Whether you want to get away for the weekend or an entire week, Hua Hin is one of the best places. The serene waters and wide beaches are a haven for beachcombers and those looking to escape the city’s bustle. Only a three-hour drive from Bangkok, Hua Hin is located in the southern Thai province of Prachuap Khiri Khan.
It was once a sleepy fishing town along the Gulf of Thailand turned into a bustling resort community that is a favorite weekend getaway for Bangkok residents. Hua Hin is home to five-star hotels and pristine beaches. Even the Thai royal family holds a summer residence in the area.
Hua Hin is the oldest seaside resort in Thailand and a royal summer resort. The city of Hua Hin offers plenty of things to do and sights to see like temples, markets, a clean beach, and lots of opportunities for excursions. Hua Hin is not too crowded and the atmosphere near the beach is really relaxed and calm. If you want to avoid the mass tourism spots, then you should give Hua Hin a chance and visit the city.
Hua Hin, a popular travel destination only 3 hours away from Bangkok, is home to some of the most incredible beaches and mountains in Thailand, with a variety of things for travelers to enjoy from swimming in the ocean to hiking a mountain.
Due to its proximity to Bangkok, this small seaside town is a popular place for both foreigners and locals who are looking for a nice beach vacation spot to visit and escape the bustling city of the capital.
Hua Hin Railway Station
The train station of Hua Hin is considered one of the most beautiful ones in Thailand. Its special feature is the royal pavilion, also referred to as the royal waiting room. It was built in Thai style in 1920 and is part of the southern line of the Thai Railway. From Hua Hin, you can either travel north to Bangkok or south to Surat Thani.
The almost 8 kilometers long beach of Hua Hin is one of the most beautiful beaches on the Thai mainland. Fine white and soft sand. Sometimes there are sunbeds offered for visitors, especially at the northern end, but it’s never too crowded at the beach.
A few resorts are located directly at the beach. There are only a couple of beach vendors and occasionally somebody passes you with a horse and offers you a ride. Most of the time you won’t be disturbed and can easily find a secluded and calm spot right at the beach.
Wat Huay Mongkol
Wat Huay Mongkol is a popular tourist attraction among the Thais. The temple is located about 15 kilometers outside of Hua Hin but is easy to reach by car or motorbike. For 40 Baht you can also go there with a white shared taxi (Songthaew) which you can find about 200 meters left of the train station. The highlight of the temple is the almost 12 meters high statue of Luang Phor Thuad, who was a famous monk in Thailand. Most of the locals are coming to pray for happiness, health, and wealth. At the foot of the statue, you can find two statues of elephants. The Thais often pass under these, which is an ancient practice for good luck. Maybe you should try that, too.
Wat Khao Takiab
At the southern end of Hua Hin Beach in the town of Khao Takiab, you can find the popular Chopstick Hill, also known as Monkey Mountain. On top, you will find Wat Khao Takiab. But to get there you will have to climb about 100 steps and pass lots of curious monkeys.
They populate the mountain and the temple. You can buy some bananas for 50 Baht to feed them. Just take care of your valuables because the monkeys like to grab loose stuff.
Hua Hin Night Market
A highlight for many visitors is the night market of Hua Hin. Every evening in the center of Hua Hin along the Soi 72 there is countless stalls with souvenirs and food. The night market starts at 5.00 P.M. and lasts until midnight. There are plenty of things you can buy at the night market – clothes, flip-flops, watches, and souvenirs. After strolling around the market you can have a nice dinner in one of the many seafood restaurants or enjoy a drink in the surrounding bars. Nearby there is also the Chatsila Market which looks a bit more upscale and was specially designed for tourists. Besides more opportunities to eat or shop, there is always some live music in the evening, which you can enjoy free of charge.
If you’re looking for a fantastic open-air market to deliver an authentic taste of Thailand, look no further than the busy, bustling Cicada Market. Conveniently located in the heart of Hua Hin’s tourist district, Cicada Market comes to life in the evening hours. Explore fabulous nightlife, live music, delicious and inexpensive street food, art shows, and unique shopping opportunities from the hundreds of vendors that make up this charming and lively marketplace. Be sure to check the calendar for engaging theatre performances by local acting troupes, as well as amazing interactive activities and displays for the whole family to enjoy.
Khao Kalok Beach
Probably the best beach on this list. The beach is located within the Thao Ko Sa Forest Park in the Pranburi district which is a little closer to Hua Hin than Sam Roi Yot. Khao Kalok Beach has some of the softest and most fined white sands in the area. The sand is soft to the touch making it a great place to lie around on the beach and get some of those tropical tans everyone sought out for. The beach got its name from a small mountain right by it called Khao Kalok or Skull Mountain which resembled, you guessed it, a skull. In the evening, the mountain acts as a shaded area and you can rent a beach chair and have a front-row seat to the amazing ocean view of the Gulf of Thailand. There are several resorts around the area so you can even move here for the night if you want to spend some more time here. You will also have no trouble finding food at Khao Kalok as well as many street foods and fruit vendors often congregate around the area in the evening.
Phraya Nakhon Cave
One of the highlights of any visit to Hua Hin, certainly on your first visit, is Phraya Nakhon Cave. It’s Instagram famous due to the light beams that come down from the sky, through the cave, and onto the gorgeous Buddhist Temple inside the cave. It’s a 40-minute hike up to get there, so leave the flip-flops in the hotel for this one.
The former Thai king’s summer retreat. A palatial construction made entirely of teak wood. You can now visit it as a kind of museum. The architecture, and the gardens, are a sight to behold.
How to Reach
Hua Hin is located about 200 km away from Bangkok, the capital city of Thailand.
By Trains: You can easily reach Hua Hin from Bangkok by train. Hua Hin has one of the most fancy-looking train stations out there and taking the train there will give you the opportunity to see it as well as the countryside surrounding this beautiful seaside town. There are at least 3 trains per day that depart from Hua Lamphong Train Station in Bangkok to Hua Hin Train Station at 12:30, 18:30, and 19:30. The whole journey should take around 5 hours and the price should cost between 124 - 430 THB depending on the class you pick.
By Bus/Minivan: You can also travel by bus from the Mini-Bus stand across the road from the Morchit Bus Terminal which will take you to Market Village Hua Hin Bus Stop and they leave every hour between 4 AM and 7 PM every day. The journey should take around 3 hours and cost 215 THB per person. For a faster and more convenient trip to Hua Hin, you can also book a minivan ticket online via 12Go which operates its own minivan services departing from 12Go Makkasan Station in Bangkok. It is pricier at 500 THB per person but it is way more comfortable with fewer people compared to the public minivans.
By Car: For the fastest, most convenient way to travel to Hua Hin, you can rent a car straight from Bangkok's Airports and drive directly to Hua Hin which should take you about 2 hours. Renting a car in Bangkok is pretty straightforward and should cost you around 20 USD per day. For the cheapest option
Must-know tips for visiting Thailand
Planning a trip to Thailand? Here are some things you need to know before you go:
It gets extremely hot and humid in Thailand so be sure to wear sunscreen, avoid being active and outdoors during the hottest parts of the day, wear a hat and drink plenty of water. I always carry an umbrella with me to shade me from the harsh sun when sightseeing. It looks dorky but it saves me from heatstroke and sunburn.
Always have a little spare change and tissues on you as you may need to pay to use the toilet in some spots and toilet paper isn’t always guaranteed.
If you’re planning on visiting temples, you’ll need to pack temple-appropriate outfits that cover the midriff, shoulders, and knees.
The local currency in Thailand is the Thai Baht. Downloading a free currency conversion app that works offline, like XE Currency, will come in very useful!
If you don’t speak Thai, don’t worry! English is widely spoken in Thailand, especially by those likely to come into contact with tourists. But brushing up on a few Thai phrases will go a long way with the locals!
For those planning on visiting markets, be sure to brush up on your haggling skills as you’ll need to negotiate for the best prices.
We love to encourage travelers to cut down on single-use plastic by refilling a water bottle when they travel. Unfortunately, this is a little hard in Thailand as you aren’t able to drink tap water. That said, you can buy the biggest bottle of water possible each time and say no to those tiny bottles handed out at hotels or on planes.
Be sure to educate yourself on animal tourism experiences and how to spot the good from the bad! You should read this.
It’s important to show respect for the Thai Royal Family, especially His Majesty, The King.
Street food is amazing so be sure to dive right into Thailand’s epic food scene, tastebuds first!
Thai people are absolutely lovely! It’s a destination that lives up to its reference as, ‘The Land of Smiles.’ Be sure to treat everyone you meet with the same humility, kindness, and respect.
Where to stay in Hua Hin
Here’s a look at where we stayed on our trip to Hua Hin…
Aleenta began with this luxury boutique resort in Pranburi. You can choose from 25 sensation residences and most of them offer a shimmering private pool. Every suite is just a few steps from the beach with a magnificent view of the Gulf of Thailand. The Aleenta Hua Hin Resort is located on the golden sands of Pak Nam Pran Bay, just a two and one-half hour drive south of Bangkok. The perfect romantic resort for a weekend break, holiday, wedding, or honeymoon.
Explore the natural beauty all around you, ride the waves, and enjoy the sweetness of local fruits and crisp vegetables, the enticing sounds of nature, and the fresh clean air of Thailand. The main resort is right on the beachfront with charming white-washed buildings, palms swaying in the breeze, and classic thatched roofs. This is an intimate escape with sensational ocean views, private gardens, and comfortable villas.
Located amid tropical gardens and a short stroll from Khao Takiab beach.
A stylish resort in the heart of Hua Hin, Khao Takiab beach, and 2 trendy night markets are a short walk away. Allow plenty of time for relaxation by Amari's grand swimming pool or with a luxurious Thai massage at the spa.
And if you have enough of that pool you can hop to Shoreline Beach Club. Just a short walk or a short shuttle ride away from the hotel, enjoy the ocean breezes and views and the luxury beautiful pool. I absolutely loved this gem and we spent plenty of time here, walking the beach at low tide, eating dinner under the stars, and reading between the pool and ocean.
The resort features five food and beverage outlets, including an all-day dining restaurant Mosaic and the lobby bar Coral Lounge. Other facilities include Breeze Spa and Salon, a fitness center, a vast sundeck, and a 38-meter swimming pool. Families will be happy to know the resort provides a separate children’s pool, kids club, and on-request babysitting facilities.
A 5-star beautiful beachfront resort with lush tropical gardens in Hua Hin. Dine at the resort’s restaurants which delight you with Thai and Mediterranean cuisine, unwind in the serene Asara Spa, plunge into one of the resort’s blue swimming pools, or simply soak up the exotic surroundings and take in the soothing ocean and sunset views. From the moment we walked up the steps into the hotel’s lobby I was struck by the extraordinary view of the sea from the open plan area, but also by the dark woods and natural tones of the space which epitomizes the tranquil nature of its location. This immediately put me at ease, replacing the stink of the big city with the revitalizing bite of the breeze from the ocean.
A beachfront getaway you’ll never want to leave. Book a villa to enjoy a spacious living area and large private garden with a swing, outdoor shower, and your own swimming pool. Change it up with a visit to the main pool to recline on a deckchair with your favorite cocktail or choose a day bed opposite the beach to watch local fishermen pull in their nets. Take advantage of Mövenpick’s daily “chocolate hour” at Kampu Restaurant and enjoy a selection of chocolatey treats on the house. Seafood lovers will delight in the range of freshly caught fish, crabs, oysters, and shrimp in a 100-year-old traditional house converted into the Baan Dum Oceanfront restaurant.
Mövenpick Asara Resort & Spa Hua Hin is 10 km from Hua Hin’s city center, thereby offering the advantage of a less-crowded seaside area, while still being close to nightlife and bustling shopping areas within a 15-minute drive from the resort.
At Mövenpick Asara Resort and Spa Hua Hin, 96 newly renovated suites and villas offer a sense of private luxury with generous living spaces from 120 up to 400 sqm.
Discover an incredible seaside setting and the local Thai food of Hua Hin, deliciously prepared at two restaurants and two bars. Ocean Bar is the perfect place to relax under sunny or starry skies, while the Emerald Pool Bar provides the must-do holiday thrill of swimming up to the bar to order your tropical cocktail. Kampu, the all-day dining sea-view restaurant, offers a vast selection of local and global food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, so you always have a wonderful choice for a seaside meal.
A couple of minutes stroll from Kampu, takes you to the rather striking – all wood – beachfront restaurant, Baan Dum. Here the focus is solely Thai food; using fresh seafood and local ingredients Baan Dum knocks out expertly prepared dishes with a chef twist.
Asara Spa’s wonderfully relaxing spa treatments in Hua Hin range from traditional Thai massages to more intense deep-tissue treatments and classic Swedish massages. Work out in the fitness room, which offers a selection of training equipment, including free weights and exercise bikes.