As Thailand’s original beach resort, Hua Hin uniquely combines city and sea with its lively markets, dreamy beaches, delicious street food, and an aristocratic past that is still visible today.
Popular among the Bangkok elite for weekend getaways, Hua Hin was originally popularized as a resort by King Rama VII in the 1920s when he decided to build his summer palace here. At the time, the quiet fishing town quickly grew into a royal resort as the king built his famous Klai Kangwon Palace. The palace was so poetically named (in English Klai Kangwon translates to “Far From Worries”) that many Thais have adopted it as the city’s slogan.
In the 90 years since then, and unlike other popular Thai resorts such as Koh Samui and Phuket, Hua Hin has been developing at its own leisurely pace. Popular hotel chains have moved in along the sandy coast and luxurious beachfront homes owned by Bangkok’s rich and famous dot the landscape. The resort is also home to one of Asia’s first 18-hole golf courses and offers plenty of places to explore and things to do for all kinds of visitors looking for some well-deserved R&R in Thailand. Here are just some of the things you can do to make the best of your time in Hua Hin:
Lounge on the beach
You can’t go to a Thai beach resort and not take some time to simply lounge on the beach. In Hua Hin, you will be spoilt for choice along the 5km of white sandy coastline. If you are staying at a beachfront hotel, it is likely you will have your own private stretch of sand but feel free to explore. Further north is where the people-watchers gather for some social time and sports. The more you head south, the whiter the sand and the balmier the waters.
Eat your way through the Night Market
Hua Hin’s Night Market is one of its most famous attractions. Here, East meets West and you will find everything on sale from clothes to fresh fish, local handicrafts, and souvenirs. Head to one of the many food stalls and try some gûng tôrt (fried shrimp) or hŏy tôrt (fried mussel omelet).
There are plenty of outdoor activities to try at Hua Hin. The resort is one of the golfing world’s best kept secrets and you will be able to find a number of world class golf courses around town that welcome professionals and amateurs alike. Bike tours and kiteboarding are also options available for the more adventurous spirits.
Explore the town’s aristocratic history
Photo by Seiman C
It may seem silly, but the local train station is one of Hua Hin’s most visited sites. Hailed as Thailand’s most beautiful railway station, it was built by King Rama VII to facilitate his travels from Bangkok to his summer palace. The Royal Waiting Room, where the king was received upon arrival, is one of its most unique features. To get even closer to the Thai royal family, you can also visit the Klai Kangwon grounds and enjoy a nice stroll among the luxurious gardens.
Related: Top places in Thailand