Clear waters, pristine sandy beaches and a lush, green seafront make Hua Hin an exceptionally attractive coastal getaway. Originally a small fishing village, Hua Hin became Thailand’s first major beach resort in the 1920s, when the installation of a railway line created a direct connection to Bangkok, and King Rama VII chose the area as his summer retreat. Today, Hua Hin remains a popular travel destination: Here are 10 of the best ways to spend time in this historic locale.
The area surrounding Hua Hin is famed for its world-class golf courses. The sprawling Black Mountain course, encircled by rugged mountains and dense jungle, has been crowned best in Thailand for four consecutive years.
2. Hua Hin Hills Vineyard
Admire a vast expanse of verdant countryside at this 560-acre vineyard. Visitors can explore by bike (or on elephant back) and indulge in guided tasting sessions, sampling the celebrated Monsoon Valley Colombard and Shiraz wines.
3. Seafront dining
Considering its prime location on the Gulf of Thailand, it's no surprise that Hua Hin has a thriving fishing industry. The restaurants dotted along the seafront, immediately recognisable due to their unusual design (many are elevated on wooden stilts), specialise in deliciously fresh grilled seafood. Be sure to try local favourite tom kha: a delicately spiced coconut soup with fresh shrimp.
4. Maruekatayawan Palace
Designed by King Rama VI in 1923, this remarkable former royal residence – known colloquially as "The Wooden Palace" – is crafted almost entirely from teakwood. With its elegant balconies, winding staircases and wooden pavilions facing out to sea, the palace is a must-visit landmark.
5. Hua Hin Beach
This defining feature of Hua Hin stretches along the coast for 5km, with fine, powdery white sand and tranquil green waters – offering ideal conditions for swimming and sunbathing.
6. Khao Takiab Hill
Intrepid explorers should walk along Hua Hin Beach until they reach Khao Takiab hill: a rugged headland that affords expansive views of the bay. An impressive 20-metre-high, golden Buddha statue crowns the hill, and lucky visitors may catch a glimpse of the wild monkeys that reside there.
7. Pa-La-U Waterfall
Situated in Kaeng Krachan National Park, this 16-tiered waterfall is among the highest in Thailand. A peaceful spot to reflect, the quiet surrounding the waterfall is only interrupted by the occasional chatterings of the resident gibbons.
8. The Night Market
Try out Thai delicacies while absorbing the bright lights and bustling activity of a market that comes alive after 7pm. With wares ranging from artisan craft goods to rustic street dishes (and of course, the ubiquitous fresh seafood), the Night Market provides a lively backdrop to a relaxed dinner.
9. Khao Sam Roi Yot
This national park, located 60km south of Hua Hin, is worth the pilgrimage for nature and wildlife enthusiasts, with diverse habitats including freshwater marshes, caves, beaches, limestone islands and mangrove forests – and over 300 species of birds to spot.
Experience Hua Hin's vibrant past with this fascinating vintage-themed shopping village. Rusty tin and wooden shop fronts are adorned with retro signage, old petrol pumps and 80s-era arcade games, while antique cars line the streets.
Whether you’re looking to invest, buy a second home, or relocate to the area, the Engel & Voelkers office in Hua Hin can offer valuable local knowledge and advice. Visit our dedicated Hua Hin site for more information.