Playing soccer on the beach - Hua Hin, Prachuap Khiri Khan Province

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Hua Hin Beach is a pleasant, but not stunning, stretch of fine white powder lapped by calm grey-green waves. Remarkably shallow, it's made for strolling and sunbathing, not swimming. Watch out for jellyfish, especially in the wet season.

By far the busiest stretch fronts the Hilton and Centara Grand hotels. Restaurants deliver food to people camped out in shaded sunloungers (except on Wednesdays when these are removed to make the beach beautiful for a day) and pony rides are popular.

As the beach runs south to the Buddha-adorned Khao Takiab headland, resort towers seem to outnumber coconut trees, but there are fewer touts and it's possible to find peaceful plots if you're here on a weekday or you're willing to walk for a while. The northern stretch of sand is cut off from the rest by the Jao Mae Tubtim Shrine and stilted buildings along Th Naresdamri, though these may soon meet the wrecking ball. It's quite narrow and some parts are completely buried at high tide.

There's public access at the end of Th Damnoen Kasem and all up and down Naebkehardt and Phetkasem roads. The southern stretch is passed by the green sŏrng·tăa·ou.