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Travel: Hua Hin, Thailand's Royal Beach

Escape the crowds and opt for small-town vibes instead

Escape Krabi crowds and journey to Hua Hin, Thailand's royal beach for sun, sand, street food and small-town vibes. 


What to Eat

Yan Ta Fo Thai soup. Hua Hin, Thailand. Photo by Rachel Gouk

There really is only one rule to ensure a great food experience in Thailand—try everything. Fair warning, though: “Thai spicy” is no joke. Even a soup like Yan Ta Fo can be a face-melting experience. It’s a fiery and fishy variant with a pinkish hue, laden with fishcake, wonton chips, shallots and noodles. Luckily, fresh young coconuts can be found anywhere for about RMB5-10. The Hua Hin Night Market, two streets from the train station, is a great place for street food, everything from dried seafood to skewers, pad thai and banana-leaf wrapped carbs. Have your fill of roti (RMB4), a crispy flatbread, wrapped with your choice of jams, jellies or Nutella.

Seafood in Hua Hin, Thailand. Photo by Rachel Gouk

For a sit-down experience, we recommend mid-range seafood restaurants Bird Chili and Hua Hin Seafood. Dinner is RMB100–400 depending on the order. Be sure to get freshly caught tiger prawns, clams, mussels and fish, which are all finished on the grill.


What to See

Plearn Wan, Hua Hin, Thailand. Photo by Rachel Gouk

Plearn Wan is a new old-timey destination with a Ferris wheel and carnival games. Shops here are mainly for tourists and food options are scarce, but it makes for great photos. Make sure to visit the Train Station as well. There is also Hua Hin Hills Vineyard further inland, Chopsticks Hill along the beach and Wat Khao Takiap temple. 


What to Buy

Hua Hin, Thailand. Photo by Rachel Gouk

Like any city in Thailand, there’s a teeming night market, and Hua Hin is no different. Get ready for aisles of carved wooden Buddhas and deities sold alongside counterfeit goods, clothing and knick-knacks. If you’re an art collector, stray away from the busy market. Instead, explore the alleys for artworks and other collectibles.


Where to Sleep

Hua Hin, Thailand. Photo by Rachel Gouk

Once a small fishing village, Hua Hin is now known as Thailand’s royal beach. Five-star resorts line the long beachfront, from superhotel Hua Hin InterContinental to the luxurious villas of Aleenta. Wake up early to watch the breathtaking sight of monks strolling along the beach collecting alms. Budget and mid-range options are also abundant.


How to Get In

Hua Hin, Thailand. Photo by Rachel Gouk

Getting to Hua Hin requires a stop in Bangkok first. Bangkok Suvarnabhumi is the international airport, while Don Muang is reserved for domestic and budget airlines. There’s a four-hour coach from Suvarnabhumi for roughly RMB60 one-way, which departs multiple times a day. Taxi or private car to/from Bangkok is RMB380–400.


Photos © Rachel Gouk

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Rachel Gouk
Rachel Gouk is the dining editor and digital content manager at City Weekend Shanghai. She's a ball-buster, but manages to charm her way back into people's good graces. Likes food, cooking, photography and heavy metal.


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