Hua Hin offers a wide range of beachside activities such as horseback riding, kite surfing, windsurfing, catamaran sailing and jet skiing.
Relax on the white-sand beach, enjoy a seafood snack at a beachside food stall, admire coastal vistas from the promontory of the temple complex at Khao Tao (above photo) near Khao Takiab, wander the old squid-piers of Hua Hin and explore nearby Kaeng Krachan National Park on foot or by elephant.
Tee-off from the famous 72-par 18-hole Royal Hua Hin Golf Course (established in 1924) or be pampered at one of Hua Hin’s world famous spas: try the incomparable Chiva-Som on Petchkasem Road or be pampered at the luxury Evason Resort and Spa, located opposite Paknampran Beach about 30 minutes drive south of Hua Hin.
Hua Hin is a stop on the southern rail route that originates in Bangkok; daily trains continue on Hatyai in Songkla Province, with connections to Malaysia.
Stay for a night or longer and explore the pretty landscaped gardens and colonial buildings of one of Thailand’s oldest resorts, originally built for Thai royalty and their guests in the 1920s.
Or spend an hour sipping traditional afternoon high tea and nibbling scones on the marvellous original wing of the hotel, much like guests did in the era when Hua Hin was a getaway purely for the Thai elite.
Once known as the Royal Hua Hin Railway Hotel, this magnificent Victorian-style colonial building was used as a stand-in for the hotel in Phnom Penh in the film The Killing Fields.
(Chopstick Hill) – Climb up the stairs to check out the large standing Buddha and coastal panoramas from the summit of this small cape, located around 7km south of Hua Hin.
Ko Talu Island
Take a short boat ride to this gorgeous, privately owned island with unspoiled, palm-fringed, white-sand beaches that shelve gently into translucent turquoise waters.
Sunbathe on the beach, go kayaking, snorkelling and diving, trek through the rainforest and snack at one of the seafood restaurants.
Stay for a day or enjoy a longer sojourn at one of two luxury beachside resorts.
Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park
Explore Thailand’s first coastal national park, a beautiful region of towering limestone cliffs, caves, marshy wetlands, white-sand beaches and scenic bays.
Hike to the summit of Khao Krachom for panoramic views overlooking the Gulf of Thailand, visit the impressive Tham Phraya Nakhon cave, see fascinating wildlife such as the Dusky Leaf Monkey (photo), and cool off with a swim at the beautiful white-sand beach of Haad Laem Sala.
The park is located just 63km south of Hua Hin, a 40-minute drive.
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Kaeng Krachan National Park
Explore the lush forest of Kaeng Krachan National Park on foot or atop a swaying elephant.
Along the way, look out for colourful butterflies, dusky langurs, monitor lizards and hornbills.
Sign up for a guided tour and follow a network of riverside trails along the banks of the Phetchaburi and Pranburi rivers; other trails snake through savannah-like grassland and forest past caves and mountains to a large lake formed by the Kaeng Krachan dam at the eastern border of the park.
Local wildlife in the park also includes wild elephants, deer, tigers, bears, gibbons, boars, gaurs, wild cattle and more than 400 species of birdlife.
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Phra Ratchaniwet Mrigadayavan
(Teakwood Mansion) – Admire the high tiled roofs and tall shuttered windows of this elegant summer palace, built by King Rama VI (King Vajiravudh) in 1924.
The palace is also known as Phra Ratchaniwet Marukhathayawan.
Explore some of the sixteen one- and two-storey wooden buildings interlinked by covered walkways and constructed of golden teak, sitting high above the ground on painted concrete pillars.
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Just an hour’s drive from Hua Hin in nearby Phetchaburi stand several fascinating temples, some of which date from the same period as Ayutthaya and Kanchanaburi.
Explore the stunning royal temple complex at Phra Nakhon Khiri (Khao Wang, above photo), a summer palace that sprawls across a forested hillside overlooking the city, then check out Wat Yai Suwannaram, built during the Ayutthaya period and featuring a collection of large religious murals.
Discover impressive paintings inside Wat Ko Keo Suttharam, also built in the 17th century, and the decorative Wat Kamphaeng Laeng, originally built as a Hindu shrine during the reign of Khmer ruler King Jayavarman VII (1157-1207) and later converted to a Buddhist temple.
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Tham Khao Luang
Explore this dramatic stalactite-filled cavern crammed with more than 170 Buddha images in various poses including a large seated Buddha and a 10m-long reclining Buddha.
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