The beach resort of Hua Hin, will be forever remembered for it’s amazing amalgamation of a cosmopolitan ambience and laid back beach resorts. This is the country’s oldest beach resort, and boasts no palm lined coasts or secluded vacation homes. Yet, it offers something unique, a holiday that takes you to the royalties of Thai history. This is one of the handful of places in Thailand that retains it’s old world charm and rustic culture.
The province of Hua Hin flaunts a huge collection of mythical and well kept secrets that visualise the centuries of history engraved in the country. The forgotten temples, polished havelis and Thai’s signature natural landscapes will keep you engaged in your breaks from relapse. The collection of palaces and estates from the royal treasury leaves your eyes wide open with wonder.
- The Klai Kangwon form the heart of Hua Hin and is still occupied by the royal family, yet some parts of the place are open to visitors for a quick stroll. Klai Kangwon loosely translates to ‘far from worries’ which is the best description that can be given for it’s soothing design that entraps you in its own version of trance.
- The seaside palace of Maruekhathaiyawan palace is the jewel of this place, gaining highest footfall of all the attractions. The Thai – Italian fusion decor, lattice work boardwalks and verandas, and it’s iconic golden teak sea passage are some of the dozens of its aesthetic elements that put a check to the best of Thai castles in the country. The clock tower, Chinese temple and Hua Hin train station are some of many other vintage attractions that retain the timeless feel of this resort town.
- A mere hour’s drive from the city square can take you to some of the picturesque natural hubs, secluded sanctuaries and perfect beaches.
- The Phraya Nakhon cave is arguably the best mystical landmark of the country that can justify a day of excursion. Its view of a small opening in a cave that illuminates a little patch of land occupied by a traditional Buddhist pantheon is nothing less than a scene from Indiana Jones.
- Khao Takiab is an upgraded replacement of the Hua Hin beach facing your hotel balcony. Also called the ‘Chopstick Mountain’, it melts slowly into a beautiful beach with sparkling water. This rocky hill also houses a small temple, and an opportunity for a comfortable hike and an excellent panorama of Hua Hin coast line.
- The 11-tier waterfall, Pa La-u, is also just a mini-road trip away through the tropical greens of Thai. The Kaeng Kranchan National park around this waterfall is one of Thailand’s favourite hubs for overnight camping and nature trails.
The city of Hua Hin is the eldest of every known beach resort in the kingdom with its 90 years of service. It’s fate took a turn in 1920s when the king Rama VII chose it as his favourite getaway from the capital. After he built his Klai Kangwon Palace, the nobility and upperclass of Siam followed, slowly transitioning the fishing village into a royal resort. This palace was declared the official residence of his highness and his descendants, and it was this royal endorsement, that sculptured the unique character of Hua Hin. It was jealously guarded and barricaded from any corporate takeovers or multi billionaire hotel chain, like the rest of the kingdom, which resulted in carefully preserving it’s vintage and kingly ambience.
Hua Hin was the fantasy icon for sea food fanatics from all over the country. The usual approach is to select a choice of seafood, usually a blue crab or a tiger prawn, and pick a cocking option like steaming, grilling, deep frying, hotpot cooking, etc.
- Witness the wonder chiefs adding their magic recipes and exotic spices as they fabricate the most delicious sea food dish, your tongue will remember forever.
- Some street eateries also offer buffets consisting of open cooking stations, barbecues along side some vibrant traditional music and dance.
- Just like any other Thailand center, the corner stores in the night market are the best spots to experience local, inexpensive quick snacks.
- The Naresdamri road is the stretched with classy beach-facing restaurants for a romantic dinner.
The markets of Hua Hin aspire for an experience beyond buying and selling. Although, the vendors lack the extent and variety of a typical Thai market, dozens of local artists from around gather every night in the street markets of Hua Hin selling their wares and arts.
- Without the hustle of Bangkok markets, a beautiful ambience is set to savour every step of your shopping. Handmade coconut shell accessories, printed Thai pattern fabrics, sisal fibre utensils, bamboo woven patterns are some of the handful of rural handicrafts that can make excellent souvenir replacements.
- Cicada is the favourite non-party weekend hangout, that keeps its visitors engaged for hours around it’s artistic community of stores and gardens. It is divided into four zones mainly selling art products like paintings, sculptures, handicrafts and accessories.
- Auditoriums and performance squares are sprinkled around which gain buzzing activity most fridays and saturdays.
- Plearn Wan is one other similar line of stores which is nothing less than a living museum. The little street features two storied courtyards on either sides occupied with souvenir stores, antique shops, fashion outlets, foodcourts and an outdoor movie screen; all in a vintage 1950 etiquette.
- Hua Hin night market and chat chai market light up every night bringing a piece of Bangkok’s iconic tin stores and mouth-watering street food.
Bangkok is the connecting hub to this resort city. It is well connected by air, rail, road and even through the seas. Suvarnabhumi International airport is the nearest, which is further connected to all over Thailand and the rest of the world. The railway track to Hua Hin is one of the oldest connection from Bangkok and taking a train is the most economic way to reach the destination. The two and half hour highway is the fastest solution to reach Hua Hin. If you are into sailing, a recent shuttle yacht has been started from Pattaya. The growing tourist industry led to intense connectivity on road with regular shuttle services from Pattaya, Chang Mai, Phuket and Krabi.