Cha-am Beach in Petchaburi & Hua Hin Beach in Prachuap Khiri Khan

Just two and a half hour drive southwest of Bangkok, Cha-am and Hua Hin are renowned tourist destinations for both locals and foreigners. Besides its beautiful sandy beach, waterfalls and fresh seafood, Cha-am and Hua Hin feature many world-renowned golf courses, award-winning wellness spas, waterparks, markets and even a vineyard.

Best time to go

These two resort towns lie on the Gulf of Thailand, so the most rain falls between late September and December (and occasionally until February). The high season, therefore, is between March and October.

How to get to Hua Hin from Bangkok

By Land: Driving from Bangkok to Cha-am takes approximately 2 hours and from there another half an hour to Hua Hin.

Bus from Bangkok’s Southern Bus Terminal to Cha-am takes about 3 hours and from there another half an hour to Hua Hin.

Train from Bangkok Hua Lamphong Station to Cha-am takes around 4 hours, and to Hua Hin about 4.5 hours.

Activities

In Cha-am and Hua Hin, there are plenty of things to see and do for families, couples and friends. Hua Hin is home to Thailand’s first golf course, Royal Hua Hin, which opened in the 1920s. In the last decade, Hua Hin has become a continental hub for golf tournaments, both local and global, with several world-class golf courses within a short drive from town centre.

For people who love water sports, Hua Hin is the best destination in Thailand for kitesurfing. The right wind and flat, shallow water have made Hua Hin beach a perfect place for kitesurfers at all levels. Other water sports on offer include water-skiing, sailing, windsurfing, and parasailing. Cha-am and Hua Hin’s other charm is that you can ride a horse along the beach.

Hua Hin is also one of Thailand’s best spa destinations. The best known include Chiva Som, the Barai, Cenvaree, and Anantara.

Attractions

Waterparks: Hua Hin is home to two large waterparks: Black Mountain and Vana Nava. Both waterparks are perfect for families, catering for both adults and children, with different levels of rides and slides. The highlight of Vana Nava is its challenging long waterslide, the largest slide in Thailand.

Markets: For shopping and dining like the locals, check out Hua Hin Night Market, Cicada Market and Plearn Wan. Hua Hin Night Market is a must for every visitor to Hua Hin. There are more than a hundred stalls selling street food, clothes, jewellery, crafts, home décor, souvenirs, etc. It opens every day from 5pm until late. Cicada Market is unique due to its hybrid nature, a fusion of modernity and Thai culture. Cicada market comprises four areas: the A La Mode sells handmade bags, cloths, souvenirs and cards; the Cicada Art Factory exhibits artworks of young artists; the Amphitheatre focuses on entertainment – a mix of Thai traditional and contemporary performances; and the Cicada Cuisine is the eatery, filled with a wide variety of cuisines from Thai to international cuisines. It opens every Friday and Saturday from 4pm until late. Plearn Wan focuses on the traditional Thai practices, particularly showcasing the Thai way of life. Plearn Wan preserves the old traditional architectural styles whilst highlighting the lifestyle, foods and drinks that were prevalent through the late 1950’s. Thai street food is another highlight of the Plearn Wan. It open is daily from 9am to 9pm.

Winery: Another place worth checking out is Hua Hin Hills Vineyard. Here you can relax with pleasant views while enjoying fine food and excellent wine.