Kuiburi, Dolphin Bay

BEACH
East of Kuiburi is a coastal road with several hotels along the road. This 25-kilometer-long beach is not one of the most impressive beaches in Thailand but is a nice place to be if you want to avoid the crowds of Hua Hin. Please note that especially in the northern part of the beach, the water is not so clear and therefore not the best for snorkeling, but is great for swimming.

Kuiburi is a good starting point from which you can plan interesting day trips to the beautiful Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park, or Kuiburi National Park if you want to see wild elephants. You can also go shopping and sightseeing in Hua Hin.

WHERE TO STAY
There are several places to stay. In the northern part of the beach there are small-scale hotels run by a Thai family. We mention Little Home Beach, Peke Beach House and Baan Lim Mum, but you have more choices. The latter 2 even have a swimming pool. Be aware that on this part of the beach the sand can become a little muddy at low tide.
More south, on the better part of the beach, you will mostly find mid-range or upper range accommodations. We liked the Kuiburi Hotel and Resort and the more intimate and better maintained Vartika, although we enjoyed our stay at the sea view bungalows of Kuiburi Hotel and Resort. Moreover, Pink Power Beach is a great budget-friendly option on this part of the beach, which we especially recommend if you like the color pink.

Twenty kilometers down south you will find the upper range Tolani Resort Kui Buri, an elegant stay, with nice rooms and the possibility to relax by the pool. If you are traveling on a budget, next door you will find a local home stay with wooden air-conditioning and fan bungalows. Please note that at these 2 places the beach disappears during high tide. All stays have a restaurant, and along the road there are some small restaurants and food stands.

PLACE
Coming from the north, the beaches at Dolphin Bay are the first places that give us the ‘TreasureBeaches feeling’: nice relaxed beaches with stays we love. Here, you will find a good mix of mid-range and upper range stays. Yet on the main beaches of Dolphin Bay are often roads between the beaches and hotels, or the road is too close to the hotel. We prefer Dolphin Bay to Hua Hin or Cha-Am.

WHAT TO DO
One of the most popular attractions of Dolphin Bay is, of course, dolphin watching. The dolphins are known to inhabit the waters in the area. You can book boat tours to spot these acrobatic animals in their natural habitat. Alongside this, Dolphin Bay also offers something complete different – a golf course.

Between Dolphin Bay and Hat Kuiburi lies the Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park. Here is Thailand’s largest freshwater swamps, mangroves and of course a great diversity of animals. Go for a walk on Laem Sala’s natural beach and take a boat trip in the fishing village of Ban Bang. You can visit the limestone rocks, coastal wetlands or one of the shrimp or fruit farms. Well known is the Phraya Nakhon Cave, a cave famous for the light shaft that protrudes through the ceiling. The area is known for bird watching.

A nice excursion if you fancy more people is the seaside resort of Hua Hin. The city is great for shopping. In addition to the well-known Thai markets with standard products, you will find the Market Village: a Western mega-mall with well-known brands. You have to dine at the night market in the middle of the city center!

Besides shopping, you can visit the Mrigadaya Palace and the Khao Takiap temple complex. The palace was built by order of King Vajiravudh to serve as a vacation home and construction took place in the period 1923–1924. The king himself designed the villa with the help of an architect, which consists of sixteen teak buildings connected by a series of walkways.

TRANSPORT
Dolphin Bay is located near Pranburi, 35 kilometer south of Hua Hin. From Bangkok it is a 3 to 3.5-hour drive by car or taxi (2500 – 3000 baht). There are good train, bus and minibus connections between Bangkok and Pranburi.

Traveling from the south, you will find good bus and minibus connections from Chumpon and Prachuap Khiri Khan to Pranburi. For the last leg you can take a taxi from Pranburi to Dolphin Bay or Kuiburi (300-400 baht). Renting a scooter in Dolphin Bay is simple.