Owned by the founder of Thailand’s Red Bull empire, Hua Hin Hills boasts 560 acres of vineyards in a stunning setting some 40 kilometres west of Hua Hin. An upscale restaurant and tasting area overlook elephants being led through the vines, straw-hatted workers picking grapes and a golden chedi glistening in the surrounding ... Read more about Hua Hin Hills .
The 270-metre-high Khao Takiab, or “Chopsticks Hill”, marks the southern end of Hua Hin beach in dramatic fashion. Visitors who approach from the sand are greeted by a massive standing Buddha that looks out over the sea from a sheer rock cliff. A winding stairway continues up the hill to unveil striking views and a breezy temple named after the hill itself. Just watch out for the ... Read more about Wat Khao Takiab .
Crimson-and-beige signs with pointed tops are found all over Hua Hin, from cafes to markets, right down to the street signs. All of them attempt to capture the style of Hua Hin Train Station, one of the oldest and arguably the most picturesque in Southeast Asia. Most people only think of going to a train station if they want to catch a train, but here, the station is an attraction in its own ... Read more about Hua Hin Train Station .
While Hua Hin beach is the only one that most visitors ever see, long stretches of sand continue all the way down the coast of Prachuap Khiri Khan province. The water off most of the area's beaches tends to be shallow and not great for swimming, though Khao Tao is an exception. Beware of the deadly box jellyfish, which are occasionally spotted off the coast from August to October. Hua Hin ... Read more about Beaches around Hua Hin .
Package tourists pack the night market. Touts pounce on every corner. Seedy bars and “massage” shops dominate what could have been preserved as an old town. Development has been poorly planned along the traffic-choked main drag, and authorities are cracking down on land encroachment and gouged prices on the beach. At first glance, the resort city of Hua Hin lacks ... Read more about Naeb Kehardt Road .
A three-kilometre hike, cycle or drive to the west of downtown Hua Hin brings you up to Khao Hin Lek Fai, a flint-stone hill with views to rival Khao Takiab. The stone slopes gently down in various directions and leads to a few different perches with both southerly and northerly views. Looming directly over the city, the hill allows you to peer down and estimate where your guesthouse is ... Read more about Khao Hin Lek Fai .
Located around 25 km south of downtown Hua Hin, this small national park has one of the most extensive mangrove forest walkways in Thailand. Mangrove trees blanket most of the park's nearly 800 acres, with a pine-fringed beach on one side and a rock formation known as the Ram's Head, reachable after a two km hike inland, on the other. Initiated by the Thai royal family in the early 1980s, the ... Read more about Pranburi Forest Park (Wana Utthayan Pran) .
Baan Sillapin is located a few kilometres west of central Hua Hin on Route 3218. From Phetkasem Road, head west on Chomsin Road (aka Soi Hua Hin 70) and bear right at the crossroads, following signs for Pala-U. From there, the art village is a short drive away on the right and is clearly marked by a sign. You can also pay a tuk tuk around 500 baht roundtrip, or catch one of the large Pala-U bound ... Read more about Hua Hin Art Village (Baan Sillapin) .
Hua Hin offers several other activities that you're sure to find out about from touts and tuk tuk drivers within 10 minutes after arriving. Among the most notable is Pala-U waterfall, where clean mountain water cascades down several tiers amid impressive old growth jungle. Pala-U is located in the far southern reaches of Kaeng Krachan National Park (and included in our coverage of the park). ... Read more about Other activities .
Plearn Wan is a neatly packaged vintage market that tries to remind Thai people of what their country was like 50 years ago. Recycled wood and galvanised metal blend with old flags, lanterns, street carts and Chinese-Thai food shops that are supposed to look like they did decades ago. As it turns out, that's not much different than how they still look today (including just down the street in ... Read more about Plearn Wan .
The Travelfish newsletter is sent out every Monday and is jammed full of free advice for travel in Southeast Asia. You can see past issues here.