02.05.2016 - 02.05.2016
Hua Hin is a well known beach retreat resort town south of Bangkok, which is also being the home to the Klai Kangwon Summer Palace which is the residence of the King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the reigning King of Kingdom of Thailand. Other than being the most important residence to the Thai King, Hua Hin is very well known for its distinctive railways station which still maintained its traditional old wooden building structure with the iconic red and yellow colour paint that covered the train station entire blocks. I have shared this in my previous blog on Hua Hin and for this time, I would like to focus on some other interesting sights that Hua Hin has to offer. Over the years, Hua Hin has gained increasing attention from travellers to Thailand who sought a close getaways from the busy and hectic Bangkok city. Bangkok residents just like the tourists also seek to get some quiet retreat from the city that never sleeps to have some relaxation during the holiday season or just a short weekend vacation. Hua Hin was the answer for some of these alternative holiday seekers be it local or foreigners. So much developments have been taken place in this resort town as the surging holidaymakers flocked into Hua Hin mainly with the developments of interesting water parks that suits the family group of vacations. Hua Hin is doing very well in creating a decent family holiday destination, so much so that this is one of the most sought after vacation spot by those who really wanted a genuine relaxing family, independent or couple holiday.
Other than the beach and water parks, Hua Hin being a royal town has its other palace which the city can be proud of, known as the Maruekhathaiyawan Palace built during the reign of King Rama VI or King Vajiravudh period. As Hua Hin is a royal town of the King Bhumibol or King Rama IX, a visit to Hua Hin would not be complete without a tour to Maruekhathaiyawan Palace. The palace building is extraordinary which is not built in the form of the majestic building that stands on the land but it was being constructed as a long stretch of building structure above ground (similar to long house structure) which have multiple pillars to support the several main halls, offices, rooms and bathrooms on the entire palace structures. Each of these functions of main buildings which developed or designed in cluster form were being connected through the walkways which is of the same level as the cluster of the rooms of each main building. Just as each main buildings, the walkways were supported with the multiple pillars. There was a large open garden fronting the whole palace structure and a long walkways that leads to the Hua Hin beach area. Lush trees were also covering the surrounding of the palace boundary. The Maruekhataiyawan Palace were built by wood planks and the management of the palace limits the number of persons who can access to the palace building at any one time due to safety reasons. At time of visit, it was undergoing some renovations to improve the structure of the palace.
THE MARUEKHATHAIYAWAN PALACE AND ITS SURROUNDINGS
Rajabhakti Park is the latest attractions in Hua Hin. This is a massive open space park featuring monument structures of 7 of the past rulers of Siam (ancient name of Thailand) which main objective was to pay tributes to these kings for their contributions in ruling Thailand and shaping the country into what it is today in this modern era period. The Kings' monuments constructed at the Rajabhakti Park are King Ramkhamhaeng, King Naresuan, King Narai, King Taksin, King Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke, King Mongkut and King Chulalongkorn. The park was impressive with the decoration of the past Great Thai Kings and most visitors seen gathering for small group photos, selfie or simply admiring the bronze statues of the Kings.
THE STATUES OF 7 OF THE GREAT KINGS OF THAILAND @ RAJABHAKTI PARK
King Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke
Another attractions that Hua Hin offers visitors yet another spectacular sights is the Wat Huay Mongkol. This temple brought visitors to view the gigantic Luang Phu Thuad's struture as well as to offer prayers to the sacred Thai monk, Luang Phu Thuad. The late Luang Phu Thuad was one of the most sacred monk known in Thailand because he was said to possessed certain magical power which include turning salty water from the sea into fresh drinking water. The Luang Phu Thuad massive structure were placed on the higher level with a staircase leading to the base of the structure. In the front of the structure is where visitors could perform prayers. On the ground of the Luang Phu Thuad's structure were 2 elephant structures with the sculpture of Luang Phu Thuad riding on each of the elephant structure. Visitors could be seen offering prayers at these elephant structures by going around them. Another structures seen at Wat Huay Mongkol was the King Taksin sculptures with the symbolic ancient Thai King riding on a horse. On the front of the King Taksin monument, it was being surrounded by the cocks sculptures which come in various sizes. These cock sculptures were being placed around King Taksin structure because he was said to love cock fighting competitions during his life.
WAT HUAY MONGKOL
The statues of Luang Phu Thuad
The elephant structure at Wat Huay Mongkol
King Taksin monument and the cock sculptures
Khao Takiab is now gaining strength in being a popular beach spot in Hua Hin. This stretch of Hua Hin beach has a very wide beach area which offer beach goers the best spot for sunbathing, beach sports or simply just for leisure activities such as horse riding and picnics. There was a temple located on the edge of Khao Takiab. The main temple buildling of Wat Khao Takiab (Khao Takiab Temple) was located on the peak of Khao Takiab Hill. From Khao Takiab beach, a large Golden Buddha could be seen on the base of Khao Takiab temple. It can be quite a challenge to get to the peak of Wat Khao Takiab as there were a strenuous level of staircase that leads to Wat Khao Takiab. However, the effort will definitely be rewarding with the stunning and marvellous bird eye view of Khao Takiab beach, which reminds me of Gold Coast in Australia with some blocks of high rise buildings on the backdrop of the beach. Midway to the peak of Wat Khao Takiab, there was a small pathways that leads to a small cave which has a Golden Buddha sculpture placed inside it. Khao Takiab also offers the best spot for fresh seafood choices with range of such establishments available. Seafood lovers could choose varieties of fresh seafood from these seafood restaurants, have them grilled and packed for take-away or simply for dining-in.
KHAO TAKIAB BEACH
Horse riding at Khao Takiab beach
Entrance to Wat Khao Takiab
THE STUNNING VIEW OF KHAO TAKIAB BEACH FROM WAT KHAO TAKIAB
The Golden Buddha statue at Wat Khao Takiab
The staircase leading to Wat Khao Takiab
THE SMALL CAVE WITH THE BUDDHA STATUE MIDWAY TO THE MAIN WAT KHAO TAKIAB
SEAFOOD AT KHAO TAKIAB BEACH
Cicada Market offers alternative to the regular Hua Hin night market . Cicada Market opens only from Friday to Sunday and the theme for this weekend night market focus on promoting creativity of Thai people in design, arts and other extraordinary skills. Items available at Cicada market such as souvenirs, garments, toys, footwear, daily essential items and accessories, consumer goods and entertainment mainly derived from the art and design creativity theme. There were also food kiosks section for the market goers with variety choices of food available. Entertainment activities at Cicada Market include band performance, dancing and display of arty skills.
ITEMS AVAILABLE AT CICADA MARKET
Performance at Cicada Market