Thailand is named to be one of the best tourist attractions countries in the world. This title is given because Thailand has so many different and attractive districts to visit around including beaches. Hua Hin is one of the seaside cities or districts of Thailand that both local and international visitors come to spend their holidays.
Hua Hin locates pretty close to Bangkok and it only takes 2.5 hours to drive there. Hua Hin is a Royal City that has been existed since the 1920s. This city is more famous among short vacation travelers like students, teenagers, retirees, and families as it became a resort city and very convenient to travel. Especially, there are more visitors at weekends. This city is also a resting place for the royal family, so the city is safe.
After you visit Hua Hin and come back from there, you will be missing the experiences that you had there. Experiences such as the inspiration of the scenery, the taste of the foods, and the friendliness of the locals are what you would miss. Even after you come back from there, your heart will always remember this city. Therefore, you should know the reasons of why this city sounds so good like this.
Let me take you there…
Things to do in Hua Hin
Hua Hin is not a very big city but there are different kinds of things to do and different kinds of places to visit around. You can plan your trip base on these activities.
When you are trying to pronounce the name of this palace, it will confuse you a lot. However, you should visit this palace as it is the number one recommended place in Hua Hin. This Palace was built at the time of King Rama VI since the early 1920s so it has the same lifetime as the city. An Italian architect designed this palace into the Thai-Victorian style and it locates at the seaside.
Inside the palace, the royal hall, you can see the historical photographic with vintage frames. Some of the rooms are not allowed you to take pictures but some allowed. When you visit the palace, you need to wear properly (No shorts or No crops).
Hua Hin Railway Station
This station has the same lifetime as the city since the 1920s. This station also relates to the Royal Family as it was built for the convenience of the Royal Family. The design of the station is also a ‘Victorian’ style and painted brightly in the woods of the building. The railway is connected to Bangkok and continuously to southern Singapore. In ancient times, this railway is the only transportation to Hua Hin. So this place is full of historical feelings and you should put on the list to travel.
Cicada market is also known as ‘Hua Hin’s Art Market’. Arts and handmade crafts are the major attractions of this market. Artistic talents from Hua Hin gather at this place and wear ‘freedom of expression’ on their sleeves. If you are an art lover, this place is a must to visit as you will see the art gallery and listen to live music for a good time. They also have a beer garden for you to chill out.
However, this market only opens on weekend evenings to focus on the customers which most of them are weekend travelers. This market exists on Phetkasem Road, between halfway of Hua Hin town and Khao Takiab.
Hua Hin Night Market
While you are in Hua Hin, you might be busy with your day plans to visit the landmarks or enjoy at the beach. So you can spend your night times at this Hua Hin night market. This night market locates at the center of the town between Petchkasem Road and the railway line. This market starts open at 6:30 PM until late at night.
You can expect to see Thailand products such as crafts and tasty food at a cheap price. Although this is not the best place to shop you can find many seafood restaurants along the road and these restaurants are the major attraction for the visitors as they can have quality dishes. So this place is also good to go with the family to have dinner.
Plern Wan shopping Village
This shopping village will bring you back to the era of the 1950s in Hua Hin and it is not just an open-air mall but a living museum. Selling different things from plastic-and-tin toys to liquors and snacks as well as some relaxation comers like outdoor cinemas and beauty solons are also available at this shopping village. It even has a 20-room guesthouse. So you can imagine how much this place is amazing.
When you step into the village, you will feel like in time machine. Everything is well-organized including the design of the buildings. This shopping place opens until night and you can enjoy shows and festive atmosphere there.
Black Mountain Water Park
Here comes a special venue for families and group of friends. A huge splash of water, wave pool, water slides and kid’s pool are associated on a wide slope landscape to make your family super fun at this water park. This water park locates at the north of Hua Hin 10 km away. This water park is operated by the same company which has started the business “The Black Mountain Golf Course” and these two venues locate behind each other.
This area also shares its popularity among the tourists to visit Hua Hin. The scene of this place is very beautiful as if you walk around and feel the breezes. The mountain of Khao Takiab has a gang of monkeys and some Buddhist temples. This is where the world’s largest statue of Luang Phor Thuad existing. This mountain has the best viewpoint in Hua Hin so you should visit there for the scenery and taking pictures.
You can have lunch around this area and the weekend market Cicada also exists there. Beyond the viewpoint and the mountain, Takiab Bay is lying there with a nice beach and clear water. You can have other activities like elephant rides and boats to offshore islands. You can spend your day with your family and friends around here.
Phraya Nakhon Cave
If you love taking adventures, this cave is the best match for you. One of the most mystical and mysterious landmarks is very prominent because it will give you the feeling like the movie Indiana Jones. The reward of this adventure is getting a chance of the best view for the gold and green pavilion that is hidden inside of the cave. It is not easy to get there or take a picture, just only a few travelers got this chance. Doesn’t it sound so risky and exciting?
Phraya Nakhon Cave exists in Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park in Prachuap Khiri Khan Province, at the southern part of Hua Hin and takes only 45 minutes to drive. You can book a tour group to join this adventure and it is the best way to reach there.
Santorini Park Cha-Am
The special feature of this park is the design that inspired by a Greek island. The details of the buildings with whitewashed and colorful windows will make you feel like you are in Greek. Entertainments inside this park are going to make you have a good time. Numbers of shops and restaurants are good for shop and dining. Therefore, this is the best place to hang out with your family. It opens from 10 AM to 9 PM from Monday to Thursday and on the other days and the holiday, it opens until 10 PM.
Near this area, there is a shopping and dining place beside the sea called Seenspace Hua Hin. This place is also good to chill and take photos.
The Venezia Hua Hin
This is another place like Santorini Park and the latest shopping village in Hua Hin. As long as Hua Hin becomes very famous for tourism, more shopping places are opened. Different kinds of shops and restaurants there are good to spend your money and it is very similar to the Asiatique in Bangkok.
Hutsadin Elephant Foundation
This is where you can see Elephants, Nature Park, and wildlife. If you are a nature lover and going with your kids this is the best place to look around. There are activities that you can do at this place like a walk with elephants, ride on their bareback and feeding them.
Hua Hin also has a beautiful nightlife that is waiting for you to enjoy. For example, Hua Hin night market is a good place for you to go shopping or sightseeing by yourself or with your family but if you go with your kids, let them stay close to you because you know in Thailand, night markets are much crowded. Cicada market and Plern Wan Living Museum are also good for night outing.
If you would like to chill and clam at a bar, there also are choices for you. ‘White Lotus Skybar at Hilton Hua Hin Resort’, ‘Oceanside Beach Bar’, ‘Hua Hin Brewing Company’, ‘Elephant Bar’ and ‘East Rooftop Bar at G Hua Hin Resort’ are the places that you can chill out with your friends or partner.
‘Soi Bintabat’ locates near Hilton Resort and the whole street and around that area is full of bars. This street starts open 19:00 until 1 in the morning. There is another place like Soi Bintabat that exists in Cha-Am. If you stay at Cha-Am area, you should spend your night there.
Where to Eat
You would love to find the best foods wherever you visit because tasting the local’s cuisine and eating at famous local restaurants are one of the reasons to visit your dream destination. So I’m here to recommend the most famous restaurants around Hua Hin for you.
You Yen Hua Hin Balcony: at this restaurant, you will have a good taste of food with the good sightseeing, surrounded by the sea. This place was opened since it was built in the 1920s and served traditional foods like tom yam and Thai salads.
Beach Society at SO Sofitel Hua Hin: this place also has a good view of the ocean and you can have a modern menu. Most of the dishes are international dishes made with Thai ingredients. This restaurant serves more western style foods including cakes for dessert.
Chao Lay Seafood; this restaurant is not near to the seaside or has an ocean view but it is close to the fishing pier. If you would like to taste the local cuisine, this place is a must to go because they serve Thai-style seafood dishes. You won’t be disappointed with their menu as so many travelers recommend this place.
Andreas Italian Restaurant: the finest Italian restaurant in Hua Hin and the prices are reasonable that is why so many visitors love to eat there and recommend it. Pasta, pizza, Australian tenderloin steak and Italian wine are the best from the menu but the restaurant only opens for dinner.
Railway Restaurant at Centara Grand Beach: I have described the railway of Hua Hin and there is a night market around there. So this restaurant is one of them and the design of this restaurant is matched to the style of the railway station which is colonial. Most of the menus are Thai traditional foods but they also serve international dishes. You can have breakfast, lunch, and dinner here. This restaurant is also recommended as one of the finest in the town.
Some other famous and recommended restaurants are ‘Orchids Restaurant at Fulay Hotel in Hua Hin’, ‘Let’s Sea Pub & Restaurant at Let’s Sea Resort’, ‘Jim Daeng’, ‘Oceanside Beach Club Restaurant’ and ‘Hin Lek Fai Restaurant’.
Best Times to Visit Hua Hin
Hua Hin is a city where the sun is always shining and has warm weather almost throughout the year. This is the reason that everyone goes on vacation almost every weekends Even though you need to know there are specific months that are the best times to visit there. Most of the beaches in Thailand have almost the same weathers and if you know this, you can visit any beaches in Thailand.
The perfect time to visit Hua Hin is from December to February because the weather is not so hot or not so cool. This season is also the highest tourist season so there can be more crowded than normal. September to November is the second-highest tourist season and the weather is still nice to visit, a bit humidity and wind at this season. These two seasons are good for sunbathing.
June to August a bit of rain and the warm weather is not good for some visitors but some still want to visit these months. March to May is the hottest time ever in Hua Hin and it even can burn your skin if you do not put a lot sunscreen. This season has the lowest number of tourists but if you love hot weather and want to avoid the huge crowd, you can visit this season. However, you should bring a lot of sunscreens. At these seasons, the accommodations’ prices also fall down and you can stay with a cheap price.
How to get around in Hua Hin
Although Hua Hin is a small city, it has some public transportations but quite hard to catch them. So the better to get around in Hua Hin is to use your legs to walk or ride a bicycle. If you walk you don’t need to spend any money. If you want to go by bicycle, you can rent with 30 baht for one hour and 150 baht for the whole day. There are lots of spots that you can rent a bicycle or you can ask at the hotel you stay in.
The second choice is to rent a car and drive by yourself. In Thailand, there are so many outlets from the world’s major car rentals. So even before you come to Thailand, you can contact them directly or by the tour agents to rent a car to drive in Thailand or Hua Hin. You don’t need to worry about the signs because signboards in Thailand write in both Thai and English or you can use the car GPS or google map.
Motorbikes are the most common transportation all around Thailand as also in Hua Hin. So if you catch a motorbike to go around, it will cost 40 baht per person at a lower price.
There is another choice for transportation but this one is for couple and it’s called Samlors. This is a rickshaw connected with a bicycle and it will give you a romantic feeling. You can rent this with 40 baht for one ride but they can charge extra for luggage. You can find this around Hua Hin’s railway station.
There is another convenient transportation from Hua Hin to Cha-Am and Ao Takiap which is a popular beach. This is like a small bus and only 10 baht for the ride. This is called the Songthaew.
The last one is Tuk Tuk and if you have read about Thailand or have been to Thailand before, you know what it is. It is very iconic in Thailand and every city in Thailand has it. However in Hua Hin, there are just a few Tuk Tuks and it costs 40 baht at least for one ride.
Places to Stay
This is what you have to spend most of your money especially when you go with your family. If you have kids, you cannot choose a normal hotel or resort that is not family-friendly. So I would like to give you some lists of hotels for both budgeted and families.
When you choose hotels in Hua Hin, you need to choose the area that you want to stay as there are four different areas which are Hua Hin, Cha-Am, Khao Takiab and Pranburi. However I would like to focus on Hua Hin area so here is the list of hotels in Hua Hin.
Top 10 Hotels in Hua Hin
- Marrakesh Hua Hin
- Devasom Hua Hin
- Hilton Hua Hin Resort
- Sofitel Centara Grand
- Anatara Hua Hin
- V Villas Hua Hin – MGallery
- Putahracsa Hua Hin
- Movenpick Asara Resort & Spa Hua Hin
- Hyatt Regency Hua Hin
The price of these hotels costs start at 2,700 baht ($82.9) per night. The most expensive can be over 16,000 baht ($491.25) per night.
If you want to go on a budget trip, there are also cheap hotels and hostels in Hua Hin such as Royal Pavilion Hua Hin, Visa Hotel, Sailom Hotel, Chom View Hotel, ibis Hua Hin, Wannara Hotel Hua Hin, and City Beach Resort. The basic price starts at 850 baht ($26.10) per night and they do not exceed more than 2,000 baht ($61.41) per night. Most of these hotels are family-friendly.
How many days to Stay
The most purpose of the travelers who visit Hua Hin is to relax at the beach but if you are coming far from Thailand, you should visit and do everything in Hua Hin. So you should spend at least 5 days. So I would like to make a sample itinerary for 5 days 4 nights trip.
- Visit Santorini Park (you can have lunch here)
- Seenspace Hua Hin
- Plearnwan Village
- Monkey Island (Khao Takiab)
- Cicada Market
On day two, you should visit Monkey Island for the whole day. Having lunch there and relax at the beach. After you come back from the Island, you can go to Cicada night market (You should go on weekends for this market)
- Maruekhathaiyawan Palace
- Hutsadin Elephant Foundation
- Night Market
- Phraya Nakhon Cave
- The Venezia Hua Hin
- Railway Station
- Black Mountain Water Park
I would like to estimate for you at the most basic and cheapest plan per person. So here it is,
Accommodations; 850 baht ($26.10) per night
Meals; 500 baht ($15.36) per day
Entrance fees; 1,000 baht ($30.72)
Transportation; 500 baht ($ 15.36) all trips per day
Total; 2,850 baht ($87.54) per day
Base on this budget plan for one person, you can estimate how much you need to spend even if you visit with your family.
Be safe in Hua Hin
As I have mentioned at the very first of this article, Hua Hin is a Royal City and it is super safe for you to visit there. You just need to take care of yourself and your family. But sometimes you can meet scammers around the vendors and shops on the street. They can sell things with extra money and if you met this kind of person, just walk away. However there are no major cases that would make you uncomfortable.
I hope you can now plan for your trip and feeling exciting for the upcoming trip to Hua Hin. This is going to be a perfect trip with your friends or family. Good luck and have a wonderful time in Hua Hin.