what to buy in paradise city ...
The best known of these is definitely Hua Hin night market. A visit here is an absolute must during your stay. It is located in the centre of town and runs up from Petchkasem Road to the railway line and opens from around 18.00.
Most stalls will start to break down at approximately 23.00, however some selling food will stay open until dawn.
The market is a fascinating insight into Thailand and the way Thais like to live. You will find countless outlets selling delicious food that is freshly cooked and served to you within a matter of minutes. Do also take a look behind the stalls on the pavements because there are plenty of restaurants there as well. Other than the food, you'll discover an overwhelming variety of local handicrafts, souvenirs and clothing on sale. The night market can get very hot and busy at weekends, so take your time here. Prices can also be a bit more expensive than other markets in Hua Hin, but they still represent good value.
For an experience of a real Thai day market, look no further than Chat Chai which is situated, undercover, right next to the night market. This is where locals will go to buy their daily groceries and you'll see an amazing variety of meats, fish, seafood, vegetables and fruit being sold. The market has recently gone through a refurbishment and is even more of a delight to visit than before. It starts to set up at between 04.00-05.00 and stays open until around 19.00.
Another centrally located market can be found at The Grand Hotel, just a short walk south of the centre of Hua Hin. It is open from 16.00-22.00 and from Wednesdays to Sundays. You can shop for food, toys, clothes, plants, fish, pets and books here.
A bit further afield are a couple of local markets that are worth visiting, but are not really within walking distance of Hua Hin town centre. The first is known as Pae Mai and all taxi drivers will know it. It was located next to the golf driving range, over the railway tracks at the start of the canal road until recently, but has now relocated further down the canal road. When you reach the first set of traffic lights, turn left and you're there. This is probably the most popular market with locals and you can find food, clothes and great bargains on electrical appliances, household items, motoring accessories, tools and much more. The main day is Tuesday, with Wednesday being open, but only for fresh produce and clothes. Thursday to Saturday it is closed, but Sundays have a large market again, although not as extensive as Tuesdays. Opening times are roughly 17.00-22.00.
A bit further along the Canal road from Pae Mai are two others, including one called Dinosour, that open daily at the same times for fresh produce and clothes. As you venture further from Hua Hin you will find small local markets serving each sub district or neighbourhood, they all open on set days of the week and offer similar fare to that described above. Enjoy your local shopping experiences in Hua Hin and remember to smile as you negotiate. To join in on discussions relating to food and markets, or to ask any questions, visit our Feeding Time forum.