A favorite getaway for Bangkok residents, Hua Hin is a pretty beachside town. Family friendly and relaxed, it lacks the all-night partying and seedier aspects that make other nearby beach resorts a haven for unsavory characters. Once a small fishing village, it was transformed into a royal resort, and it’s these close links with Thai royalty that ensure Hua Hin won’t become overdeveloped or lose its small-town vibe.
Hua Hin, one of Thailand’s premier beach resort towns on the Gulf of Thailand, is less than 200 km south of Bangkok, making it one of the most popular weekend getaway destinations for city residents. A resort equally popular with young couples and families, tourists and Thais, Hua Hin is also the location of the King of Thailand’s summer palace, Klai Kang Won, “Far from Worries.” Hua Hin features a beautiful, powdery sand beach, numerous seaside seafood restaurants, a lively night market, numerous beach activities, and some great inland activities, not least of which is golfing at some of Thailand’s most renowned courses. Just down the coast at Takiab Bay visitors can take seaside horseback rides and visit a hilltop Buddhist temple with a spectacular view.
Accommodation along the beach and on the streets leading away from the sea range from simple guesthouses to luxury resorts, and includes some of the finest spa-retreats in the world. Hua Hin is accessible via train, bus, or car and the seaside community of 60,000 residents is a fine example of warm and welcoming Thai hospitality. The seaside town of Hua Hin, meaning “Stone Head”, was named after the rocks at the north end of the powdery sand beach. Hua Hin became Thailand’s first beach resort after a train line was laid in the 1920’s to provide access from Bangkok and King Rama VII established his summer retreat in the area.
With a 5 kilometer-long beach that features numerous activities, the laid back and hospitable town of Hua Hin continues to draw both tourists and Thais. In addition to beach fun and games, outstanding seafood restaurants, and a vibrant night market, Hua Hin is well known for having some of the finest golf courses in Thailand, as well as some of the most renowned resorts and destination spas in the world. Key TipsThe office of the Tourist Police is located at the end of Damnoen Kasem Road at the entrance to the beach. The Hua Hin Police Station is located on Damnoen Kasem Road, opposite the CAT offices and Post Office. Their telephone number is 1155.
If you’re looking for a uniquely diverse holiday destination then, Hua Hin in Thailand is simply the best option. With sweeping beaches and the perfect variety of the city’s culture, you will soon forget when your holiday started and wish for it to never end. Markets and restaurants line the streets, music and food fills the air.
Let’s take you on a journey of beautiful Hua Hin. Let’s rediscover our culture and community. We’ll show you the best places to grab a tropical smoothie and warm meals, along with the top attractions and national parks to treat yourself to a once in a lifetime adventures. So, come along, Hua Hin never disappoints.
1/ Maruekhathaiyawan Palace
Opening Hours: 08:00-16:00
Location: 9km south of Cha-Am at the Camp Rama VI military compound, Hua Hin, Thailand
Like many buildings in Hua Hin, this Thai-Victorian style summer seaside palace was constructed in the early 1920s during the reign of King Rama VI. It was designed by an Italian architect and built with golden teak from the demolished Hat Chao Samran Palace, with lots of verandas, latticework and high ceilings to keep the structure cool during summer. Set on a vast manicured landscape fronting idyllic Cha Am Beach, the candy-coloured mansion comprises three one-storey pavilions with more than 1,000 pillars supporting them to avoid flood damage. All buildings are connected by covered boardwalks, designed to catch cool breezes from all directions, leading all the way to the beach front.
2/ Hua Hin Railway Station
Opening Hours: 07:00-23:00
Location: Western end of Damnernkasem Road, Hua Hin, Thailand
Built during the reign of King Rama VI, and only a short distance from the centre of town, Hua Hin’s railway station and adjacent royal waiting room are undeniably attractive. The brightly painted wooden buildings that are Thai in concept and design somehow manage to have a ‘Victorian’ feel to them. Even if you don’t arrive at the resort by train, go and have a look. It’s charming, quirky and photogenic.
3/ Hua Hin Night Market
Opening Hours: Best time to go after 19:00
Situated in the Hua Hin centre between the Petchkasem Road and the railway line, the market basically encompasses one street that comes to life from 18:30 onwards, when traders line the street with their stalls selling various apparel, crafts, art, CDs, DVDS and cheap, tasty food – generally what you might expect from a Thai market. This is by no means the best place to shop in Thailand; you will finder a bigger variety of goods in Bangkok or say, Chiang Mai. However, Hua Hin does have a superb selection of seafood restaurants that line the road that hosts the Night Market, drawing a lot of attention from visitors eager to feast on the quality dishes on offer.
4/ Black Mountain Water Park
Opening Hours: 10:00 – 17:00
Location: About 10km from Hua Hin. From Hua Hin Soi 56, Thailand
Black Mountain Water Park offers a fun-filled day for families and anyone needing a big splash. The park features nine different water slides, a wave pool, lazy river, beach pool, kids’ pool, and more – all set on a vast mountain-hugged landscape fronting a main-made lake just 10km north of Hua Hin. Owned and managed by the same people behind the Black Mountain Golf Course, the water park is the latest attraction in the group’s portfolio. It’s located opposite the golf course, on a local road that passes through Wat Huay Mongkol and Baan Silapin.
5/ Khao Takiab
The area’s namesake also provides its biggest attractions, Khao Takiab Mountain delivers sensational panoramic views of the area as well as the rare experience of hanging out with gangs of monkeys. Generally, the area is an incredibly scenic one, just walking promises great viewing of rural Thailand. Take a stroll along Khao Takiab Bay were you can stop for lunch and admire the glistening ocean and water sport enthusiasts making the most of it. A few temples are within the area, the major one being Wat Huaymongkol, home to a statue of revered Buddhist monk, Luang Phor Thuad.
6/ Phraya Nakhon Cave
Location: 60km south of Hua Hin, in Guiburi, Prachaub Kirikhand, Thailand
The magnificent Phraya Nakhon Cave is one of the most mystical and mysterious landmarks of Thailand but only a few travellers get a chance to take a picture of it. The reason is simple: this gold and green pavilion is hidden inside a hard to reach cave and only a handful of dedicated visitors will do the effort to visit it.
Those who do are rewarded with a stunning vision that looks like it’s straight out of an Indiana Jones movie. Phraya Nakhon Cave is located in the Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park in Prachuap Khiri Khan province, a 45 minutes drive south of Hua Hin. First step to reach the cave is to drive to the small village of Bang Pu located by the beach, and from there decide if you’d rather rent a boat to take you around the cape to Laem Sala beach, or walk a 30 minutes trek above the hill leading to the same Laem Sala beach.
7/ Santorini Park Cha-Am
Opening Hours: 10:00-21:00 (Mon-Thurs), 10:00-22:00 (Fri, Sat, Sun and national holidays)
Location: Phetkasem Road, Hua Hin, Thailand
Santorini Park brings a slice of the picture-perfect Greek island to Cha-Am. It’s got all the details right, from classic whitewashed buildings, colourfully painted windows, down to stone-paved paths and domed towers. An impressive lineup of shops, restaurants and an amusement park promise good times for everyone.
8/ The Venezia Hua Hin
Opening Hours: Mon – Sun 10:00 – 23:30
Location: 1899 Petch Kasem Rd. (Sai Tai), Cha Am, Petchburi, Hua Hin, Thailand
The Venezia is the newest theme shopping and attraction village in Hua Hin, following the growing popularity and undeniable success of other similar weekend destinations in Thailand. Palio in Kao Yai was probably one of the triggers for such epidemic frenzy for pretty villages, followed by the beautiful Santorini Park in Hua Hin and the now famous Asiatique in Bangkok.
The concept of a shopping village is simple: instead of building a boring shopping plaza with rows of anonymous shops, pick a photogenic world destination or a fun theme, add plenty of romantic photo opportunities, plus a couple of attractions and entertainment venues, and there you have it: weekenders will flock to your village every weekend to play the romantic photographer and incidentally eat, shop, play and ultimately fulfill the real purpose of such a theme park: spend money.
Based on the diverse of history and culture in Hua Hin offer for travelers, we have carefully created this 2 day suggested-tour which including combine travel style.
Day 1: Wat Mahathat – Petchaburi Summer Palace – Wat Tham Khao Luang
AM: Ride for approximately an hour to the provincial capital of Phetchaburi, an old royal city of Thailand. Upon arrival, marvel at the classic temple of Wat Mahathat and discover the fascinating history engraved within its walls. The highlight of this guided tour is a visit to the Summer Palace, locally known as “Khao Wang” or Palace Hill, the summer residence of King Mongkut (Rama IV). The king loved the area so much, he chose to build his grand palace in the vicinity in 1860.
PM: stop by the spiritual and calm Khao Luang Cave, and discover over 100 Buddha statues. Then, have a taste of Khanom Mor Gang, a local Thai custard with mung beans.
Day 2: Sam Yoi Rot National Park
Embark on a 60-kilometer drive to Sam Roi Yot National Park, the first coastal national park in Thailand. Located in the coast of Prachuap Khiri Khan Province, the park is also called “The Mountain with Three Hundred Peaks”. Upon arrival, hop aboard a simple fishing boat and sail to Laem Sala Beach. Go on a 30-minute trek to Phraya Nakhon Cave to see the magnificent royal pavilion, Phra Thinang Khuha Kharuehat, sometimes called the “throne”. The pavilion, built for the visit of King Rama V in the 1890s, is often bathed in streams of light.
1/ Som Tam Pu Ma (Spicy Blue Crab Papaya Salad)
Fusing the zesty som tam from the Northeast (Isan) and fresh blue crab of Hua Hin, this all-time favourite appetizer dish is not to be missed. It tastes every bit like the well-pounded som tam – an invigorating blend of spicy and sour that makes it so addictive – but with chunks of raw blue crab that you can munch on.
2/ Kan Chiang Pu Nueng (Steamed Crab Wing)
Steamed crab is the main highlight on Hua Hin’s food menu, but cracking the crab on the dining table is a messy business. Steamed crab wing is a hassle-free alternative, as it’s bite-sized, meaty and come ready-to-eat. Simply dip one in the spicy seafood sauce that comes with the dish and enjoy. This is a good starter dish.
3/ Tom Yam Goong (Spicy Shrimp Soup)
A bold, refreshing blend of fragrant lemongrass, chillies, galangal, lime leaves, shallots, lime juice and fish sauce. Tom yam is a versatile dish that goes with virtually any meal – its invigorating sour-spicy-hot taste just screams ‘Thailand’!
4/ Hoi Wan Pad Cha (Stir-fried Babylon Snails in Roasted Chilli Oil)
Fresh Babylon snails are delicacies, as they could be hard to find on the menu. In this dish, the snails go into a wok, along with garlic, wild ginger, fresh peppercorns, bird’s eye chillies, sweet basil and roasted chilli oil. A few vigorous stir and it’s ready. Be warned though that pad cha dishes are very spicy – not for the faint-hearted.
5/ Haw Mok Talay (Steamed Seafood Custard)
This popular central region dish is traditionally made with freshwater fish, but the seafood variation substitutes sea bass for the fish and usually add a number of other seafood, such as mussels, squid and shrimp. Together with a coconut cream and red curry base, the dish is usually served in a coconut shell.
The climate in Hua Hin is tropical with high humidity, especially during the summer months of March, April and May. For rest of the year, the weather remains fairly pleasant with occasional bouts of rainfall especially in August and September. The best time to visit Hua Hin is between November and February, which is also the peak tourist season. Here’s a monthly break up so you can plan your trip better:
November to February: This is generally considered as the best time to visit Hua Hin because the weather is pleasant and you are most likely to be blessed with dry, sunny days. December and January see the maximum influx of tourists so book your tickets and hotels in advance to avoid the soaring prices. No matter what the temperature is, you must always carry a bottle of sunscreen if you are going to lounge on the beach. March to May: The months of March, April and May are the hottest time of the year.
Outdoor activities can be a little uncomfortable under the strong sun, but this hardly affects tourists who come to Thailand all through the year. If you plan to go at this time, don’t forget to carry your sunglasses and a hat. June to October: June, July, August and September experience light to heavy rainfall. Many tourists avoid travelling to Hua Hin at this time so if you don’t mind the rains, this is a good time to find good deals on flights and hotels. Pack a sturdy pair of shoes to beat the puddles.
By train: The Bangkok-Hua Hin train departs from Hua Lamphong railway station on a regular basis. Departure times start at 8:05 AM and finish at 22:50 PM. Average journey time is around 4 hours. There are three different ticket classes to choose from, and fares vary depending on your chosen class, with third class priced at approximately 150 Baht, second class at approximately 400 Baht, and first class at approximately 600 Baht. Air-conditioned sleepers are also available at higher prices and are recommended for those who want to travel through the night. Normally, there’s no need to pre-book a train ticket to Hua Hin from Bangkok, as you can purchase even the third-class tickets directly at the counter on the day of your departure.
By bus: If you want to catch a bus from Bangkok to Hua Hin goes from Sai Tai Mai (Southern Bus Terminal), where the big buses are stationed. However, expect these buses to be slow, making the travel time as long as 5-6 hours. A bus ticket going to Hua Hin will set you back 200 to 300 Baht. You can buy a ticket upon your arrival at the station, but during peak times, it’s recommended to check if advance and book at a specific time so you can board at a specific time. Buses depart every 20 minutes.
Throughout this article, we wish you to have an idea of how to travel to Hua Hin for your best experience. In case you are looking for your own travel agent, who can offer a wonderful and hassle-free trip, please feel free to let us know. We always commit our best to make it your once-in-a-lifetime journey.