If you wake up at about 7am and walk to the piers in either Hua Hin or Cha-Am, you can watch the fishing boats return with their loads. Workers sort all varieties of creatures, packing them on ice for distribution around the country. In both Hua Hin and Cha-Am, look for the docks at the very north end of the beach; to sample the catch, head for the string of open-air restaurants on stilts, along Naresdamri Road in Hua Hin, where prices are very competitive.

The Night Market on Dechanuchit Road, west of Petchkasem Road, in the north end of town, is a great place for authentic local eats for very little money. The resorts have more restaurants than there is room to list, and no matter where you stay, you'll have great dining options in-house. In town, there are lots of small storefront eateries and tourist cafes as well.

An old expat favorite, Il Gelato Italiano (tel. 03253-3753), on Damnoenkasem Road, near Jed Pee Nong Hotel, serves the real deal: homemade Italian gelato. It's a good place to meet, greet, and people-watch.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.