10 ways to have a right royal family holiday in Thailand’s Hua Hin

Hua Hin was Thailand’s first seaside holiday destination, with the country’s first resort, the Railway Hotel, built here over 90 years by the Royal Family.

The beauty of Hua Hin was discovered by railroad engineers in 1909 and as the railroad was completed, connected Bangkok to Malaysia and Singapore, it became a destination where wealthy Bangkok residents built their holiday homes, and soon became known internationally.

The Railway Hotel is now the Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Hua Hin, and while the hotel has grown significantly over the years, the original building still stands. At the centre of town, it’s a great place to stay.

Hua Hin remains a great destination for families, with long white sandy beaches, safe swimming and plenty of fun activities. Here are 10 activities for kids in Hua Hin.

  1. Light some incense and pray for good fortune at Wat Hua Hin, built during the reign of King Chulalongkorn (King Rama V)
  2. Take in the sights, sounds and smells of Chat Chai market which sells everything from fresh vegetables, all manner of seafood to local handicrafts and school uniforms. Be sure to quench your thirst with a fresh coconut, usually around 20 Baht ($1).
  3. Visit historic Hua Hin Train Station which opened in 1911 and still holds its colonial charm. Be sure to take a selfie outside the old Royal Waiting Room, a grand-looking building that was used to welcome the King and his court when they visited the town.
  4. Go for a horse ride along the beach. At the entrance to Hua Hin’s main beach area you’ll find a selection of ponies and horses available for hire for a walk or a trot along the white sandy beach.
  5. Get a few thrills at Vana Nava Water Jungle, one of the largest water parks in Thailand, which also boasts the largest and longest water slides in Thailand. As well as the thrills, there are water play areas for littlies and a unique ‘Aquacourse’, a course of ropes and challenging obstacles, combined with water guns.
  6. Step back in time with a visit to Mrigadayavan Palace, the Summer Palace of King Rama VI. The Palace is currently being restored to its former glory, and there are lots of interesting artefacts on display throughout the sprawling complex. NB: Wear clothes that cover your shoulders and knees.
  7. Taste food from all over Thailand, browse through stalls selling arts and crafts and take in some live music at Cicada Market. This upscale market opens at 4pm on Friday and Saturday nights, and it’s very family friendly.
  8. Get an ice cream at Plearn Wan – a two-storey wooden ‘vintage village’ that is a bit like Thailand’s answer to Coney Island. There’s plenty of ice cream stands upstairs and souvenir shops downstairs, as well as a Ferris wheel for the littlies.
  9. Grab a deck chair and have lunch on the beach at one of the many cafes and restaurants on Hua Hin Beach, and wriggle your toes in the sand as you eat. They all serve the same thing (Thai favourites such as Pad Thai, BBQ seafood, pasta, burgers or fries).
  10. Visit the Hua Hin night markets, taste some BBQ seafood and pick up a few souvenirs. The night markets stretch over two blocks, a few blocks down from Hua Hin Railway Station, and they’re a blast to the senses, a kaleidoscope of colour and cacophony of noises.

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