Two hours and a half from Bangkok, you’ll reach one of Thailand’s hidden getaways – Hua Hin. A holiday destination discovered by the Thai royals and nobility in the 1920s before catapulting into popularity, it’s home to an incredibly diverse set of stunning attractions. From beautiful palaces to bustling markets, natural spots, tranquil beaches, and heritage, there’s just no shortage of amazing sights to see in Hua Hin, which also offers incredibly fun activities for all generations. So, if you happen to visit this charming town, here are the best things to do in Hua Hin – all set to provide you an amazing and unique experience in the Land of Smiles.
Shop ’til you drop at Hua Hin Night Market.
Located amidst Petchkasem and Dechanuchit Road, Hua Hin Night Market becomes vibrant from 6:30 PM onwards, as vendors start to sell their merchandise and as visitors flock to the area. Here, you’ll find almost everything you need, from souvenirs to beachwear, day-to-day apparel, handicrafts, and authentic ware. Seafood stalls are also abundant, so savor the smell of grilled delights as you shop. All in all, what you’ll get is a genuine feel of the culture and atmosphere of the lively local Thai market.
Get artsy at Cicada Market.
Cicada Market is not your typical night market per se. What makes it stand out is it centers on arts and crafts, bringing together the best crafts from many of Thailand’s ingenious talents. Rather than cheap plastic souvenirs, you’ll find beautiful sculptures, paintings, decorative items, and other hand-made stuff available for purchase in this open-air weekend market.
There’s also an art gallery and a dedicated space for live performances, featuring bands, live DJs, and pantomime shows, further showcasing the creativity of the Thai people. After shopping and indulging in art, relax at the beer garden or the delicious food court, while relishing the salty breeze from the nearby beach. Open only during weekend nights, visiting Cicada Market is something you shouldn’t miss while in Hua Hin.
Visit the Maruekhathaiyawan Palace.
Widely deemed as the “palace of love and hope,” Maruekhathaiyawan Palace is a gorgeous summer seaside residence built for King Rama VI in the 1920s. Sitting over 1,000 pillars, the complex is comprised of three pavilions linked by long-covered corridors. Check out the passageway that leads straight to the beach, which is one of the many alluring sections to see in the mansion, apart from its majestic chambers and royal halls. Cap out your by enjoying a picnic at the manicured gardens or by witnessing the sweeping views of the sea.
Relax at Hua Hin Beach.
Speaking of the sea, most people visit Hua Hin for its pristine and calm beach. While other more renowned resort towns are adored for their buzzing nightlife scene, its 4-kilometer stretch serves as a quieter and peaceful alternative. Various exciting activities, such as swimming, kitesurfing, banana boat rides, sailing, and bicycling, can be done in the area, making it a family-friendly destination. Don’t worry, as the beach’s vast expanse helps keep its tranquility, despite having some recreations around. Plenty of restaurants are also available, so never miss out on trying delectable Thai dishes or eating your international favorites.
Experience local religion at Wat Huay Mongkol.
Wat Huay Mongkol is a Buddhist temple erected to pay respect to Luang Pu Thuad, a southern Thai monk highly venerated for his ability to enlighten and perform miracles. A massive 12-meter statue of the legendary monk sits on a tall mound at the center of the beautiful temple.
Worshippers from all over the country gather here to give offerings and pray for their wishes, health, and good fortune in life, work, or love. Visiting the temple is a great way to witness and appreciate local religion. Along with it, there’s a lake, a small elephant sanctuary, and a sunflower field within the vicinity, making it a perfect day out.
Snap a selfie at Hua Hin Railway Station.
Constructed during King Rama VI’s reign, Hua Hin Railway Station is one of Thailand’s most historic train stations. Apart from its heritage, it’s an architectural masterpiece, showcasing true Thai concept and design but added with a Victorian feel. The adjacent Royal Waiting Room is the station’s most stunning feature, once utilized by the Royals when they were in town. Today, it’s a popular landmark in Hua Hin and a famous photo spot for travelers. So, have a look and take a selfie at this quaint station, even if you don’t arrive in Hua Hin by train.
Climb Khao Takiab Hill.
Standing at 270-meter-high, Khao Takiab Hill offers scenic views of Hua Hin from up top. Climb the mountain and see the giant and impressive golden Buddha statue overlooking the sea, the beautiful Wat Khao Lad Temple, and a Chinese temple as well that houses a number of spectacular pagodas and statues.
Also known as the “Monkey Mountain,” hundreds of macaques live free in the Khao Takiab adding a fun experience for all the tourists. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see them up close, as they are not restrained in cages. There’s a small shop where you can buy bananas, corn, and peanuts. Just be mindful of your belongings, though. These monkeys are playful and curious and have quite become masters at stealing stuff from the visitors.
Black Mountain Water Park
Get wet at Black Mountain Water Park.
With an area of over 40,000 square meters, Black Mountain Water Park is one of the largest water theme parks not only in Thailand but in Asia. Opened in 2011, it has since been a favorite family-friendly destination in the region. It’s home to six pools including a wave pool, spa pool, and lazy river, an impressive 17-meter tower with nine slides, and other amenities that all promise a fun-filled outing for the family.
Enjoy Greece at Santorini Park.
Santorini Park is an excellent place for photo ops, shopping, amusement, and rides. As its names suggest, it resembles the famed Greek island. Here, you’ll find the iconic white and blue painted building beside the stone-paved streets. They house souvenir stores, shops, food halls, and cafes, where you shop, relax, or eat to your heart’s content. Afterward, head on to the outdoor space allotted for live performances or ride the carousel or Ferris wheel with your kids for a great bonding time.
Have a day trip to Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park.
Are you looking to get closer to nature instead? Don’t fret, as just a 45-minutes from Hua Hin, you’ll reach Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park. It covers an area of about 98 km² and is home to stunning natural landscapes, from caves to limestone islands, mangrove forests, and gorgeous beaches.
One of its main attractions is the one-kilometer Bueng Bua Boardwalk that goes over Thailand’s largest freshwater marsh still located in the nature reserve. Traversing the boardwalk offers fascinating views of the natural surroundings, as well as offers opportunities to spot more than 300 migratory birds species
Other must-sees in the park to complete your day trip include magnificent yet hard-to-reach Phraya Nakhon Cave, Laem Sala beach, Sam Phraya Beach, and the Khao Daeng Viewpoint.
That’s the rundown of the top things to do in Hua Hin that should give you a glimpse of how fun it can be spending time in this beautiful and iconic resort town. Don’t let it stay as a dream. Go ahead and experience everything firsthand and be rewarded with some of the best memories you can get in the Land of Smiles.