There is no doubt that Thailand is an amazing place. The beaches, the warm weather and people, the food, culture and scenery are so wonderful to experience. It’s a large country, with endless choices of places to visit. In the north you’ll find mountainous landscape and lush, thick jungle and in the south, picture perfect beaches and dramatic limestone islands. Somewhere in the wonderful middle, you’ll find Hua Hin. Read on to discover what makes it special and perfect for families.
Hua Hin, Thailand Has Much to Offer Families
If you’ve been to Thailand or considered traveling there at all, then chances are you’re familiar with some of the more well known destination areas. You may have heard of Phuket, Krabi, Chiang Mai or Koh Samui. These are all amazingly stunning places to visit in their own right. But we were also fortunate to stumble upon a lesser known jewel – a place called Hua Hin. We were far from the first travelers to hear of Hua Hin. It’s a beautiful coastal town on the Gulf of Thailand. Some highlights are world class golf courses, a foundation that rescues, and gives travelers the opportunity to care for, elephants and a vineyard in the hills. Yes, you read that right; a vineyard in Thailand. Hua Hin is a very popular destination for those living in Thailand, both locals and expats. And there are a few key reasons for that.
Hua Hin is Convenient and Will Save You Money
The beaches in the south of Thailand are pristine and stunning. Koh Tao, an island in the Gulf of Thailand, is one of my favourite places on earth, to this day. But you know what? Getting to these places, from Bangkok, takes a lot of extra money and effort. And Hua Hin? It’s just a three hour drive south of Bangkok and boasts a beautiful fine white sand beach, several kilometers long. There are plenty of legitimate van services that can be pre-booked online so that you’ll have a driver waiting to pick you up when you land in Bangkok. You’ll get a private van that can comfortably seat up to 11 people. Ours had a good sized screen, and plenty of movies for the kids to choose from. We paid $90 USD one way.
As a family with small children we much preferred this than paying for five more flights to the south (as we have done in the past), or taking our kids on an overnight bus down to the port, and then ferry to the islands.
Authentic Local Experiences and Flavors Abound in Hua Hin
Hua Hin has been a long time getaway for those living in Bangkok. It’s not too far to go to get fresh air and a nice stretch of beautiful beach. So while there is still a decent amount of Western influence in Hua Hin (in the form of one large shopping mall) you will not see Starbucks and McDonalds everywhere you turn. And this is even more evident as you move out of Hua Hin. We rented scooters and stayed about 15 minutes out of the city. I highly recommend renting scooters if you bring along your International Driving Permit and are confident of your driving skills. There are many great beaches and spots all along the coast to explore.
We were smitten with our little area. This was the first time we had ever stayed somewhere in Thailand that we were the only foreigners to be seen, for portions of the day. It was not what we were used to, but we found everything we needed. In the morning, we enjoyed exotic fruits, wonderful coffee and Thai iced teas. Our days continued, eating like the locals were eating. Everything was fresh, delicious and reasonably priced. We had a few wonderful restaurants nearby and also enjoyed a lot of picnics on the beach. In the end, we tried lots of new things and came away with many new favourites.
Hua Hin Offers Peace, Quiet and Family Friendliness
Because a lot of Thais and expats living in Thailand tend to head to Hua Hin for vacation, you won’t see the same number of hawkers or tourists on the beaches as you would at some of the more popular tourist destinations. The beach stretches on and on. And it’s quiet. You’ll find peace, to the sound of waves crashing by day, and quiet by night. Hua Hin is not known for having a wild nightlife.
So while Hua Hin may not come up as a must see place in Thailand, don’t just pass it by because it’s not where the crowds flock. It is well worth a visit all on it’s own. The added benefits that it offers families may just make it surpass the other options for you.