A three-hour drive south of Bangkok sits the coastal town of Hua Hin. In the 1920s, the highly revered Thai Royal Family built a palace here, and it became a regular destination for the royals. Bangkok’s elite followed and Hua Hin developed into a fashionable coastal resort. The elegant Railway Hotel, now managed by the Thai hotel group Centara, was constructed and became the place to stay for Bangkok socialites on their weekend beach-break.
Once just a sleepy coastal village, the town is nowadays quite sprawling, but the centre remains charming and traditional, with old Thai shop houses and an abundance of busy local markets selling all kinds of goods, and wonderful food markets with delicious Thai food, especially the seafood that the area is known for. The beachfront also has a large collection of open-air seafood restaurants. Particularly recommended is Pla Neung Manow, a mouthwatering dish of steamed sea bass with chilli and lime.
A significant stretch of the coastline has sweeping sandy beaches, which although are not as stunning as those beaches found on outer-lying Thai islands, they are serene and palm-lined. The coastline here is relatively exposed, and the water is not as clear as you will find in sheltered island coves. Many of the hotels here have lush pools facing the ocean and this more than makes up for it. If a spa or detox programme is desired, then Hua Hin has the famous Chiva Som, one of the most highly regarded wellness resorts in the whole of Southeast Asia.
For avid ornithologists, Hua Hin is the perfect base to spend time at the nearby Khao Sam Roi Yot and Kaeng Krachan national parks, both havens for many species of birds, as well as a plethora of other wildlife. We can organise specialist guides who will take you to the best spots to ensure you don’t miss out on the crucial sightings. The railway station at Hua Hin is on the main Bangkok to Southern Thailand route, so for those interested, it is in the perfect location for onward railway travel. Thai trains are narrow gauge which make them particularly charming.
Hua Hin is the perfect beach location for spending some peaceful time by the ocean, whilst experiencing the atmosphere of a Thai town yet without travelling too far from Bangkok.
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