Looking for a place to go running in the Hua Hin area?
Running on roads is quite difficult here in Thailand due to the lack of sidewalks/pavements, and the manic traffic in more popular areas. People often have no other option than to walk on the actual roads as there is nowhere else to walk. This can be quite dangerous as any surrounding traffic would be using the same strip of road. Things to look out for when running on the roads of Hua Hin:
- Motorcycles – they can often be driven by seemingly blind drivers who make up rules of the road as they see fit. As long as you are visible to them, and make sure you give way, you should be safe.
- Cars – sometimes they will be parked where they shouldn’t, forcing you to run closer to the middle of the road. Your only option is to either find a route around the car away from the road (usually not possible; lack of space, etc.) or to stay as close to the car as possible while running closer to the traffic. Try not to suddenly swerve; run more in a straight line so any drivers can see you are about to run around the car.
- Zebra crossings – like I mentioned before, rules of the road are usually made up by the drivers. These crossings are usually ignored, so don’t think drivers will give way just because you are crossing one. Chances are, they won’t.
Running on concrete can be quite stressful on your knees. Be sure to wear good quality running shoes. Also try to avoid running during 12-3pm as this is the hottest time of day. Be sure to properly hydrate yourself prior to, during and after running if you will be running outside. Wear sunblock/sunscreen to avoid being burned.
Roads for running: Petchakasem Road (the main road; try to avoid the town centre area), Naebkhehart Road (the road parallel to the main road towards the beach)
Running on the beaches here would seem like a better option to most people here. While running you can enjoy your surroundings; the sand, sea, sea breeze, guys/girls, etc. There are also a lot of places to stop and eat or drink when you finish, as well as sit back and relax on a 20 baht-per-time deck chair. Things to look our for when running on the beach:
- Horses – there are many horses in Hua Hin beaches with the locals trying to get customers to ride on them. Fair enough if you like that kind of thing, though when they are riding, it’s best to steer away to avoid any possible collisions (though I’ve never heard of any happening).
- Sharp objects – with any beach that attracts many tourists, there is always a chance for small rubbish to be dropped onto the sand. If you run bare foot keep a look out for any sharp objects in the sand – they can cut your feet pretty bad and believe me, it hurts.
Running on sand is a lot less stressful on your knees than running on concrete, because the sand absorbs a lot of the impact when your foot lands. This also makes it a lot more difficult to run, so you end up going less of a distance for the same amount of energy. This can be reduced by running on wet sand as opposed to dry sand. Be aware of the slope of the beach; the sand always slopes towards the sea. Try to run with each side of your body facing the sea equally to avoid any imbalances. And of course, follow proper hydration/sun protection protocols.
Beaches for running: Hua Hin beach (entrance is in the centre of Hua Hin town), Cha Am beach (towards Bangkok), Khao Takiab beach (South of Hua Hin), Pranburi beach (South of Khao Takiab)
Well there you go, a basic guide of running in Hua Hin. Take care, be safe, and have fun!