We had a 4-day weekend from school and we decided to hop on a bus and hit the beach before the rainy season hits us. Phuket and Krabi are some of the bigger tourist beaches, but they are several hours further away and more expensive. We’ll hit them next time we have more than 4 days off.
The bus ride was 13 hours. We left right after school on Thursday so we arrived early in Hua Hin on Friday morning. The first thing we did was hit the beach. We had read about a big temple at the top of a mountain right on the beach that was just a couple miles from our hotel so we started marching.
It was cloudy so we obviously didn’t put on enough sunscreen. Val got a wicked burn and I put in some serious work on my farmer’s tan- though walking on the beach for 2 hours with no shoes on helped balance out my flip-flop tan so that was cool. Here is one of the many random boats just chilling on the beach. They’re all painted bright red and blue and green and yellow.
In typical Thailand fashion, we were greeted by all sorts of wildlife along the beach. THOUSANDS of little sand crabs, various birds and insects, some unidentified straw monsters burrowed under the sand, a beach ball sized beached jellyfish and this beached octopus.
The octopus was totally still squirming around and obviously alive. I had to act fast. I scooped him up with a handful of sand and ran him back out into the ocean. We watched for a few minutes to make sure he didn’t wash back up onto the sand. In retrospect, it would have been cool to document the rescue mission with photos, but there was no time. He and his whole cephalopod family thank me. Live long and prosper little buddy.
Anyway, we continued down the beach until we found the little mountain called Chopstick Hill.
There is a temple up there and we read that lots of monkeys live up there too. You can just hang out with them- but they might try to steal your stuff. Here’s the hill and a series of amazing monkey pictures. There were probably 150 of them. Maybe more, it’s impossible to count them. They jump and swing from roofs, trees, statues, cars, everything. They’ll eat food right out of your hand. And if you’re not looking, they’ll just take it. Apparently, they get mad if you stare at them so we gave them a little space, at first.
This is Val, respecting the monkey’s personal space after he just stole this bag of snacks from some girl.
Then this guy is just chewing on the antenna. They really messed up some of these cars. Peeling off rubber weather stripping, banging on windows, scratching at the tires. It was hilarious. Some guys were shooting slingshots at them.
This one is clearly not deterred by the barbed wire.
Something happened up there that made everybody happy.
Then they’re all just standing around in the road, so when a car comes by, the driver has to slow to a crawl and honk the horn to get rid of them.
So after chopstick hill, we went to check out the night market. Hua Hin is famous for seafood and the night market has tons of amazing options for very cheap.
We ended up getting a Pad Thai with mussels, shrimp, and squid, along with an seafood omelet. It cost 95 baht (less than $3) and was one of the most delicious meals I’ve had in Thailand.
We took it back to our hotel and ate on the roof and looked out at the beach and restaurants and people running around.
So that was Friday.
Then Saturday, we took a cab out to Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park. It’s about an hour south of town and they have mountains to climb and a huge cave to explore. Also ENORMOUS insects. This little dude was about 8-10 inches long and very friendly.
So we hiked up and down two small mountains. The whole thing was less than a mile, but some parts were very steep. Lots of great views like this one as the mountain trail runs right along the coastline.
Then we got to the cave. And it was awesome. You follow some steep steps down into the mouth of the cave and then it opens up above you. There is another opening to the sky where rain and light get in so there are tons of plants growing down there among some of the most beautiful rock formations I’ve ever seen. Someone even built a little temple down there on a hill. It’s really an amazing place.
There are about 9 billion more pictures and they all started to look the same but I think I got some of the best ones on here.
So on the hike back to pick up the cab, who do we see? More monkeys. These guys are different. Much nicer and less aggressive. They just do their thing in the trees. If you got too close, they’d just jump away.
Anyway, that was about it for Saturday. There was some more delicious food in there too. Then Sunday we just hung out in town, went to some shops and got ready to take the long bus ride back. Hua Hin is a big tourist town not so much with westerners, but mainly other Thais from Bangkok or visitors from nearby Burma. Here are some other random pictures I took around the city.
That’s about it. Hua Hin was a great place to stay for a long weekend. The food was unbelievable but I feel like we did 75% of the stuff there is to do there. It’s not somewhere I’d like to live, but definitely great for a visit.