Hua Hin, the royal beach resort
A piece of heaven close to Bangkok
Once a small fishermen town, Hua Hin became a popular place when the Royal Family gained interest in it, building magnificient hotels and temples which quickly attracted wealthy Bangkok inhabitants; going there for the weekends. The 90000 inhabitants city is extremely welcoming, calm and relaxing, while offering a lot to see, visit and discover. Here is a selection of the best activities in Hua Hin and around.
Parks, gardens and natural resorts
TThanks to its location between the hills and the sea, the beach resort offers many green places to visit, as well as parks or walk in the forest. Do not miss the wonderful vineyards while sipping on local wine, or riding an elephant.
The Hutsadin Elephant foundation: founded by three thai businessmen from Hua Hin, the foundation rescues and offers shelter to elephants that were abandoned because of illness or old age. Some of them are also younger ones, not yet able to live in the wild.
You can see and interact with the elephant few kilometers away from hua hin, within a place that protect them. This non-profit organisation gives a beautiful insight of Thaïland's nature; and all benefits are used to protect the mammals.
Vineyard Hills: as it may sound surprising, wine is produced in Hua Hin, and what is striking about it is the landscape it is grown in. Situated few kilometers west from the city, you will be able to enjoy an incredible view of the vineyards, or even ride elephants through it! You can also chose to rent a scooter and drive on the road surrounded by the vineyards.
Ratchapak park: This park features impressive statuses of the Kings of Siam from the last era, each of them being around 14 meters tall; the construction received the approval of His Majesty Bhumibol Adulyadej. A quick and convenient visit in Hua Hin!
Khao Hin Lek Fai (Flintstone Hill): few kilometers west from the city, this one hour walk through hills covered with parks and gardens ends up on a hill, granting a stunning view of Hua Hin bay.
Another option is to get closer using taxi or tuk-tuk and then climb easily to the top of the hill: less tiring, it will give you more time to enjoy the view, although the way up there is worth the effort. You will meet monkeys on your way there, it is the opportunity to shoot great photos!
Temples, monuments and architecture
Khao Takiab: refering to both the town next to Hua Hin and the hill, this place gathers a buddhist and chinese temple, along with a 20 meters-high golden Buddha. You will be able to contemplate their fine architecture, along with a great view over the sea and Hua Hin bay. Perfect for an afternoon wander; have a walk there, enjoy sightseeing and monkeys fooling around!
Railway station et Royal waiting room. Beautiful pieces of thai architecture, these two buildings next to each other gained popularity thanks to their small size and beauty. Hua Hin railway station is simple and easy to access, and is worth visiting even if you are getting on a train! Next to it is the Royal waiting room, where His Majesty only can stay. Although it is not often used, the building is well maintained and worth seeing too.
Huay Mongkol temple. The Wat Huay Mongkol temple is found around 15 kilometers west of Hua Hin, and is famous for its enormous statue of one of Thailand’s most well known monks, whose name is Luang Phor Thuad. You can acces it by tuk-tuk, taxi or car easily.
In very calm surroundings with cozy restaurants and neighbourhood, you will find the Hua Hin artist village. Gathering dozen of painters, sculptors and jewelry artists, this is one of a kind in the city. For any price you will be able to get what you want to decorate your house, or bring an artistic souvenir back. Then, you can sip on a frappe while watching the ducks playing on the pond.
Klaikangwon Palace, the Royal Residence: meaning "far from worries", what was in the past a summer residence became the main home of the very popular Bhumibol Adulyadej (King Rama IX), and is opened to visits between 8am - 4pm. It is located on the road 4, main one going through Hua Hin
Wat Khao Krailas: located slightly in the hinterland of Hua Hin, yet close to Hua Hin center, this temple sits on a hill and grants a wonderful view of the city and the sea. Easy access by walking or taxi/tuk tuk from anywhere!