Made popular by the Thai Royals back in the 1920s as a seaside getaway, Hua Hin is now a go-to destination for many Bangkok-siders escaping the city on a weekend and for tourists looking for rest and relaxation by the beach.
There are lots of things to do in Hua Hin and its surrounds. It’s worth taking a trip to Khao Takiab or “Chopstick Mountain” is home to a hilltop Buddhist temple that offers a fantastic viewpoint of Hua Hin. You will find troops of cheeky monkeys who inhabit the temple and have some fun photo opportunities. Beyond Khao Takiab Temple is Takiab Bay which is a lovely swimming beach with clear water. Here you can take day trips by boat to nearby islands such as Koh Singto. They even offer elephant rides there.
Hua Hin Railway Station
HuaHin Samphannam Floating Market
Huay Mongkol Temple
Hua Hin Night Market
Hua Hin Hills Vineyard
Black Mountain Water Park
Hua Hin Hills is tucked away in a remote part of Hua Hin, about 36 km from the town centre where you will find the Hua Hin Hills Vineyard who produce the prized Monsoon Valley label. You can tour the vineyard by elephant or bicycle and there is a wine bar, bistro, retail shop and wine cellar on site.
About 10 km north of Hua Hin city is the fun-filled Black Mountain Water Park adjacent to the Black Mountain Golf course. Equipped with a wave pool, several water slides and lots of other water activities, it is the perfect play space for a family with kids.
Another fantastic family experience is Vana Nava Water Jungle. Set within 3.2 hectares of tropical jungle, the park features 19 waterslides and Thailand’s tallest and only thrilling vertical looping slide called the Aqualoop, and the heart-pounding Freefall.
About 1.5 hours’ drive from Hua Hin is the largest national park in Thailand. Kaeng Krachan National Park is most famous for the spectacular Pala-U Waterfall, which has 16 cascades making it the highest in Thailand. The park is enormous and one day exploring is not enough. Rich tropical rainforests, freshwater deep pools to take a dip in, native wildlife, flora and thousands of colourful butterflies make this park a magical treat.
Facing the idyllic Cha Am Beach is the vintage Thai-Victorian architecture of the summer seaside Maruekhathaiyawan Palace, that was constructed in the early 1920s during the reign of King Rama VI as a royal getaway. Walk through the halls that have been converted into a museum to witness the splendour of times past. You can reach Cha am on a 15-minute bus ride or 25-minute train journey that commutes once daily.
Hua Hin nightlife is not wild but rather evenings in Hua Hin are quite civilised with eating at one of many restaurants, having a drink at the bar and night markets as the main after-dark activities. Hua Hin restaurants are diverse with seafood and local specialties along with Western cuisine.
The cheapest and easiest way to get to Hua Hin from Bangkok is by a minivan. Travel time is approximately 3 to 4 hours, depending on traffic. Minivans can accommodate up to 12 people, have air conditioning and cost around the equivalent of AUD 12-15.
There’s also buses from Sai Tai Mai terminal in Bangkok that depart every 20 mins and take longer than a minivan with the journey being more towards 5 hours due to traffic and stops.
Another alternative is to go to Hua Hin via train. From Bangkok, the train departs from Hua Lamphong railway station on a regular basis. You can take in the sights and won’t have to contend with any traffic for the 4-hour trip.
The quickest but prices option is travelling by private taxi which takes about 3 hours. Taxi stands in the airport usually have a fixed price set for Hua Hin usually around 3,000 Baht (AUD 135). From downtown Bangkok, you could get a better price, more towards 2,000 Baht (AUD 90).
It’s a popular weekend spot for Bangkok-based Thai locals to get away to for its relaxed seaside atmosphere. It was the former holiday getaway for the royal family in the 1920s. Although the Hua Hin beaches do not compare to the white sandy beaches of the islands in the south, there are long strips of sand lined by waterfront resorts, good for water sports and generally clean.
Approximately 200 kilometres and takes 3-4 hours to drive depending on traffic.
Although there is an airport in Hua Hin, there are no regular domestic flights from Bangkok. However, if you have don’t mind the steep expense, you could always schedule a private charter plane and arrive in Hua Hin in 35 minutes.
The Hua Hin night market on Petchkasem Road is a great place to hang out, shop, eat and enjoy the slower pace of this beachside town. Open from 6:30 pm onwards, there is a wide selection of cheap food and many of the restaurants double as bars where you can enjoy a beer or cocktail while people-watching.
Cicada open-air market is a fun shopping experience for all things handicrafts. Open from 4 pm until 11 pm on weekends, the market showcases the local talents of artisans with the aim of pitting Hua Hin on the map as an art destination. Its amphitheatre is a platform for local artists to express their talents from dance groups to pantomime acts. Visitors can get lost for choice in the open-air food court sand bars serving both Thai and Western dishes and alcohol.
Hua Hin Thailand it isn’t considered to be the best beach for swimming due to strong currents and high waves at times, rocky formations on the sea bed and from August through to October, the poisonous box jellyfish can be found in these waters. It’s best to stay out of the water after it rains or when the water temperature is warm or murky.
Hua Hin weather is warm all around with November to February being the best weather, with warm sunny days, sea breezes and pleasant cooler evenings. However, this is also the high season, where many tourists flock to Thailand during this time and with it driving the prices higher. March to May is the hot season with high humidity and fewer tourists, so if you want to laze by the pool all day, then this season may work best for you.
Hua Hin’s main beach stretches for 4 km along the Gulf of Thailand, has a wide strip of sand so it’s popular for jogging, long walks, pony rides and sunbathing. The beach is less crowded than other typical southern tourist spots so it has an overall mellow vibe with a focus on relaxation. Water sports like water-skiing, kitesurfing, windsurfing and parasailing are popular but offer little disruption to the overall tranquillity of the beach. It isn’t considered to be the best beach for swimming and from August through to October, the poisonous box jellyfish can be found in these waters.
The distance from Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok to Hua Hin is about 220 kilometres.
Approximately up to 4 hours drive depending on traffic.
Hua Hin is perfect for families. This charming seaside town is mellow and a good option for chilling out in one of the many beach resorts or private villas and wandering the night bazaars in the evenings for some souvenir shopping and cheap eats. There are some great day trip options and the two water parks in the region are world-class for hours of entertainment.
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