what to see in paradise city ...
As Hua Hin is located on the western side of the Gulf of Thailand, it's hardly surprising that it is well-endowed with some great beaches. Most are wide and long, with generally shallow depths and very mild currents. As a result, they are safe for all the family. Some are deeper and these will be highlighed below.
At certain times of year, particularly during the rainy season (August- October), the seas will be rougher, currents stronger and jellyfish can be a problem. Naturally, it is important to take care in these conditions, especially with children. If you are stung by jellyfish, the locals at beach restaurants will normally have some local remedies available that will take the initial "sting" out of things, but it is important to seek medical advice as quickly as possible afterwards to avoid any possible complications. Having said this, not many people are stung and there are warning signs placed on the beach when the "stingers" may have been washed close into shore.
Another consideration is the sun. Far too often, visitors here are lulled into a false sense of security as they are cooled down by the ever-present sea breeze. Do not be fooled. The sun is strong all year round and so sun protection will be necessary unless you want to spend a few painful, sunburnt days off the beaches.
Despite Thailand's reputation for rauchiness, public displays of nudity are severely frowned upon and indeed illegal. Your Thai hosts will not be impressed if you go topless on the beaches, whilst any more blatent displays will probably end up with you being detained at a local police station. Please respect the social mores of this country.
Hua Hin beach itself runs for approximately 7km south of the main entrance at The Sofitel Hotel, all the way to Khao Takiab. Although the first kilometre can be busy with restaurants and deck chairs, you'll find some more secluded sites, with watering holes, at regular intervals as you walk south. Watersports are becoming more popular and include jetskiing, kiteboarding, waterskiing and banana boats. However, please do take care with these activities. Accidents can and do happen - some unfortunately fatal - and you will not get much sympathy from the Thai authorities if you have been reckless.
Further south of Hua Hin you will find Khao Takiab beach which is quieter than Hua Hin and further still you'll arrive at Suan Son beach, so named after the trees that line it - it's best to picnic here as catering is not so common.
About 20km south of Hua Hin is Khao Tao and Sai Noi beach and another 20km southwards is Khao Kalok. Finally, to the south is Ao Manao that is situated just outside of the provincial capital, Prachuabkirikhan. The beach is safe for all and there are plenty of restaurants lining this pretty bay.
To the north of Hua Hin is the resort town of Cha-Am. This has a decent beach that again is safe for swimming and where you will find a good choice of beach restaurants.
The entrance to Hua Hin beach
Hua Hin beach looking north
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