The resort town of Hua Hin on the Gulf of Thailand is a perfect place to escape from the bustling city and take in the famous beaches and natural tropical landscape of Thailand.
This Spanish-style summer house for Thai royalty was built in 1928 and features a beautiful garden right along the waterfront.
Visit the non-profit wildlife conservation center just 25km outside of the city to view native elephants, gibbons, monkeys and more.
Hike up the Flint Mountain for a nice afternoon picnic and take in the spectacular views of Hua Hin below.
Just outside of the city are the two tucked away beaches of Hat Sai Noi and Hat Sai Yai where you can swim and rent a bungalow to spend the night.
This resort offers a world-class spa with massages and holistic wellness services to help rejuvenate visitors.
This is one of Hua Hin's most recent night markets, occupying a more intimate space but no less alive and well-lit than its predecessors. Chatsila Night Market is the place to go for a selection of local street food, along with more gourmet eats and packages for easy, on-the-go eating. It operates all day but comes alive at night. Because it's so close to the transit stops, it's a prime night market for travelers looking for local souvenirs like handmade clothing, postcards, notebooks, small home décor pieces and t-shirts with funky designs.
The vibrant and eclectic Cicada Market brings together local artists, designers and craftsman and connects them with tourists, travelers, students and night-market lovers. Instead of being a chaotic and bright free-for-all that most night markets usually feel like, the Cicada Market focuses on specialized artwork, hosting creative activities and supporting vendors selling handmade crafts as well as exhibitions featuring outdoor music, dance and theatre performances. The Cicada Market is divided into four distinct areas: The Cicada Cuisine, Art A La Mode, Art Factory and Ampitheatre.
Tucked away on the extensive ground of the palatial Mrigadayavan Palace is the royal history and heritage of Thailand's King Vajiravudh, who ruled Siam from 1910 to 1925. Even though it was constructed simply a holiday villa, the Mrigadayavan Palace is no less impressive in its beautiful architecture. It's also known as the Palace of Love and Hope and consists of 16 golden teak buildings over sprawling manicured lawns. The interior consists of majestic high ceilings, beautiful fretwork and a design that keeps the entire building breezy and cool.
Located just 15 minutes away from the center of Hua Hin, the Black Mountain Water Park is a favorite of adults and children alike. The water park features wave pools, water slides, splash parks and fountains that children can engage with as well as water buckets and lots of other pool equipment. Start a game of water volleyball, traverse the obstacle courses in the large pool and, when you've finally worked up an appetite, dig into delicious local cuisine for a very affordable price right on the premises. While the young ones splash around, you can lounge on the deck, work up a tan or float around on a pool noodle.
Unforgettable and larger-than-life, the statue of Luang Phor Thuad, a beloved southern Thai monk, draws thousands of visitors every year. Disciples travel from far and wide to be in the presence of the statue as it was said that the beloved monk could perform miracles. Even if you're not a believer, it is hard not to be awestruck as you approach the Wat Huay Mongkol, with Luang Phor Thuad rising like a watchful protector. There is also a mini elephant sanctuary and vast sunflower fields in the surrounding area.
The best time to visit is between November and February when there is less humidity, rainfall and the temperature is more mild in general.
There are no international direct flights to Hua Hin airport. Instead, a one way ticket from London to the capital of Bangkok costs 13,700 baht.
Hua Hin Railway Station is located in the heart of the city. Tickets from Bangkok cost around 250 baht, with the journey to Hua Hin taking 4.5 hours.
Route 35 and Route 4 will bring you from Bangkok to Hua Hin, as well as connecting you down south to Phuket.
There are several non-stop air-conditioned buses that make the trip from Bangkok to Hua Hin in around 3.5 hours. A one-way ticket costs 269 baht.
The Anantara Hua Hin Resort & Spa is a luxury hotel surrounded by botanical gardens and located right along the water. Room rates start at 5,700 baht a night.
Hua Hin Beach - This area houses the popular Cicada Market as well as many hotels and beaches for tourists.
Khao Takiap - Set on top of a mountain, this area featuring Buddha temples also has a nice panoramic restaurant that's popular among visitors.
Huay Mongkol - This area is the site of the giant statue of Thailand's enlightened monk named Luang Phor Thuad.
Songthaews, or open air trucks, start at 15 baht for a ride. Negotiate the price and pay when boarding the truck.
Taxis cost 35 baht for a starting tariff, and 60 baht is a fair price for a journey within the city limits.
There are many companies with daily rental vehicles starting at 650 baht. Cars are available at the airport or downtown pick-up locations.
Most locals shop at the night markets to haggle over traditional crafts, food, jewelry and clothes. The Hua Hin Market Village is the main indoor shopping mall.
Villa market JP Co.,Ltd. and Tesco are the two main grocery markets. A dozen eggs costs 53 baht.
The Sea Harmony Eco Cafe has a wide selection of Thai, vegetarian and Asian fusion dishes. A typical meal costs around 250-300 baht.