Just over two hours away from central Bangkok and Suvarnabhumi International Airport is the seaside resort area of Hua Hin beach. Popularised by Thai royalty in the 1920s, it became Thailand’s first beach resort area. Now, its proximity to Bangkok and great variety of accommodation, attractions and beaches make Hua Hin beach a perfect spot for a quick but relaxing weekend getaway in Thailand.
Accommodation in the area can fit any budget range. From the simplest guest house to the most luxurious Hua Hin beach resort, there is something for everyone here. Recently, boutique-style resorts have become very popular with both Thai and international tourists. This kind of beach resort generally has many of the amenities of the bigger international chains as well as local design details and charm in an intimate setting. For example, the Anantara Hua Hin Resort & Spa is modelled after a traditional Thai village, while still containing a luxurious spa and two infinity-edge pools. Even though the beach area is so close to Bangkok, in places like Anantara, it is easy to feel that you have left the city behind you.
Apart from the shoreline in front of your beach resort, there are many beaches to explore in the area. The namesake beach boasts intriguing rock formations that give its name (“hua hin” means “head stone”), as well as the best sunrises for miles around. Neighboring Khao Takiab, seven kilometres to the south, includes a sea-facing 20-metre high Buddha statue, showing the way to a picturesque view of the bay and surrounding area. Just a bit further south of Khao Takiab is Suan Son, a Hua Hin beach known for its thickets of casuarina pine trees that line the shore’s sand. Further afield – but worth the trip – are Pranburi and Cha-am, two resort areas known for stylish accommodation and quieter beaches: perfect for a weekend getaway.
Once at the Hua Hin beach of your choice, what should you do? Fortunately, Hua Hin does not disappoint when it comes to recreation and attractions. While sunning yourself on the sand is always an appealing option, there are plenty of other activities for those who want to be more adventurous or active. Horse or elephant rides are perennially popular diversions and can be found at almost every beach. Of course, water sports are also crowd-pleasers – learn to wind-surf or kite-board one afternoon or explore the coastline from a sea kayak. If you prefer to remain on terra firma, the area abounds in world-class golf courses at which your beach resort can arrange for you to play, for nine or 18 holes.
After a day spent hitting the links or exploring the world underwater, you might need a relaxing massage or facial treatment to soothe skin exposed to too much sun. Luckily, Hua Hin is renowned as a centre for some of Thailand’s best spas, and it is easy to while away a Sunday afternoon with relaxing and rejuvenating treatments. After the spa, indulge in another form of therapy – shopping. The famous Hua Hin nightmarket is filled with fun goodies and great bargains. Post-shopping, treat yourself to some of the best seafood Thailand has to offer, brought in fresh daily by local fishermen. A weekend getaway at a Hua Hin beach would not be complete without the local seafood buffets along Naresdamri Road.