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Hua Hin for family beach holiday

Hua Hin for family beach holiday

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Old Nov 13, 18, 8:17 am
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Hua Hin for family beach holiday

Trying to plan the family (me, wife, 9yo daughter and 1.5 yo son) winter holiday: around Chinese New Year-ish time (a little flexible): vote is for some beach as well as other activities. We've been to Phuket a couple of times (before son came along) -- stayed at Doubletree Surin (RIP) and absolutely loved it. But we've never actually been to Bangkok, so this time, I was thinking Hua Hin for about a week for the beach holiday (and perhaps the water park), then a few days in BKK, and possibly throw in a few days in Chiang Mai aswell.

Ideally, we'll be using IHG points (and I'll post on that forum for specific hotel advice).

My question is about Hua Hin beach: reading about it, it's not as spectacular as beaches further south, but that aside, is it pleasant for swimming in, in late Jan/ Feb? I've heard reports about jellyfish: given that we'll be sticking fairly close to the shore, will that be an issue? We don't want to just laze by the pool, we do want to go sea swimming aswell. One thing we loved about Surin beach were the food stalls etc (although I hear many of those have been closed since we've last been). Is there a similar beach culture at Hua Hin?

If we prefer to fly into BKK and then either drive/ taxi for our Thai beach holiday, are there better options that I should be considering?

thanks!

tb
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Old Nov 13, 18, 11:43 am
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Hua Hin has good hotels and food but the beach is nothing special. maybe look at some of the islands close to BKK. Ko Samet, Ko Chang, etc. Kanchanaburi is also quite good with kids.
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Old Nov 13, 18, 2:36 pm
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Based on past visits, don't see many people full-on swimming in the sea. Beaches are clean but there are few to no vendors aside from the donkey ride operators.

Most go to Hua Hin for the vibe (town, railway station, the former royal retreat, night markets, the hill, Wat Huay Mongkol, the hill overlooking, Plearnwan etc) and food (iconic Thai or seafood)
Seenspace (a hip entertainment area) is nice but relatively quiet. You need a car in Hua Hin - pick a rental when you get there.

I second the Kanchanaburi suggestion above, particularly these "raft hotels" - hotels built right on the river.

Other close by BKK beach areas within 2-3 hours driving distance would be Pattaya (Koh Larn or literally Million Island) and Rayong (further south).
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Old Nov 27, 18, 3:03 am
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Originally Posted by tide View Post
Based on past visits, don't see many people full-on swimming in the sea. Beaches are clean but there are few to no vendors aside from the donkey ride operators.
Maybe something to do with the incident in April this year and the ensuing problems, see https://www.thaivisa.com/forum/topic..._campaign=news

This incident once again confirms the that medical treatment in Thailand is not as cheap as most people imagine and good holiday insurance cover is essential.
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Old Dec 27, 18, 5:17 am
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We just did Hua Hin the first weekend of December. Terrible beach, only a few people swimming near the Hilton. The beach itself even at the IC, where we stayed, was poor and with high tide almost non-existent. I remember that being a problem south near the Hyatt. There used to be parasailing hawkers, but even they were gone. The water was mucky and dirty looking, unlike the pristine beaches on Phuket, especially Mai Khao. I'd go elsewhere.
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Old Dec 28, 18, 5:46 am
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Thanks for the suggestions, which I took on board. As a quick update, we decided to fly to HKT and I've booked the HI Mai Khao for a week, following which we'll fly to Bangkok for a few days before heading back home.

Now that the general itinerary is sorted, I'm sure I'll post a few specific questions soon, thanks!

tb
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Old Dec 28, 18, 9:07 pm
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Originally Posted by trueblu View Post
Thanks for the suggestions, which I took on board. As a quick update, we decided to fly to HKT and I've booked the HI Mai Khao for a week, following which we'll fly to Bangkok for a few days before heading back home.

Now that the general itinerary is sorted, I'm sure I'll post a few specific questions soon, thanks!

tb
The HI Resort Mai Khao has been one of our favorites and Thomas, the GM, is a great guy to get to know. Ask for one of the 1st floor swim up rooms with the patio that goes into the semi-private, shared, pool(s.) We usually get one at Building 8 as it's close to the breakfast area, but still private enough. Since you are travelling with children, they have a similar swim-up "family suite" with children's play area (and video game player if that's their thing,) in the second bedroom, near the day care building. If you are booking two rooms, they usually will give that to you, or just do two ajoining rooms on the 1st floor. Good "beach" restaurants on both sides of the property.

Last edited by rbAA; Dec 28, 18 at 9:09 pm Reason: Correction
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Old Dec 29, 18, 6:41 am
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Originally Posted by rbAA View Post
The HI Resort Mai Khao has been one of our favorites and Thomas, the GM, is a great guy to get to know. Ask for one of the 1st floor swim up rooms with the patio that goes into the semi-private, shared, pool(s.) We usually get one at Building 8 as it's close to the breakfast area, but still private enough. Since you are travelling with children, they have a similar swim-up "family suite" with children's play area (and video game player if that's their thing,) in the second bedroom, near the day care building. If you are booking two rooms, they usually will give that to you, or just do two ajoining rooms on the 1st floor. Good "beach" restaurants on both sides of the property.
That's really useful to know, thank you. Except for the first night, I've booked with points, so could only book a standard room...the family rooms look great, I agree, but sadly unlikely to be. Also, I couldn't book reward nights with 2 kids, although we won't need any extra bedding, and the actual website allows for up to 2 kids to "stay free" as long as no extra bedding required. I was thinking of emailing nearer the time that I forgot to include my younger child in the booking...will that be an issue?

Great to know that there are beach restaurants...I couldn't find out much about such on a quick internet search, and that's something we really enjoyed on previous visits to Surin beach.

Any other tips?

tb
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Old Dec 29, 18, 5:07 pm
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Originally Posted by trueblu View Post
That's really useful to know, thank you. Except for the first night, I've booked with points, so could only book a standard room...the family rooms look great, I agree, but sadly unlikely to be. Also, I couldn't book reward nights with 2 kids, although we won't need any extra bedding, and the actual website allows for up to 2 kids to "stay free" as long as no extra bedding required. I was thinking of emailing nearer the time that I forgot to include my younger child in the booking...will that be an issue?

Great to know that there are beach restaurants...I couldn't find out much about such on a quick internet search, and that's something we really enjoyed on previous visits to Surin beach.

Any other tips?

tb
I've stayed on points (before the last devaluation,) and as Spire they gave us the UPG to the swim up rooms. We did have to pay for breakfast of course. Ask at check in and they may oblige.

Noonit Kitchen to south of the property and TomTan to the north were our favorites nearby, but Rimhead, basically a food truck parked at the end of the Moo between the JW Marriott and Anatara, a couple km's north on the beach, is by far the best and our favorite. We ate at Pesto, the hotel restaurant. Good but pricy, even with the 20% off F&B as Spire members. The breakfast is very good for a hotel buffet with a decent selection of Thai, Chinese (with noodle bar,) and western (egg station as usual) dishes. A little expensive if you pay at the hotel, but the rates online that include breakfast make it much better. They have discounted the breakfast by about 50% for us in the past on the points stay, but now we just book the rate with breakfast. They have a sign that kids eat free, but that was a year ago.

Not sure how they would handle the 2 children issue, but I don't think it's a problem as long as one is an infant.

If you have a car (as this area is quite desolate though the hotel does have a shuttle van, for airport pickup/dropoff and local rides, but I believe they charge for it's use, again with some discount offered,) parking is free. You may want to rent one for a day or two to do some exploring. We always have one as our favorite massage place is all the way south in town, though the beach massage just to the south of the property is OK. There is a minimart nearby and a supermarket of sorts in the little village, which would be a little bit of a walk. If you walk up the beach to Rimhead, there are shops on that Moo by the JW, so you may want to combine those two errands into one.

However, our Mai Khao stay in a couple weeks is at the Anatara as we got a great timeshare deal with a private villa and pool for $379 all in for the 3 nights and only have to attend a morning, right after breakfast, timeshare presentation.
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Old Jan 8, 19, 7:54 am
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Originally Posted by rbAA View Post
I've stayed on points (before the last devaluation,) and as Spire they gave us the UPG to the swim up rooms. We did have to pay for breakfast of course. Ask at check in and they may oblige.

Noonit Kitchen to south of the property and TomTan to the north were our favorites nearby, but Rimhead, basically a food truck parked at the end of the Moo between the JW Marriott and Anatara, a couple km's north on the beach, is by far the best and our favorite. We ate at Pesto, the hotel restaurant. Good but pricy, even with the 20% off F&B as Spire members. The breakfast is very good for a hotel buffet with a decent selection of Thai, Chinese (with noodle bar,) and western (egg station as usual) dishes. A little expensive if you pay at the hotel, but the rates online that include breakfast make it much better. They have discounted the breakfast by about 50% for us in the past on the points stay, but now we just book the rate with breakfast. They have a sign that kids eat free, but that was a year ago.

Not sure how they would handle the 2 children issue, but I don't think it's a problem as long as one is an infant.

If you have a car (as this area is quite desolate though the hotel does have a shuttle van, for airport pickup/dropoff and local rides, but I believe they charge for it's use, again with some discount offered,) parking is free. You may want to rent one for a day or two to do some exploring. We always have one as our favorite massage place is all the way south in town, though the beach massage just to the south of the property is OK. There is a minimart nearby and a supermarket of sorts in the little village, which would be a little bit of a walk. If you walk up the beach to Rimhead, there are shops on that Moo by the JW, so you may want to combine those two errands into one.

However, our Mai Khao stay in a couple weeks is at the Anatara as we got a great timeshare deal with a private villa and pool for $379 all in for the 3 nights and only have to attend a morning, right after breakfast, timeshare presentation.

Thanks! That's super helpfull. If you have the email of the GM, would you mind PMing me with it!
I thought about the car, but the price for the week we are staying there seemed too much for the use we would get out of it. Is it easy to hire a car just for a day?

Enjoy your stay at the Anatara, that's a superb price!!

tb
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Old Jan 8, 19, 7:25 pm
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Originally Posted by trueblu View Post
Thanks! That's super helpfull. If you have the email of the GM, would you mind PMing me with it!
I thought about the car, but the price for the week we are staying there seemed too much for the use we would get out of it. Is it easy to hire a car just for a day?

Enjoy your stay at the Anatara, that's a superb price!!

tb
Unfortunately, I can't locate their emails, but they always email me before the stay, at least the woman in charge of reservations, and she is always accommodating.

You can just have the hotel shuttle take you to and from (upon return) the airport to rent a car for a day or whatever.
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Old Jan 13, 19, 4:30 pm
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Originally Posted by Oldtiger View Post
Maybe something to do with the incident in April this year and the ensuing problems, see https://www.thaivisa.com/forum/topic..._campaign=news

This incident once again confirms the that medical treatment in Thailand is not as cheap as most people imagine and good holiday insurance cover is essential.
Why do people insist on not getting insurance?
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Old Jan 14, 19, 9:58 am
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Originally Posted by Oldtiger View Post
Maybe something to do with the incident in April this year and the ensuing problems, see https://www.thaivisa.com/forum/topic..._campaign=news

This incident once again confirms the that medical treatment in Thailand is not as cheap as most people imagine and good holiday insurance cover is essential.
Most tourists won’t know anything about this. The beach is pretty crappy so it does it get crowds. Want beach? Go to Samui.
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Old Jan 14, 19, 6:25 pm
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Originally Posted by Oldtiger View Post
Maybe something to do with the incident in April this year and the ensuing problems, see https://www.thaivisa.com/forum/topic..._campaign=news

This incident once again confirms the that medical treatment in Thailand is not as cheap as most people imagine and good holiday insurance cover is essential.
Without knowing the severity of the bite, or what and how much treatment was necessary/provided, how could one come to the conclusion that the treatment wasn't "as cheap as most people imagine"? IME treatment here is consistently and substantially less expensive than similar treatment in the U.S. Want an example? A few years ago I was admitted to Bumrungrad in the middle of the night through the emergency room. I ended up being hospitalized for two nights (not counting the night I was admitted) in a private room, with all the attendant costs like blood tests, medications, physician treatment, etc. The total bill was USD $820.
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Old Jan 15, 19, 10:49 am
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There's also many tourist scam charges at hospitals.
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