Hua Hin is a bustling, interesting place – particularly for the person that likes to shop. If you can’t come home from vacation without a bag full of souvenirs then don’t miss the shopping opportunities in Hua Hin, Thailand’s beach resort city. Find out what to buy, where to shop, and how much to spend in Hua Hin’s markets and stores.
Night Markets in Hua Hin
Like other towns and cities in Thailand, Hua Hin has a bustling night market scene. You can buy practically anything in the night markets – DVDs, T-shirts, antiques, crafts, and food (plenty of food). Most items are reasonably priced making the Hua Hin market an ideal place for browsing and shopping. In Hua Hin there are two night markets, one in the center of Hua Hin which is geared more towards tourists, and one in the parking lot of the Grand Hotel – called the Grand Market. More Thais tend to visit this market – Friday is when it is at its busiest. It is best to visit the night markets after 7pm. When you are buying from the night markets it is advisable to haggle – most prices are not fixed and you can get a better deal when discussing the price. If you think the price is too high, don’t be afraid to walk away – you will usually get called back with a better offer, or otherwise you can find what you are looking for at another stall.
Chat Chai Market
Close to the night markets is the Chat Chai Market, the day market, where the locals go to buy their groceries, fresh fruit, seafood, textiles, flowers, and other essentials. This market is worth looking around even if you are not planning to buy anything – the stalls are interesting and you get a good idea of the lives of ordinary Thai people.
Visit the Cicada Market in Hua Hin for handmade items like jewelry, art, clothing, and souvenirs. There is also live music and entertainment on offer. The market is divided into four different sections for items as diverse as sculpture, crafts, and home accessories. The Cicada market also has a number of different restaurants and food stalls so you always have choice of what to eat. The Cicada Market is open from 4pm to 11pm so you can go browse the shops and also have something for dinner.
Hua Hin Market Village
Hua Hin Market Village is open from 10am to 10pm and is basically a large shopping center or mall, with an entertainment complex built in. You can find clothes, branded goods, and some electronics here over a total of three floors. The Food Hall is a must-visit, particularly as it is air conditioned and provides a welcome respite from the Thai heat.
Hua Hin’s “living museum” has exhibits displaying Thai life in the 1950s, and it also has some shops and a food court. You can find a wide selection of quirky, interesting souvenirs here and also some nice fashion and jewelry.
Hua Hin Antique Shop
This is a flea market-style antique shop that sells all kinds of items from bikes to jewelry and other treasures. If you have time to browse around, the store is a great place to unearth some hidden gems. The antique shop is located on the corner of Phetkasem and Naresdamri.
If you are looking for unique jewelry, pay a visit to Saphira in Hua Hin, with its selection of gold and silver pieces. Saphira is the prime destination for jewelry and you can also watch jewelry being made on the premises.
This is the place to go if you want to fill your suitcase with cheap, branded clothes and accessories. The Premium Outlet sells all the usual brands and you can find items that are heavily discounted from the regular prices. It is worth coming here for good quality goods as most of the clothing sold on the markets is counterfeit, and may not be the best quality.
What to Buy: Souvenirs
Fabric, silk and textiles are some of the most prized and popular souvenirs of Hua Hin you can buy. The specialty in Hua Hin is pha phim khommaphat, a type of printed cotton that is sold by the yard or ready-made into sarongs, shirts, cushions, and children’s toys. If you are looking for genuine examples of this hand-woven cotton then visit the Baan Khao Tao center for handicrafts where you can see a wide variety of different cottons to buy, both plan fabric and also fabric made into items. Other souvenirs from the Hua Hin region include bamboo woven items, jewelry and accessories made from coconut shells, silk, gemstones, and pottery.
For more information on Hua Hin hotels and resorts, Hua Hin restaurants, and attractions see PhuketOn. The site of PhuketOn is your prime destination for information and inspiration on Hua Hin, Phuket, and Bangkok.