Explore Hua Hin | a relaxed seaside town just south of Bangkok
Hua Hin is a little gem of a destination in Thailand.
It’s easy to get to from Bangkok. You don’t have to fly there. You can take a train, bus or car. It’s laid-back and calm, has some great must-see tourist destinations and things to do. There’s an interesting history with strong links to the royal family. You can play golf, go on an ATV tour, take a kite surfing lesson, stay at a luxury resort, shop at some of the best night markets in Thailand — all by the sea with sunny weather year-round.
#1 The weather in Hua Hin is close to perfect.
People search for this all the time. And overall Hua Hin is mostly sunny when other parts of Thailand are not. It gets really hot though, but if you’re staying at a resort with a lovely pool and plan to spend most of your time there, then you don’t need to worry about the heat. The rainy season is from July to October and there is such a thing as winter, from December to March where the temperatures will be around 26°C — for most people this is summer, but it’s much more pleasant than the actual summer in Thailand.
#2 Be careful of the jellyfish in Hua Hin.
Throughout the year, you might see the big round jellyfish washed up on the shore on your morning walk. There are reports that it is worse during the rainy season, from July to October and anytime after it rains, there might also be little stingers in the water around that time, too.
There are sea snails that wash up on the shore very occasionally and are poisonous if touched, so keep an eye on kids to make sure they don’t pick them up. There are also sea nettles, a type of jellyfish, that are clear but have a brownish tinge in parts. These are the ones that sting.
Stay out of the ocean during these times: after it rains, when the water temperature is warm, when the breeze is coming from the sea and when the water is murky.
#3 There are lots of festivals in Hua Hin.
The biggest is Songkran and this one is celebrated Thai-wide. In 2019, it’s from April 13 – April 15 and it’s one of the biggest water festivals in the world. Cool off during one of the famous water fights on the street and enjoy celebrations and dinners at your resort. There’s also the Festival of Lights — Loy Krathong. In Hua Hin this festival is more quiet and calm than Chiang Mai and you don’t have to buy tickets. Hua Hin hosts an annual kite festival, a jazz festival and food festival that’s usually held in August. There’s also the Hua Hin Golf festival held during August and September where participating course offer special discounts and packages when playing.
#4 The beach in Hua Hin is beautiful and perfect for strolling.
It’s great for morning strolls. You can watch the sun rise over the ocean, which is beautiful. There are lots of people out walking in the morning and kids paddling in the shallow water in their pjs. Hua Hin was originally a fishing village, so you’ll still see the traditional Thai fishing boats and fishermen casting their nets in the morning sun and in the evening.
#5 The sun rises over the ocean in Hua Hin.
It’s beautiful. Get up early to see the orange and red glow over the horizon. Start the day with a stroll, power walk or a jog before breakfast. Take the kids out early to have a play in the sand and before heading to the pool.
#6 There are lots of things to do with kids in Hua Hin.
Hua Hin has lots of fun activities for families and kids. There are water parks, amusement parks, cinemas and some great kids clubs at the resorts. For day trips you can visit the Kai Buri national park and Phraya Nakhon Cave. There’s an interactive art museum, ATV tours for older kids, kite surfing lessons from ages 8 and up and sailing lessons for the whole family. There’s also an indoor interactive play centre for little ones and teens at Bluport Mall called Whaley Port. A great family activity is also going to the Hutsadin Elephant Foundation to see, feed and wash the elephants in their care.
#7 There are some great romantic things to do in Hua Hin.
There’s some great romantic spots in Hua Hin, you just have to know where to find them. Hua Hin has some romantic and luxurious resorts dotted along the coastline. There are some romantic places to stay including: V Villas, the InterContinental Hua Hin Resort, the Barai at the Hyatt, and Evason by Six Senses.
For a romantic evening cocktail there are two places that we recommend — Vana Nava Sky bar— a rooftop bar with incredible panoramic views and excellent cocktails, and Azure Bar — a beachside bar with lovely ocean views that’s intimate and cosy with great cocktails.
There are some great places to get a massage in Hua Hin, but if you want something that is romantic, indulgent and out-of-this-world the Barai Spa is where you should go. Beachside dining is always romantic. The Beachcombers BBQ is casual and a lovely place to sip a glass of sparkling as the sunsets, there’s also McFarland House — a romantic colonial retreat where you can sip on some Hua Hin rosé wine. This is not a typo. Hua Hin has a vineyard that is worth checking out and it’s a great place to have a romantic lunch and spend a lazy afternoon sampling New Latitude Wines.
#8 Discover the best sightseeing spots in Hua Hin.
There are some must-see sights in Hua Hin that are popular for different reasons. Most people start their sightseeing tour of Hua Hin at the Hua Hin Railway Station. There’s a beautiful Thai-style pavilion with an intricate pointed roof design that’s common in Thai temple architecture. Add this to your Hua Hin sightseeing-list if you’re into train stations and architecture.
Head to Mrigadaygavan Palace to see how the royal family lived and vacationed by the sea in the early 1920s. The teak architecture is stunning, it’s by the sea, the gardens are lush and beautifully designed and there’s a cafe there where you can sit and enjoy tea and sweets.
Next is Khao Takiab or Chopstick Mountain. It’s a great place for the view where you can see the coast of Hua Hin. There’s a temple there and a bunch of monkeys. You can also get in some souvenir shopping at some of the street stalls.
#9 The history of Hua Hin is interesting and unique.
As you drive around Hua Hin, you’ll notice images of the royal family dotted along the main street and above businesses in golden frames. Hua Hin owes it’s current resort town status to the royal family. One of the princes who visited this stretch of coast on a hunting trip loved the tranquillity and calmness of Hua Hin and decided to build the first beach villa in Hua Hin. The station was then built to bring the aristocrats and socialites from Bangkok to the sea for the weekend.
#10 There are a ton of night markets in Hua Hin.
If you love shopping, being by the sea, warm weather and street food, then Hua Hin is ideal. For a small beachside town they have a ton of night markets to choose from. You can go down the traditional night market road and get all the usual souvenirs plus some local goods and eat some freshly caught and grilled seafood for reasonable prices at the Hua Hin Night Market and the less touristy Grand Night Market.
For people who are looking for something newer with a focus on locally made and art the Cicada and Tamarind Markets are the best choices. The food at both is great. The Cicada is more popular and busier than Tamarind. They are next door to each other so you can check out both in the one night. If you’re interested in buying local art, there’s an open-air gallery at Cicada Market.