Recs for Hua-Hin and vicinity, in Thailand
I'm heading to Thailand from Singapore in a few days for a week and would love any suggestions. Clearly, these boards have lots of recs for Bangkok and some for Phuket, but does anyone have suggestions a bit farther afield, round about Hua-Hin?
Of course, if anyone wants to add some new suggestions for Bangkok or Singapore, I wouldn't mind those, either.
We spent several days just outside Hua-Hin -- the little town is called Pranburi -- at a fabulous spa called Aleenta (http://www.aleenta.com/huahin/index.html) and had most of our meals there. The food was excellent and the executive chef gives 1/2 day cooking classes.
We did go into Hua-Hin proper one evening for dinner with another couple. They were less adventurous than we are and wanted to get a pizza so we went to an Italian place that was unremarkable, but there are what appears to be some interesting restaurants on the wharf where you can choose your own fresh seafood. There's also a nice section of street vendors a block or two away where we had a good banana roti for desert.
On the main highway coming into Hua Hin from the north (Rt-4), and about 10-15 km before Hua Hin, you'll find the entrance to the Thai Army's Fort Naresuan on the left (sea side). On the right side of the road and directly opposite this entrance is a restaurant called "Sap Eelee," but it may be that there is no English-language signboard. "Sap Eelee is a northeast Thai phrase meaning 'delicious' and this place serves the absolute nest NE Thai food I ever found outside of the actual northeast. Go here with as many people as you can and order a large variety of dishes. The Kai Yang (barbecued chicken) in particular is to die for!
Also on the left side of the highway in that area, and as I recall located between kilometer markers 216-217, is a place called Marukhathaiwan Palace (there is definitely an English language sign) which is a beautifully restored palace of one of the early Thai kings of the current dynasty. Definitely worth a stop.
In Hua Hin itself, there are a couple of large and mostly open-air restaurants on wharfs out over the water that are great. Also, the largest and most expensive hotel in downtown Hua Hin is what was once called the "Railway Hotel" but is now called the Sofitel Centara. It's right on the beach and kind of at the south end of Hua Hin. You'll know you found it by the very large garden of topiary shrubs in the front. When I was there 2-3 years ago it had a fabulous evening buffet, albeit not cheap. It's web site is: http://www.sofitel.com/sofitel/ficheh...