About Kirsty S
Lives in London, United Kingdom
Since Feb 2015
I have travelled extensively through Southeast Asia. I know Thailand and Malaysia particularly well, but also love Vietnam, Cambodia and Singapore. I travel to this part of the world whenever I can, sometimes on a short trip while on route to Australia, and sometimes for extended periods of time so that I can really get beneath the skin of a particular area – whether I’ve been to that spot before or not. I've spent a lot of time in Bangkok – it's a fascinating melting pot of a city where there's always something new to explore. I also love Hanoi and have explored it both independently and as part of an organised tour. More than anything, I love discovering something new while travelling and sharing it with those who have the same passion for travel as I do. I’m a bit of a foodie and never get bored of the beach.
Sightseeing Tours, Equipment Hire, Bike Tours
Flea & Street Markets
Sacred & Religious Sites, Points of Interest & Landmarks, Lookouts
Architectural Buildings, Sacred & Religious Sites, Natural History Museums
Wineries & Vineyards
When you get to Hua Hin, it’s a good idea to acclimatize yourself by getting to know the area, and what better way than on a cycling tour? Hua Hin Bike Tours are hugely popular, and rightly so. They offer high standard group tours and don’t mind customizing to better suit your interests. They also rent bikes for independent cyclists and will recommend routes for you.
Indulge in a low-key afternoon by taking a trip to the Hua Hin Railway Station. This traditional and highly unique train station was built during King Rama VI’s reign and is only a short distance from the center of town. The colorful wooden buildings are traditionally Thai in design and make for a fascinating wander around – plus it’s a fantastic photo opportunity.
The Mrigadayavan Palace was built during the same period as the train station so is similar in architectural design. This grand royal palace is set on an immaculately manicured lawn fronting the picturesque Cha Am Beach. Today, the residence has been arranged into a walk-through museum, with royal artifacts and vintage photographs on display. Well worth a look.
After 6:30pm, head over to the Hua Hin Night Market – essentially just one street that’s lined with stalls selling various items, including clothes, arts and crafts, DVDS, plus cheap and tasty food. In particular, this night market has a great selection of seafood restaurants, so get yourself some well-earned tasty Thai food before going for a browse around the stalls.
Khao Takiab Mountain (or Chopsticks Hill) is a must-see during your time in Hua Hin. You’ll be rewarded with jaw-dropping, panoramic views of the area, and get to hang out with the monkeys that call this place home. It’s a great hike up, and there’s a much-revered temple at the top.
Wat Huay Mongkol is home to the world’s largest statue of the Buddhist monk, Luang Phor Thuad, who was revered for his enlightenment and ability to perform miracles. The statue is set within a huge park with a pond in its grounds, and there are several places to buy refreshments.
A good way inland, but along the same highway as Huay Mongkol Temple, the Pala-U Waterfall in the stunning Kaeng Krachan National Park is a real treat. It has a number of levels you can climb up and flows into a creek that stretches out to the Burmese border. You may want to stop at the third level to go for a refreshing dip in the large pool of water here; from this point on the climb gets pretty steep. The surrounding forest is over a thousand years old and is abundant with all kinds of fascinating plants and wildlife.
The emphasis here is on music and art as much as the usual food and shopping you’ll find at typical Thai night markets. An open-aired affair, the market is a hub of local artistic talent with a fun and relaxed atmosphere. As well as the crafts market, you’ll find an art gallery and a beer garden, and there are various live music and dance performances here too.
It’s been a busy few days so if you haven’t managed to squeeze in any serious beach time yet, now is the time to do just that. There are a number of beaches in the Hua Hin area but the beach of the town’s namesake does the trick just fine. It’s a great place for sunbathing, swimming, people-watching, and indulging in a spot of water-sports.
If it’s fresh and organic food you’re after, a visit to the Eco Cafe is a must. With ingredients plucked literally from their backyard, and the incredible amount of time and skill that goes into preparing each dish, you won’t regret stopping off here for lunch.
Covering an expansive area of lush Thai countryside, this vineyard is situated around 37 kilometers from Hua Hin town center and is home to the award-winning Monsoon Valley label. Stick around for an early dinner washed down with a recommended glass of wine, before making a beeline for the bar for more wine-tasting delights.
This restaurant is a great place to treat yourself to a few drinks amid sophisticated surroundings. Part of Centara Grand Beach Resort and Villas, Elephant Bar is all 1920s colonial charm, with its marble tables, dark timber floors, leather armchairs, and old-style ceiling fans. Relax to the sound of live jazz and enjoy a cocktail or two among the bar’s plush surroundings.