In 1834, before the name Hua Hin was coined, some agricultural areas of Phetchaburi Province were hit by severe drought. A group of farmers moved south until they found a small village that had bright white sand and a row of rocks along the beach. They settled there and gave it the name Samore Riang (Samo Riang), which means “rows of rocks”.
In 1921 the director of the state railway, Prince Purachatra, built the Railway Hotel close to the beach. Prince Krom Phra Naresworarit was the first member of the royal family to build a group of palaces at Ban Laem Hin, called Sukaves, and gave the beach next to his palace the name “Hua Hin”. King Prajadhipok (Rama VII) liked the place so much that he built a summer palace there which was later named Klai Kang Won (“far from worries”). From 2004 until 2006 it was the full-time residence of King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX), until health issues forced him to return to Siriraj Hospital in Bangkok, where medical facilities and physicians were closer at hand.
In 1932 Hua Hin was part of Pran Buri District as a minor district (king amphoe). In 1949 Hua Hin became a separate district of Prachuap Khiri Khan. After the building of Thailand’s southern railway connected the district with Bangkok along with various destinations en route, Hua Hin became the first and most popular beach resort in the country.
As a result of the bombings that occurred in the past year, the tourist numbers, both Westerner and Thais has dropped dramatically as of Nov 2016! There are Farangs (Westerners) here, but not too many, and as a result the hotels and night markets do not have the custom they are used to. This may mean that you can get a better hotel price.
Popularised as a resort in the early-1920s by King Prajadhipok, Hua Hin is closely associated with the Thai royal family and is a quiet and relaxing seaside resort ideal for family vacations, a reasonable 2.5 hours drive down from Bangkok. Until 1934, it was known as Samore Riang (สมอเรียง), or “rows of rocks”.
The tranquil fishing village was turned into a royal resort and consequently became popular among Siam’s nobility and upper classes. In 1928, Prajadhipok built his Klai Kangwon (Far From Worries) Palace. As of 2007, Klai Kangwon is a full-time residence of the current king and is not open for visitors, although the outer palace grounds are open for walkers and joggers 16:00-19:00 daily (wear shoes, have sleeved shirts that cover at least your upper arms and bring your passport).
The 5 km long beach itself is pretty, more so than Pattaya‘s, and the sea is relatively clean. However, most of the beach can completely disappear along certain parts of the coast during high tide. Besides just sunbathing, snorkelling and swimming, visitors can also enjoy golf, spas, caves, peaks, waterfalls, shops, seafood and nearby national parks. The town is clean, warm and laid-back, making it ideal for families and couples.