Located about 200 kilometres (124 miles) from Bangkok, Hua Hin is a popular seaside destination for travellers to Thailand, and for most, it’s their first taste of beach life in the Land of Smiles. With such high expectations, you’ll be glad to hear that Hua Hin certainly doesn’t disappoint. With plenty of things to see or do here, it can be a bit of a struggle to squeeze everything in. Luckily, we’ve done the hard work for you – here’s how to spend 48 hours here.
With such little time and so much to see, it’s important to start your day early and with purpose, and there’s no better way than with the Hua Hin Bike Tour. After getting picked up in the early morning – before it gets too hot – you can choose a number of routes to enjoy, depending on your fitness or what you want to see. A shorter route – from Dolphin Bay to Khao Kalok – takes in gorgeous views of the ocean as you cruise along the beachside roads, making the occasional detours through traditional fishing villages. The longer journey – from ‘Burma to the Beach’ – will see you start at the Myanmar border and travel throughout Hua Hin, taking in three scenic bays and beautiful temples on your journey.
If you’re not an experienced rider or cautious when it comes to Thai roads, there’s no need to worry; you’re always tailed by a support van that will provide help should you need it, and all the tours feature multiple stops for refreshments and lunch. It’s a great way to see the beautiful parts of the province that tourists sadly neglect, and a perfect way to get you in the mood for a little bit of evening revelry.
After a long and tiring day, there’s no better way to recuperate your strength than to laze on a beach. Hua Hin is home to a number of gorgeous beaches. If you want a beach with a little more going on, then Hua Hin Beach is a great choice; however, if you’re after a bit of seclusion, you may want to check out Khao Takiab or Suan Son Pradiphat, both of which tend to have a far smaller crowd. Cha Am is also a quiet beach, and home to the Mrigadayavan Palace, the beautiful seaside palace of Thailand’s King Rama VI that’s open to the public.
Once the sun goes down and the appetite rises, it’s time to head to the night market (also known as Cicada Market). Like most Thai night markets, it’s a lively affair with a huge selection of your favourite Thai dishes. It’s also an ideal place for shopping, with an array of hand-carved handicrafts and trinkets on offer. Lining the market are several bars, where one can enjoy a range of drinks, but don’t stay up too late – tomorrow is a busy day.
A perfect way to start the day is with a visit to Wat Tham Khao Tao. Going in the morning is best as there’s a bit of a climb to the top; it’s more than worth it. At the top, there’s not only a large statue of Buddha but also breathtaking views of the ocean and the fishing villages below.
After this, you’ll be taking a trip back to the middle of last century by visiting Plearn Wan shopping centre. Roughly translating to ‘pleasant past’, Plearn Wan is a cool, vintage shopping destination designed to look like Hua Hin in the olden days, complete with wooden buildings, old cars and period-style shops selling food, treats and clothes. It’s a unique experience and a great way to imagine what life was like before the tourists came and brought their multi-story hotels with them.
From 50s Thailand, you’ll be heading to mainland Europe next – well, not exactly. The Venezia is a Venice-themed shopping village complete with its own San Marco’s bell tower, ridable canal and fountains. If you’re all shopped out from Plearn Wan, there are a number of other things to see and do, such as a fun fair, trick eye art gallery and European-themed restaurants in which to dine.
And finally, to finish your 48 hours in Hua Hin, there’s no better place for an evening stroll than by the Hua Hin Railway Station. Famous throughout Thailand, it’s a prime example of the beauty of Thai architecture and is a must-see for any traveller. If you still have the energy, there are a number of excellent places to have a nightcap in Hua Hin.