The final Thailand stop on our Southeast Asia trip was Dolphin Bay, a little known beach resort about 40 minutes drive south from the town of Hua Hin, along the Gulf of Thailand coast.
Thailand is world famous for its beaches, but one has to know where to go depending on the season. We were there during the monsoon, and this meant that the Andaman Coast was likely to be washed out. However, the Gulf of Thailand beckoned, and during my research I came across a place called Dolphin Bay. Hua Hin is a major resort, but we felt like just taking it easy after what had really been a really busy trip in Myanmar and then in Bangkok. Dolphin Bay is way off the beaten tourist path – tourists tend not to visit this part of Thailand at all, or go to Hua Hin if they do, but Dolphin Bay is where Bangkok expats like to go, and this appealed to me tremendously. I always feel that locals know best.
We ordered a large cab, and we drove for about 3 hours to reach Dolphin Bay. The cost: $100, which I thought was pretty good value for a 3 hour taxi ride.
We arrived at our resort in the afternoon. The beautiful bay opened up before us, and with only a very small one lane road to cross, we were right at the beach. We could immediately see that we would be happy. With only a handful of places to stay at and to eat at, this is not a place you go to for the nightlife. But if it’s a family friendly trip you want free of any worries or hassles, then it’s perfect. Our hotel was simple – about 40 rooms, with a/c and TV, leading right onto the garden and two pools, one with a water slide. Within minutes the kids were busy sliding away, and they were happy in the pool for hours, even when it began to rain, as we soon learned was to be expected for an hour or so every afternoon. One could rent bikes, go for a hike for miles along the beach, have a massage, and just take it easy. The food was excellent. Our resort was very empty but there were a few other families and our kids made new friends almost immediately.
Not far away is the Sam Roi Yot National Park – famous for the visit made by a reigning Thai king in the late 1800’s, who built a small temple in a huge cave, but was unfortunate in being bitten by a malarial mosquito and succumbing soon afterwards. We didn’t fear malaria now – its rare in Thailand these days, and so we planned to hire a fishing boat to take us to the National Park the next day. That evening we swam in the bath-warm sea, enjoying the most magnificent of sunsets.
I plan great family trips to Thailand. See here: