There are lots of reasons to visit Thailand – affordability, perfect weather, friendly hospitality, beautiful beaches, the list goes on. Below are 10 reasons to visit Hua Hin, a beach resort south of Bangkok. If you are looking for Thailand holiday ideas for 2018, the list below could be a great start.
1. It’s close to Bangkok, but far enough to feel that you have left the city behind.
If you have been to Bangkok, or live in Bangkok, you’ll know that the traffic is never-ending. Hours can be added to what would normally have been a 30-minute trip. The drive from Bangkok to Hua Hin takes between 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Before you plan your trip, take the traffic into consideration. If you leave on a weekday morning, be prepared to be stuck in traffic while leaving the city. Leaving early on a Saturday or Sunday morning for Hua Hin will definitely get you there within 3 hours. If you are getting a transfer, there are lots of service stations to make a pit-stop along the way. You can pick up an Amazon coffee and some snacks from 7/11 to keep you and the family sustained. There’s a few Starbucks along the way, too. You could also catch the train to Hua Hin.
2. It’s the chosen destination for the Royal Summer Residence.
Lining the drive to Hua Hin you will see the love and adoration the people of Thailand have for their beloved royal family members both past and present. Elaborate gold picture frames adorn the main road and overhead bridges. It’s a glimpse into the royal culture of Thailand and will add a layer of intrigue and interest to your trip.
3. There’s affordable family accommodation
Opened in 2017, Holiday Inn Vana Nava offers affordable, modern, comfortable accommodation for the whole family. There’s kid themed rooms, swimming pools, and a water park right next door. If your travelling in 2018 you’ll be some of the first guests to stay, so take advantage of staying at a new and modern resort hotel. There’s also a kids’ activities centre, so you can carve out some alone time.
4. There are lots of night markets to choose from
If you’re looking for things to do at night with the family, Hua Hin has several night markets to choose from. A quick google search will pull up the most popular – Cicada Markets, Tamarind Markets and the eponymous Hua Hin Night Market. The Cicada and Tamarind markets are located next to each other and share similarities – modern, new, trendy, with local designers, sellers, artists and makers with relaxed outdoor seating illuminated by lanterns strung between trees. Both markets are set up in a designated market area, whereas the Hua Hin Night Market has popped up between buildings along the streets and lanes of the town. It has more of an urban feel to night. All are family friendly, but if you have older kids that might want to do a bit of their own shopping and wandering, the Cicada or Tamarind markets would be better options.
5. The beach is kid-friendly
There are no halfpipes here. The waves are small, there are sandbars, and the water is shallow.
While it is great for paddling, be careful of jellyfish, especially during the rainy season from June to October and be extra cautious directly after it rains. Turning a negative into a positive, a walk along the beach with the kids to see how many jellyfish they can spot washed up on shore could be a great way to spend a morning!
6. It’s low key and relaxing
Hua Hin is growing and developing, but once you get off the main road, Hua Hin still has a quiet, charming, seaside town feel to it. Of course you can return to the main road to find all of the conveniences that you would have in the city, which is a nice bonus. The beach is not overly developed. The night markets are busy yet have a local atmosphere. The shopping malls are designed with the proximity to the coast in mind. So, when you shop you’ll still feel like you are on vacation and not back in the city.
7. You can take the kids to a water jungle
Vana Nava Water Jungle isn’t just for kids, it’s got something for everyone. If you’ve got kids that don’t need supervision when swimming, you could rent a cabana for the day, read that novel or travel mag you bought at the airport, or get a massage. When it gets too hot, take a dip at Coconut Beach without the fear of jellyfish stinging you or refresh in the infinity pool and grab a cocktail at the pool bar. If you have little ones, there’s still lots to do. There’s Coconut Beach where tiny tots can paddle on the shore, for kids taller than 91 cm they can enjoy all the slides and pools in Kiddie Cove. Dana Wonderland is a new attraction designed for young kids to play and splash till their heart’s content. You can get all-day passes and add-ons for the lunch buffet. Ask your hotel to help you with securing the best ticket deals.
8. You don’t have to buy a pony, you can rent one for your little one
Along the more populated stretches of the beach, near the InterContinental Hua Hin and Hyatt. You’ll see horses big and small trotting along the beach with jockeys trying to sell you a ride. It’s popular with kids. The jockey usually walks along side the horse holding the reins while excited parents take pics. For fifteen minutes, expect to pay around 200 baht.
9. There’s a kids interactive play zone perfect for the rare rainy days or when everyone’s had too much sun
Whaley Port, located on the 3rd floor of Bluport Hua Hin Resort Mall, is an interactive kids playground. Little ones will love playing in the swimming-pool sized ball pit and crawling through the ocean-themed kids gym at the Play Port. Older kids can head to the Game Port where old school arcade games have been given a modern facelift. To experience all of the attractions we recommend going on the weekend. Admission is cheaper on weekdays – 240 baht for the first hour; 150 baht for the next hour. On weekends it’s 290 for the first hour and 180 for the following hour. Parents are charged 50 baht on weekdays and 80 baht weekends for the first hour and the same for the following hour.
10. Sunrises are spectacular
Kids are early risers, and in Hua Hin, it’s not a problem. Just head to the beach for an early morning walk, stroll, run, or paddle. Take the kids in their pjs and join the other Thai families taking selfies, splashing, and smiling. If you go early enough, you’ll see fishermen casting their nets, monks draped in orange fabric, and alien-like jellyfish beached on the shore.
And one more reason, just because…
11. It’s always sunny in Hua Hin
Hua Hin is known for having low rainfall. So, expect to have mostly sunny days when visiting. Definitely an added benefit when travelling with kids is not having to find something to do when it’s raining. You can check out the average rainfall here.
For a beach resort that is close to Bangkok, Hua Hin is an ideal destination for families looking for beach, sun, good food and activities that won’t strain the bank account. It’s a family destination worth exploring in 2018.