Best Beaches in Hua Hin
Over the years, Thailand’s Hua Hin has graduated from a sleepy fishing village to a high-end seaside retreat destination. It has been the resort town of choice for the wealthy and local royalty for roughly a hundred years, with foreign travelers increasingly starting to take notice as well.
Today, Hua Hin blends city and sea, welcoming travelers of all budgets. Hua Hin is popular with Bangkok residents who want to escape the busy city on the weekends to enjoy a bit of relaxation. Foreign visitors wanting to check out this seaside secret can take advantage of cheap transport options from Bangkok to Hua Hin. The beach resort town can be reached in less than three hours from Bangkok.
Visitors to Hua Hin will enjoy authentic Thai cuisine, well manicured golf courses, lively markets, plenty of shopping, and a wide variety of accommodation options ranging from cozy bungalows to 5-star resorts. Of course many travelers simply come to Hua Hin for its many beaches.
Even if you you’re only visiting Bangkok for a short period, you can still easily find time to discover this seaside gem. Much less hectic than Pattaya, the other beach resort town just outside of Bangkok on the other side of the Gulf of Thailand, Hua Hin offers the ideal traditional Thai beach experience. Here are some of Hua Hin’s most notable beaches to check out while you’re there.
Hua Hin Beach
The aptly named Hua Hin Beach is without a doubt the seaside town’s most notable beach. This rather long and flat stretch of gorgeous white sand runs nearly the entire length of the town. There is something for everyone at Hua Hin Beach and plenty of room to spread out and claim your own private slice of sand. To escape most of the crowds, avoid the weekends which is when most residents of Bangkok head to Hua Hin.
You will find a number of name brand hotels situated alongside the beach along with a seemingly endless array of restaurants where you can sample some delicious authentic Thai cuisine. Work off your meals with some jet skiing or kiteboarding and don’t miss catching sunrise while riding horseback along the surf.
Relax away the afternoons by grabbing one of the many sun loungers available or take advantage of area tours which can be booked straight from the beach through the numerous beach hawkers. To avoid the sales pitches of hawkers, simply set yourself up on the far northern or southern ends of the beach.
Khao Takiab Beach
Just a short distance to the south of Hua Hin Beach is Khao Takiab Beach. Despite its close proximity to Hua Hin Beach, Khao Takiab Beach offers a completely different atmosphere. The beach is much less crowded and has a bit more natural feel to it.
The beach is overlooked by the hilltop Buddhist temple Wat Khao Takiap which you may want to check out for its sweeping views of the gulf. You’ll also encounter a 20-meter-tall golden standing Buddha and hoards of macaques, which has led to the hill being nicknamed Monkey Mountain. You may even catch some of the macaques down on the rocks near the water or clambering over the local fishing boats.
Suan Son Pradipat Beach
Heading south even further is Suan Son Pradipat Beach. Here, nearly 8km of unspoiled beach awaits you. You will find plenty of shade available, not in the form of palm trees, but instead giant pines that run the length of the beach. Low tide is the best time to visit the beach, as it becomes wide enough to spread out on the sand or go for a run along the gently lapping waves.
The beach is situated within a military controlled area and you’ll need to pass a check-point if coming by road. The beach is known as a local secret and few foreign visitors make the trip here. This makes it one of the area’s least crowded beaches. Just off the beach you’ll find plenty of places to grab lunch or a refreshing beachside drink. There are also small but beautiful gardens and ponds to walk around. Don’t miss the interesting outdoor whale skeleton on display.
If you’re a golfer, Suan Son Pradipat Beach is right next to the Sea Pines Golf Club which will allow you to catch the beautiful beach views without having to set foot on the sand, unless of course you happen to land in a bunker.
Khao Tao Beach
Continuing in a southerly direction you will eventually reach Khao Tao Beach. Although this beach may be smaller than the others, its quiet location in a secluded cove makes it ideal for those wanting to really escape the crowds. Khao Tao Beach also offers much better swimming conditions due to the fact you can find deeper water more easily.
Be sure to head up the hill that overlooks the beach to check out the many fascinating sculptures and caves of Wat Tham Khao Tao. In addition to a large giant Buddha, there is also a large golden tortoise sculpture. Wat Tham Khao Tao offers a similar vibe to Barcelona’s famous Park Güell.
Enjoy checking out the small fishing village along the beach which is usually completely void of tourists. There may be fewer accommodation options and restaurants nearby but Khao Tao Beach definitely makes a great day trip to escape the crowds. You may also want to check out the nearby Khao Tao Yoga @oliveretreat for an early sunrise yoga session followed by a healthy vegan breakfast.
Wat Tham Khao Tao photos by josef knecht CC BY 3.0 via wikimedia Commons
Those looking for a beach in the north of Hua Hin will want to check out Cha-am Beach. Similarly to Hua Hin Beach to its south, Cha-am offers a multitude of activities to choose from including banana boat rides, jet skis, volleyball, and beach horse rides. It’s not quite as lively as Hua Hin Beach but can get crowded on the weekends much like Hua Hin Beach
The many restaurants running along Cha-am Beach offer up some of the area’s freshest and most affordable seafood and accommodation options are plentiful. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to enjoy a relaxing traditional Thai massage under a seaside umbrella. Wat Neranchararam and the King Naresuan Monument aren’t too far off the northern part of Cha-am Beach and both warrant a short visit.