The Health & Wellness Capital of Thailand – Is Hua Hin worth visiting?

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Whether it’s your first time visiting Thailand or revisiting an island destination as I did, Hua Hin will always delight you with its unpretentious charm. Its beaches may not feature in the list of most beautiful beaches of Thailand. Still, Hua Hin is undoubtedly one of the top tourist destinations of Thailand, offering a tremendous amount of attractions and activities with a lovely mix of old and new. The city has everything – beaches, mountains, viewpoints, caves, national parks, temples, night markets, and fine diners – for you to enjoy any time of the year. Plus, its location. 4 hours from Bangkok, travelling to Hua Hin is accessible via train, bus, or car. Accommodation ranges from simple guesthouses to luxury resorts and includes some of the finest spa retreats in the world. All this, along with warm and welcoming Thai hospitality, has made Hua Hin one of Thailand’s top wedding and wellness destinations. Hua Hin is 100% worth visiting whether you are visiting for a short duration or a long one. Save this Hua Hin Travel Guide for your next time visit.

Let me start by answering the most basic question.

Is Hua Hin Worth visiting?

Thailand’s original beach resort town is no glorified palm-fringed castaway island, but it is arguably better. At least, I found so. Hua Hin (หัวหิน) is a mai-tai-like refreshing mix of city and sea with incredible beaches and numerous beach activities, stunning mountains and viewpoints, temples and lively night markets, some great inland activities, not least of which are golfing at some of Thailand’s most renowned courses. On top of that, there are water parks and numerous fine-dining restaurants for wholesome family fun. Overall, Hua Hin has an ambience that keeps improving daily. So, yes, Hua Hin is totally worth visiting. 

What is Hua Hin known for?

Located in southern Thailand, along the Gulf of Thailand, Hua Hin began as a quiet fishing village but grew tremendously over the past few decades to become a top tourist hot spot. One of the main reasons it became so popular was the summer palace of the Thai Royal Family and elites since 1920. 

As you can see from my pictures and videos, there are innumerable instagrammable places in Hua Hin. Still, Hua Hin is best known for its unique culture, sandy beaches, high-end resorts, health and wellness retreats, the royal residence of the Thai Monarchy, Hua Hin Railway Station, and night markets. 

Hua Hin might not be as popular among tourists as Bangkok and Phuket. Still, it is extremely popular as a weekend getaway for Bangkok locals. 

My trip to Hua Hin

I visited Hua Hin in the shoulder season (June-September) when the coastal town experiences light to heavy rainfall. Still, I had a great time as it wasn’t too crowded, the hotel gave great deals, and it didn’t rain throughout the day. I had gone to Hua Hin after a hectic ten days trip to Phuket and Bangkok. So, I took it easy and opted for a four days health and wellness retreat experience instead of running from one tourist attraction to another in search of the perfect instagrammable photos. I did a bit of sightseeing in Hua Hin to appreciate its coastal beauty and understand its culture. Here are some of the Tourist attractions in Hua Hin.

Is Hua Hin worth visiting?
Is Hua Hin worth visiting?

Best things to do in Hua Hin

While I visited Hua Hin with my friends, the city doesn’t disappoint you whether you visit as a couple or a family. If you are wondering what to do in Hua Hin with family, take a pick from any of these Hua Hin attractions:

Hua Hin beaches

Being located in the Gulf of Thailand, Hua Hin has been blessed with some of the most beautiful beaches in the world with year-round warmth. Hua Hin is a much quieter beach destination where you can genuinely chill and have a great time with your family on the beach without any disturbance. Being east-facing, it’s a fantastic place to watch the sunrise. Hua Hin Beach is closest to the city and lined with restaurants, hotels, and resorts, making it a bright spot for an evening stroll along the beach. And, if you fancy something more, try kitesurfing or partaking in various other water sports. Besides Hua Hin beach, other beaches worth exploring are Suan Son Pradipat Beach, Cha Am Beach, Khao Takiab Beach, Khao Tao Beach, Khao Kalok Beach and Dolphin’s Bay

Hua Hin is famous for wellness, weddings, and golf. Find out the best things to do in Hua Hin and everything you need to know to plan a trip here.

Hua Hin Night markets

Although night markets are common across Thailand to spend evenings and get a glimpse of Thai culture, I found the night markets in Hua Hin very unique and with a keen focus on art, especially the weekend Cicada Market. It felt like I was strolling through an open art gallery where local talent showcases their talent along with live entertainment, shopping and food. Adjacent to the Cicada Market is the Tamarind market, that’s equally great and relatively similar in its offerings to Cicada. Named after the trees surrounding the venue, the Tamarind Night Market is a must-visit for foodies and shoppers. Besides Cicada and Tamarind Night Market, another must-visit night market is Hua Hin Night Market. It is widely believed to have started the phenomenon of night markets in Thailand. The town centre comes to life each night, attracting visitors with traditional Thai souvenirs and street food.

Hua Hin Railway station

One place you should not mix when coming to Hua Hin is the Hua Hin Railway Station. Even if you don’t take the train, look at the Hua Hin Railway Station, listed among the most beautiful train stations in the world. This railway station is charming, quirky and definitely Instagram-worthy. You can even catch a pre-wedding photoshoot being done here.

Phraya Nakhon Cave

Besides the railway station and beaches, there are other places you can go, like the caves. The magnificent Phraya Nakhon Cave is one of Thailand’s most mystical and mysterious landmarks. Still, only a few travellers get a chance to take a picture of it. The reason is simple: this gold and green pavilion is hidden inside a hard-to-reach cave, and only a handful of dedicated visitors will try to visit it.

Health and Wellness Retreat

Your trip would be incomplete without getting Thai massages. But why settle for a few massages? Why not go out and sign up for a health and wellness retreat? Hua Hin is considered the country’s prime wellness destination with top-quality health and wellness resorts such as Chivo-som, Aleenta Hua Hin Resort & Spa, SO Sofitel, and VLCC clinic at Avani+ Hua Hin Resort. I took a three-day health and wellness retreat package here. The centre has 11 treatment rooms and offers 4 treatments – integrated wellness, beauty and weight management, immunity and detoxification. I tried a mix of all, and the results spoke for themselves.

A detailed vlog of my health and wellness retreat experience at VLCC Hua Hin.

Golf courses in Hua Hin

Hua Hin is the birthplace of Thai golfing and boasts an extensive range of superb golf courses. You can choose from ten top-quality golf courses in Hua Hin. Some of them have played host to major professional golf tournaments.

Amusement parks

Hua Hin is a popular destination for families with young kids thanks to its amusement parks, such as Vana Nava Water Jungle Park and Santorini Park. Vana Nava Water Jungle Park offers spectacular rides and slides. As the name suggests, Santorini Park was built to resemble the Greek island of Santorini. Its white and blue painted buildings and windmill remind me of the island Santorini in the Aegean Sea. All in all a fun place to go for shopping, entertainment and rides.

To know more about the places I visited, watch my YouTube video.

The best things to do in Hua Hin vlog

These are just a few things you could do in Hua Hin, depending on your interests, budget and time. Whatever you decide to do, make sure you follow the below-given travel tips:

Hua Hin Practical Travel Tips

How many days are enough for Hua Hin 

Spend at least 2-3 days here and try not to hop on and off from one place to another. This place is meant to slow down and relax. 

How to reach Hua Hin

It’s straightforward to reach Hua Hin and roughly takes around 2.5-3 hours by taxi and about 4 hours by bus from Bangkok to Hua Hin. You can come here via train, bus, taxi or flight. Buses run from Bangkok’s Southern Bus Terminal every 30 minutes throughout the day and early evening. I took a taxi from Bangkok, which cost roughly 1,500 THB one way and 3,000 THB both ways. Try to avoid the morning, evening and weekend rush hours.

Where to stay in Hua Hin

Most of the Hotels in Hua Hin are High-end resorts such as the Barai, Anantara Hua Hin, Hua Hin Marriott Resort & Spa, Let’s Sea Hua Hin Al Fresco Resort, and V Villas Hua Hin. I stayed at Avani+ Hua Hin, an upscale, über-modern and eco-friendly resort with 196 spacious rooms and holiday villas close to the sea, with a couple of fantastic pools. The resort is huge and is perfect for young couples and families.

I hope the above article answers your question of whether Hua hin is worth visiting or not. Please share any questions or feedback in the comments section below. 

Further reading

In the following article, I’ll talk about the ten most frequently asked questions by travellers about Hua Hin.

Thailand Travel Guide: The best area to stay in Bangkok

Beyond Bangkok: 10 Hidden Attractions in Thailand for laid-back travelers

Phuket Thailand Travel Guide: Island Adventure and Scenic Beauty at Budget Price

15 big mistakes you should avoid in Phuket

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