Hua Hin, a seaside town just a few hours by car, train or bus from Bangkok, is home to some of the most popular beaches in Thailand. The beach is nestled on the Gulf of Thailand in the southern Thai province of Prachuap Khiri Khan. You can expect a long, flat stretch of sand that slopes gently into the ocean and is surrounded by a small town with plenty of upscale hotels, resorts, and guest houses as well as places to drink and eat fresh seafood. In its former life, Hua Hin was a local fishing village.
But its sugar-soft sand and crystalline waters quickly drew the attention of Bangkok residents and it quickly transformed into a resort town. In the 1920s, the Thai royal family even build their summer "cottages" (more like mansions) here. Today, the area is known for its world-class beaches and kite-surfing spots.
Getting Around Hua Hin
Hua Hin proper is small enough that you won't need anything more than two feet to get around. If you want to venture to further beaches or to surrounding sites, consider renting a car or motorbike. But make sure you understand the road customs as driving in Thailand is not as organized as some western countries.
Traveling to Hua Hin
Hua Hin is very easy to get to from Bangkok. There are daily trains from Bangkok's Hua Lumpong Station that take about three hours. There are also multiple government buses (small, mini-busses) that leave every day from Bangkok's Southern Bus Terminal and from Victory Monument. All travel options are very affordable.
Where to Stay
Hua Hin is full of accommodations from five-star international chains to inexpensive guesthouses. During high season — between November and February — make sure to make reservations in advance so you have a better selection to choose from. The Hua Hin Marriott Resort & Spa is a great option for those looking to book on Starwood points, and the V Villas Hua Hin MGallery by Sofitel offers sprawling suites and villas, some of which have their own private plunge pools. Evason Hua Hin, a Six Senses resort, is an eco-friendly luxury getaway set on 20 beachfront acres of tropical gardens.
When to Go
The best times to visit are during high season, between November and February. If you travel between March and May, expect extremely high temperatures, while the months between June and October are known for heavy rainfall.
What to Expect
Hua Hin attracts lots of local tourists and lots of Europeans, and during high season the beach can be packed. Around town, there are probably as many German and Italian restaurants as there are Thai ones.
What to Do
If you're not lounging on the beach or your resort's pool, consider horseback riding. In Hua Hin, there are always horses available for rent and guides who will lead you if you are not an experienced rider. You can also hike up the nearby mountains or travel a little farther to one of the country's prettiest national parks, Khao Sam Roi Yot.