A Comprehensive Travel Guide to Hua Hin, Thailand
Editor's Note: This is going to be a super long blog post with quite a lot of pictures.
We travelled to Hua Hin, Thailand for our honeymoon and it is a really scenic place with pristine beaches all over the coastal area.
The Thai Baht is the currency of Thailand and like the pound, it originated from a traditional unit of mass. At the time of writing, we assume 1 Singapore Dollar to be approximately 25 Thai Baht. For the best exchange rate, consider heading down to The Arcade at Collyer Quay.
Getting to Hua Hin
If you want to get to Hua Hin from Suvarnabhumi Airport, you can purchase bus tickets from the ticketing counter that is located at Level 1 Gate 8 of the airport; alternatively, an easier option is to book your bus tickets online (which we did) via Airport Hua Hin Bus.
The bus service from Suvarnabhumi Airport to Hua Hin operates daily with 6 departure times and early booking is recommended.
What amazed us about the bus service is the 24-seater luxury coach itself. It is really comfortable and there's more than sufficient leg space. There's even a toilet on board the coach.
In case you're wondering, the journey from Suvarnabhumi Airport to Hua Hin Bus Station took about 3 hours. While there are other alternative forms of transport to Hua Hin (e.g. car), we found taking the bus to be the most economical and the most comfortable.
Travel Tip #1: Before you take the bus to Hua Hin, go to the nearby convenience shop and stock up some snacks and drinks to munch on during the long bus journey as there are no pit-stops during the bus ride.
Getting Around Hua Hin
We arrived at Hua Hin Bus Station in the evening and went to Villa Market Hua Hin to pick up the Nissan Elmera Eco that we rented to get around Hua Hin. The car rental rate that we paid was SGD$220 for 4 days of usage.
Driving in Hua Hin is relatively safe (even safer than driving in Bangkok). The roads are easy to navigate around and Google Maps worked quite well for us to get around Hua Hin and Cha-Am (a district north of Hua Hin). In case you're wondering, Thailand practises the right hand drive so if you have been driving around Asian countries, it shouldn't be a problem. Drivers in Hua Hin aren't that aggressive but as always, practise defensive driving and always check your blind spots!
Travel Tip #2: If you have already decided on the places that you want to visit in Hua Hin, open up Google Maps and saved all these places before your trip so that it will be easy for you to navigate around. With Google Maps on your mobile phone, you save money by not having to rent a GPS set from the car rental company.
For our accommodation, we took the path less travelled and stayed at The Restro Hotel, a boutique hotel with a retro theme to it. We booked a superior room for 3 nights of stay through Agoda and in total, we paid SGD$285 which is inclusive of breakfast.
The owner of the hotel is a young gentlemen and he was very polite and thoughtful. Breakfast was also a hearty affair and the room that was assigned to us had an industrial theme. The last we heard, the hotel now has a pool and if you are keen to stay there, do book early because they are always running at a 100% occupancy rate!
There are plenty of attractions in Hua Hin and it was a pity that we did not have enough time to explore Hua Hin. There were so many things that we wanted to do in Hua Hin and getting around was easy since we rented a car to drive there.
For The Shopaholics
There are a couple of night markets in Hua Hin and when we were there, we visited two night markets; the Grand Night Market and the Cicada Market. The Grand Night Market is small and quite typical of most Thai Night Markets. The souvenirs are quite common and there wasn't anything much that were unique. Street food vendors are abundant if you're shopping for food.
In case you're wondering, the Grand Night Market is situated next to the Grand Hotel on Petchkasem Road and is open daily from 5pm to 11pm. Do note that they are closed on Tuesdays though.
As for the Cicada Market, we enjoyed shopping over there because there are some pretty unique finds over there. What's more, it is the place for the artsy fartsy! The only downside is that Cicada Markets only opens on Fridays and Saturdays from 4pm to 11pm and Sundays 4pm to 10pm; so if you want to visit, be in Hua Hin over the weekends. If you're staying at The Restro Hotel, you can walk to the Cicada Market and it should take you no more than 15 minutes .
For The Thrill Seekers
If you're a thrill-seeker and you are planning a visit to Hua Hin, you can consider visiting Siam Milsim and Sky Club Asia.
At SIAM MILSIM, we went for the ATV Tour and we had a go at their shooting range. It was a pity that we missed SIAM MILSIM's Zombie Infection event because it is their signature event which is essentially a full 9-hour war simulation game complete with authentic combat uniform, big airsoft guns, boat, jeeps, truck, real zombies (actors) and yes even insurance too.
I must say; safety was well observed throughout and Damien who was our instructor at SIAM MILSIM, makes sure that we know the weapon handling commands and safety procedures before we enter the shooting range to do some shooting. Personal protection equipment were also issued prior to the shoot and there will always be an instructor next to us to ensure that we were doing the right stuff.
As for the 4 Wheel Drive (4WD) ATV Tour, it was an entirely new experience for both Jacqueline and I. We really enjoyed ourselves and we had a great time admiring the beautiful scenery around Hua Hin's mountain. Yes, we rode up the mountain!
What is super amazing about SIAM MILSIM is that for most of the activities less the shooting range; they will have a dedicated staff who will take pictures and videos of you which you can then share on your own personal social media platforms after your visit; and yes, its complimentary. We definitely hope to visit SIAM MILSIM again!
SIAM MILSIM Open Every Day : 10am - 7 pm Address: 10/469 Huahin 94, HuaHin, 77110 Prachuap Kirikhan Thailand Telephone: 091-6970821 Email: email@example.com
Sky Club Asia
If you want to soar into the sky for a truly amazing flight experience; you might want to consider checking out Sky Club Asia, a paramotor flying training centre in Thailand. For just 3,900 Thai Baht (approximately SGD$150), you get a 20-minute safe, comfortable, and exciting flight experience where you can enjoy panoramic views of Sam Roi Yod National Park and along the beaches of Dolphin Bay, Pranburi.
To be honest, we were extremely lucky that we got the chance to fly because the weather was rather erratic when we visited Hua Hin. In order for us to have a chance to fly, we had to change our itinerary a couple of times so that we can accommodate the ideal day and time for flying which was very much dependent on the weather conditions as well. The flight takes off at one of the air strip in Hua Hin (which is a 25-minute drive from Hua Hin City Centre).
If you want to fly with Sky Club Asia, do contact them way in advance so that they can advise you on the possible flight dates and times when you visit Hua Hin. Should you not be able to secure a flight or should your flight be cancelled at the eleventh hour, do not despair because the pilot truly cares for your safety and will only fly when the weather permits.
Sky Club Asia Operating Hours: By Appointment Only Phone: 08 740 11113 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For The Nature and History Buff
We drove North of Hua Hin to Cha-Am and stopped by Pansook Farm (also known as 1000 Sook Food and Farm on TripAdvisor) where we spent half a day there for some photo opportunities. From its name, one could well guess that Pansook Farm is an actual farm and just so you know, there is an entrance fee which will cost 50 Thai Baht (approximately SGD$2) for an adult.
At Pansook Farm, there are many different kinds of animals and you can actually feed and touch them. In fact, there are many such farms in Cha-Am but in the interest of time, we only managed to visit Pansook Farm.
If visiting farms isn't really your kind of thing, you can visit the many pristine beaches at Hua Hin. Takiab Beach is one such beach and it is within walking distance from The Restro Hotel.
The Hua Hin Railway Station which is still operating as a legit train station is also an attraction not to be missed.
For The MasterChef Wannabes
We have always enjoyed eating Thai food and because we really wanted to learn to cook some authentic Thai food, we enrolled ourselves into a 1 Day Thai cooking course with Thai Cooking Course Hua Hin.
Although there are 3 menus available, there is no fixed schedule as to when a particular menu will be taught. For the course that we attended, we learnt to cook and prepare Pad Thai, Tom Yum Goong, Thai Green Curry with Chicken, and Khanom Lod Chong (a jackfruit and coconut dessert).
The course fee for 1 adult is 1500 Thai Baht (approximately SGD$60) and it includes a morning guided tour at Hua Hin's Local Market, a recipe book, a certificate of completion, transportation to and fro the hotel (if it is located within Hua Hin Town), and a sumptuous 4-course Thai meal.
What we really love about the cooking class is the fact that we got an entirely hands-on session after a demonstration by Beau (our instructor). The class size is kept small and this allows for maximum class participation and guidance by the instructor who was really patient with answering all the questions that we had.
After the class, we could not wait to hone our culinary skills and we are really glad to have attended the course because we can now cook authentic Thai food by ourselves. Just so you know, all of the Thai ingredients that we used at the cooking class can be found in Singapore too!
Honestly, we enjoyed ourselves in Hua Hin and we really wished we could have spent more time there. In fact, we will definitely consider visiting Hua Hin again and check out other places that we have not had the chance to visit. We hope that this comprehensive travel guide to Hua Hin, Thailand has been really useful and if you have any questions or comments for us, do feel free to do so below!