When viewed from the main public entrance, Hua Hin’s beach might seem like a lot of hype. Initially you meet a pleasant but not stunning stretch of sand punctuated by round, smooth boulders and bordered here by the Sofitel resort, which nearly kisses the high tide mark. Don’t be dismayed; this is the people-watching spot. Visiting Thais come here to photograph their friends wading ankle-deep in the sea and pony rides are offered to anyone standing still.
But if you’re after swimming and sunbathing continue south to where the 5km-long beach stretches into a Buddha-adorned headland (Khao Takiab). The sand is a fine white powder that is wide and long and the sea is a calm grey-green. Instead of coconut trees, resort towers line the interior of the beach but this is a minor distraction for long uninterrupted walks