It may surprise you to learn (it certainly did me) that Hua Hin has a winery – and a very good one at that. A comfortable half hour drive out of the city, the boutique Hua Hin Hills Vineyard produces some quality Monsoon Valley wines that are often found in five-star hotels and restaurants around Thailand.
Built on a former elephant corral, the vineyard is relatively small in comparison to Australian establishments but what it lacks in size it makes up for in style. Sitting on the terrace and looking out over the vineyard while enjoying a delicious lunch (accompanied by a few tasters, naturally) was just a joyous way to spend a few hours. The food is as good as the wine so bring your appetite and just revel in the surroundings.
Another great place to kick back and relax is SeenSpace, described as the country’s first ever beachfront mall and which we stumbled across one evening. It’s a 10-minute drive north and here you can sit with the locals on beanbags by the ocean with a refreshing adult beverage (or just an ice-cream) and watch the sun go down. There’s a cool vibe about the place and although it only opened in April and hasn’t been fully developed yet, there are restaurants, bars, food and curio stalls, and there’s a market right across the road.
For something a little more adventurous, head off to the Kaeng Krachan National Park, which is 70 kilometres west of Hua Hin, sits on the border with Myanmar and is one of the largest in Thailand. We didn’t get to go there unfortunately but apparently not only does it have the Pala-U Waterfall, the highest in Thailand, but visitors can go 4WDing in the forest and spot wildlife, including tigers, jaguars and gibbons.
The Hua Hin Jazz Festival is held every June and the city also offers kite surfing, water parks, historic buildings and the eponymous night markets.
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