Hua Hin for a long time now has been a destination for city dwellers seeking a short-range beach resort getaway.
Some of this started when King Vajiravudh (Rama VI) built Mrigadayavan as his summer palace making Hua Hin the Kingdoms first getaway destination. Many things followed such as The Railway Hotel and the King also commissioned A.O. Robins, a road maintenance engineer, to build a golf course on the land opposite the railway station and guests soon flocked to this ever increasing seaside resort.
Today the city continues to expand and is recognized as a world-class destination with countless accommodation from five-star hotels to casual guesthouses.
Hua Hin has great weather for most of the year and really is a perfect destination for travelers looking for a relaxing time or even a round or two of golf.
When you begin to wander around the city one thing strikes is the place has never lost is charm and continues to get busier year by year. The best times to visit are between December and April as that’s dry season however Hua Hin remains a top weekend destination year round.
Its not only beaches Hua Hin has to offer with all sorts of attractions ranging from world-class water parks, beautiful golf courses as well as annual festivals such as the Hua Hin Jazz festival and Food Festivals. On top of this the city has a wide and varied range of restaurants and bars as well as being a shoppers paradise whether its shopping malls or markets such as the very popular cicada market.
TO DO, SEE, BUY, EAT & STAY
HUA HIN HILLS VINEYARD
Hua Hin Hills Vineyard is the product of work by the nearby Royal Research Station at Huai Sai which led to the Siam Winery cultivating an excellenet range of grapes in over 1,000 rai of fields facing magnificent mountains.
The Vineyard has become a popular attraction both to explore the operation and enjoy the scenery. There’s also a fantastic Thai-inspired Sala Wine Bar offering al fresco dining with splendid vineyard views.
KAENG KRACHAN NATIONAL PARK
Thailand’s largest national park is only a 90 minute drive from Hua Hin. The easiest pint to reach is Pala-U waterfall that flows all year long. If your feeling adventours you can also camp at Pha Noeng Thung Viewpoint where you will be woken to the stunning mountainous views covered in morning mist.
VANA NAVA WATER PARK
Located right in the heart of Hua Hin town, Asia’s first water jungle. Under a tropical theme, the waterpark has transformed the 20-rai property into the grandest waterpark with state-of-the-art technology and modern facilities. As well as boasting some of Thailand’s biggest and best water slides there is also an adventure zone with rope courses, climbing walls and a Chang Surf Zone.
When you need to take a break from all the action there are plenty of places to chill and many food outlets including a Surf Bar an al-fresco restaurant offering great Thai and international food as well as a Tree Top Lounge and Fisherman’s Tavern.
CICADA MARKET AND TAMARIND MARKET
Cicada Market and Tamarind Market are located beside each other but offer different vibes. Cicada is a famous attraction when night falls. Its charms lie in its vendors ranging from food stalls and creative handicrafts. Stroll among stalls where artists are creating and selling their wares on the spot.
Tamarind Market is more of a food market with a small range of fashion goods with an excellent bar situated under a giant tree featuring live music.
BLACK MOUNTAIN GOLF COURSE
Since its opening Black Mountain has won numerous awards and was also the first course in Thailand to be included in US Golf Digest’s list of the best 100 courses outside the US.
Situated in an idyllic location amid stunning terrain, the 18 hole, par 72, 7,420-yard championship golf course is among the best in Thailand and is very closely associated with the European Tour.
HUA HIN MARRIOTT RESORT & SPA
Located right on the beachfront. The 322-room resort has absorbed the history and traditional elegance of Hua Hin into its design which features luxurious yet comfortable modern elements with vintage touches. A lagoon shaped swimming pool loops around the resort as well as kids area and an adult only swimming pool.
The hotel has five different restaurants which include Amber Kitchen offering all day dining, Big Fish & Bar, a stunning beachfront grill restaurant, Siam Bakery a Pool Bar that boasts 180-degree ocean views and a lobby lounge.
Hua Hin Marriott also has a Quan Spa with a selection of massages, facials and body treatments as well a fitness centre.
by Paul Johnson