traditional fishing port with many seafood restaurants, and a splendid sandy beach which starts from a rocky headland next to the port and curves gently for some 3 km. to its southern point where Buddhist temples surmount hilltops. Hua Hin is a well-established beach destination, with full facilities. But in contrast to Pattaya, the long-established resort on the opposite shore of the Gulf, Hua Hin provides a quiet, relaxed retreat amid surroundings which preserve a typical Thai ambience. Hua Hin is thus well suited for families or those who wish simply to escape the city bustle.
Hua Hin Railway Station
Built in the reign of King Rama VI in gingerbread style, this is probably Thailand’s most beautiful train station, of which the local people are very proud.
Khao Hin Lek Fai View Point
From downtown Hua Hin, look forward to the west; you will see the mountain which stand just behind Hua hin Railway station. That is Khao Hin Lek Fai. At the top of it, king Rama 7 statue situates in a beautiful landscape area. There are 4 observations area, where is a good place to see Hua Hin from above. Located 2 Kms. from town. Time for viewing is in the early morning as the dawn breaks.
Hua Hin Fishing Pier
At the north end of Naresdamri Road, you will find a fishing Pier where many local people come here for different purposes, some come for fishing for game or living, some come for just a break of the day, some come for walking, jogging or sea breeze, some come for fishery business, some come for seeing sunset or sunrise, and this is a nice scene of Hua Hin’s life. Also many of tourists come and spend time to observe many of activities around here, and see a wonderful panoramic view of Hua Hin town.
Hua Hin Arts and Crafts Centre
This is situated in a typical old house on Naepkehat Road. It has an exhibition of contemporary Thai art, antique furniture and old pictures of Hua Hin.
This hill is situated at the southern end of Hua Hin, only 4 kilometers from the town. It can be easily reached by local minibus. Visitors can go up the hilltop to enjoy a bird’s eye view of Hua Hin, which is one of the delightful views either during the day or night. There is a temple call Wat Khao Takiap situated on top of the hill. The nearby Khao Takiap Beach offers mostly bungalow accommodations. The giant golden Buddha Statue standing against the cliff has become a landmark of Khao Takiap.
This hill rises at the southern end of Hua Hin beach. There is a road leading to top where a temple is situated. The nearby Khao Takiap beach offers mostly bungalow accommodation.
Anglers can enjoy a day’s outing to this island, just a few kilometres from Hua Hin or Khao Takiap where some boats for hire
Suan Son Pradiphat or Sea Pine Garden
This beachside area belongs to the Army Welfare Office and is open to the public. It is at Km 241, some 8 km. south of Hua Hin, and accommodation is available.
Hat Khao Tao
This beach lies about 10 km. south of Hua Hin and 1 km. along an access road. It is a sea pine-fringed beach, more secluded than Hua Hin. Bungalows are available.
Namtok Pa La-u
This waterfall is within a perpetual verdant forest where various birds and butterflies are found, especially in the morning. It has 11 tiers, some of which can be reached along a trekking trail.
Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park
Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park is located in Sam Roi Yot district, between Pran Buri and Hua Hin, Prachuap Khiri Khan province. It is 45 km from Hua Hin. The high-rising limestone mountains are the symbol of Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park. Khao Sam Roi Yot means mountains with 300 peaks which describe the landscape of this mountain quite well.
The backdrop of limestone outcrops creates a contrast and unique scene of lofty mountains and sea enticing people to discover the startling mystery of this place. The park encompasses a series of unspoiled beaches and coves. The viewpoint on Khao Daeng peak is another beautiful spot where you can enjoy a heavenly landscape as well as Khao Daeng Canal which flows through labyrinthine mountains passing along a mangrove forest into the ocean.
Equally breathtaking are several caves; such as, Phraya Nakhon Cave which is well-known for its considerable size and uncommon big Karst Window. Inside the cave, there is a Thai-style pavilion built in honour of King Rama 5 the Great who visited this natural beauty. Apart from this cave, there are other caves called Tham Kaeo and Tham Sai where striking peculiar shapes of stalagmites and stalactites exist creating a distinct ambience.
Within this national park, there is one of the most significant biological diversity areas, “Thung Sam Roi Yot Wetland”, which is one of the wetlands rarely found in Thailand.
Its 98 sq. km. area features undulating ranges of limestone mountains, mangrove swamps and beaches. It is home to various local birds and hosts many migrating birds, especially from November to February. With a large number of ridges, Khao Sam Roi Yot (300-Peak Mountain) stands as a landmark for seafarers and
a shelter for ships in a storm. Attractions within the park area include:
- Khao Daeng, 400 m. from the park office, has a splendid viewpoint.
- Ban Khao Daeng, a canalside village, is the starting point for boat trips to watch wild birds.
- Hat Sam Phraya, located 3.5 km. north of the park office, is a beautiful beach lined with sea pines.
- Tham Kaeo, full of stalactites and stalagmites, is situated 15 km. north of the park office. Oil lamps to assist exploring can be rented at a nearby village.
- Tham Sai is 9 km. north of the park office. Exploration inside the cave takes about half an hour. Oil lamps can be rented at nearby Khung Tanot Village.
- Hat Laem Sala is a beach located 16 km. north of the park office. It can be reached by boat or by walking across a hill from Bang Pu Village. Ascending a beachside mountain, visitors will arrive at a famous cave called Tham Phraya Nakhon.
Tham Phraya Nakhon
The cave has a big hole in its roof through which shafts of light reach and permit the growth of various plants. Most famously, the light shines on Phra Thinang Khuha Kharuehat, a Thai-style pavilion, a compelling sight which has become the symbol of Prachuap Khiri Khan. The four-porched wooden pavilion was constructed in Bangkok in 1890 during King Rama V’s reign, then dismantled and moved to the cave where it was reconstructed. Its gable tops were raised by the king himself.