Some six kilometers south of Hua Hin lies the small village of Khao Takiab. From Hua Hin beach you can see Khao Takiab mountain with its most distinct feature, a very impressive golden colored 20 meters high Buddha statue overlooking the sea.
Khao Takiab is a beautiful and relaxed place to stay, quieter than Hua Hin, with a great sandy beach and a number of seaside restaurants.
Wat Khao Lad temple
On top of Khao Takiab hill, also known as monkey mountain or Chopstick hill is Wat Khao Lad temple, which is also known as the monkey temple, because of the many monkeys that live there.
There are several ways to reach the top of the mountain and Khao Lad temple. One is walking the stairs, the other is taking the road by taxi, tuk tuk or motorbike. Walking your way up the stairs will give you some very rewarding views of Hua Hin, North of Khao Takiab. On a clear day, you can see as far as Cha-Am beach.
20 Meter tall standing Buddha image
Starting from the small beach next to the restaurant, you will see the giant and very impressive 20 meter high Buddha image overlooking the sea.
A little past that, is a steep stairway further up the mountain. Once arrived at the top of the stairs, there is a small temple and some amazing views of the area, including a number of small islands.
It is usually quiet there with a very serene atmosphere. If you want to go inside the temple, like in any other Buddhist temple, please take off your shoes and dress properly.
The Chinese temple on monkey mountain
A short walk on the same mountain you will find a beautiful Chinese temple as well. The temple contains a large number of of pagodas and statues all wonderfully decorated in blue, red and gold colors and also a remarkable statue of Guanyin, the Chinese Goddess with the thousand arms.
Inside the temple you will find paintings telling old Chines stories. As in many Chinese temples there is a large statue of Pu Tai, also called the laughing Buddha. Pu Tai is seen as the protector of of children and the poor by Chinese people. For good luck, you can try to throw some coins in the hole in the statue’s belly.
The monkeys of monkey mountain
A large number of macaque monkeys live on top of the mountain, in the area close to Wat Khao Lad temple. This is an excellent opportunity to see them from very close and a lot better than in a zoo, since they live free here and are not contained in cages.
If you like to feed them, there is food like bananas, corn and peanuts for sale in a small shop near the temple. The monkeys are curious animals and pretty cheeky. They like to grab things and if they know you have food somewhere, they will try to get it.
If you are not comfortable with them, just throw the food on the floor and walk away. Although they are used to people, they are still wild animals, do not try to touch them, as they might bite you.
Especially for kids it is a fun experience to see the monkeys from very close, to feed them and to see them peel the bananas the same way people do.
How to get to Khao Takiab and monkey mountain
From Hua Hin, Khao Takiab and the monkey mountain can be easily and quickly reached. You cake take a tuk tuk or a motorbike taxi from anywhere in Hua Hin. Make sure you agree on the price before leaving.
The cheapest way is probably to take a songthaew, which is a small local bus that looks like a covered pickup truck with seats in the back. You can flag one down on the main road in Hua Hin, Phet Kasem road and get off anywhere you like. The fare from Hua Hin to monkey mountain should be around 20 Baht.
Visit Monkey Mountain
+ Wat Huay Mongkol + Maruekhathaiyawan Palace