Trivia #1: Until 1934, Hua Hin was known as Samore Riang (meaning rows of rocks)
Trivia #2: Hua Hin is known as a royal resort
Discovered in the 1920s by King Rama VII, Hua Hin grew from a modest seaside town to a royal resort and subsequently became popular with Thai nobility and upper class citizens. It was essentially the royal endorsement that gave Hua Hin its unique character of its own.
A laid-back seaside resort town filled with old world charm amidst a back drop of modern comforts, Hua Hin can be considered an ideal getaway for city dwellers in need for a quick beach fix. After all, the bus ride from Bangkok to Hua Hin takes roughly about 3 hours.
How to get to Hua Hin from Bangkok:
Just take the skytrain to Victory Monument BTS, hop down exit 4 and walk towards the 7-eleven outlet and you will see a good number of minibus (or vans) vendors all around the vicinity. Walk past the rows of minibuses and state your destination and purchase the ticket for about 180 baht (prices vary according to different vendors but it shouldn’t stray too far from this ball park figure). Also, the minibuses depart in short, frequent bursts as they’ll scoot off as soon as they are filled up.
The Beach, Brunch and Coffee:
Once you are there and if you’re not feeling too tired from the 3-hour minibus ride, you can hit the beach right after you drop your luggage at your hotel. Hua Hin has a fabulous family-friendly beach scene where you can get soak in the sun after your shopping and eating marathon back in Bangkok. Or, if you would like something more adventurous, you can rent a horse to strut down the sandy beach with a guide. Prices start from 200 baht for 15 minutes. There are a number of vendors on the beach, so do make sure to ask around for the best price if you have the time.
An equally fantastic international standard brunch can be found at The Coffee Club, where at my time of visit, it is one of the few cafes you can actually get soy lattes. The cafe is located just in front of Hilton Hua Hin Resort & Spa.
Night Markets and Seafood Galore:
Come night time you can roam the many night markets scattered in the small town. There are about 5 night markets – namely Chat Chai Night Market, Cicada Market (the artsy one), Grand Night Market, Chatsila Night Market and a smaller one that’s located away in the smaller lanes opposite the Colonnade Mall. In this part of the town, much of these night markets offer a good variety of seafood, fresh local produce and the general street merchandise you would expect from typical Thai roadside stalls. Expect to bargain but don’t push too hard as the prices are generally lower than Bangkok. The night markets spring to life from 6:30PM onwards, so be sure to time your itinerary to reach the night market at around the opening hour.
Oh, be sure to visit Cicada Market while you’re in the area. If you like artsy handicrafts, indie handmade products and live bands, this is the place to spend the evening in an outdoor night market with lots of creative vibes.
If you’re into seafood, then you’re in for a treat! Nothing beats fresh and very affordable seafood in Thailand! Check out the size of the prawns – Eat to your heart’s content and drink up!
Travel Story Contributor:
Daniel Chen, Singapore