When you dream of Thailand, you probably think of Phuket and Koh Samui. Despite a strong connection to the much-loved Thai royal family, Hua Hin remains slightly under the average tourist’s radar. Yet this fantastic destination offers a taste of Thailand free of the standard tourist fare, magnificent golf courses, ample fishing and local beauty spots that will steal your heart away. And, of course, world-class beach resorts, too! There’s a ton waiting for you to discover in Hua Hin- and here’s just a few reasons it has to be on your holiday radar!
A royal legacy
What makes Hua Hin unique among the Thai cities? Since 1920, it’s been the royal family’s coastal summer retreat. Needless to say, this meant that a push to modernity kept the city fresh and forward-thinking. Thai locals keen to escape the urban grind of Bangkok flock here to emulate their beloved royals, be it for the summer holidays or just a weekend, so there’s always been plenty of drive to keep the domestic tourism market happy.
This primarily domestic tourism market means Hua Hin evolved differently to international tourist areas like Phuket. Expect better prices and a more laid back atmosphere here. Yet it’s still packed with all those attractions we mentioned, historical landmarks, gorgeous scenery and hiking trails to lift any heart. Oh, did we mention some of the best seafood in Thailand comes from here? There’s enough urbanisation for convenience, but a deeper bond with nature and a more authentic Thai feel, and it only lies 3 hours southwest of the bustling heart of Bangkok.
There’s regular buses from the international airport, and you can even fly down to this gorgeous beach city. There’s little wonder that Huan Hin has come to be seen as the gateway to Southern Thailand- if you want to experience Thailand at its best, you can’t miss out!
Can’t-miss Hua Hin experiences
Keen to experience the best market in Hua Hin? Head out to the unique floating market. Although foreigners will need to pay a small entrance fee, there’s a free boat ride included and plenty to enjoy. It’s not the staggering hustle of Bangkok, so you’ll have a chance to shop in relative peace, and vendors keep bargaining calm too. Tasty food stalls and much more can be found here, so take a full day and come early. Or head to the Cicada night market and shop under the stars. This is the ultimate destination for handicrafts and authentic items- you’ll even see stallholders making goods as you browse! Some of the very best food in Huan Hin (and seafood in Thailand) can be found right next door in the Tamarind night market, too, so don’t forget to come hungry!
Clean, calm beach resorts can be found in the area, perfect if you’re longing for a ‘classic’ beach getaway complete with spa massages and waterparks to frolic in. Here the beaches are calm and quiet, and you’ll see more sea creatures and fishermen then the jam-packed beach vendors you may be used to in other parts of Thailand. There’s even horse rides to enjoy until the tide comes in at 2pm!
Keen to explore nature? Don’t miss a trip to Monkey Mountain! You’ll experience some of the best views of Hua Hin, and get to enjoy the mischief of the resident macaque population. Or explore the local vineyards (yes, you read that right) and sample Thai wines. No matter where you go, there’s fun and beauty for all
Thailand’s secret jewel
This is probably the first you’ve ever heard of Huan Hin, and you’re not alone. This is a destination that flies under-the-radar, but is no less beautiful for it. Of course, secrets are soon shared, and it may not remain as quiet and calm forever – so what’s stopping you from enjoying a trip now? If you’ve been longing to see a different side of Thailand without missing out on anything that makes her so special, this is definitely the destination for you.