Another way to work up a sweat in Pak Nam Pran is to take to the hills, or specifically, the small national park of Khao Kalok, which has a series of nature trails winding up to its summit. Be warned, it can get a little hairy, due to the steepness of the path and should not be attempted in flip flops. Still the view from the top is well worth the effort. Another good nearby destination is the nature trails at Pranburi Forest Park (089-787-4812). Set up in 1980 to protect the mangrove swamps and forests around the estuary of the Pran River, it is a pleasant spot to take a stroll. There are two trails to choose from: one that goes via Pran Kiri beach and a shorter route that heads through the Mangroves. Both can be reached from the visitor center that also has a few food stalls.
Of course, when it comes to taking in some nature in this area, you would be remiss not to check out the longer nature trails and abundant wildlife of Sam Roi Yot.
The park is one of only two sites in Thailand to support a nesting colony of purple herons and there are also Malaysian plovers painted storks, pond herons, great and small egrets, stilts and eagles, including the white-bellied spotted eagle and imperial eagle.
Thailand’s first marine park, Sam Roi Yot, offers both quiet, white sand beaches and towering limestone outcroppings, wildlife including deer, serow, macaques, dolphins, slow loris, porcupine, mongoose, linsang and langur.
The name Sam Roi Yot officially means Mountain of 300 peaks though some locals claim that long ago a boat ran aground here and there were 300 fatalities. This version ties in with the legend that long ago the area was populated by pirates and highwaymen who preyed on boats and travelers when not hiding in the many caves. Perhaps there is still some treasure hidden?
The view from the top of Khao Daeng near the park headquarters, provides a beautiful panorama of the park.
In addition to the beaches and limestone hills there are three caves in the park, Kaew Sai and the two Phraya Nakhon caves. Phraya Nakhon is largest, made up of two caverns and a pavilion built in 1816 for visit by King Rama 5. This pavilion is a spectacular sight when viewed in early morning when light first breaks through the opening in the roof of the cave.
Horseback riding is very popular with Thai and foreign tourists. There are about 60 horses available for riding on the beach everyday. Most of them are gathered at the main beach entrance where they wait for tourist close to Sofitel Hotel in Hua Hin. You can choose any horse that you like. The groom will help you get on the horse and and will answer any questions so you can enjoy your time and be safe. During your horse ride you will see many summer houses along the beach that have been restored to their former glory. Riding a horse on the sandy beaches will be a highlight of your holiday in Thailand.