Road Trip: Hua Hin

Over the long 4th of July weekend, we took our first trip out of town to a small coastal town called Hua Hin. It’s known for being a vacation destination for the royal family. Fancy schmancy!

Ok, so the town itself wasn’t actually that fancy schmancy, but it was cute, and a very nice, refreshing respite from the hustle and bustle of Bangkok. The hotel we stayed at – Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas – was pretty stellar though. It used to be a railway station, the first with trains running from Thailand to Malaysia, and had a really beautiful colonial feel to it.

DSC_0267The lobby

DSC_0260The grounds

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DSC_0262A little peek of the Gulf of Thailand

It would have been completely feasible to just stay in the resort the whole weekend, with its zillions of restaurants, pools, and the beach right there (one note, the beach was unfortunately pretty dirty), but we had booked a bike tour with Hua Hin Bike Tours, so we ventured out to do that, and it was so worth it. They have several different tour options that range in difficulty, length of time, distance, and areas that they cover. We opted for the Gears, Grapes, and Vineyards tour, because – well, we got married at a vineyard. We clearly like wine.

There were two local Thai staff with us on the tour – one riding with us and one driving a van a bit of a distance behind us that carried supplies (amazing fresh fruit, water, etc.) and was there for any emergencies. The owner of the company, Chris, also rode with us and acted as a bit of a tour guide. They were all really friendly, and we enjoyed sharing the experience with them.

DSC_0277First stop: Wat Huay Mongkhol, where we saw the largest statue of Luang Phor Tuad, a famous Thai monk

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Don’t do it! 

DSC_0299Taking a quick photo break. So sweaty!

DSC_0305Rubber trees – so interesting, and I knew nothing about them until this trip.

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All in all, the tour had a good balance of difficulty and beautiful scenery. Meaning, we weren’t just out for a leisurely ride on flat ground the whole time, but it was not so tough that we were praying for the moment it would finally be over. Well, I wasn’t anyway. Unfortunately, M had eaten and/or drank something the night before we left for Hua Hin that caused what we now refer to as “the demon.” He was pretty sick on the entire 3 hour drive down (so I got to drive in Thailand AND on the left side of the road for the first time – eek!), and for most of the first day that we were there. On the day of the bike ride, he was doing better, but wasn’t able to do all 42km of the tour. I was really proud of him for hanging in there for 20km though.

After a pretty steep final climb, we were rewarded with an amazing lunch and gorgeous views at the winery – the Hua Hin Hills Vineyard. I wasn’t sure how Thai wine would taste, considering how the climate isn’t exactly wine-friendly, but it was actually really good.

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Definitely worth a trip if you’re ever in the area.

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