imageI can’t actually believe I’m writing a post about this hell-hole. My friend Lily and I travelled up from Koh Tao and decided to break up the journey to Bangkok by stopping off in Hua Hin, which we had read was a place where Thai people went on holiday. We arrived after spending a day on a ferry and bus – the comfiest bus I’ve ever been on, I hasten to add – and were pretty shocked to see McDonald’s, KFC, Burger King and flashing lights everywhere. It was the trashiest looking place I have seen yet in Thailand and was filled with ageing British and German couples and old men looking for young Thai girls. To say we were disappointed was an understatement, but we sucked it up and luckily were ushered into a guest house by a taxi driver we met in the street. I say luckily because usually I wouldn’t take any notice of these guys, but we couldn’t find the hostel we were after and when we walked into the building the woman was offering us a double room with an ensuite for 300bt a night. We weren’t overwhelmed, but it would do for the first night. Discovering a swimming pool on the roof the following night definitely changed our opinion and made us stay for a few more days instead of switching hotels. (I can’t remember the name of our place but it was almost opposite a bar called Click)imageThe beach at Hua Hin isn’t a stunner. It’s big and long and stretches round the bay but it’s not good for sunbathing, there’s a strong wind that hits the beach making it perfect for windsurfers but less so for relaxing. But the length and the firmness of the sand makes it perfect for an evening run which was something we enjoyed quite a lot – I love running on the beach at home, but it’s definitely better when you can jump in a warm sea after and cartwheel the whole way home. We spent our days relaxing by the pool and our nights shopping at the market. Considering how expensive Hua Hin appears because of all the holiday makers, we actually managed to snap up a load of bargains and even a 100bt foot massage at the market. This was also a great place to stock up on the more commercial items like makeup wipes, sun screen, and any other beauty products with Boots and other stores on offer.imageThe restaurants were good but not the best I’ve seen, street food is a bit lacking here although the market is good for food and particularly for seafood which is prepared right in front of you. Flames shoot up at regular intervals as head chefs cook up lobsters, prawns and huge fish on the grills set up outside the restaurants and the air is filled with the spicy smells of delicious Thai food. We also tried some fabulous duck at a few of the restaurants in the street near our hotel – the first time I had tried duck in Thailand and it was really tasty, with no fat and lots of flavour. I was really impressed with the duck salad and the green duck curry I had, and we also tried some delicious mussels topped with garlic, cheese and Thai herbs. Definitely explore the menus that offer slightly unusual dishes, there’s plenty of different meals on offer here.imageAll of these positives really didn’t outweigh the negatives in Hua Hin, but we really made the best of it by going out and partying with the few locals who actually worked there. This did backfire one night when they took us to a Thai club and we were propositioned by some Thai guys who wanted to pay us for a night… Needless to say we left and didn’t head back there in a hurry. The one saving grace of our time in the town was when I signed us up to do a morning of Muay Thai boxing training at Thai Boxing Garden, which was absolutely amazing! We headed in early to beat the heat but it was already hot and sweaty in the gym where the Thai boxing trainers were waiting. After a warm-up of skipping, it was straight into the straps on our wrists, the boxing gloves and straight into the moves. We worked hard and got results, the guys showed us all the moves and we definitely impressed them. Heck, I impressed myself after weeks of partying on the islands – half expected I would collapse halfway through! We had so much fun and left pumped and excited – we had hoped to make it to another session the next morning, but unfortunately Lily was ill so we couldn’t do it. But I would definitely recommend trying out a session if you get a chance and like to keep fit. It’s great fun, a good workout and good value for money depending on where you do it. There are also options to train every day for a week or longer for those staying longer.imageOverall, my advice would be to both holidaymakers and backpackers – avoid Hua Hin at all costs. We only stayed a few days because we didn’t want to spend too much time in Bangkok before Lily’s flights and because we had a pool, but if you don’t need to break up your journey, just skip it altogether and save yourself from the sight of 60-year-old men with young Thai women. If you do end up there, definitely get away from the strip for an evening by dressing up in your finest and heading to The Hilton where they have a Sky Bar which looks over the whole town and is beautiful all lit up at night. I’ll admit the cocktails aren’t amazing, but they also aren’t too expensive. If you’re like me, you’ll avoid the sugary concoctions and their sickly sweet taste and stick to champagne cocktails and bellinis instead. A nice treat for a backpacker.image


Have you ever travelled to a hell-hole? Tell me about your holidays from hell…

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