Hua Hin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hua Hin is a seaside resort city in Thailand. It is popular with Thais, having become quite fashionable as a weekend getaway spot for Bangkok residents, as well with foreigners and as an ex-pat retirement or vacation home location.Although developing rapidly, there is a commitment by the local and provincial authorities to avoid the kind of overheated blight that has affected other beach resorts in Thailand.

Climate

Hua Hin has a tropical climate with high humidity and occasional rain. It is typically pleasant however, and can be enjoyed all year round. Generally, the best time of the year to visit Hua Hin is in the cool season from November to February, but for those who like it hot, then the hot season is from March to May (temperature gets up into the higher 30s). The rainy season (although it doesn’t rain every day) is from June to October with September being the rainiest of all. For those who don’t appreciate the rain, be advised that the rain in Thailand usually comes in short sharp bursts. It doesn’t usually drizzle for long periods of time (like in England).

Get in

By plane

As of 21 June 2009, there are no flights from Bangkok to Hua Hin. SGA has suspended the daily return flights from Bangkok to Hua Hin until further notice.

By train

Train is an easy method to get into Hua Hin, as the train station is right in the centre of Hua Hin. However, the trains go very slowly getting away from Bangkok so 2 1/2 hour road time to Hua Hin stretches to 5 or 6 on the train. The price of the train is around 100 baht(and only 44Bath for ordinary train). Most trains on the southern route stop at Hua Hin. They leave Bangkok’s Hua Lamphong and Bang Sue railway stations 10 times daily between 7.45PM and 10.50PM It takes 4 hours for the journey. Only two trains (9.20PM and 1.50PM) stop at Cha-am. See State Railway of Thailand for more information on time tables and fares.

By bus

From Bangkok, buses to Hua Hin leave from the Sai Tai Mai terminal about every 20 minutes and take around 3.5 hours. The price (1st class) is under 200 baht. Buses go from 4.00AM – 10.20PM For more information, please contact Hua Hin-Pran Buri Tour Tel: 0 2884 6191-2, Bang Saphan Tour Tel: 0 2435 5105, 0 2884 8895, Bus Southern Terminal Tel: 0 2435 1199, 0 2435 5605, 0 2434 7192 [2]. More convenient (but less comfortable) to downtown Bangkok, you can also take a minibus from near the Victory Monument (Anusawari Chai), near the BTS skytrain. Cost is 180 baht, limited baggage. The Hua Hin vans board in the alleyway next to Century Movie Plaza close to the stairs at the southern end of Victory Monument BTS station. From the skytrain station, take the walkway towards south, descend the staircase on the east side to street level. The minibus area is next to the stairs. Look for a small table with “Cha Am, Hua Hin” written in English to buy your ticket. T-Tour tel. 080-090-6540 Service to Pattaya as well.

A 1st class bus service will eventually connect Hua Hin directly with Suvarnabhumi Airport (the new BKK).

The bus station appears to be well outside the centre of town at Petkasem Rd beyond Soi 94.This is some 3 to 4 Km south of the main part, although this is still the main road through the town. The “bus station” noted on maps of the area is actually a local one in the centre of town from where all the non aircon local buses and songteows depart. The orange bus from Bangkok Southern Terminal, at B150 which takes about 3.5 hours, meanders along the main road and you nominate where you want to get off. The other first class ones go to the one named above beyond Soi 94 on Petkasem. Stop the bus any point prior to this if you want to get off. The clock tower on the left (coming from Bangkok) is the effective “centre” of the town.(keep your eyes open as it is easy to miss).

By boat

There is a fast ferry service to Hua Hin from Pattaya that takes just over 3 hours and costs 1500 baht one way. Could be an option for anyone heading to southern Thailand from Hua Hin or Koh Chang but would prefer to avoid going in out of Bangkok. Thailiving Ferry [3] provides a high speed Catamaran ferry service between Pattaya and Hua-Hin.

The ferry operates a regular schedule of three crossings per week. Wed, Fri and Sun. The crossing takes about 3:15h departing from Pattaya at 08:30 and from Hua Hin at 12:30

By taxi

Taking a taxi from Bangkok to Hua Hin (distance about 200 km) is possible. Price after negotiation should be in the 2000 baht range. The price for a taxi from Suwarnabhumi (Bangkok) airport, in november 2009, with 4 persons and 6 bags, was 2600 baht. The limousine services, available at Bangkok Airport, are more expensive than an ordinary taxi.

Private taxi from Hua Hin to BKK Airport should be in the 1600-2000 baht range, and is bookable via agents around town. A few are located outside the post office, and others are along Naresdamri Rd.

Taxi to or from Pattaya is in the 3000 baht range.

Get around

There are many ways to get around in Hua Hin, Sawngthaews run the same routes all day and cost only 10 baht. There are numerous motorcycle taxis and tuk-tuks, fewer car taxis. Negotiate price beforehand, but you will not get a tuk tuk for less than B100 over any distance (unless you are lucky) if you are a Western tourist. You will also be able to find samlors (rickshaws). There are quite a lot of upscale tourists in Hua Hin and prices are sometimes adjusted upwards. Better to clarify the matter ahead of time. Motorcycle rentals are readily available. Hua Hin is very flat, and bicycle is a good way to get around locally. Rentals available, but not so prevalent as motors.

See

There is only one beach, Hua Hin Beach which runs from one side of Hua Hin to the other. Basically it’s one long beach. Hua Hin Beach extends some three kilometers southwards from a rocky headland until a southern headland where a Buddhist temple cling to the cliffs. Fine white sand, resort hotels and many water sports opportunities lend the resort its distinctive ambiance. At the south end of town, the hill of Khao Takiab interrupts the beach. On the other side (technically not Hua Hin anymore) is a lovely swimming beach with a view of Khao Takiab’s South face. Just a little further on, Suan Son beach is owned by the Thai army, but open to the public. Notable for the tropical sea pines lining the shore. A little south of the Marriott, watch for tiny sand crabs digging industriously, leaving odd patterns of tiny sand clods around their beachfront property.

Parts of the beach closer to the town may have greenish water, in this case continue walking down the beach where the water appears cleaner. There is ample supply of deck chairs along the beach, however many places will charge for their hire (100 baht is common). Deck chairs that are part of a beachside cafe may be free (in the assumption you will buy food or drink).

The Hill of Khao Takiab, 14 kilometers from Hua Hin town, supports Buddhist temples and offers a commanding view of the resort, particularly early in the morning. A local bus service from Hua Hin to Khao Takiap is on the seashore. Khao Takiab is one of the highest area in Hua Hin, by going up this mountain by driving you will see the whole Hua Hin and also nice beaches. This is another good place to wait for the sunset as well. Also the food on Khao Takiab is very delicious too.

Hua Hin Railway Station (สถานีรถไฟหัวหิน). This is Thailand’s most beautiful train station of which the local people are very proud. The wooden building used to be a royal pavilion in Sanamchan Palace, Nakhon Pathom province. It was rebuilt at Hua Hin in 1968.

Hua Hin Arts and Crafts Center (ศูนย์ศิลปหัตถกรรมหัวหิน). daily 11PM-6:30PM. This is situated in an old typical house on Naepkhehat Road. It has a collection and exhibition of many contemporary works of Thai artists, as well as old furniture and many pictures about Hua Hin in the past. Free entrance.

Klai Kangwon Palace (พระราชวังไกลกังวล), ☎ 0 3251 1115. daily 9AM-4PM. King Rama VII commanded the Klai Kangwon (Far From Worries) Palace to be built in 1929. This Spanish-style summer palace faces the sea and dominates an extensive ornamental garden. The Thai Royal Family still customarily spend the hottest months of the year, usually March through April, there. Members of the public can visit the palace every day, when the Royal Family is not in residence. 20 baht.

Nature

Khao Hin Lek Fai (เขาหินเหล็กไฟ). Situated 3 kilometers west of Hua Hin district, Khao Hin Lek Fai or Flint Mountain is 162 meters high and is accessible by a road. On the mountaintop, there is a public park and scenic spots from where the scenery of Hua Hin and its surrounding area can be seen.

Khao Tao (เขาเต่า). Between Km 243 and 244 markers, 13 kilometers south of Hua Hin, there is a 1- kilometer branch road on the left which leads to the spot with two beautiful beaches called Hat Sai Noi and Hat Sai Yai. Bungalows are available.

Namtok Pa La-u (น้ำตกป่าละอู), ☎ 0 3245 9293. This 11-tier scenic waterfall, some 60km west of Hua Hin, is located within a yearlong verdant forest where various kinds of birds and butterflies are found, especially in the morning. Visitors can take a local transport called a songthaew from Hua Hin to this waterfall. The best time to visit the waterfall is from November to April. This place is in charge of Kaeng Krachan National Park. Camping in the park is allowed and a tent can be rented at 250 baht per night. Call for more information. 200 baht.

Sam Roi Yot National Park is located about 60km from Hua Hin Town, with an area of 98 square kilometers, is renowned for its limestone mountains, mangrove swamps, beaches and several species of local and migrating birds during the cool season. There are many ridges with the most popular being Khao Sam Roi Yot with 300 peaks. The park can be reached by following the direction signs marking the remaining distances of 38 and 15 km. at Km. 256 and Km.286.5, respectively.

 

Some attractions within the park:


Hat Laem Sala is a beach 16 km north of the park office and can be reached by boat or on foot across a hill from Bang Pu Village. The well-known cave there Tham Phraya Nakhon has a large hole in it so sunlight can shine through, so allowing plantation to grow. There is Phra Thi Nang Khuha Kharuhat which is a Thai-style pavilion with a scenic view of the cave. It was first built during the reign of King Chulalongkorn before ebing dismantled and reconstructed with the cave. There is also a viewpoint on Khao Daeng which is 400km from the park office and Ban Khao Daeng, the latter of which offers boat trips to watch wild birds.

Hat Sam Phraya located 3.5 km north of the park office, is a lovely beach with a line of pine trees. Accommodation is available there.

Tham Kaeo, situated around 23 km from Pran Buri (15 km north of the park office) is a cave with an abundance of stalactites and stalagmites. For exploring the cave, oil lamps can be rented at a nearby village.

Tham Sai, 9 km north of the park office, is a cave which can be explored in no time. Oil lamps can be rented at a nearby village.

Further away from Hua Hin

Dan Singkhon is in Khiong Wan sub-district and is the Thai-Burmese border pass.

Khao Hin Thoen Stone Park is located west of town. To get there travel along Highway No. 4 till Km. 331-332, then turn right and drive for another 8 km. There are nice narrow walks leading out to wide rocky landscape on a mountain top with scenic views of the town.

Ko Singto (Lion Island) is named after the shape of the island. It is a popular island for diving and snorkeling and offers visitors the chance to explore the Hua Hin and Khao Takiab shorelines.

Wa Ko has been of historical importance since the reign of King King Mongkut when he viewed a full-moon eclipse. There is a long atmospheric sandy beach fringed with pine trees. It is located at Km. 335 of Highway No. 412 km south from the town.

 

Do

Golf

Golf is extremely popular in Hua Hin and the place has several high quality courses up to international standards and designed by the likes of Jack Nicklaus. Hua Hin and its surroundings are a golfer’s paradise with at least 7 quality courses within a 30 minute drive. There are also two brand new golf courses under construction and a preview of the latest images can be made from the fairways. Most courses offer transportation to and from the course.

Spa

Spas in Hua Hin offer luxurious treatment which suits every budget. The treatment includes both traditional remedies and modern techniques. Facilities at spas in Hua Hin may also include a Jacuzzi and steam bath. Over the past few years these spas have become leaders in Thailand.

Many Spas in Hua Hin also offer traditional Thai healing arts as form of treatment. There is also alternative treatment such as Rieki. Resorts offer many detox programs. The most popular treatments are chi organ massage, karsai genital detox massage, deeper skin detox and herbal skin detox.

Hua Hin has a world class Chiva-Som International Health Resort. Focusing on greater well-being and vitality, Chiva-Som offers extensive fitness, spa, spa cuisine and holistic health facilities to help you relax, restore and rejuvenate.

Massage

Traditional Thai massage, characterized by its holistic approach to health is aimed at enhancing not only one’s physical and emotional state but also to allow one to grow spiritually.

There are over 50 massage shops in Hua Hin. All good hotels in Hua Hin offer traditional Thai massage service. In Hua Hin, at Petchkasem Road next to the Golden Palace and the Royal Palace one can be massaged by very good professional blind masseuses. This is a royal project. Very little English is spoken but don’t worry as you will be in professional hands.

 

Buy

Shop at the night markets. Things that you can buy range from t-shirts to antiques. shirt will cost you around 300 baht (£5) . It is also a great place for shopping including contemporary art handicrafts, hand-woven printed cotton, silk fabric, silk weaving, embroidery, basket making, pottery, wood carving, gemstones and jewelry (including sapphires and rubies). Bartering is advisable to get the best prices possible.

Note that there are two night markets. The better known is in the middle of Hua Hin, and is rather tourist oriented. The one the Thais favor is known as the Grand Market because its in the parking lot between Grand Hotel and Sao Paulo Hospital. More diverse and interesting, but does not operate Mondays and Tuesdays. For local handicrafts, the Hua Hin Bazaar, about 100 meters west of the beach, should be your first stop.

Happening only on Tuesdays is Pae Market near the Royal Hua Hin Golf Club. Here is a good place to get the feel for a traditional Thai market.

Night Market and Other Markets Although there is no large shopping mall in town but there are famous markets in Hua Hin. Located in the center of town adjacent to Dechanuchit Road, just west of Phetkasem Road is the Hun Hin Night Market which is a great place to eat. There is a market devoted primarily to tourist shops along Dechanut Road.

Nightly Street Market (ตลาดโต้รุ่งหัวหิน). This is a favorite venue for shoppers. Such excursions offer opportunities for shopping, enjoying native-style seafood cooked on the spot and witnessing local people’s lifestyle.

 

Eat


There are plenty of eating options around Hua Hin. Those close to the beach and atop Khao Takiap are touristy, while some good local options can be found on Phetkasem Rd along the way to Khao Takiap. Hua Hin is famed for its delightful fresh seafood which can be found in abundance at the Night Market, restaurants and hotel restaurants. Naresdamri Road is a fine place for great inexpensive restaurants while serving up romantic sea-views. Some hotels offer buffets consisting of open cooking stations, including a Seafood BBQ, and also offer live entertainment like traditional Thai music and dancing.

This area is the site of the Hua Hin Fishing Harbour and in the early morning, fresh-out-of-the-water seafood can be snapped up.

Moreover, there are numerous dining spots serving Western, Indian and Japanese food.

For cheap eats, check out the night market. Budget tourists having problems with the local fare will be happy to know that at the Tesco in the posh Market Village mall, there’s street-style Thai food with modern fast food hygeine: 25-45B, and real coffee for 10B.

 

Drink

If you want English songs better go in the downtown area of Hua Hin, where Hyatt Hotel is located. If you go there, most of the people will be foreigners. There’s active tourist night life between Dechanuchit Road and Soi Bintabaht with mostly middle-age and older customers.

El Murphy’s. The place for live music,located in the heart of Hua Hin on Soi Selakam 20M. from the Hilton Hotel.This Irish Bar is the nightly home of Hua Hins own The Stonehead Band,these boys have been rocking Hua Hin for more then 15 years with their great rock and blues classics.Sometimes there is an early opening act.

Style. One of the best nightspots in Hua Hin, with hip hop music and techno. Popular for teenagers around that area. Open from 6PM to 2AM, but most people come around 10PM onward. Live music as well, but thai music. Frequently overcrowded.

Bluestation Country Pub. Very popular with local folks, but nearly unknown to tourists. Located behind the older of Hua Hin’s two bus depots, Soi 68/2, off of ‘Railway Road’ just north of soi 70 (Chomsin Road) near the railway crossing. The house band is excellent, playing all Thai country (Peu Chiwit) songs. Before 10PM, there’s an opening act that some nights (but irregularly) consists of a duo of Thai on guitar and farang on accordion, doing all Thai songs. One of a kind, and pleasant listening.

Luknam Country Pub. Locals and also foreigners frequent Luk nam. Located on the road to Pala U waterfall, opposite Phoenix Bar. Live music every night. Music is Thai pop and country with some western songs mixed in. Music begins and 10:00pm and goes until very late.

Satchmo Club (แซชโม คลับ) Main Lobby of the Sofitel Central Hua Hin.); The Satchmo Club is Hua Hin’s ultimate in classy entertainment. Featuring a vibrant Filipino Band, The Flash Band, Satchmo features delicious drinks, including a Mojito such that you will only taste in Mexico. Located underground below the main lobby, Satchmo Club is both hip and modern – a relaxing venue from the bustle of Hua Hin. (Wikitravel )

 

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