Exploring Hua Hin in Thailand With Kids
When we were looking for somewhere a little different to explore over Easter last year we had never heard of Hua Hin in Thailand. We had decided to travel to Bangkok and then wanted to find somewhere in Thailand that the kids would love. After a little research we settled on Hua Hin and we definitely made the right call.
Hua Hin is in the district of Prachuap Khiri Khan Province, about a three hour drive from Bangkok. It is a very popular beach weekend getaway for Thai residents so not as touristy as somewhere like Phuket. There are other options to get there from Bangkok if you are not keen on travelling on the Thai roads. If time is on your side, the five hour train trip is an option. Hua Hin Railway Station is also worth a look around as it has a beautiful wooden building that used to be a royal pavilion in Sanamcham Palace. There is also a bus that leaves from the Southern Bus Terminal in Bangkok.
Things to do for families in Hua Hin
Night Markets – There is a Night Market right in the middle of town open daily that is walking distance from a lot of the hotels. There are a few others that are a short tuk tuk ride away. Our favourite of these was Cicada Market. It is more of an arts and craft market but still has some great food options too. It is only open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays though. cicadamarket.com
Elephants – Everyone loves to ride elephants while in Thailand and Hua Hin has a couple of options. The one that we chose is called the Hutsadin Elephant Foundation. We chose Hutsadin as we felt it was the best one that looked after and really cared for these beautiful animals. It is a little out of town, about a 10 minute tuk tuk ride for us. We did a half hour trek, which is not the most scenic trek to do in Thailand but kept the kids happy. If trekking is not for you, there is the option of just going out and feeding or bathing the elephants. For adults they have a mahout experience for a day where you get to look after an elephant for the entire day. Just a note on the trek, the mahouts will stop and try to sell little trinkets but do not feel compelled to but any, this money does not go towards the care of elephants so we politely declined. Another tip is if you are taking a taxi or tuk tuk, you will need to tell them to take you to the elephant hospital otherwise they will take you to the elephant village which is a totally different place. For more information on Hutsadin go to hutsadin.com
Day Spas and Fish Spas – There are so many options available, just walk around the streets and you can find many day spas a lot cheaper than what the hotels have to offer. Our favourite though are the fish spas! You can find heaps of them here and they are great family fun, our boys loved them and the adults can even have a beer while you sit there and let the fish nibble away at your feet. We ended having one almost every night.
Water Parks – There are 3 main water parks you can visit in Hua Hin. The most recently opened is Vana Nava Water Jungle and another is Santorini Water Fantasty. The one we chose though was Black Mountain Water Park (see full review of Black Mountain Water Park), whichever park you choose is going to keep kids entertained for a whole day.
This is a great little town and there are other features such as the beach which is great for kiteboarding and you can always find plenty of horses to ride available. Wherever you go around town there are plenty of restaurants and bars – if you love seafood then you are in luck this place thrives on it. If you need a suit made there are a lot of tailor shops there (we were very happy with Hollywood tailors that we used), quite a few temples to visit and although we don’t play golf apparently the nearby golf courses are pretty amazing. We will be returning back to Hua Hin as there is still so much to explore.
We stayed at the Hilton Hua Hin – you can read my review here – HiltonHuaHin