Hua Hin boasts the perfect mix of culture, art, history, nature and activities. Whether you want to play a round on Thailand’s oldest golf course, visit majestic palaces and temples, or simply relax on the beach with a cocktail in your hand, this increasingly popular town has it all. Once a modest fishing village, Hua Hin has remained relatively unspoilt, making it a favourite spot among both Thai and foreign visitors.
Klai Kang Won Palace is one of Hua Hin’s must-see attractions. You must obtain a permit from the Royal Household Office (available through tour companies) to visit this architectural gem, the brainchild of King Phra Pokklao (Rama VII). It is situated just three kilometres outside the town centre.
There are a few Buddhist temples in Hua Hin that a worth seeing for those who are interested. Wat Khao Takiap and Wat Khao Thairalat are located in close proximity to each other, with the latter boasting breathtaking views for those who don’t mind braving the steep steps. Wat Khao Takiap is also worth a look and can be found at the end of Ao Takiap, otherwise known as Chopsticks Bay.
Contemporary paintings and sculptures by the best artists in the region can be viewed and purchased at the Hua Hin Arts and Crafts Centre, which is located on Naepkhehat Road in a traditional Thai house. There is also a good exhibition of old photographs here depicting the history of Hua Hin including the many members of the Thai royal family who have spent time here over the years.
Khao Hin Thoen Stone Park provides excellent photo opportunities in its mountain setting overlooking the sea just west of Hua Hin. Narrow walkways lead to a huge field filled with truly gigantic boulders.
Mirror Mount, also known as Khao Chong Krachok, is well worth a visit as long as you don’t mind the tiring ascent. There are 385 steps in total leading to the sacred monastery, but monkeys and amazing views will be your reward if you persevere. It is found in the northern region of town at the foot of the hill.
Hiking and trekking can be enjoyed around Namtok Pa La-u, a beautiful waterfall and wooded area roughly 63kms from town. It is also a good spot for shady picnics, bird watching and wildlife photography.
Those staying in Hua Hin can enjoy beautiful beaches, including those in nearby Khao Tao, which offer excellent snorkelling and diving opportunities. A gorgeous stretch of white, tree-lined sand can also be found 12kms south of town in Wa Ko, while a little closer to home, Ao Manao (five kilometres south) boasts a curved bay which acted as a battlefield between the Japanese and Thai armies during WWII. Sailing can also be enjoyed if you choose to rent a boat from one of the area’s swanky resorts.
The Royal Hua Hin Golf Course opened in 1924, making it the oldest golf course in the whole of Thailand. Despite this, it remains one of the top golfing facilities in the whole country, so it would be rude not to play a round here if you’re keen on the sport.
For a completely different perspective on the town’s beaches and countryside, horseback riding is a not-to-be-missed experience. Tours can be organised through all reputable agents and are suitable for all levels of experience, even those with none at all.
As well as some of the more adult venues, Hua Hin has a number of regular nightlife spots, including nightclubs and pubs. Many bars also have live music nights where some of the best bands in the region grace the stage. More on Hua Hin attractions.