Hua Hin traces its aristocratic roots to the 1920s when Rama VI (King Vajiravudh) and Rama VII (King Prajadhipok) built summer residences here to escape Bangkok’s stifling climate. The most famous of the two is Phra Ratchawang Klai Kangwon (Far from Worries Palace), 3km north of town and still a royal residence today; it’s so poetically named that Thais often invoke it as a city slogan. Rama VII?s endorsement of Hua Hin and the construction of the southern railway made the town the place to be for Thai nobility who built their own summer residences beside the sea.
With a 5 kilometer-long beach that features numerous activities, the laid back and hospitable town of Hua Hin continues to draw both tourists and Thais. In addition to beach fun and games, outstanding seafood restaurants, and a vibrant night market, Hua Hin is well known for having some of the finest golf courses in Thailand, as well as some of the most renowned resorts and destination spas in the world.
The peaceful, wholesome atmosphere that attracted the King still remains and Hua Hin retains its authentic feel. Still a favorite of Thai holidaymakers, Hua Hin is a relaxing destination perfect for families and couples alike. That said, there is still plenty to occupy the adventurous spirit with gorgeous national parks nearby and royal palaces and grand hotels recalling the resort?s heyday. Golf in Hua Hin received the royal endorsement from the King as early as 1924 and there are now seven golf courses within a thirty minute drive of town. Famous designers such as Jack Nicklaus abound and all of the courses will pick you up from your resort and offer equipment hire and caddies.
The peaceful beach of Cha-Am is significantly quieter than Hua Hin, promising a truly relaxing holiday, whilst the shops and nightlife of Hua Hin is still just a 20 minute taxi ride away. Literally translated as Three Hundred Peaks, Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park enjoys breathtaking views of the magnificent Gulf coastline. With just a little exertion you can experience impressive limestone mountains, stalactite-laden caves and hidden beaches. Rising 230 metres above the southern end of Hua Hin’s main beach, Khao Takiap Peak is worth the steep climb for the stunning views and fascinating hilltop Buddha and shrine, but beware the colony of light-fingered monkeys living at the summit!
As you would expect from a resort favored as a royal residence, Hua Hin boasts a number of royal palaces: Maruekhathaiyawan, designed in the 1920’s for King Rama VI, is an elegant teak building south of Cha-Am and Klai Kangwon Palace, built for the Queen of King Rama VII, features opulent furnishings and manicured gardens and is also open to the public when the King is not at home. Whilst Hua Hin’s major attraction is the more sedate pace of life offered, there are still enough bars and restaurants to keep you entertained. Bustling Chatchai Market is famous for its outdoor dining stalls specializing in fresh seafood and tasty breakfasts and a number of bars behind the beach offer everything from chic lounge areas to great live music.
The city simply crowded with tourist, restaurants, shops and shoppers day and night, weekdays and weekends. But even with this buzz, the isolated, quiet and private beach is just some inches away, separated from the street by vast selection of top class hotels and resorts. Night markets, great seafood, sandy beach and elite accommodations give any visitor the never-ending happiness during his/her stay.