Hua Hin (85,000 citizens) is a coastal city about 150mi from Bangkok and about 20mi south of Cha Am. Not only foreign tourists come here for their beach holidays, but for the local Thai Hua Hin is also a popular holiday destination. Even the royal family regularly visits this destination. In Hua Hin, the beaches are beautiful and the sea is clear in contrast to f.e. Pattaya. Besides the beaches there is plenty to see in Hua Hin. There are several temples and museums. In the immediate vicinity of Hua Hin, there is lot of nature that is ideal for a walk. Hua Hin is perfect suited for families with children.
Sights and Tourist Attractions
Klai Kangwon Palace
Location: 1.5mi from city center - 30 minutes walk | Price: 20THB | Category: History and Culture
The Klai Kangwon Palace is located at the beach and was built in 1927. Even today it is still used by the royal family. The palace is built in the Spanish style and is important for Thai history. In 1932 King Rama VII spent his vacation here, at the time when a major decision was taken in Bangkok. The party of the people decided that the absolute monarchy needed to end. They then sent three Navy ships to report this to the king. The king agreed and since that time Thailand is a constitutional monarchy.
Khao Hin Lek Fai
Location: 3mi from city center - 10 minutes drive | Category: Nature
If you are looking for a magnificent view of Hua Hin, Khao Hin Lek Fai park is the place to be. It is a brisk walk, but it's well worth it. In addition to the magnificent view, you step into a nice landscaped park. In this park, besides the many plants, stands a statue of King Rama VII. If you stay on the trails, you'll pass different viewpoints. Especially around Sunrise and sunset the view is breathtaking.
Namtok Pa La-u
Location: 35mi from City Centre-1.5 hour drive | Price: 200THB | Category: Nature
This waterfall with eleven levels is located in the Kaeng Krachan National Park (see Cha Am). The best time to visit Namtok Pa La-u is from November to April and then especially in the morning. Around this time you can see different types of rare butterflies and birds near the waterfall. It is also possible to camp at this park. Tents are available for rent at a small fee of about 250THB.
Sam Roi Yot National Marine Park
Location: 28mi from Center - 1 hour drive | Price: 200THB | Category: Nature
Sam Roi Yot National Marine Park was the first national marine park of Thailand. The park is relatively small, approximately 40sq mi, but incredibly varied. It offers a beautiful sea and beautiful beaches, saltwater marshes and caves. The wildlife is very diverse, in this park live more than 350 different kind of birds. Probably the most breathtaking is the Phraya Nakhon cave. Because this cave has been visited by three kings, there is a unique pavilion in the center. A light beam from the ceiling of the cave gives it an almost fairytale kind of glow. Thanks to this light trees have been able to grow inside the cave.
Hua Hin Railway station
Location: 500yd from Center - 5 minutes walk | Category: culture and history
The Hua Hin railway station used to be a Pavilion at the Royal Palace in Sanamchan. In 1968 this pavilion was rebuild in Hua Hin, where it is now used as a train station. This beautiful wooden building should not be missed, it is a location where the locals are extremely proud of. The station is the oldest building used as a station in Thailand.
Wat Khao Takiab
Location: 4mi from Center - 15 minutes drive | Category: culture and history
Wat Khao Takiab is located on the mountain Takiab. This temple is also known as the monkey Temple, for the many Macaques who live here. The whole temple complex is inhabited by these monkeys. Keep your gear close to you and carefully hold on to it. At the foot of the mountain is a large Golden Buddha that has become the symbol of the mountain.
Hua Hin Beach
Location: Centre | Category: Beach
Hua Hin has only one beach. This beach stretches out over the entire length of Hua Hin. It is a white sandy beach but not as exquisite as the beaches of for example, Koh Phi Phi, Koh Lanta and Koh Chang. The sea is pretty calm and stays shallow for quite a long distance. This results in almost no currents, which makes this beach very suitable for children.
What to do
Just as in the seaside resorts of Pattaya, Phuket and Koh Samui, in and around Hua Hin are many golf courses. Hua Hin is currently known as the golf destination of Thailand. These golf courses are all well maintained and surrounded by beautiful nature. At the golf courses you can hire caddies who know the course very well. At most courses, you can also rent equipment.
In the sea at Hua Hin you can go snorkeling, but it is not as good as snorkeling at Koh Samui, Phuket or Koh Phi Phi. Around Hua Hin are a number of locations where you can go snorkeling. These locations are often only accessible by excursions. These excursions head to islands in the region, where you can go snorkeling and enjoy the marine life.
If you want to explore Hua Hin and the surrounding region in an active way, then cycling is a good option. At many locations in Hua Hin it is possible to rent bicycles for about 50THB. If you want to go cycling outside Hua Hin it would be wise to rent a bike with multiple gears or a mountain bike. On the bike you can get to places which you can’t reach by car. This way it’s possible to discover the beautiful nature. Be careful in Hua Hin for the traffic, it’s chaotic.
The beaches are long and are surrounded by beautiful nature. If you love to walk, the nature around Hua Hin is most certainly recommended. Keep in mind though that you have more than enough water during your walk, it’s warm all year. Because of the cool breeze you quickly get sunburned, so sun protection is advisable too.
Hua Hin has several spas. It is possible to enjoy these spas for each budget. Almost all spas offer Jacuzzis and steam baths. In addition to the modern spas there are also traditional spas, where treatments such as alternative healing, reiki and holistic treatments are possible.
Entertainment and Nightlife
As to be expected in a coastal city like Hua Hin, it’s famous for its fish dishes. Every day fresh fish is caught which comes ashore in the port. If you have a lower budget, you can buy good food at the night market. If you want to enjoy luxury, then you can find several fancy restaurants with sea views along the coastline.
In Hua Hin there are several types of nightlife. From small bars to huge clubs. If your preferences lies with more Western music, you should go to the area around the Hyatt hotel. In this area are a lot of tourists and the nightlife is adapted to them. Although the nightlife here is pretty active, you can’t compare it with seaside resorts like Pattaya, Phuket or Koh Samui
How to get there
There are several ways to reach Hua Hin:
4 times a week a plane departs out of Don Muang Airport in Bangkok to Hua Hin. This flight takes about half an hour.
Ten times a day trains are heading out of Bangkok to Cha Am and Hua Hin . These trains depart from Hua Lamphong and Bang Sue train station in Bangkok. The price of a train ticker is 100 THB and the journey takes about 4 hours.
Once a week A boat leaves Pattaya and heads towards Hua Hin. The trip takes approx. 3 hours and the price is about 1,500 THB.
Out of Bangkok buses depart daily to Hua Hin. A bus trip takes about 3.5 hours and will cost about 150-200 THB. Buses depart from the airport and the Southern bus station "Sai Tai Mai". Many of these buses will also make a stop in Cha Am.
Hua Hin is a pretty popular tourist location so lot of hotels are found here. For the low-budget accommodations, guesthouses, the prices begin at about 250THB per night. The middle class hotels begin at ca. 1,500 THB per night. If you want to go for real luxury the hotels prices are 2,500 THB and can reach up to 15.000 THB per night.