Thailand’s original beach resort, this was a jungle clad fishing village until the 1920’s, when the Thai royal family built their summer palaces here and a railway line was put in connecting it to Bangkok. After this, Thailand’s first seaside tourism hotels were built, and these days, it’s the most popular weekend escape for Bangkokians. Thais far outnumber foreigners here, so the good news is that there is a lot of authenticity here, in terms of food and local stuff. The beach isn’t anything to write home about, not particularly full of white sand, not to mention packed out on the weekends. But for close to Bangkok sun bathing, it isn’t that bad.
Activities here include horseback riding on the beach, plus plenty of inland activities that have sprung up, ranging from retro and night markets to water slide parks, golfing, and plenty more. There’s great seafood to be found here, especially at the Night Food Market, and there are a lot of comfy resorts that front quieter stretches of beach to the north and south of town. Hua Hin is also a good spot to come to during the week, as prices go way down, and it is really easy to find a room.
The best way to get here is via the train, with an express train leaving Bangkok’s Hualamphong Station every morning at just past 8am, pulling into Hua Hin some three-four hours later. Minivans do the trip in about three, but they are packed, uncomfortable, and often unsafe. An added bonus of taking the train is arriving at the colorful and colonial Hua Hin station, which is a real architectural gem, and highly worth a visit, even if you come down by car.