If Hua Hin and the Petchaburi region isn’t already at the top of your bucket list, these 24 reasons will convince you why it should be!
From resorts and fishing villages, to street eats and markets, Hua Hin and its neighbouring locales offers something for everyone. Known for their flourishing art scene and expansive white beaches, the beauty of this region is (almost) beyond compare.
Stay for a week and or stop over for a weekend. You’ll fall in love with the charm and culture of this bustling seaside town.
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1. The hippest hangout place – Seenspace Hua Hin
Seenspace Hua Hin is a stylish beachfront mall with the occasional celebrity, where there’s cute cafes to grab lunch at.
White Shuffle (an industrial-style seaside hangout), or Platoo Cafe (a gorgeous white and blue beach cafe that extends out to the sandy beach) are good options.
You can also shop here with mid-range to affordable designer ware here. (Sretsis has their Sretsis Mermaid Bar and Shop here too!)
Legend has it, 300 Chinese tradesmen sought refuge throughout the islands after their junk boat capsized. This was said to be many, many years ago when the sea reached further inland.
Dubbing the area, Ko Sam Roi Yot, which translates to “Island of Three Hundred Peaks.” – the waters eventually receded, and the name transitioned to Khao Sam Roi Yot which translates to “Mountain of Three Hundred Peaks.”
Khao Sam Roi Yot is a labyrinth of caves, coves, and viewpoints attaining nirvana for outdoor enthusiasts. Spend the day exploring reticent beaches, desolate islands, freshwater marshes, and ethereal caverns.
2-a) Mystical cave views – Phraya Nakhon Cave
Phraya Nakhon Cave is a must see. If timed properly (10am precisely), you may experience the wonderment of the sun’s rays pouring in over the hidden Thai pavilion.
2-b) Hike to a gorgeous lookout – Khao Daeng Viewpoint (“Red Mountain”)
Khao Daeng Viewpoint will also take your breath away with its unimaginable views. Toss your sandals aside and lace up your hiking shoes if you’re willing to endure this 50-minute hike to the lookout.
For an even more enchanting view, climb to the summit for sunrise and watch the mountains come alive before your eyes.
2-c. Walk over the marsh – Bueng Bua Wood Boardwalk
For a different, yet similarly breathtaking experience, walk the 1km Bueng Bua Wood Boardwalk over the marsh!
Additional Tip: Be prepared to rent a motorbike or pushbike to get around the park. Prices will range from 250-350 Baht per day for motorbikes, to 100-200 Baht for pushbikes.
2-d. Climb the rocky paths of one of the largest waterfalls in Thailand – Pala-U Waterfall
On the south side of Kaeng Krachan National Park, bordering Myanmar, lays one of the largest waterfalls in the country. Standing sixteen steps tall, very few reach the top.
The first three levels are accessed through well-maintained, easily accessed rocky paths. Beyond the third level, the hike becomes gruelling and should only be attempted by those who are physically capable.
As the higher levels see much less foot traffic, they are not well maintained rendering the paths quite dangerous.
Most will reach the third tier, and take advantage of its beautiful pools as an opportunity to cool off. However, if you are able to reach the higher levels you will be rewarded with unimaginable views, overlooking Thailand and Myanmar.
3. Find hidden gems in Hua Hin’s Unique hotels
Why would you stay in a regular hotel when you can stay in an Arabian palace or a traditional luxury boathouse? Ladies, you’ll love Instagramming at these beautiful life-sized dollhouses where you can slip directly into the pretty lagoon pool!
3-a. Rub the Genie’s lamp and arrive in Arabia – Villa Maroc Resort, Pranburi
An enchanting resort, Villa Maroc offers the best of Arabian culture right at your fingertips – with many gorgeous photo-worthy spots around the property, including a rooftop plunge pool providing an incredible view.
The unique rooms of Villa Maroc are dipped in designs and themes inspired by traditional spices and herbs of the Maghreb region of the Arab world – whisking you away into an exotic paradise.
And at the resort’s aptly named restaurant Casablanca, you’ll also get to experience Arabian hospitality and cuisine. There even is a Shisha Bar for those looking to enjoy something exotically Arabian!
If you’re looking to pamper yourself, Villa Maroc provides the best in Thai massage therapy with the elegance of Arabian furnishings. Release your stresses in a massage under an Arabian cabana on the beach.
For a bit of diversion during your stay, don’t forget to take a leisurely morning or late afternoon walk along Pak Nam Pran road just behind Villa Maroc. There are plenty of cosy cafes such as Ley Café, Blue Butterfly Café, and more to explore!
3-b. A hidden gem within a hidden gem – The Sea-Cret Garden Hotel
A favorite among fashionable ladies, the Sea-Cret Garden resort features gleaming hues akin to a life-size dollhouse.
It’s so picturesque and Instagram-worthy, you’ll hardly be able to believe it.
Bright white and vibrant pink and purple tones echo throughout the classic and modern room designs of this facility.
Slip into the pool from the footsteps of your room, whenever you want! There’s even a secret garden for that perfectly peaceful stroll after lunch at Sea-Cret Garden’s in-house restaurant.
The entire property is selfie-friendly – indulge yourself!
3-c. Super unique marine-themed resort – Kaengkrachan Boathouse Paradise (1.5 hour drive from Hua Hin)
We had to include this in the list. It’s super unique with boathouses you can actually stay in!
Luxury accommodation located within Aium Chun boats, it’s interesting to think that these were actual boats locals used to use for not just transportation, but as their homes too.
Located near Kaeng Krachan National Park Kaeng Krachan Dam, these floating stays boast unexpectedly elegant interiors.
There’s one for the honeymooners (Honeymoon Suite Boat), and one for families (Family Suite Boat), and more options depending on what you’re looking for.
Single storey or double storey, the choice is yours. We’ve even seen a grand tub for 2 in one of the boathouses!
If you finally manage to pry yourself off the boat, there’s the resort swimming pool you can head to for afternoon dips.
Otherwise, feel free to rent the free bicycles and kayaks for some casual fun!
When you’re finally tired and hungry from your day’s activities, check out the in-house Khoongnam and Baanrua Restaurant for a well-deserved meal.
Sounds fun? It sure does to us.
4. Watch the sunrise, catch Bryde’s whales, and ride a boat! – Bang Tabun River Floating Fisherman’s Village (1.5-hour from Hua Hin)
Make sure to arrive early to see the incomparable sunrise over the Bang Tabun River – and prepare to have your breath taken away.
The village comes to life under the rays of the rising sun. The water transforms beneath the golden sun, accentuating the floating fisherman huts along the horizon. Fun fact: Bang Tabun is known as Thailand’s largest cockle producer!
For a true tourist experience, boats are for hire. Ride along in one of them, and you will get a glimpse of the cockle farms first hand.
Bang Tabun River also boasts one of the most active whale watching experiences in Southeast Asia. People flock to Bang Tabun in hopes of seeing a Bryde’s whale in person.
The Bryde’s whales can reach up to fifty-five feet in length and weigh nearly thirty tons once they are fully-grown. The males will appear slightly smaller than the female whales at maturity.
Many companies offer trips to see the Bryde’s whales up close, and activities at Bang Tabun River including whale watching make a quintessential day-trip haven!
5. Experience the top highlights of Italy just minutes away from Hua Hin – The Venezia
If you haven’t gotten your fill of Europe during your stay in Hua Hin, make sure to visit The Venezia. This large, open-air shopping destination has harnessed the charm and attraction of Venice, Italy.
With a replica of the famous San Marcos square bell tower and a 200-meter Grand Canal, fully equipped with gondola rides – you just might forget that you are still in Thailand. Even though the Fontana di trevi belongs in Rome, it has been added here for good measure.
Along with the 350+ little shops found at The Venezia, you’ll find music gardens, 3D art galleries, mini trains, horse drawn buggies, and upside-down houses – not your average shopping center. (PS: This trend of themed shopping villages is growing across the country just like the Palio Village in Khao Yai!)
A fee of 50 Baht is required to enter the shopping village. The attractions, however, are at an additional cost. But as shopping malls go, you won’t find one as whimsical as The Venezia.
6. Feast, Farm, Five-and-Dime. Who could ask for more? – 1000Sook Food and Farm
Another relaxing afternoon activity is a visit to the trifecta that is 1000Sook Food and Farm. There are three parts to this colourful destination: restaurant, mini farm, and shopping outlet.
Take a nice little stroll through the European-themed mini farm. It is beautifully landscaped and extremely attractive to the eye. You will find that the photo opportunities are limitless.
The mini-farm is complete with sheep, Shetland ponies, ducks, and rabbits. Have a relaxing stroll through the farm, and if you don’t feel like walking, there are horse-drawn buggy rides offered too!
After exploring the farm, cool off with an iced-tea at 1000Sook Food and Farm restaurant. Better yet, make sure to try the Tom Yum soup. The restaurant offers an abundance of delicious Thai and Western cuisine options for reasonable prices.
PS: Do enquire about your entrance fee being waived if you plan to make a few purchases at the outlet shops.
7. Feel like a Grecian god in little Santorini – Santorini Amusement Park
At Santorini Park, you will feel as though you have just stepped out of Asia and into little Santorini, the Grecian paradise island.
The park is an amalgamation of art, quirky shopping with local and international brands, entertainment and cafes. Spend the day carousing through boutique shops, and if you aren’t interested in shopping? Instead, indulge your inner foodie.
There are many rides and attractions throughout the park as well. Make sure to check out the amusement park highlights: the Ferris wheel, carousel, water park, swings, and haunted house.
For you Instagram connoisseurs, the photo opportunities are endless!
Colourful umbrellas embedded in building walls, and fluorescent budding flowers draping off trees, to name a few. Around every corner, there is something quirky and beautiful awaiting your Valencia filter.
8. Step out of Asia and into lush Morocco at Hua Hin’s newest theme park – Camel Republic
You’ll feel as if you’ve just taken a step into Morocco once you arrive at Camel Republic.
As one of Cha Am’s newest attractions, Camel Republic offers the perfect blend of activities for animal lovers and thrill seekers.
For the animal lover, spend an afternoon getting acquainted with the Arabian camels or feeding the goats throughout the mini zoo – Camel Republic is also home to giraffes and various species of brightly coloured birds!
The thrill seekers might opt for the “Flying Macaw” or the “Sky Fly” at the amusement park. These rides are certain to get your adrenaline pumping.
Throughout the park, there are many opportunities to shop at several outlet stores, as well as restaurants to pique your appetite!
9. Dine with animals or be transported to Europe: Hua Hin’s unique cafes
Do you want to be transported to a classy French-style tea house? Or hug the cutest Shiba Inu puppies as you enjoy your tea? Don’t miss these unique cafes!
9-a. Bask in French-styled romance – The’ Tea House
Where better to end of your couple retreat than with a French breakfast tea at this elegant French-styled cafe filled with nature and elegance.
Sit back and enjoy one of the café’s savoury tea cakes, or sip at a cup of fruity Marco Polo tea – as you admire what can only be one of the best examples of interior design in Hua Hin.
9-b. Designed for the dog lovers – Inu Café
Inu Café is the café destination designed with every dog lover in mind. With a dozen Shiba Inus around, you’ll feel as though you are hanging out a friend’s house at Inu Café.
One thing to note, Inu Café does not serve coffee. However they have a delicious range of fruit juices and sodas on their menu. Cuddle up with a Shiba and try their array of Thai and Western dishes!
9-c. Have a cosy pony afternoon – Pony Café
This is the must go-to place for families with kids, and well, unfortunately there aren’t real ponies around.
Not to worry though, it’s beautiful vintage décor will more than make up for it. You will find cute colourful displays of little ponies, plates, and paintings.
Yes, this place reeks and smells of antique, teak and wood. We don’t think it’s a bad thing though, especially when you can take photographs from every angle and corner. What do you say?
Of course, food is delicious and affordable. Nice ambience and great food, what else more can we ask for?
Order penne pasta, cheesy pizza, and yes, stuff yourself silly with western delights – and then wash down the grease and calories with a cup of refreshing iced tea.
10. Get your camera ready for this story-book European petting zoo – Swiss Sheep Farm
This lovely Swiss Sheep Farm has a nursery rhyme/dream-like quality to it. Aside from the New Zealand sheep, you will feel as though you have been transported through several European countries.
The farm is adorned with a red English telephone booth, Dutch windmill, and German Volkswagen caravan – all of these make for excellent photo opportunities.
Swiss Sheep Farm is an ideal destination for a short stop over, and a fun afternoon for the kids. They will love feeding the sheep, and riding in the back of a horse-drawn buggy.
And if you’re feeling adventurous, you can even try your hand at archery!
When the day is done, Swiss Sheep Farm has a quaint café serving coffee and refreshments at very reasonable prices. Grab a coffee and simply relax the day away.
11. Indulge your inner child at Thailand’s largest waterslide – Vana Nava Hua Hin Water Jungle
Located just 5 minutes from Hua Hin city centre is Vana Nava Water Jungle. Vana Nava is the perfect family-friendly destination. Children will love the countless activities and attractions!
Head over to Coconut Beach: the activity hub of Vana Nava. The kids will love jumping through the varying waves at the massive wave pool – while you enjoy a relaxing Thai massage poolside!
If not, experience 19 thrilling waterslides – including the Abyss. Standing at 28 metres tall, the Abyss is Thailand’s largest waterslide. You can reach speeds as fast as 45 kilometres per hour!
Perhaps you would rather take it easy? Grab a tube and float down the lazy river. You’ll pass through caves and float under bridges.
And if you need a break, you can always dry off and relax at the Tree Top Lounge. At Vana Nava, there is something for everyone.
12. Embrace nostalgia as you dive into the shops and entertainment – Hua Hin Tique Walking Street
Follow the yellow-parked-truck to Hua Hin Tique Walking Street. Originally the location of the Hua Hin Floating Market now lays this vintage, trendy tourist hotspot. From the moment you arrive, you will fall in love with the retro atmosphere.
Kick back at the Beer Garden or get lost in the live music at different venues. Walk around in search of a new outfit or drool over unique vintage cars.
The market has so much to offer: animal show, outstanding restaurants, outdoor movies, pedal boats, and so much more. Lose track of time and get lost in the moment at Hua Hin Tique.
Make sure to take a look at the events calendar before your visit, Hua Hin Tique often hosts outdoor concerts playing late into the night!
13. Feel good and kickback at one of the most retro villages – Plearnwan, Hua Hin
Plearnwan loosely translates to Play/Learn Yesterday. “Plearn” is a fun play on words between play and learn. While “wan” translates to yesterday in Thai.
This vintage village fully encompasses “the good old times” inspired by Thai Chinese neighbourhoods that once occupied Hua Hin and Bangkok. At Plearnwan, it’s all about happiness and feeling good.
As you walk through the wooden tunnel at the entrance of the street, you will feel as though you are walking through a time portal. Unmistakable nostalgia will encompass you once you step through the tunnel and onto the street.Spend an evening or an entire day browsing through shops or gorging yourself with incredible street eats. From sweet to savoury, from spicy to chilled, there is something to satisfy every appetite.
14. Explore the three peaks of Phra Nakhon Khiri overlooking scenic Phetchaburi – Phra Nakhon Khiri Historical Park (1-hour drive from Hua Hin)
Overlooking Phetchaburi stands Phra Nakhon Khiri (Holy City Hill) Historical Park, known more commonly among locals as Khao Wang (Palace Hill).
Originally built in 1859 for Rama IV designed as a summer home and getaway. Rama IV was known as “the father of Thai science”, and spent his time at Phra Nakhon Khiri indulging in stargazing and astronomy.
There are 3 main peaks to discover at Phra Nakhon Khiri, each with its own unique treasures. Get lost exploring the various temples, pagodas, and buildings scattered throughout the hilltops.
From late March to early April, Phra Nakhon Khiri transforms to celebrate the nine day Phra Nakhon Khiri Fair. Adorned with lights, crafts, food, and dance performances, this festival is not to be missed.
When visiting, be sure to conceal all food as monkeys run rampant throughout the site.
15. Drink in the mountainous views and indulge in wine – Hua Hin Hills Vineyard
45 minutes from downtown Hua Hin lays the lush, rolling hills of Hua Hin Hills Vineyard. Home to Monsoon Valley Wines, you’ll come for the wine and decide to stay for the picturesque views.
Take a seat at Sala Wine Bar & Bistro and enjoy the sweet tastes of Rhone grapes that make up the Monsoon Valley label wine.
Tour packages are also available for purchase (not mandatory when exploring Hua Hin Hills Vineyard).
The premium tour will grant you 2 hours of admission at the vineyard, a premium tapas set, fresh grape juice, 3 wine tastings, 3 snack pairings, as well as a 15-minute elephant ride.
Editor’s note: We strongly advocate against elephant rides. Riding elephants can actually cause serious long term harm, as their spines are not made to support the weight of humans. Do try to avoid taking a ride as it is actually harmful to these magnificent animals.
16. Witness the historical beauty of Thailand’s intricate railway station – Hua Hin Railway Station
Considered the most stunning railway station in the country, Hua Hin Railway Station embodies a lot of history as well. Originally built in 1910, it was then rebuilt in 1926 to its current Victorian style architecture.
One of the main features of the station is the Royal Waiting Room. This was once used to welcome the king and his court upon their visits to Hua Hin!
The station is still completely functional with trains arriving regularly from the capital. Even if you aren’t planning to catch a train, it is well worth a stop over to admire the intricate architectural design of the building.
Secret Tip: Outside of the station, there is a hidden library. Two of the old train carriages have been overhauled and turned into beautiful, quaint libraries.
They are free for the locals in the community, so a majority of the books are written in Thai. However, it is a unique little find you might want to visit, and even take photos in!
17. Admire the natural beauty of this National Park – Kaeng Krachan National Park & Suspension Bridge (1-hour drive from Hua Hin)
You’ll plan to come for the day and end up wanting to stay a week at Thailand’s largest national park. With nearly 3000 square kilometers of natural terrain, Kaeng Krachan National Park has something unique to offer for every level of adventure.
Between caves, waterfalls, rugged slopes, and river gorges, Kaeng Krachan is utopia for every nature lover. Every inch of the park is just screaming to be discovered.
Many large animals roam the park, from elephants to tigers, and Asian black bears to the rare barking deer. Kaeng Krachan National Park is truly a piece of untouched nature.
The park flaunts remarkable views throughout. At the beginning of the park, a small path leads you to a spectacular viewpoint as well as, arguably, one of the most impressive suspension rope bridges in the country.
You won’t want to miss the Panoenthung viewpiont as well. From here, you’ll get to enjoy scenic views of the mountain and sea of fog from up high. (It almost looks like an extremely dreamy bed made of clouds to us. ♥.♥)
18. Navigate the bustling streets and let your inner thrifter rejoice – Cicada Night Market
For a dose of art and culture, Cicada Night Market is where you want to be. By night, the lights are simply mesmerising.
The market itself is subdivided into 4 unique venues: Cicada Art Factory, Cicada Cuisine, Art à la Mode, and Amphitheatre.
Cicada Art Factory rotates through various art exhibitions flaunting the works of young and upcoming artists. Featuring a variety of art portrayed through portraits, sculptures, paintings, and photography. The intention is to help generate interest and revenue in these new artists.
Did someone say international eats and cold beer? You’ll find seafood, Satay, Pad Thai, Korean BBQ, Italian and Chinese noodles as far as the eye can see.
Other than food, Art à la Mode is a thrifters paradise. Local vendors flock to Cicada Market to showcase their talents by selling souvenirs, handicrafts, fashion clothing and accessories.
Practice your bartering skills and treat yourself to something that’s one-of-a-kind!
Finally, the Amphitheatre venue is sure to capture your wandering eye. And if the music isn’t enough to lure you in, the dancing and theatre performances should seal the deal.
19. Barter your way through the boardwalk – Sam Phan Nam Floating Market
The expansive area of the Sam Phan Nam Floating Market attracts both tourists and locals alike. Conveniently, Sam Phan Name is open every day of the week so it is easily worked into your schedule.