Hua Hin is located around 150km to the southwest of Bangkok and is in a picturesque setting surrounded by rolling hills and a rugged coastline. It is a popular home for many expats as well as a prominent tourist destination for both Thais and foreigners. It has a slow, relaxed pace of life, certainly compared to the capital and its lively neighbour across the Gulf of Siam, Pattaya. There are plenty of tours in Hua Hin and here are our 10 recommendations.
1. Water Parks
Hua Hin has two excellent water parks, Black Mountain and Vana Nava, both of which are located in the region of 10km outside of Hua Hin. They are modern parks which are designed to European standards and are perfect for families. Both have a comprehensive selection of slides and flumes with the Vana Nava Water Park having the tallest slide in Thailand. They are relatively inexpensive, have magnificent backdrops and allow you to take things easy or enjoy some thrills and spills!
2. Shopping Malls
Of course, most of us want the opportunity to take in some retail therapy from time to time, and in Hua Hin, you will have a range of options. Seenspace is one of the most popular malls in Thailand, mainly thanks to its beachfront location and range of high-end and boutique fashion stores. In addition, you will also find some pool bars, restaurants and places playing live music. An alternative option is the Blue Port Resort Mall which has a similar range of shops, but more family orientated activities including arcades and a cinema.
Hua Hin, like many other towns and cities in Thailand, has an excellent range of markets. Arguably the two best-known are the Tamarind and Cicada Markets which both sell quite literally everything from food to clothes and everything in between. The markets also have live performers that help to create a vibrant party atmosphere as well as selling locally produced arts and crafts. The markets are very much aimed at families and are a great place to spend the evening.
4. Golf Courses
Golf is one of the most popular sports in Thailand and in Hua Hin you will find a selection of championship standard golf courses including the Black Mountain Golf Club, the Banyan Golf Club and the Royal Hua Hin Golf Course. The courses are all kept in immaculate condition throughout the year and are very reasonably priced. Non-members can play although they may need to be accompanied by a member. The best option is to arrange a round with one of the many golf societies in the area.
Hua Hin is very much a resort and has welcomed the Thai Royal family for well over a century. As you would image, it is home to some simply stunning beaches including Khao Takiab Beach, Cha-Am and Suan Son beach. Water sports are available at most of the beaches, although the options are a little more limited than what you may find in other resorts around Thailand. Still, this does mean that they have more of an unspoilt feel.
6. National Parks
Some magnificent scenery surrounds Hua Hin and with it, some stunning National Parks including Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park, Kaeng Krachan National Park and Kunburi National Park. All three parks are with easy travelling distance of Hua Hin and make a fabulous family day out. All have plenty of wildlife that you can see as well as beautiful walks and places where you can camp overnight.
7. Theme Parks
In addition to the excellent water parks that Hua Hin has to offer, there is also some other more conventional theme parks including Santorini Amusement Park, Camel Republic – Hua Hin’s newest theme park and the Swiss Farm petting zoo that has lots of activities for families. All of these options make a fantastic day out and are suitable for children of all ages. As you would expect, there are plenty of places to eat and drink so you really can make an entire day of it.
8. Inu Café
There are lots of animal-themed activities to do in and around Hua Hin, but perhaps the most unusual is the Inu Café, a café which is designed with dog lovers very much in mind. The Inu Café is home to around a dozen Shiba Inus that just loved to be made a fuss of and mix and play with anyone that comes. It should be noted that although it is called a “café”, they don’t actually serve coffee, but they do serve juices, soda and a range of Thai and western food.
9. Sam Phan Nam Floating Market
There is something very typically Thai about floating markets, and indeed Sam Phan Nam floating market is no different. Here you will get the opportunity to weave your way around the stalls, by boat, of course, looking at the local crafts, clothing, fruits and other food that they have on offer. It is aimed at the tourist market, although you do get a feel of how life used to be like in years gone by. It is a great way to spend a morning or afternoon.
Like most places in Thailand, Hua Hin is blessed with a superb selection of temples and shrines, which bring a sense of mysticism and culture to the area. All of the temples offer something unique, but the most popular options include Wat Bor Fai, Way Wuay Mongkol and Khao Takiab Temple. All of these places are in easy travelling distance of the centre of Hua Hin and can be reached by taxi or tuk-tuk. Naturally, you should dress and behave appropriately when attending the temples.