Naeb Kehardt’s bistros, cafés, and galleries attract trendier tourists
Just north of Hua Hin’s most heavily touristed area, Naeb Kehardt road—which runs exactly parallel to the beach—is where a somewhat younger crowd congregates. You could say it’s the cool kids’ street, and the nucleus of the town’s teens and trend-setters.
The street is anchored by two hotel properties—the Chinese-style Baan Talay Chine Resort at the northernmost end of the street, and the sleek and chic Putahracsa Hua Hin at the other (the Putahracsa having the added draw of the Oceanside Beach Club & Restaurant, which serves a spectacular Sunday brunch overlooking the ocean).
In-between these two landmarks java junkies can check in at any one of the numerous coffee shops, including Velo Café, run by young baristas who are also bicycle enthusiasts, the Hua Hin Town Café, and Icy Beans, which veers more towards the iced coffee spectrum. For sweet treats try Eighteen Below, an artisanal ice cream shop that also doles out super-rich cakes and brownies, or drop in on the newly opened White Home Café which has a bit of everything (sweets, teas, coffees, and more).
For proper dining, Mooz offers traditional Thai as well as Halal dishes, Ob-Oon is a “boulangerie et patisserie”, and 31 Burger serves up affordable beef burgers. For imbibers the newly opened Dune Hotel’s stylish bar and restaurant offers a wide-ranging menu, as well as plenty of drink specials, while the Wine House Bar & Bistro specializes, not surprisingly, in wine. But if you’re after a casual outdoor setting overlooking the waves, take the Soi 51 side street that leads to Coco 51 and enjoy a couple of sundowners in the fresh briny air.
Directly across the laneway from Coco 51 is the Green Gallery Boutique Hotel,
where individually artist-designed rooms are set inside a classic teakwood bungalow separated into three zones. The property also maintains a restaurant and an art gallery, much like the nearby Chub Cheeva, located back on the main road. Here diners can choose from a menu that includes Thai dishes, sweet drinks, and desserts, while enjoying the eclectically decorated outdoor courtyard and funky artworks in the adjacent gallery.
If you’re wandering the side streets in and around Naeb Kehardt Rd, seek out Two Beds and a Coffee Machine (on Hua Hin Soi 43), a tiny but tantalizing coffee shop specializing in single origin roasts from Mae Jam, a mountain in Thailand’s Lampang province. Nanthawit ‘Kao’ Sonoma is one of two co-owners, and he labours lovingly over every latte (or cappuccino, or whatever you order). His cozy café is named after a song by the band Savage Garden, and is easily recognizable from the street by the bright red London call box plunked out front. Open daily from 10am to 6pm. Tel: 081 952 1811.