Hua Hin is a holiday destination that hs something for everybody. You have toiled hard all year and you are looking forward to a few weeks away from work in what you hope will be a paradise location. So what do you do after you choose Hua Hin as your destination?
Research Your Holiday Destination
I don’t think that there are many people who would travel somewhere like Hua Hin and be content with never leaving their hotel for the duration of their stay. It is vital that you find out what is available and what there is of particular interest to you. You will look up Hua Hin on the internet and look for some informative guides on the area. These, however, will only tell you about mainstream activities and will probably have been written by somone with limited local knowledge. Our website gives you an idea of what is hidden (often in plain sight!) and what is available slightly farther afield. Use it (our Contact Us page and Webchat facilities) to get valuable local insight and information without any obligation to compile your list of things that you want to do. We will be able to tell you if an activity is suitable for you; whether it is value for money; whether it is “In Season”; or whether it is a waste of time.
I Have Arrived in Hua Hin. Now What?
At this point I will assume that you are new to the area, so once you have settled in to your accommodation, what should you do? I would reccommend taking in a tour that will show you the “lie of the land” and enable you to become more independent. We offer four such tours:
Hua Hin Highlights (and Monsoon Valley)
Hua Hin by Night
Hua Hin Weekend Market Tour
and our knowledgable guides will be able to show you where to go and what to do in central Hua Hin.
I Now Know My Way Around Hua Hin. What Now?
So, by now you have made your list of things that you want to do and you now know your way about. How will you start ticking off your activities. My advice is to do things as simply as possible, as this will undoubtedly work out cheaper too. A lot will depend on the size of your group. For these purposes, let’s say your group is between 2-5 people and that you are staying close to Phetchkasem Road.
The first thing that you should ask is “Where is my activity?” If it is close to Phetchkasem Road, the simplest and cheapest way to get there would probably be by songthaew (unless the activity runs its own shuttle service).
If the activity is away from the songthaew routes (or outside the times that they run) you should consider a tuk-tuk (for very short journeys) or a taxi. Always, always, negotiate the price before you get in to the tuk-tuk or taxi and find out either the cost of a return journey, or the ease of getting a different tuk-tuk or taxi for the return.
If the activity is a long journey, you should consider a Private Charter.
Please refer to our guide on getting around town.
The next thing that you should be asking is “How long is my activity going to take?” If you are going to spend all day at a venue such as Vana Nava or Black Mountain Water Parks, then it is pointless (and more costly) paying for a driver to sit around waiting for you.
Next as yourself “Am I just going to do one activity, or am I going to do several?” If you are just doing one activity, the advice above stands. However, if you are going to do several activities you should be considering whether the tuk-tuk or taxi driver actually knows the way to the activity. Remember these drivers do not have to do tests such as The Knowledge for London Black Cabs. Also, very (in)conveniently the name of the activity may be lost in translation, so you could end up wasting a lot of time and money being driven in the wrong direction!! At this point, I would definitely consider the Private Charter option as you are guaranteed that the driver knows where the activities are located and also speaks good English.
You may also now be considering a Guided Tour package, but only if you are interested in all elements of the package. Although Guided Tours are often seen as expensive, if you don’t mind sharing with other people, the Group Discounts can dramatically bring the price down.
I think that the last question to ask yourself is “Will my enjoyment of the activity be diminished if I can’t understand what is being said?” Sadly Thailand’s attractions are not always inclusive for those who do not speak Thai – just look at local restaurant menus!! If, for example, you are going to a Royal Palace, you may find yourself walking though rooms and looking at items without any background knowledge and no signage explaining their significance. However, if you had an English-speaking guide, you would get a better overall experience as you wouldn’t just be looking at a nameless object; you would be looking at a piece of significant history!! This is where a properly licensed Tour Guide is a must. Here is a list of our ever-evolving Guided Tour packages.
Why Don’t I Just Rent a Car or Motorcycle?
Thailand has one of the worst records in the world for road death – and these statistics only include people who died at the scene, not those who died later in hospital!! However, it can be convenient to hire a vehicle, provided you know exactly what you are doing and the consequences if you have not done it legally.
Laws are not rigorously enforced in Thailand – unless you fall foul of the Police. Then they are! Basically, if you are not driving a car, or riding a motorcycle, you would have to be very unlucky to get stopped by Police.
You may have rented a vehicle, but have you done it totally legally? Do you have a full domestic licence for the type of vehicle you rented? You need a full motorcycle licence to ride, not just a domestic provisional licence. You also need an International Driving Permit – did you remember to apply for one back in your own country? What about insurance? Your rental comes with Class 1 insurance, but in real terms what will that cover? Remember, if you are in an accident, it is highly likely that you will be held to blame and have to pay for damages not covered by insurance!!
Speaking of accidents, have you got sufficient medical insurance? We’ve all read the horror stories of tourists being hospitalised, not having the means to pay for their care and not being allowed to leave. Does your travel insurance allow you to ride a motorcycle, or is this classed as a “Dangerous Activity” thus voiding the insurance?
What about getting around? Do you know where you are going. Remember most road signage is written in Thai as are many destinations on satnavs or Google Maps. Do you know driving “Rules of the Road”? What about refreshment and comfort breaks – do you know where to go?
These are just a few (of many) points that I hope will dissuede you from “going it alone”.
As I said before, you have worked hard for this holiday, so nothing should spoil it – no dodgy tuk-tuk or taxi drivers; no wasting your money on an activity that you did not understand; no fines by the Police; and no spending valuable holiday time in hospital!!
I hope that you have found this guide to be useful and I hope that it sets you on your way to having a fantastic, unforgettable holiday. If you have any queries at all, or need any advice about Hua Hin as a holiday destination, then please do not hesitate to Contact Us via this link or use our webchat tool at the bottom right corner of any page (except our Home page). #huahin, #travel, #huahintours