Hua Hin is a small but well-known spa town 200 kilometers south of Bangkok on the Malay Peninsula. Its reputation as the resort of choice for various members of the Thai royal family has made it a popular vacation spot for Bangkokians. It is now the full-time residence of His Majesty the King of Thailand.
With a population of only 50,000, Hua Hin is a relatively quiet and relaxing place. The 3-mile-long beach is a particularly relaxing place to spend time. The Railway Hotel was built by Prince Purachatra in 1921 and Hua Hin Railway Station is worth a visit even if you are traveling by road. His pagoda-style office used to be a Royal Pavilion at the Sanamchan Palace and was rebuilt here in 1968. It creates a quaint old-world charm that is a million miles from dusty downtown stations.
Hua Hin is known for a wide variety of outdoor sports. Aside from the usual activities associated with a beach vacation – fishing, swimming, kite surfing, and snorkelling, etc. – there are excellent golf courses. This region has been recognized as the golf center of Thailand, hosting its first Asian Tour event in 2009. This drew a huge crowd and promoted the region exceptionally well. Also in Hua Hin you will find spas, religious buildings, and of course shops, including the ubiquitous night market, which will satisfy most people’s tastes. The large number of National Parks within easy reach make it a good place to use as a base for a few days of your vacation.
Wat Huay Mangkol was built to commemorate the famous monk Luang Pu Thuat who people worshiped for his supposed miracles. It houses a huge statue in his memory and has become a popular tourist destination.
A few resort-style hotels have been built on the outskirts of town, including the Dusit and Holiday Inn, which cater to the market rather, all-inclusive style, getaways, and are extremely popular. Built directly on the beach, they enjoy magnificent scenery. The Dusit Resort is the home of the Hua Hin Six Cricket Tournament. This Bangkok Post sponsored event takes place in April and is a very popular addition to the Hua Hin event calendar.
The nightlife in Hua Hin is much quieter and more relaxed than that of Bangkok. There are many bars to enjoy and excellent restaurants. However, considering this is the house of choice for the royal family, there are no go-go bars or the more daring side of Thai nightlife. Most of the big hotels have cabaret or nightclubs and are open to the general public, but actually most people go to Hua Hin to get away from the wild side of life and after a fun-filled day at the beach. or hiking. In the National Parks, a quieter evening is usually the order of the day.
It’s not hard to see why Hua Hin has become such a popular destination for those laid-back weekend vacations.