When it comes to choosing a holiday destination, it’s hard to go past Thailand. Stunning beaches, delicious food, lovely locals and fascinating culture make for a wonderful experience. Not to mention, Thailand’s a destination where you can live the luxury life without decimating your savings! When it comes to deciding where to go, you’re spoilt for choice! From the lush jungle of Chiang Mai to pristine beachside spots like Phuket and Ao Nang. One spot you may not have heard awaits driving distance from Bangkok! Here’s a look at Thailand’s original beachside resort town; Hua Hin.
Where is Hua Hin?
You’ll find Hua Hin located 199km south-southwest of Bangkok in the northern part of Thailand’s Malay Peninsula. It became the country’s first and most popular beach resort town after the Thai Royal Family built summer palaces there. It’s close proximity to Bangkok makes it the perfect addition to any Thailand itinerary, especially for those keen to experience the seaside without having to catch a flight. The map below shows Hua Hin’s location in relation to Bangkok and Phuket.
How to get to Hua Hin
To get to Thailand we flew from Brisbane to Bangkok direct with Thai Airways, arriving at Suvarnabhumi Airport. We spent five nights exploring Bangkok and Hua Hin before returning to Bangkok to catch a domestic flight from Suvarnabhumi Airport to Phuket International Airport for a few more days in the sunshine.
We had a fantastic experience with Thai Airways, especially as we had the opportunity to enjoy their Royal Silk Class (Business Class) from Brisbane to Bangkok. Our seats were incredibly comfortable, offering us loads of legroom to scooch down and get comfortable while watching movies and tv shows on our tv screens. The service was wonderful, with the staff members on board being attentive and thorough, taking excellent care of us the whole way. We’ve flown with Thai Airways on most of our visits to Thailand and, I have to say, the airline always offers consistently great customer service, delicious food on-board and great entertainment. If you’re planning a visit and aren’t sure which airline to go with, we happily recommend Thai Airways.
To get from Bangkok to Hua Hin should take around 2 1/2 to 3 hours drive. Our private transfer was arranged for us by our incredible tour guide, Nam, from Absolutely Fantastic Holidays. Having our own guide took the stress out of managing our itinerary and allowed us to be present and enjoy each moment more. If a tour guide isn’t the right fit for you, you can definitely organise your own transfer to Hua Hin either via your hotel concierge or by finding a transfer service through a search engine.
Must-know tips for visiting Thailand
Planning a trip to Thailand? Here are some things you need to know before you go:
- It gets extremely hot and humid in Thailand so be sure to wear sunscreen, avoid being active and outdoors during the hottest parts of the day, wear a hat and drink plenty of water. I always carry an umbrella with me to shade me from the harsh sun when sightseeing. It looks dorky but it saves me from heatstroke and sunburn.
- Always have a little spare change and tissues on you as you may need to pay to use the toilet in some spots and toilet paper isn’t always guaranteed.
- If you’re planning on visiting temples, you’ll need to pack temple appropriate outfits that cover the midriff, shoulders and knees.
- The local currency in Thailand is the Thai Baht. Downloading a free currency conversion app that works offline, like XE Currency, will come in very useful!
- If you don’t speak Thai, don’t worry! English is widely spoken in Thailand, especially by those likely to come into contact with tourists. But brushing up on a few Thai phrases will go a long way with the locals!
- For those planning on visiting markets, be sure to brush up on your haggling skills as you’ll need to negotiate for the best prices.
- We love to encourage travellers to cut down on single-use plastic by refilling a water bottle when they travel. Unfortunately, this is a little hard in Thailand as you aren’t able to drink the tap water. That said, you can buy the biggest bottle water possible at each time and say no to those tiny bottles handed out at hotels or on planes.
- Be sure to educate yourself on animal tourism experiences and how to spot the good from the bad! You should read this.
- It’s important to show respect for the Thai Royal Family, especially His Majesty, The King.
- Street food is amazing so be sure to dive right into Thailand’s epic food scene, tastebuds first!
- Thai people are absolutely lovely! It’s a destination that lives up to its reference as, ‘The Land of Smiles.’ Be sure to treat everyone you meet with the same humility, kindness and respect.
The best time to visit Thailand
There are three main seasons in Thailand; hot, rainy and cool. You’ll find the hot season from March to June. The rainy season is from July to October and the cool season is between November and February. Your best bet is to plan your trip in the cool season if you can, but we’ve visited at all different times of the year and always had a fantastic time.
Where to stay in Hua Hin
Here’s a look at where we stayed on our trip to Hua Hin…
Cape Nidhra Hotel
Cape Nidhra Hotel offers luxury, beachfront accommodation and stellar customer service, perfect for your Hua Hin holiday. The hotel is located right in the heart of Hua Hin, making it an excellent base-point. You’ll find an abundance of restaurants and stores on the main street, out the front of the hotel, as well as within close walking distance. Importantly, the resort backs onto the beach so you don’t have to wander far from your room in either direction to find what you need.
The beach is absolutely gorgeous, offering sparkling clear water that fades into a brilliant shade of blue. It’s a popular spot for windsurfers and beachgoers as well as the perfect place to take a morning or afternoon stroll along the water’s edge. The hotel also offers a beachside pool with plenty of great seating options including shaded pergolas and sun loungers with umbrellas. What I love about the pool at Cape Nidhra is you can still see the beach, so you get to enjoy the privacy of the hotel pool and it’s poolside dining and cocktails while still soaking in the views of the beach. Rather than feeling like you could be anywhere in the world, you get to enjoy the beauty of Thailand.
We stayed in a Sky Pool Suite and loved every moment of our stay! At a generous 80 sqm, we found our suite to be incredibly spacious, with loads of room for us to spread out and get comfortable. Our suite featured a private pool and wooden deck, so we could hop in for a dip and make the most of room service too. The bathroom was absolutely huge, equipped with a generous bathtub, separate shower, toilet and double basins. The bed was also huge, larger than a standard King, I believe. We loved having a doona/blanket each so we didn’t have to worry about stealing the blankets!
In addition to all of this, Cape Nidhra also features an onsite spa where Matt and I indulged in a fantastic one-hour massage that sent us both to nirvana. You’ll also love the on-site gym which is really well equipped with everything you need to get a good sweat going. There’s also a steam room and sauna, gift shop, awesome business centre and the on-site restaurant is fantastic too. We really enjoyed the buffet breakfast, complete with a traditional market-style fruit stall and fantastic coffee as well.
Most importantly, we found the staff at Cape Nidhra to be attentive, helpful and kind, going the extra mile to greet us with warm smiles and make us feel welcome and at ease. Particularly, one member of the ground staff would always greet us with the BIGGEST, happiest smile and a wave hello which just made our day, every single time we saw him. It’s little things like that, that make a good stay GREAT and make you want to come back time and time again.
Best things to do in Hua Hin
Planning your itinerary? Here are our tips on the best things to do in Hua Hin:
- Be sure to check out the Hua Hin Night Market, which comes alive in the centre of town from 6:30pm onwards. There’s no shortage of great food to try (including some truly heavenly mango sticky rice) and plenty of clothes, bags, shoes, jewellery, gifts and quirky items to peruse too.
- Windsurfing is incredibly popular in Hua Hin so, if you’ve ever thought of giving it a go, this is the spot to do it! Just be sure to leave a full day to the safety briefing and lesson. Matt had really wanted to do it but only had a few hours to spare, which wasn’t enough time.
- Take a wander through the streets of Hua Hin on a street art crawl. You’ll find vibrant artworks adorning walls of all shapes and sizes, reflecting different aspects of Thai culture and life as well as paying tribute to the beloved late King.
- 1d + Day Artist is a super cool, beachfront bar and restaurant that offers a gorgeous spot to sit and rest awhile in the warm Thai sunshine. It’s a popular spot among Instagrammers so be sure to pack your camera and work on your poses!
- For amazing views and an authentic Thai experience, head to Wat Khao Takiab, a gorgeous temple located up a steep set of stairs. Here, you’ll be treated to incredible views over the area. Just beware of the monkey’s!
- Another great temple worth visiting is Wat Huay Mongkol, famous for the enormous (it really is huge!) statue of Luang Phor Thuad, one of Thailand’s most beloved monks.
- Visit the Hua Hin Railway Station, a very charming and unique spot which blends traditional Thai architecture with Victorian. It’s a great spot for photo’s and you can glimpse the special building where the Thai Royal Family would wait for the train.
- On our way to Hua Hin, from Bangkok, we got the chance to stop at the Maeklong ‘Risky’ Railway Train Market. You’ll most likely recognise this famous spot as soon as you see the photo (above right). We also got to visit the Khao Luang Cave, another really beautiful spot worth stopping to see if you have the time.
What to pack for a trip to Hua Hin
As you pack for your trip to Hua Hin, I want you to repeat this phrase to yourself: “I will pack light.” That’s what’s wonderful about Thailand, you don’t have to pack everything you own! We found the weather to be deliciously warm during our visit which meant we dressed in very light clothing.
I mostly wore summer dresses or my swimsuit with a wrap over the top. Matt mostly wore shorts and a sweat-wicking t-shirt or his boardshorts. For footwear, I alternated between my sneakers and sandals while Matt mostly wore sneakers or slide-on sandals. For a more detailed guide on what to take with you read our full guide: What to pack for a trip to Thailand, here.
Need more free travel guides?
If you’re planning a trip to Thailand, you may also like to read:
- 12 Grown-up things to do in Bangkok
- The startling reason why it’s wrong to ride an elephant
- 35 of the best things to do in Chiang Mai
- Where to stay in Phuket: SALA Phuket Mai Khao Beach Resort
- 6 Reasons why you need to visit Koh Yao Noi
- 22 Things you need to know before you visit Chiang Mai
- Find all our Thailand guides here.
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Our stay at Cape Nidhra Hotel was generously hosted by the hotel. This review was not paid for and all opinions are, as always, authentically our own.
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