Discover the serene life of Hua Hin and fall in love with a less busy beach and town
Hua Hin is a fashionable seaside resort just a few hours from Bangkok. Though this tourist resort town has excellent infrastructure and feels as though it has always catered to the needs of visiting tourists, its modern international touristic roots do in fact only stretch back as far as the 1980s, when Sofitel renovated the town’s grand dame hotel and foreign visitors began to arrive.
Though this is Thailand’s oldest beach resort. Before that, Thai nobility were the ones who came to enjoy the tranquil delights of this simple area with its little age-old fishing villages. After King Rama VI built his palace here in the 1920s, many other Thai nobles followed suit, and a refined sea-side escape for the rich and privileged were formed. Since the 1980s, of course, many more people have been able to enjoy this place, but it still could be argued to have retained a certain air of refinement that you will not necessarily find in other Thai resorts.
It is very easy to reach Hua Hin from Bangkok, which is why so many of the city’s middle and upper classes choose to come here for weekend breaks and longer holidays. There is a lot of money swirling about in Hua Hin but this merely means that the tourist infrastructure is top notch and you can rest assured that you will find high-quality restaurants, entertainment, and handicrafts on offer. Nonetheless, this is still a very affordable destination and you may well find some great bargains here, amid the luxury and refinement. Hua Hin is not a place to get away from it all, but it is a great cosmopolitan resort town with a lively feel, plenty to do, and access to some lovely stretches of sandy coastline. While mass tourism has inevitably made something of a dent here, Hua Hin still has oodles of idiosyncratic charm.
If you are looking for something a little more tranquil, a holiday that will really take you away from it all, then Hua Hin could still be a great choice. Close to Hua Hin, you can enjoy tranquil delights in blissfully unspoiled natural settings, from the rainforests and waterfalls of Kaeng Krachen National Park, inland a little, to the coastal area of dramatic limestone peaks a little to the south of the town, Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park.
There are also a number of events in Hua Hin throughout the year, including a Jazz Festival in August that is well-respected, or the elephant polo tournament that is held here in September. If you are in search of a more active holiday, there are a range of options, from cycling and hiking to kiteboarding or water sports.