Situated on the shores of the Gulf of Thailand, the resort town of Hua Hin is a favoured destination for both Thai and foreign tourists. Cooling sea breezes, long stretches of golden sands and convenient access from the Thai capital of Bangkok persuaded King Rama VII to build Klaikangwon Palace here more than 80 years ago. To this day, the palace is still the primary summer residence of the Thai royal family.
Hua Hin is famed for its beautiful 8 kilometres long beach. A stroll along the beach’s soft sands followed by a dip in the warm waters of the gulf is delightful. Visitors are able to enjoy activities including donkey rides and kite-boarding.
Boasting nine courses within easy range, golf is another of Hua Hin’s highlights. Courses range from the leisurely challenge at the Banyan The Resort Hua Hin to the 36 holes at the Imperial Lake View Hotel & Golf Club.
Hua Hin is a fairly modern town, yet there are reminders of the past in various places. People taking the train down from Bangkok or up from the southern provinces alight at a timber railway station that has changed little in the past 100 years.
Walking from the station to the seafront takes visitors past the stylish 1920s Railway Hotel. The hotel is now run by the Centara Group, but still retains its air of grandeur. Klaikangwon Palace is not open to the general public. Nearby, Maruekatayawan Palace is a nice substitute.Restaurants and Bars
Dining in Hua Hin offers something for all tastes. Plenty of cafés and restaurants serve up a tasty mix of Thailand’s famous spices and herbs with freshly caught seafood. North along the beach from the Centara, several open-sided restaurants serve great seafood at budget-friendly prices. Another popular place for dining is the Night Market on Phetkasem Road. Hua Hin’s nightlife is pleasantly relaxed and the main hub for bars is in the area around Soi Binthabat at the back of the Hilton Hotel.Shopping
Shopping in Hua Hin is not as exciting as in Bangkok or Hong Kong. Nevertheless, most visitors manage to find unique souvenirs and clothing to take home with them. Vendors with stalls at the Night Market sell jewellery, handicrafts, traditional clothing and even Buddha amulets. At the opposite end of the scale, Hua Hin Market Village is an air-conditioned mall with international clothing stores and food outlets.