Things to watch out for in Hua Hin
Hua Hin is one of the safest resorts in Thailand. With the King’s Palace being here along with garrisons of the King’s troops located throughout the town’s outskirts and the King’s navy located offshore, Hua Hin feels like a great place to be. Of course, you must still be on your guard as you would anywhere in the world.
Because the King likes dogs, Thai people like dogs too. However, they do not treat them quite as well as dog lovers do in developed countries. Thailand and Hua Hin is full of soi dogs. A soi in Thailand is a ‘way’ or a street. These streets or sois can sometimes become over run with soi dogs that live and run wild. In general, these wild dogs are actually very placid and it is extremely rare to see anybody get bitten. Maybe, this is because most Thai dogs are Buddhist and believe in karma! But, still it is always best to avoid touching these dogs, which are usually covered in bugs and diseases.
You can swim in the beautifully warm sea all year round in Hua Hin. However, at certain times of the year jellyfish can be seen floating in the water and sometimes you can see them washed up on the white sand. These jellyfish are best well avoided as they can deliver an unpleasant sting. There are also some sharp rocks in the sea so it is recommended that you wear sandals to avoid small cuts to your feet.
Monkey Mountain – so called because of all the wild monkeys that inhabit the mountain – is a fantastic place to go to see the monkeys. These monkeys are well used to humans and are usually very friendly. Nevertheless, if you decide to buy some food from the people that sell monkey food there, you must be careful. Some of the larger monkeys are not at all shy. They may get excited and approach you and rip the bag of food straight out of your hand. Therefore, always make sure that young children do not hold large amounts of monkey food for their own protection. Some of the monkeys have very large teeth. Also, keep a tight hold on your bags, hats and cameras too.
Thailand, and Hua Hin being no exception, can be great places to buy hand-made clothes like shirts, trousers and blouses from the tailors who appear to be located almost in every other shop. They usually do a very good job and are proud to produce high quality products. But, as you walk along the streets for a casual stroll or if you are a couple looking for some peace and quiet on a romantic walk, beware. Although the melting pot of nationalities of tailors from Nepal, Burma and India are very keen to provide you their products, they can be a little intimidating as they try to shake your hand and ask you where you are going as you walk down the streets. You will probably greet the first tailor with a polite no thank you but as the 15th tailor approaches you, your patience may grow a little thin!
Taking a tuk-tuk or a taxi or motorcycle taxi to somewhere? Just make sure that you know where you are going or make sure that the driver knows where he is going. It is not uncommon for these drivers to ‘accidentally’ take you on your trip that is 2 kilometres away and they end up driving the long way round. Or, they end up taking a detour and stopping off at a jewellery shop so that the driver will pick up a bonus for delivering you there.
Finally, highlighting warnings without mentioning Hua Hin’s roads would be not good. The road sense of most people here is very different to that of developed countries. Basically, the government’s road tests so you can drive a motorbike or car are very basic. Therefore, most road users’ skills are very basic too. The usual rule of thumb when using the roads in Hua Hin is to give way to larger vehicles. The traffic system here may look chaotic but it actually works very well. Be patient, do not drive fast, and keep well back from vehicles in front and you will be fine and have fun on the roads. If you drive like a maniac, you will end up in hospital or even in the mortuary. Do not drink and drive. Always wear a helmet.