Most of my month in Hua Hin was spent completing my TESOL course with XploreAsia, so I wasn’t able to explore as much as I wanted to. However, I made use of my weekends & made sure I enjoyed the little things on offer!
Pala U Waterfall
One of the most memorable highlights of Hua Hin was the Pala U Waterfalls. It took us about an hours drive to get there by Songtauw (form of Thai public transport), but it was well worth it. When I say that this place is beautiful, I mean it. The part of the river closest to the entrance was packed with locals but as we ascended, it become quieter & a lot more dense. To be honest, we actually lost the trail. Thereafter, we attempted to follow the river up but after a few falls and some serious boulders, we decided to enjoy how far we got. Besides the beautiful waterfalls & lush greenery, Pala U Waterfalls has another attraction – the abundance of beautiful butterflies in a completely natural setting is something I won’t forget.
If there are any tips I would provide for potential visitors, they would be:
- Take bug repellent. Trust me, you’ll thank me.
- If you really want to reach the upper levels of the waterfall, go on a guided tour.
- Take water – for some reason, people always underestimate the strength of this sun, not to mention the humidity.
- There is an entrance fee (About 300 baht for foreigners) so bring some money.
The Beach, Specifically Sunrise
You know how people always say that waking up early to watch the sunrise is good for the soul? Well, I am now an advocate of that. An early morning swim in the calm clear waters whilst the golden-orange-pink sun rises over the sea is something I wish I could do every morning in my new placement area.
If you aren’t a fan of swimming in the sea, there are various resorts and hotels that have pools, which may be used but at a cost. Whilst in Hua Hin, I went to the Dune Hua Hin Hotel, which has an awesome rooftop pool. However, the drinks are pricey and on top of that, we had to pay to swim.
Being in a completely different culture, knowing minimal Thai and being a Pescatarian (seafood & veggies only) was pretty difficult. There are four places/foods that come to mind immediately when thinking about my food experience. First is Ruean Thong Vegetarian Food. Honestly, their food and their staff made my day most days. It is a family run restaurant that puts some serious love into their food, which is a mixture between Thai and Chinese cuisine. Everything is freshly made and changes daily. If you have a chance, you should definitely try Pad-See-Ew (Soy fried noodles with vegetables), Red Curry with jack fruit over white or red rice , add their delicious mushrooms to any meal and their Pineapple Curry, which I wasn’t able to try but it’s still on my list to do so.
Secondly, just outside the school our training took place at, there was a little street food stall that sold the most delicious doughnutty pastries with condense milk. For South Africans, they were like Vetkoek but lighter. For 30 Baht, you can get a packet full of freshly made deliciousness! P.S. They are only open in the mornings.
Third is the Korean BBQ. Where do I even begin? This was probably one of the most fun and engaging food experiences I’ve had in a long time. Each table gets a helmet-like cooking ‘stove’ that is placed on coals. You fry your meat on the elevated part and can boil noodles and vegetables in the stock-filled rim. This place has all kinds of meat, even jellyfish! Also, they have a large variety of vegetables, side dishes and Thai desserts.
Fourth, coconut ice-cream. Do yourself a favour and buy some (or three in one go like me) from a local. You won’t be disappointed.
Whether I’m at the Colombia Road Flower Market in London or flower-gazing at the slow markets in Cape Town, I absolutely love being surrounded by flowers and there was no shortage in Hua Hin. The streets were lined with different types of flowers and I couldn’t help but feel a sense of happiness.
Hua Hin is a little gem on the coast. If you have the chance to go there or pass through, I would definitely suggest doing or eating some of things I have mentioned.