In addition to golf and the beach, there are many things to do in Hua Hin for the entire family.
Hua Hin Railway Station
The railway station, with its Royal Waiting Room, is probably the most photographed site in Hua Hin. Just a couple of hundred meters west from the main intersection near the post office, the station was built in the 1920’s. The picturesque waiting room was originally a pavilion at Sanamchan Palace in Nakom Pathom and was later moved to Hua Hin to be used to welcome the King when he visited Hua Hin.
Take a Songtao Tour
Songtaos are an economical way of getting around town in Hua Hin. They run along regular routes and are a good way of seeing what is where in this small but growing town. For more about songtaos and about getting around in Hua Hin, click here.
Hua Hin now boasts two floating markets. Both opened a couple of years ago and are located about 11km southeast of Hua Hin. Both were built in what was pineapple plantation and have little history of water or markets. The Hua Hin Floating Market is closest to Hua Hin and is a bit more up-scale than the Sam Phan Nam Floating Market, just down the road. Both are built around artificial canals, or in the case of the later, an expanded natural pond. Both offer many small shops selling knick knacks, sweets, and souvenirs to take home to friends and relatives. There are paddle boats and river taxis available for rent and the Sam Phan Nam Floating Market has a small train going around the market.
Photos of the markets may be found here.
Tennis is very popular in Hua Hin but I know of no public courts. Several of the hotels such as the Hilton, Dusit, and Anantara have courts that may be available for hire by non-guests. The Palm Hills Golf Course north of town also has a sports club with tennis and squash facilities. Also, the Kor Sor Resort, past Bo Fai Temple (northern Hua Hin) has tennis courts. Kor Sor Resort is about 8 km from downtown Hua Hin so a bit out of the way but that also means it’s usually not that busy.
There are several geocaches in the area of Hua Hin and Pranburi. Some are located at places you’ll probably visit anyway but others are at places many tourists would not normally go, but should. For more information on geocaches in Hua Hin, visit www.geocaching.com.
The Black Mountain Water Park is located about 10km west of Hua Hin. With slides and pools of all sizes and heights, there is something for the entire family. There is a surf pool and volley ball pool. The restaurant serves Thai and European food. There is a wave park alongside.
The water park is very near the Black Mountain Golf Course so golfing members of the family might play a round of golf while the swimmers enjoy the water park.
Photos of the water park may be found here.
Beside the obvious lounging on the beach or by the pool, kiteboarding is increasingly popular in Hua Hin. There are local schools and favorite places just for kite boarding.
Fishing is also popular. There are several fresh water fishing parks and lodges in the areas where one can relax in the shade and have a few cold ones while dropping a line. They will prepare your catch to your liking also. Species stocked are extensive and some can put up quite a fight.
Boats can also be hired to take the more adventurous off shore. The fishing here is not as good as in the Andaman Sea but it’s not a bad way to spend a day.
Many locals, Thais and expats alike, have mountain bikes and there is no shortage of places for bike touring. The hills around Hua Hin are not all steep and give way to some beautiful views of the Gulf of Thailand and the mountains to the west of town. One often sees groups on bike tours between Cha Am and Hua Hin and south to Pranburi. There is also a fully stocked mountain bike shop in Hua Hin on Petchkasem Rd, between Sois 45 and 45/1. Bicycles are available for rent from many guesthouses but these are more for just pedaling around town. Mountain bikes may also be rented at some shops and tours arranged for different areas, including Sam Roi Yot National Park, Khao Kolok and Dolphin Bay in Pranburi and even the vineyards west of Hua Hin. Tours include pick up and delivery at your hotel, bicycles, helmets, lunch and drinks. Makes for an easy outing. Be wary of dogs and motorized transport who feel they own the roads however.
Both Hua Hin and Cha Am have hashing cults. The Hua Hin Hash House Harriers or H2H3, was founded in 2000 and now have hashes every two weeks. The Cha Am Hash House Harriers or CAH3, also have regular hashes which alternate with those in Hua Hin so there is now a hash every week. As they both say, “If you have half a mind to join us, that’s all you’ll need!”
For those who prefer pedalling to hashing there are the Hua Cha Hash peddlers who have rides twice each month.
Khao Hin Lek Fai
Hin Lek Fai Hill (Flintstone Hill) is about 1.5 km west of the city center and provides a panoramic view of the Royal Hua Hin Golf Course below and the Gulf of Thailand beyond the town. It gives you a good idea of how small Hua Hin really is.
There is a park at the top of the hill with many flowering plants and shrubs inter-planted with the indigenous trees and bamboo groves which offer welcome shade from the hot sun. Concrete paths meander through the park leading to lookout spots with breathtaking vistas.
Though not exactly a mountain, the road to the top is a mite steep. I haven’t made it all the way on my mountain bike yet and recommend motor vehicle transport for anyone but the very hardy.
The Thai Boxing Garden holds Muay Thai (Thai kick boxing) fight nights on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Located on Poolsuk Road, behind the temple, near Willi’s.
Muay Thai is much different from Western boxing and the fighters may use their feet, elbows, legs, and knees to strike their opponent. Many young Thai men take part in this sport and several have moved on to excel in western boxing as well and Thailand gained its first Olympic gold in this event in Atlanta in 1996. Camp Palapon is a local school which gives instruction in Muay Thai, Kung Fu and Thai Chi for adults and children.
The first Thai boxer to win a world boxing title was Pone Kingpetch (Mana Sridokbuab) from Hua Hin. Born in 1936, Pone won the world flyweight belt in 1960. There is a statue to the fighter just west of the City Hall, between the Post Office and the Railway Station.
The port is not near as busy as it used to be but one can still see boats coming in to drop off their catch and load up on more ice. Most fishing is done throughout the night.
The community around the waterfront can be seen preparing fish for sale and drying small fish on the walkways in front of their houses.
There are several large restaurants near the pier where one can sample the fresh catch prepared in the special Thai way.
Also check out the Living In Hua Hin page for more shopping tips.
Now that the Hua Hin Market Village has opened Hua Hin now has a large mall including a Tesco Lotus and Home Pro. In addition, there many small shops to find interesting objects. Many of these are along the roads near the Sofitel and Hilton hotels. Up the road a bit, just north of Cha Am are a couple of Fashion Outlet stores. There was a shuttle bus for the larger available near the Clock Tower in downtown Hua Hin but I’m not sure if it’s still running. For local handicrafts, the Hua Hin Bazaar, about 100 meters west of the beach, should be your first stop. There are hundreds of items in the shops with everything from shells and wood carvings to dried fish.
All along Naresdamri Road up to Chomsin Road there are shops and tailors and restaurants. There are several silver shops on Chomsin Rd.
There are over 100 tailor shops in Hua Hin offering very competitive prices on western suits and dresses made from a variety of cloths. Suits can be made in 24 hours but you’ll be better off if you schedule at least a couple of fittings and be sure to compare the workmanship of a few shops before placing your order. Some of the prices are almost too competitive with many shops offering jackets, multiple pairs of pants, shirts, etc for less than $100. Select accordingly and don’t be taken in by tour guides or touts.
For silk and cotton, there are several shops on Petchkasem Road. A local type of cotton print is known as Kom Ma Phat. This cloth is available in many shops.
The Night Market, on Dechanuchit Road and the Grand Market, at Soi 86, Petchkasem Rd. are also good places to look for bargains.
The Gaw Gai Shop at 2/1 Dechanuchit Rd, close to
the entrance of the ChaoLay Seafood Restaurant, is an interesting little
place with items not found in the average Hua Hin souvenir shop. The owners
travel all over Thailand picking up beautiful examples of Thai pottery which
they then make into lamps. While lamps might be difficult for those with
excess baggage rules to worry about, the shop also has many pieces of ceramic
and wooden bric-à-brac that are most unusual and small enough to stash in
- B.N. House Petchkasem Rd.
- Bua. Petchkasem Rd.
- Chom Hadd. Naresdamri Rd.
- Khomaphat. Petchkasem Rd. This is where the local cotton print originated and this shop has really grown over the years. Located at the same site but now the
complex is also the home of Villa Market, Pizza Pizza, and a toy store. The cloth shop has many bolts of their printed cotton cloth, both in traditional Thai and contemporary designs. They also have ready-made shirts, blouses, children’s’ wear, and pocketbooks, hats and pillows, etc., made from the colorful cloth. These make beautiful gifts for your friends or yourself. I have over 20 shirts made of Khomaphat cloth and it’s just about all I wear. No, I don’t get them free for the plug; they don’t even know this site exists.
- Chumpol Rumluk. Petchkasem Rd.
- Pailin. Petchkasem Rd.
- Phaiboon & Phaiboon 2. Silk, local woven
cloth, wood carvings, wood and leather puppets, silver, porcelain and a
wide choice of souvenirs. A very large shop close to several international
restaurants and pubs. A large selection of the cloth Kom Ma Phat is
available here. 56/1-4 Dechanuchit Rd.
- Phanomkorn. Dechanuchit Rd.
- Thaikasem. Petchkasem Rd.
- Waraphon. Petchkasem Rd.