Hua Hin

Last updated on July 10, 2024

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Nestled along the stunning Gulf of Thailand, Hua Hin offers visitors a perfect blend of rich history, modern luxury, and natural beauty. Once a quiet fishing village, this charming resort town has transformed into a popular getaway destination, attracting both Thai royalty and international tourists alike. With its pristine beaches, world-class golf courses, vibrant markets, and tranquil temples, Hua Hin provides an ideal escape from the hustle and bustle of nearby Bangkok.

Whether you’re seeking relaxation on sun-kissed shores, adventure in lush landscapes, or a deep dive into Thai culture, Hua Hin has something for everyone. Let’s explore what makes this coastal gem a must-visit destination in Thailand.

Top Attractions in Hua Hin

Hua Hin
Hua Hin Beach at sunset

1. Hua Hin Beach

Stretching for nearly 5 kilometers, Hua Hin Beach is the crown jewel of the town. Its soft, golden sands and clear waters make it perfect for sunbathing, swimming, and various water sports. The beach is lined with colorful longtail boats, adding to its picturesque charm. Visitors can enjoy horseback riding along the shore, indulge in fresh seafood at beachside restaurants, or simply relax under the shade of an umbrella. As the day winds down, the beach becomes an ideal spot to watch the spectacular sunset over the Gulf of Thailand.

2. Wat Huay Mongkol Temple

Huay Mongkol Temple
The impressive statue of Luang Phor Thuad at Wat Huay Mongkol

Wat Huay Mongkol is a spiritual oasis just 15 kilometers west of Hua Hin. The temple complex is famous for its enormous statue of Luang Phor Thuad, a revered monk in Thai Buddhism. Standing at 12 meters tall and 10 meters wide, this impressive statue attracts both worshippers and curious visitors. The surrounding park features lush gardens, a serene lake, and smaller shrines. Many visitors partake in the local custom of walking under the statue’s belly for good luck. With its tranquil atmosphere and cultural significance, Wat Huay Mongkol offers a peaceful retreat and a glimpse into Thai spiritual traditions.

3. Maruekhathaiyawan Palace

Often referred to as the “Palace of Love and Hope,” Maruekhathaiyawan Palace is a testament to Hua Hin’s royal heritage. Built in 1923 as a summer retreat for King Rama VI, this elegant teak wood structure is raised on stilts and painted in a soft pastel hue. The palace’s design, featuring spacious verandas and intricate latticework, allows for natural ventilation – a clever adaptation to the coastal climate. Visitors can explore the royal halls, living quarters, and picturesque walkways, gaining insight into the lifestyle of Thai royalty in the early 20th century. The palace grounds also offer beautiful views of the Gulf of Thailand, making it a perfect spot for history enthusiasts and photography lovers alike.

Things to Do in Hua Hin

Hua Hin offers a diverse array of activities to suit all tastes and interests. From relaxing spa treatments to thrilling water sports, there’s no shortage of things to do. For a comprehensive list, check out our guide to the Top 15 Things to Do in Hua Hin. Here are some highlights:

1. Indulge in Hua Hin’s Spa and Wellness Scene

Woman getting a massage in a thai spa
Enjoy a relaxing Thai massage in Hua Hin

Hua Hin is renowned for its world-class spa and wellness offerings. From traditional Thai massages to luxurious spa treatments, the town caters to those seeking relaxation and rejuvenation. Many high-end resorts offer comprehensive spa packages, combining ancient healing techniques with modern therapies. For a unique experience, try a beachside massage and let the sound of waves enhance your relaxation. Whether you’re looking for a quick foot massage after a day of sightseeing or a full-day spa retreat, Hua Hin’s wellness scene has something for everyone.

2. Tee Off at World-Class Golf Courses

Golf enthusiasts will find Hua Hin a paradise, with several internationally recognized golf courses in and around the town. The region’s courses offer a perfect blend of challenging play and stunning scenery. Some notable courses include:

  • Black Mountain Golf Club: A championship course that has hosted several international tournaments.
  • Banyan Golf Club: Known for its spectacular ocean and mountain views.
  • Springfield Royal Country Club: Designed by Jack Nicklaus, this course offers 27 challenging holes.

With year-round golfing weather and top-notch facilities, Hua Hin is a must-visit destination for golfers of all skill levels. Many courses also offer club rentals, making it easy for travelers to enjoy a round without bringing their own equipment.

3. Explore Vibrant Night Markets

Hua Hin Night Market
Colorful stalls at the Hua Hin Night Market

Hua Hin’s night markets are a feast for the senses, offering a glimpse into local life and culture. The most popular ones include:

  • Hua Hin Night Market: Located in the town center, this market is perfect for sampling local street food and shopping for souvenirs.
  • Cicada Market: A weekend market focusing on art and handmade products, with live music and performances.
  • Tamarind Market: A newer addition to the scene, offering a mix of food stalls, fashion, and live entertainment.

These markets come alive in the evening, offering visitors a chance to taste local delicacies, shop for unique handicrafts, and enjoy live performances. It’s a great way to experience the local culture and pick up some memorable souvenirs.

4. Visit Khao Takiab (Chopstick Hill)

Located just a few kilometers south of Hua Hin, Khao Takiab is a small hill offering panoramic views of the coastline. At the top, you’ll find a temple with a giant standing Buddha statue overlooking the sea. The hill is also home to a large population of monkeys, giving it the nickname “Monkey Mountain.” While the monkeys can be entertaining, remember to keep your belongings secure. The beach at the foot of the hill is less crowded than Hua Hin Beach, making it a perfect spot for a quiet afternoon by the sea.

5. Take a Day Trip to Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park

Just an hour’s drive south of Hua Hin lies Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park, Thailand’s first marine national park. The park is a natural wonderland, featuring limestone mountains, mangrove swamps, and beautiful beaches. Don’t miss the chance to visit Phraya Nakhon Cave, home to a stunning pavilion built for King Rama V. The cave’s open ceiling allows sunlight to stream in, creating a magical atmosphere. The park also offers excellent opportunities for bird watching and hiking.

Getting to Hua Hin

From Bangkok to Hua Hin

Bus Bangkok to Hua Hin
Comfortable bus service from Bangkok to Hua Hin

Located approximately 200 kilometers (125 miles) south of Bangkok, Hua Hin is easily accessible by various modes of transportation:

  • By Bus: From Suvarnabhumi Airport, you can take a comfortable coach directly to Hua Hin. Buses depart six times daily, starting from 7 am. The journey takes about 3-4 hours and costs 305 baht. From Bangkok’s Southern Bus Terminal (Sai Tai Mai), buses to Hua Hin depart every 20 minutes, with fares around 200 baht.
  • By Van: Minivans offer a slightly faster alternative, departing from various points in Bangkok including Mochit New Van Terminal, Southern Terminal, Khao San Road, and Ekkamai. While cheaper and quicker, space for luggage is limited.
  • By Train: For a scenic journey, take a train from Bangkok’s Krung Thep Aphiwat Central Terminal. The ride takes about 4 hours, with ticket prices ranging from 44 baht (third class) to 202 baht (first class). Hua Hin’s historic railway station is an attraction in itself.

For more detailed information on traveling from Bangkok to Hua Hin, including timetables and booking options, check out our comprehensive guide: Bangkok to Hua Hin Travel Guide.

From Pattaya to Hua Hin

If you’re coming from Pattaya, another popular coastal destination, you have several options:

  • By Bus: Bell Travel operates VIP buses equipped with amenities for a comfortable journey. While slower than other options, it’s the most budget-friendly choice.
  • By Taxi or Minivan: For a faster, more flexible option, companies like Hua Hin Cars and Glassflower offer various vehicle types. The journey takes 4-5 hours and provides door-to-door service.
  • By Train: While not the most efficient option due to the need to change trains in Bangkok, it’s available for those who enjoy rail travel.

For a detailed comparison of these options, visit our Pattaya to Hua Hin Travel Guide.

Traveling from Hua Hin

Hua Hin serves as an excellent starting point for exploring other parts of Thailand, particularly the southern islands.

Hua Hin to Koh Samui

From Hua Hin to Koh Samui by Train
Hua Hin railway station © Casper1774 Studio /

To reach the tropical paradise of Koh Samui from Hua Hin, you have several options combining road and sea travel:

  • Bus and Ferry: The most popular and convenient option. Lomprayah offers combined tickets with two daily departures (8:30 am and 11:30 pm). The journey takes about 9 hours in total.
  • Train and Ferry: Take a train from Hua Hin to Chumphon, then catch a ferry to Koh Samui. This option offers more space but is slower and more expensive.
  • Bus to Donsak and Ferry: This route involves a longer bus journey but a shorter ferry ride.

For a detailed breakdown of these options, including timetables and prices, visit our Hua Hin to Koh Samui Travel Guide.

Hua Hin to Koh Tao

Bus and Ferry from Hua Hin to Koh Tao
Lomprayah high-speed catamaran to Koh Tao

For diving enthusiasts and beach lovers, Koh Tao is a must-visit destination. To get there from Hua Hin:

  • Bus and Ferry: Lomprayah offers combined bus and ferry tickets with two daily departures. The journey includes a 4.5-hour bus ride to Chumphon, followed by a 1 hour 45 minute ferry ride to Koh Tao.

For more information on schedules, prices, and what to expect during the journey, check out our detailed Hua Hin to Koh Tao Travel Guide.

Hua Hin offers a perfect blend of history, culture, and natural beauty, making it an ideal destination for various types of travelers. Whether you’re seeking a relaxing beach getaway, a cultural exploration, or an adventure-filled holiday, Hua Hin has something to offer. Its convenient location and excellent transport links also make it a great starting point for exploring other parts of Thailand. So pack your bags, and get ready to experience the charm of this royal resort town!

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Kamolchat Thanaditsayakun
About Kamolchat Thanaditsayakun

My name is Kamolchat - a writer with a passion for travel who loves sharing stories of new destinations and unforgettable adventures. I was born and raised in Thailand and I have always been captivated by the beauty and diversity of my homeland which inspired me to venture out and discover the world.

Over the years, I have had the pleasure of contributing to various travel publications and websites, such as Lonely Planet and Viator. I strive to provide an authentic representation of the places I visit, get into the heart of local cultures and finding authentic experiences that nourishes the soul.

As I continue to journey across the globe, I want you to join me in experiencing the wonders of our world through my stories. Together, we can learn, grow, and be inspired by the incredible people, places, and cultures that make our planet such an extraordinary place to explore.