Hua Hin, one of Thailand’s premier beach resort towns on the Gulf of Thailand, is less than 200 km south of Bangkok, making it one of the most popular weekend getaway destination for city residents. A resort equally popular with young couples and families, tourists and Thais, Hua Hin is also the location of the King of Thailand’s summer palace, Klai Kang Won, “Far from Worries.”
Hua Hin features a beautiful, powdery sand beach, numerous seaside seafood restaurants, a lively night market, numerous beach activities, and some great inland activities, not least of which is golfing at some of Thailand’s most renowned courses. Hua Hin is also the site of Thailand’s most popular music festival, the Hua Hin Jazz Festival. Just down the coast at Takiab Bay visitors can take seaside horseback rides and visit a hilltop Buddhist temple with a spectacular view.
Accommodation along the beach and on the streets leading away from the sea range from simple guesthouses to luxury resorts, and includes some of the finest spa-retreats in the world. Hua Hin is accessible via train, bus, or car and the seaside community of 60,000 residents epitomizes warm and welcoming Thai hospitality.
The seaside town of Hua Hin, meaning “Stone Head”, was named after the rocks at the north end of the powdery sand beach. Hua Hin became Thailand's first beach resort after a train line was laid in the 1920 to provide access from Bangkok and King Rama VII established his summer retreat in the area. With a 5 kilometer-long beach that features numerous activities and hosts an annual jazz festival, the laid back and hospitable town of Hua Hin continues to draw both tourists and Thais.
In addition to beach activities, outstanding seafood restaurants, and a vibrant night market, Hua Hin is well known for having some of the finest golf courses in Thailand, as well as some of the most renowned resorts and destination spas in the world.
Both getting to and getting around Hua Hin is quite easy. Visitors to Hua Hin may arrive by train, bus, car, or even plane from destinations both north and south of Hua Hin. Within Hua Hin, many hotels and guesthouses are located near the town center; those farther away typically provide shuttle service to and from town. Taxis and tuk-tuks are easily found and are reasonably priced for those who wish to explore the nearby attractions, though visitors may also rent cars, motorbikes, and even bicycles to tour the area on their own.
Getting to and from Hua Hin
- By Train:
Most trains headed south from Bangkok stop at the Hua Hin Railway Station, so there are numerous trains leaving throughout the day that provide service to Hua Hin. Generally speaking, the train ride takes between 4 and 6 hours; considerably longer than the 2 to 3 hour car ride. However, train fare is cheaper than taxi fare, seats costing between 40 and 100 baht depending on the class and speed of the train. The Hua Hin Station Office is located on Damnoenkasem Rd. For more information, call Tel:66(0)32-511-073 or visit www.railway.co.th
- By Car:
The approximately 200 km drive between Bangkok and Hua Hin can be traveled in 2 to 3 hours. The most direct driving route from Bangkok to Hua Hin is to follow Highway 35 south to Highway No. 4.
- By Bus:
Buses between Bangkok and Hua Hin are served by Bangkok’s Sai Tai Mai terminal, and depart every 20 minutes for the 3 ½ hour journey. Fares for first class bus seats cost around 200 baht. There is also bus service that is scheduled to connect Hua Hin with Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport Buses to and from cities in southern Thailand are generally overnight services, departing Hua Hin around 10 pm and arriving early in the morning; such busses cost between 750-1000 baht depending on destination.
- By Air:
There are several daily flights between Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport and Hua Hin Airport, which is served by SGA Airlines in association with Nok Air, a subsidiary of Thai Airways. The less than one hour flight aboard a Cessna 208 aircraft costs just over 3,000 baht for a one way ticket.
- By Other:
Travel between Bangkok and Hua Hin by taxi costs approximately 2000 baht (prices should be negotiated beforehand), and takes about 2 ½ hours.
Getting Around Hua Hin
Within the town center visitors can get around Hua Hin by foot or on rental bicycles and motorbikes, which allow visitors to explore the area more quickly.
For getting from Hua Hin town to nearby beaches, songtaews (covered pick-up trucks with benches in the back) act as local busses for trips between Hua Hin and Khao Takiab, Khao Tam, and Suan Son. Songtaew service runs approximately from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
By Tuk Tuk:
To get more quickly between destinations in and around town, tuk tuks are quite prevalent and can be hired for a single journey or a full day, the fares for both of which should be agreed upon before setting out.
By Rental Car:
For more do-it-yourself tours of the area there are several rental car companies, both local and international, that provide rental car services. Be aware that only Commercial First Class Insurance provides full coverage on rental cars (as opposed to limited personal or third party only insurance). Most international car rental agencies will offer this insurance (some only for those with a valid international driver’s license) while local companies may or may not. You may wish to request a copy of their insurance policy and ensure that it states "For Commercial Use". Regardless, inspect rental vehicles prior to rental and drive with caution, particularly as traffic in Thailand can be quite confusing, especially the habit of Thai motorcycles drivers to drive on the wrong side of the road.
By Rental Motorbike:
For around 150 to 300 baht per day you can hire your own motorbike, which will typically require you to leave your passport as a deposit. Be sure to inspect bikes prior to rental and drive with extreme caution as rental motorbikes are not normally insured and accidents are frequent. Helmets are required by Thai law.
By Local Bus:
Local buses from Hua Hin to Pranburi and other destinations within the province are also available for very reasonable prices.
For boat service to nearby Koh Singtoh, local boat charters are available for around 800 baht a day, either at the Hua Hin Pier or at Hat Takiab, where it is possible to get a slightly cheaper rate.
Reservation Residence Hotel