Breezy afternoons on the beach, loud cocktail nights in town: we all know and love Hua Hin for different reasons. The essential long-weekend destination for every Bangkokian is a haven for all types of weekenders. What might be lesser known, however, is that Hua Hin is also a special treat for fashion-savvy shoppers.
Recent developments in the town have seen larger department stores popping up, more artisan night markets, and trendier concept spaces. Few things make a fashionista on holiday quite as happy as being able to browse hand-crafted bags or pearly hair accessories on a beach. With its newly reimagined shopping scene, Hua Hin offers exactly that; it’s only a matter of finding the right places to go. That’s why we’ve got you this list of Hua Hin’s most charming, unique, and fashionable places to shop. From warehouse night markets to glitzy department stores, these are the places with the coolest stuff and the most fashionable crowds.
Inspired by the easy-going and wholesome lifestyle of people in “the good old days”, Plearn Wan market is a disneyland for the vintage lover. The market is dressed up in antique furniture, traditional shopfronts, and retro colours, all to immerse you in a full sensory experience of a nostalgic community. You’ll be strolling through a vibrant gathering of little traditional coffee houses, Thai dessert cafes, toyshops, ceramic workshops, and, of course, lots of clothes and accessories by Thai designers. For the most atmospheric shopping experience, Plearn Wan is definitely a winner.
Location: Plearn Wan, Petch Kasem Road, Soi 38-40, Prachuap Kiri Khan, Hua Hin, Thailand. Tel: 032-520-311. Opening Times: Mon – Thu 9am-9pm, Fri – Sat 9am-10pm.
Probably the most Instagrammed place on this list, Seenspace is Hua Hin’s most trendy concept space and community area. The beachside outdoor mall is both vibrant and laid-back, with various (air-conditioned) shops selling crafts, accessories, beachwear, vinyl records, homewares, and more. There’s a cool, artsy vibe about the place, with its modern minimalist architecture and pops of wall graffiti. Also featuring a beachfront pool, live bands, and plenty of stylish eateries, you could easily spend a whole afternoon here.
Location: 13/14 Hua Hin 35, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Bangkok 77110. Tel: 092-3500035. Opening times: Mon-Fri 12pm-9pm. Sat-Sun 11am-10pm.
Cicada is an artsy weekend market selling modern designer goods and adorable handcrafted gifts. You’ll find cool and unique items here, like t-shirts printed with contemporary art by local artists or handbags made from vintage packaging. It’s smaller than many other Hua Hin markets, but makes up for what it lacks in size with its charm. There’s a small outdoor theatre space that shows concerts, films, and even live dramas. The food market here is also impressive, with everything from Pad Thai to chocolate crêpes to round off your shopping spree. Often with live music playing and always decorated with overhanging fairy lights, Cicada is a magical way to spend a romantic evening.
Locations: 83/159 Soi Hua Hin 2, Nong Kae Road, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Hua Hin 77110. Tel: 099 669 7161. Opening times: Fri-Sun 4pm-11pm.
Gigantic glitzy department stores aren’t just for Bangkok. A member of the Mall Group, Hua Hin’s BlúPort is an impressive modern department store with all the familiar high street brands and restaurants; not to mention there’s also a world-class cineplex. Leave the non-shoppers to game away at the Whaley Port arcade and playground while you run around all the shops to your heart’s content. Don’t miss the indoor marketplace of unique Thai artisan products on the basement floor.
Location: 8/89 Nong Kae, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Hua Hin 77110. Tel: 032 905 111. Opening times: 10am-9pm daily.
Located just outside of Hua Hin and nearer to the Cha-am area, FN Outlet is the place to go for big bargains and small crowds. The outlet includes a huge number of discounted items from designer brands from Calvin Klein to Superdry. It also sells a huge range of homeware items and snacks. While the Fly Now Outlet itself is the largest retail space, this is actually an area shared with a few quaint restaurants, a gorgeously designed tearoom, and a Club 21 outlet store that sits right opposite FN. Make sure you give the latter a visit – pieces from brands like Kenzo and Paul Smith are known to be sold at around 70% off original prices. When you need a shopping break, head down to take photos in the odd but irresistibly fun mirror garden featuring dozens of clay flamingos and, um, a T-rex.
Locations: 1999/99 Petch Kasem Road, Cha-Am, Phetchaburi 76120. Tel: 064-301-7106. Opening times: 9am-8pm daily.
This article first appeared on Lifestyle Asia Bangkok on 2 May 2019.