Top five day trips

Hua Hin’s strategic position on Thailand’s upper gulf coast makes it the ideal base for excursions into the outlying countryside. Awaiting you are national parks honeycombed with caves and teeming with wildlife, vineyards offering a tempting wine-filled day out, little-visited beaches and pagoda-packed provincial towns. All these places make for a straightforward day trip, so what are you waiting for?

 

Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park

Hugging the coastline 40km south of Hua Hin, Khao Sam Roi Yot is visited by Thais in their droves. What draws them here is Tham Praya Nakhon, a spectacular, light-filled cave that houses a meeting hall built for King Rama V in 1890. Once you’ve marvelled at this cave there are many other less-visited caverns to explore, glistening with stalactites and stalagmites, such as Tham Kaew and Tham Sai.

The park is a paradise for bird-watchers too – it sits at the intersection of the East Asian and Australian migration routes and is home to 300 different bird species – and you’ll also find Thailand’s largest freshwater marsh here, as well as sandy beaches accessed by boat.

 

Getting there

A taxi from Hua Hin will cost 1500B for the day. Alternatively, sign up for a tour with Hua Hin Adventure Tour.

 

Kaeng Krachan National Park

Thailand’s largest national park, Kaeng Krachan is nestled surprisingly close to civilisation, its southern edge a mere 35km from Hua Hin, but sees relatively few visitors, especially during the week. In the mornings, a mist hangs over the park, the peaks of the highest hills poking through it, before clearing to reveal a genuine wilderness: an extension of a huge rain forest that stretches deep into neighbouring Myanmar, complete with waterfalls, tangled jungle trails, a lake and two rivers.

All manner of wildlife roams here: elephant herds, wild deer, leopards, even the odd tiger. The animals you’re most likely to encounter are various varieties of monkeys: gibbons, macaques and langurs, as well as over 400 species of birds and countless different butterflies fluttering around. And everywhere you look, the park is bursting with extravagant fauna.

Most of the animals lurk deep in the park, making it best to visit here with both transport and a guide who knows the place.

 

Getting there

Hua Hin Adventure Tour runs regular trips, some of which offer the option of mountain-biking through the park.