The charming town of Hua Hin is located on the upper coast of the Gulf of Thailand. Although Hua Hin is increasing in popularity with travellers, this small town is a favourite spot among Thai locals and has remained virtually unspoilt. Hua Hin is also a preferred vacation spot of members of the Thai royal family.
The once sleepy fishing village now offers visitors modern amenities while retaining its Thai identity. There is a wide selection of things to do and see in Hua Hin, with all of the main activities focused around water and nature.
One of the top attractions of this resort town is lazing on sandy Hua Hin Beach soaking up the tropical sunshine. The town is blessed with five kilometres of long sand beaches which are laden with massive boulders, adding a dramatically beautiful element to the already stunning shores. The beaches are perfect for tanning, swimming and even a little surfing. Beyond a small headland, which forms the ‘head rock’ from which the town derives its name, is another expanse of beach.
One of the ‘must-see’ attractions in Hua Hin is the Klai Kangwon Palace. The building is located just three kilometres from the town centre and was the brainchild of King Phra Pokklao (Rama VII). In order to visit this architectural gem, a permit must be obtained from the Royal Household Office. But reputable tour companies can assist you in obtaining this.
For travellers interested in visiting Buddhist temples, Wat Khao Takiap is located at the end of Chopsticks Bay (Ao Takiap) and is well worth a visit. Wat Khao Thairalat is in close proximity to Wat Khao Takiap, and visitors braving the climb up the temple stairs will be treated to mesmerising sceneries, especially at sunset.
If you are interested in artwork, a visit to Hua Hin Arts and Crafts Centre is a must. The Arts and Crafts Centre is situated in a traditional Thai house on Naepkhehat Road and showcases contemporary works by some of the best local artists in the region. In addition to the awe-inspiring paintings, it houses an excellent exhibition of photographs depicting the town’s history.
Just west of Hua Hin lies the Khao Hin Thoen Stone Park. This is the perfect spot for taking photographs as many of the gigantic bolders are truly unbelievable. There are narrow walkways which lead to a vast rocky field that is situated atop a mountain and overlooks the city and the sea.
Another impressive site is Namtok Pa La-u, a spectacular waterfall situated within a forested area about 63kms from Hua Hin. The area has amazing hiking and trekking paths and is great for bird watching and picnicking.
Khao Chong Krachok, also called the Mirror Mount, is situated along the foot of the hill in the northern region of Hua Hin. This sacred monastery can be reached by climbing up 395 steps. If you can make the climb, you will be treated to amazing views and are certain to run into a lot of monkeys.
Khao Tao is a popular hill near the town and boasts two beautiful beaches: Sai Noi and Sai Yai. Both offer wonderful diving and snorkelling opportunities. Another popular spot is Wa Ko, located 12kms south of Hua Hin; this long stretch of white sandy beach lined with pine trees is absolutely gorgeous.
Ao Manao is another stunning beach that is situated just five kilometres south of the town. It features a striking curved bay that was formerly used as a battlefield between the Thai and Japanese armies during the Second World War.
Hua Hin activities
Most of the activities in Hua Hin revolve around nature; the beaches, parks and jungles. Visitors can easily fill their days with adrenaline-filled activities such as mountain climbing, trekking and cliff diving. There are also more relaxing activities on offer including horseback riding, sailing or just relaxing on the beach. The small town actually has quite a vibrant nightlife on offer as well, with a number of dance venues and fun pubs on offer.
Sailing: is a popular activity for visitors as it allows them the opportunity to see the town from a completely different perspective while enjoying the fabulous waters. A few of the top resorts rent out small boats to their guests.
Golf: Hua Hin is home to the oldest golf course in Thailand, the Royal Hua Hin Golf Course. Opened in 1924, this course is absolutely beautiful and remains one of the country’s top golfing venues.
Horseback riding: is a perfect way to spend the day and see a few of the town’s attractions including the long sandy beaches. It is also ideal for visitors with children.
Nightlife: the small town has a surprising number of night spots on offer including pubs and dance clubs. There are also quite a few venues featuring live music from some of the top bands in the region.
Daytrips: located 63kms south of Hua Hin is Sam Roi Yot National Park. This park makes for the perfect daytrip as it is filled with rolling landscapes and limestone mountains with a vast number of stunning ridges and cliffs. Visitors can spend time exploring the ominous caves, stretch out on the beautiful beach or take a boat trip to watch some of the region’s exotic birds.