[UPDATED 20 Sep 2019]
Not many people are familiar with the coastal town of Hua Hin in Thailand. But they should! The town is only a two-hour drive from Bangkok and has long been the seaside getaway for the city folk. It has a fascinating history - while it began as a quiet fishing village, it became a fashionable resort town in the 1920s when railway made Hua Hin accessible and Thai royalty started building holiday homes and summer palaces in the area ?
Credit: GiphyThese aristocratic ties have made Hua Hin an intriguing destination - it has a relaxed beach town vibe and other features characteristic of Thai destinations (beautiful temples, delicious food), but it also has cosmopolitan touches, such as luxury accommodation, golf courses as well as unique European-influenced attractions that you probably won’t find elsewhere in Thailand. It’s time for you to explore this underrated destination and we’ve got you covered on the things you can’t miss out!
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What to see
1. Hua Hin Railway StationCredit: @_nrzylla on InstagramNo visit to Hua Hin is complete without a stop at its railway station. The station is one of the oldest in Thailand and is a distinctive feature of Hua Hin. A key landmark of the station is a yellow building built in traditional Thai architecture which used to be the royal waiting room for the King and his entourage when they came to Hua Hin.Credit: @ia21efron on InstagramThe station has been beautifully preserved, with wooden buildings and vintage signage in yellow and red hues, and is still functional as a train station! It’s a lovely nod to the heritage of Hua Hin, while also being a really good spot to take photos ?Address:
Hua Hin, Hua Hin District, Prachuap Khiri Khan 77110, Thailand
2. Santorini Park Cha-AmCredit: Santorini Park Cha-Am on FacebookHave you been wanting to go to Santorini to take pictures of its iconic white buildings with the blue doors but haven’t quite managed to get to Greece? Well, here’s some news for you: you can take those pictures much closer to home, in Santorini Park Cha-Am!Santorini Park is an amusement park and mall located in Cha-Am, about a half hours' drive from Hua Hin. And yes, the theme park based on the popular Greek island and is filled with buildings, shops and restaurants fashioned in the beautiful style of Santorini that has become so famous.Credit: @dhiyashamimi on Instagram#HHWT Tip: While there are rides available at the park, your ticket only covers entry as well as one complimentary ride. For additional rides, you’ll have to pay extra ☹️ But at least you can take as many pictures as you want!Credit: @wiwikadiarti on InstagramWebsite | FacebookGetting there: You can get a Grab
Entrance fees: THB150 per person (for non-residents of Thailand. Thai residents pay THB50)
Opening hours: Mon - Fri (9.30 am - 6.30 pm); Sat & Sun (9 am - 6.30 pm)
Address: Petchakasem Road, Amphoe Cha-Am, Phetchaburi, Thailand 76120 Amphoe Cha-Am, Phetchaburi
Contact no.: +66 81 930 8967
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3. Rajabhakti ParkCredit: Siti Raudhah on FacebookRajabhakti Park was built to honour seven Thai kings from the Sukhothai period to the current royal house of Chakri. An initiative by the Royal Thai Army, it was constructed and opened to the public in 2015.While the park is not very large, its key feature is the statues of the seven different kings. Made out of bronze and standing 30 metres tall, which each king in different outfits and poses, it looks like something out of the Lord Of The Rings. Admission is free, though please note that as a sign of respect, no singlets or short skirts are allowed.#HHWT Tip: The best time to go is in the morning, where the statues would be facing the sun. There isn’t much shaded area, so be sure to bring a hat or wear sunscreen!Opening hours: 8 am - 6 pm daily
Address: Phet Kasem Rd, Tambon Nong Kae, Amphoe Hua Hin, Chang Wat Prachuap Khiri Khan 77110, Thailand
What to do
4. Cicada MarketCredit: @coollee0420 on InstagramThailand is renowned for its night markets, but Cicada Market offers a nice twist - it’s an open-air market with a focus on local arts and crafts. In addition to the regular offerings of night markets like food and trinkets, you’ll be able to find artwork, locally made clothes and bags, artisanal ware such as hand-blown glass, and more! Credit: @spensfish on InstagramIn the evenings, the market gets lit up with dreamy fairy lights and often features live music performances too. It’s the perfect place to stroll around and absorb the ambience. #HHWT Tip: The products on offer are pricier than your regular night market fare but do bear in mind that the market is meant to showcase local artisans and the products are generally of better quality ?Opening hours: Fri & Sat (4pm - 11pm); Sun (4pm - 10pm)
Address: 83/159 Nong Kae-Khao Takiap Rd | Nhongkae, Hua Hin 77110, Thailand
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5. Venezia Hua HinCredit: @firzasikumbang on InstagramContinuing on its trend of European-styled attractions, we have The Venezia Hua Hin. Styled after Venice, this attraction has canals and features a few activities such as the gondola ride, a mini zoo, a 3D museum, as well as shops and restaurants. Prices will differ depending on which package you opt for which includes different attractions.Credit: @fishliewjiajet on InstagramWe’ll be frank - based on recent reviews Venezia Hua Hin, a number of travellers noted that the park seems to have suffered a decline lately, with several shops closing. However, consensus noted that it’s a great place for photo-taking and the gondola ride is worth taking if you’re not planning to head to Venice anytime soon!Entrance fee: From THB180 onwards, depending on which package you opt for (you can also check out Klook to book tickets ahead of time)
Opening hours: 10 am - 8 pm daily
Address: 1899 Petch Kasem Rd. (Sai Tai), Cha Am, Petchburi 76120
6. Phraya Nakhon CaveCredit: @wor_adventure on Instagram Phraya Nakon Cave is a really special attraction in Hua Hin. For starters, getting there isn’t the easiest journey - you have to drive to the town of Bang Pu (about 45 minutes away from Hua Hin), and from Bang Pu you will have the option of either hiking a challenging 1 hour route up a hill, or alternatively you can pay to take a boat ride from Bang Pu to the Laem Sala beach. From there you’ll still need to do a bit of hiking to get to Phraya Nakon Cave, which is reportedly not alarmingly strenuous, but not a walk in the park either.So the journey there will require more effort than your average attraction, but you’ll be rewarded by an amazing sight - you’ll be able to see a beautiful pavilion hidden within the cave that was built in 1890 for King Rama V. The tranquil and mysterious setting will be stunning to behold.Credit: @vidventory on Instagram#HHWT Tip: Be sure to wear proper shoes (sneakers or good walking shoes) and bring water. Also, if you’re looking for that perfect photograph, it’s best to get there before 11am, because that’s when the sunlight shines into the cave most optimally ?Entrance fee: THB200 per person (if you’re taking a boat to Laem Sala Beach, it will cost around THB200 more).
Opening hours: 8 am - 3.30 pm daily
Address: Amphoe Sam Roi Yot, Chang Wat Prachuap Khiri Khan 77120, Thailand
7. Camel RepublicCredit: @nuradeella on InstagramSo by now, we know that Hua Hin has attractions devoted to the beautiful styles of Santorini and Venice. But did you know that it also has an amusement park that is Moroccan-inspired? Cue Camel Republic! This attraction located in Cha-Am is only a few minutes away from Santorini Park, so you can visit both when you’re there ?Credit: @naritalrasati on InstagramThe park makes for a great family-friendly outing - it has an animal park with giraffes, flamingos, and yes, camels (which you can ride!), there’s also amusement rides, shops and even a sky fly. But it’s also become super popular for its beautiful Moroccan-themed buildings and decorations that are perfect for an Instagram photo or two ? #HHWT Tip: Halal food can be a bit hard to come by at the park, so if you’re heading over you might want to pack or bring along some food so you don’t get hungry! WebsiteEntrance fee: THB 150 per person
Opening hours: Mon - Tue, Thu - Fri (10 am - 6 pm); Sat & Sun (9 am - 6.30 pm), closed on Wed
Address: Cha-am, Cha-am District, Phetchaburi 76120, Thailand
8. Plearnwan VillageCredit: @misshayatie on InstagramPlearnwan Village is a cluster of shops fashioned in the retro style which is meant to evoke an old-school Hua Hin feel. Credit: @ching0617_ on InstagramHere you’ll find an array of shops selling handicrafts, eateries, a mini funfair, and of course, more photo-taking opportunities ? Regardless, it’s a quaint place to pop in and explore this nod to 1950s Hua Hin.WebsiteEntrance fee: No fees (though please note if you’re driving there parking costs around THB 40)
Opening hours: Mon - Thu (9 am - 9 pm); Fri - Sun (9 am - 10 pm)
Address: 4/90-95 Phet Kasem Rd, Tambon Hua Hin, Amphoe Hua Hin, Chang Wat Prachuap Khiri Khan 77110, Thailand
9. Swiss Sheep FarmCredit: @satita_happypiggy on InstagramAfter Santorini, Venice and Morocco, we now come to Switzerland. Swiss Sheep Farm is a countryside farm fashioned after the pastures of Switzerland, with buildings and decorations all in European-style design.Credit: @paris2411 on InstagramThe farm is a great attraction for kids and adults alike - along with the sheep kept on its property, you’ll be able to see an array of animals, including rabbits, alpacas, ponies and more! You’ll also have the opportunity to feed the animals as well as see the many themed playgrounds and installations available.Entrance fee: THB 150 per person
Opening hours: 9 am - 6.30 pm daily
Contact no.: +66 32 772 494
Address: Khao Yai, Cha-am District, Phetchaburi 76120, Thailand
10. Pranburi Forest ParkCredit: @tonaor_c on Instagram
Take a break from your beach vacay and be one with nature at Pranburi Forest Park. Built to protect the area’s mangroves, this park with lush greenery offers a scenic respite and is refreshing, to say the least!
Credit: @huahin_vacation on Instagram
A lot of locals come here on the weekends to take a break from their hectic schedules, so be sure to say hi ? A trail on the boardwalk will bring you through mangroves, pine forests and a river, plus a stunning view of the hills surrounding the park.
Entrance fee: Free
+66 61 464 4951
หมู่ที่ 1 ตำบล ปากน้ำปราณบุรี Amphoe Pran Buri, Chang Wat Prachuap Khiri Khan 77220, Thailand
11. Hua Hin & Chatsila Night MarketsCredit: @yuhowcome on InstagramNo visit to Thailand is complete without venturing to a night market, and Hua Hin has several! The main ones though would have to be Hua Hin Night Market as well as the adjacent Chatsila Market.Hua Hin Market is open daily and has all the regular fare you would look for in a night market, including food, clothes, knick-knacks and more! Good place to have some coconut ice cream or sticky rice and mango. There's also a lot of seafood (including lobsters!) sold in the market, so you can choose to indulge as your stomach pleases ? [Please note that the stalls are not halal-certified, so do check with the vendor beforehand on the ingredients used if you are unsure!] Chatsila Night Market, located on a street between Petchkasem Road and Hua Hin Night Market, is a smaller market that sells local crafts and souvenirs. There’s also live music as well as stalls that offer foot massage services (another Thai specialty!), so you can pop in for some quick pampering while you’re there! Opening hours: Open daily from 6 pm - 11 pm
Address: ซ หัวหิน 72, Tambon Hua Hin, Amphoe Hua Hin, Chang Wat Prachuap Khiri Khan 77110, Thailand
What to eatEating in Hua Hin shouldn’t be a problem because halal options are available and relatively accessible - a good tip would be to look out at the areas surrounding mosques (particularly in Cha-Am which has two larger mosques - Masjid Darul Ehsan and Darussoleheen Mosque). The area near Hua Hin Railway Station also has a few halal stalls (look out for the logo of the green crescent and star, which signifies that the stall serves halal food). There are also a couple of halal eateries that have become must-visit places for Muslim travellers.
12. Mooz Hua Hin Halal FoodCredit: @assadin_ama on InstagramOne of those must-visit eateries is none other than Mooz Hua Hin Halal Food. This restaurant, which is part of Muslim-friendly hotel Mooz Hua Hin serves Thai food, so you can get your fix of tom yum and other Thai dishes here! The restaurant even has prayer facilities available, so it’s a nice place to stop by for lunch when you’re out sightseeing.Halal status: Muslim-owned
Opening hours: 11am – 8.45pm dailyAddress: 29/5 , Naeb K Haad Rd., A. Hua Hin, 77110 Hua Hin, ThailandContact No: +66 95 524 1339
13. Tan Roti MartabaCredit: @bonuskridchuda on InstagramLocated near to the Hua Hin Night Market area is a small stall called Tan Roti Martaba. In addition to serving halal Thai food, this stall has also become known for it’s crispy and buttery roti. You can try this popular Thai street food either sweet (served with a drizzle of condensed milk), or opt for savoury roti Mataba, which has a potato filling.Halal status: Muslim-ownedAddress: 41/16 Hua Hin Soi 70Opening hours: 9am – 8.30pm (roti is only sold from 2pm)Contact No: +66 081-116-8006
14. Roti Teh Tarik Muslim Food
Even though this eatery is called Roti Teh Tarik, they sure serve more than just roti and tea! While they specialise in Thai-style roti that can be eaten sweet or savoury, you can also find your usual Thai and Thai Muslim dishes.
Credit: Roti Teh Tarik on Facebook
Some of the items recommended here are their tom yum seafood, their spicy beef soup and stir-fried noodles. But if there's one thing you can;t leave here without trying, it'll have to be their milo roti canai - the roti is topped with milo powder, making it a real treat. Many travellers who've been to Roti Teh Tarik also love its attentive service and affordability.
หน้าคิวรถตู้หัวหิน Tambon Hua Hin, Amphoe Hua Hin, Chang Wat Prachuap Khiri Khan 77110, Thailand
10am-11pm daily except Friday, 10am-12pm, 2pm-11pm (Fri)
+66 91 010 3021
FacebookSo there you have it folks! Hua Hin promises to be a relaxing, chill holiday that offers some pretty unique attractions that will intrigue. And with the town only being a two hour flight away, it would make for a perfect weekend getaway. So go explore this underrated Thai destination!