Valentine’s Day is considered by many to be one of the highlights of the year. A time to treat their significant other, or for those lucky enough, to be spoiled by their one and only. For others however, Valentine’s Day can be stressful. With expectations high, and with hopes that the evening will the epitome of romance – for some it can be all too much.
For Webster University Hua Hin / Cha Am students however, the day should hopefully not induce too much stress. As we all live in one of the most picturesque and relaxed cities in the world, we have the added benefit of not having to think too much or travel too far for a beautiful evening. Even if you leave it until 5pm on the 14th of February to make your plans (although I’d strongly suggest that you don’t), a romantic walk along the beach and a meal overlooking the water might just stop your partner from thinking you completely forgot.
Each year I’ve lived in Hua Hin, I’ve tried a different approach to Valentine’s Day with everything from a fancy dinner at one of the international resorts to a not so romantic day of sunburn and exhaustion at Vana Nava Water Jungle. As this probably classifies me as somewhat of a Valentine’s Day expert (I hope you see the humour here!) I’ve collected my top five ideas for you all. I’ve tried to include something for everyone no matter what your taste, budget or relationship status.
Book a Trip to…Hua Hin
Just from the title I assume you think I’m a little crazy. However, in my experience, “staycations” are actually one of the most affordable and most enjoyable types of holidays. Not only do you avoid the hassle of trying to find your hotel, negotiating transport, and spending half the day sardined in a van, but you also get to see Hua Hin afresh, through the eyes of a tourist. Most of the large resorts offer Valentine’s Day specials that often include breakfast and sometimes wine on arrival. Personally, I couldn’t think of anything better than sitting by the pool, sharing a snack and sipping on a cold drink. With the added benefit of Valentine’s Day falling on a Tuesday, most hotels won’t be full and there are undoubtedly some bargains to be had!
The Beach at Anantasila
No matter how stereotypical it may sound, there is no disputing that candlelit dinners by the water’s edge are romantic. There is something about the cool ocean breeze, the ruffling of palm tree fronds, and delicious fresh food that just screams romance. One of my favourite places to visit (although it is a little pricy) is the Beach at Anantasila. Situated directly in front of the water, the restaurant serves up a wide array of Thai and European dishes with each and every one of them cooked to perfection. If you want to build up some brownie points for the future, the Beach at Anantasila is a sure bet.
Fresh Air and Nature
There is no better way to show your love and affection for your partner than by taking them on a trip where you both can bond over a mutual experience. One place I always enjoy going is Kaeng Krachan National Park, about 1.5 hours northwest of Hua Hin. Admittedly, this Valentine’s Day present may have to come either a few days early or a few days late, but I am sure your date won’t mind. During your time here you can explore the caves, reservoir and mountains, and soak up the postcard perfect scenery. For true romantics, I suggest you pack a picnic and blanket!
The Thrifty Date
Just because it’s Valentine’s Day doesn’t mean that you have to empty your bank account. In fact, sometimes the cheapest and simplest dates are the most fun and most memorable. As we all know, many people make their way to Hua Hin with one thing in mind i.e. relaxation. To cater to these travellers, Hua Hin and Cha Am has an abundance of massage parlors and day spas all over town. No matter which establishment you choose to visit, a leg massage and a foot scrub will be sure to put you both in a good mood. My personal favourite for a little splurge is the White Orchid Wellness Center. Here there is a range of treatments on offer that you can do either as a couple or independently. Located on the outskirts of town, you’ll really feel like you have escaped to paradise for the day.
Literally translated as “chopstick hill”, Khao Takiab is only a stone’s throw from downtown Hua Hin. If you really want to amaze your date, then I suggest you take them on a ‘Valentine’s Day Date Marathon’ to Khao Takiab. Yes I know that Hua Hin and Cha Am both have beaches, but to be honest I always find Khao Takiab to be that little bit more special. With less tourists and more scenic views, the area also offers a variety of water sports including jet skiing, parasailing, banana boats, kayaking and water-skiing. After you’ve tired yourself out and can no longer bask in the sun, there are a bunch of restaurants to choose from all along the beachfront. A songtaew to Khao Takiab is only 10 baht each way and a tuk-tuk approximately 200 baht.
Valentine’s Day should be a day of fun, laughter and romance. Try not to stress too much and enjoy all that Hua Hin and Cha Am has to offer. If the date involves food and a nice view then I’m sure you’ll have a great time. Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!!