Hua Hin boasts several shopping malls catering to a broad variety of tastes, where you can find a wide selection of international and local brands whilst escaping the heat of the day. The main shopping malls in and around Hua Hin are as follows.
Located just off the main Petchakasem Road approximately 2 km south of Hua Hin, this is the largest and most well known of the local shopping malls.
Opened in 2006, it has remained perennially popular with tourists, expats and locals, due to the quality of goods and the range of shops as well as the accessible location. The shops open early and normally close around 9 pm (the cinema and bowling close later).
Getting there and away is simple: tuk-tuks and motorbike taxis wait outside, or with private transport you’ll find reasonable parking for cars and motorbikes; it can be rather busy especially on the weekends and holidays, and there isn’t much room for larger bikes in the narrow bays.
It’s easy enough to spend at least half a day shopping at Market Village, as there are plenty of stores and the atmosphere is pleasant and air-conditioned. Special events such as concerts are sometimes held in the courtyard outside, especially during Thai holidays.
Tesco Lotus supermarket is located on the ground floor (i.e. Level 1) and offers a great selection of international and Thai products, typically slightly more expensive than elsewhere (such as the local markets for food) but everything’s well-organized under one roof which makes an efficient shopping experience. There is also a food court just inside the entrance with a selection of reasonably-priced menus.
Home Pro (floor 2) offers everything imaginable for home improvement and DIY. There is an abundance of staff who are always eager to assist in providing advice. The Power electronics store adjoins Home Pro, but for a greater selection you might try elsewhere.
Those looking for cheap or branded clothing won’t be disappointed as in addition to numerous small stalls selling T-shirts, bags, shoes and sarongs there are many big name brands on every level including Adidas, Benetton, Body Glove, Clarks, Lee, Levis, Nike, Pierre Cardin, and Speedo. Mike and Co tailors is on the second floor.
The central foyer Center Court has a regular discounted clothes sale with premium and budget brands at each stall and the vendors change every few weeks.
Kids Market on the top floor is a large section devoted to clothes and toys for children.
Electronics and Mobile
For electronics and especially mobile phones, the third floor has a huge selection of stores – Banana IT is the largest of these which offers just about everything, and iBeat specializes only in Apple products. Some of the major laptop brands also have a presence – Lenovo, Samsung, Acer and Toshiba each have small stores. There are dozens of mobile phone retailers selling phones, SIM cards, cases and accessories, in addition to a Blackberry and HTC specialist (Zoom Technology).
Camera enthusiasts are catered for by the Photo Hut and The Big Camera shops, but Banana IT also carries a limited range.
Restaurants and Food
Food-wise, Market Village has something for everyone’s taste whether it’s just a quick snack, local Thai food or good quality international cuisine.
Most of the seated restaurants are on the second floor including Sizzler steakhouse, KFC, Fuji (Japanese), The Pizza Company, Santa Fe steakhouse (cheaper than Sizzler), MK Restaurant (Japanese), Ya Yoi (Japanese), a Thai noodle soup restaurant, and an Italian deli.
Scattered around the mall are dozens of stands offering all kinds of snacks including fruit, coffee, donuts and ice cream (there is even one with a tempting chocolate fountain!).
Secret Recipe, Black Canyon and Starbucks coffee shops offer a decent brew, and there’s a Swensens ice cream parlor on the ground floor. Hua Hin Hills vineyard has an outlet here outside in the courtyard, and they offer wine (local and international) and a small selection of food.
The two major outlets in Market Village are the Major Bowl bowling alley and Major Cineplex cinema. Major Bowl is a six-lane alley and also provides food, drinks and karaoke. Prices rise at the weekend, but they do have various special offers such as lady’s day (50% discount) and student day. When you purchase a cinema ticket you’ll sometimes receive a voucher for a free game of bowling.
The cinema shows a range of the latest Hollywood and Thai movies, mainly in Thai with occasional English subtitles or with English audio. However this is rare and surprising especially considering the number of westerners living in and visiting Hua Hin. If there is a movie you are keen to see in English, you may be wise to visit one of the large cinemas in Bangkok or pick up a DVD from one of the many street sellers (but check the quality first!).
Ticket prices range from 100-140 baht for a normal seat falling to 80 baht on Wednesdays. Concessions are available (e.g. for children) and the more expensive Honeymoon and Opera Chairs offer considerably more leg room and a chance to cosy up to your significant other.
For kids, Galaxy arcade next to the cinema has some of the latest games, and more machines are situated around the second floor.
For the health-conscious, Letic Gym has around 1200 square metres of workout space, with a variety of classes available including aerobics, step and yoga.
Once you’ve shopped until you’ve dropped, you can get pampered at one of the hair salons, enjoy a massage or visit one of the skin and body clinics. There are also a couple of bookstores (SE-ED and Asia Books) with titles in several languages. Asia Books has many English books but the prices are quite high. There are also a few gold and diamond stores, and a Yamaha musical instrument shop which mainly sells guitars.
Most of the major banks (Kasikorn, TMB, SCB and Krungthai) have branches on the second floor with ATMs all around the mall. Aeon-Spot bank is on Floor 3 and does not charge 150 baht to use their ATMs with foreign cards (the exchange rates used may be lower to compensate – check before you use it!)
Disabled access to the building is reasonable; there is at least one lift and there is a shop on the ground floor which rents out wheelchairs. There is also a long sloped ramp up to the second floor.
Hua Hin Nadpob Market
Nadpob market shopping mall opened in early 2011, located quite centrally in Hua Hin at 110/1 Petchakasem Road (on the corner with Soi 76, opposite the Hua Hin Tourist centre heading towards the train station). As the newest shopping mall in Hua Hin many units are still unoccupied, and as such it feels rather deserted. However, there is underground parking and it’s easily accessible from the town centre though crossing Petchkasem Road on foot can be quite hazardous.
Nadpob doesn’t yet offer a compelling reason to visit compared with Market Village, but considering it’s proximity to the town centre and that it does have are a few nice restaurants, it might be worth a trip. Hopefully, once more interesting stores open and word spreads then it may reach its full potential.
The individual stores are quite small, and are split over two levels accessible by an elevator. There are a couple of beauty salons and The Body Shop, kids stores selling games and toys, and tailors and leather shops on the ground floor. Upstairs is a tiny art gallery which features well-painted and traditional Thai and Buddhist images and an art shop next door with large sculptures and other Thai artifacts.
Nadpob contains several small coffee shops and a rather pleasant Indian restaurant bizarrely named “Thank You in Indian” (one can imagine a mis-translation was the cause!). There is also a branch of Jeffer Steak and the quite classy Deep Ocean seafood restaurant and wine bar, with outdoor seating facing onto Petchakasem Road. The adjoining bar is the Pirate Bar which promises an evening of pirate-related jollity. Upstairs there will be a food court (as yet unopened) and selection of game and Internet terminals.
Hua Hin Shopping Mall
Hua Hin Shopping Mall is a well-established mall situated next door to Nadpob, just off the main Petchkasem Road on the corner of Soi 74/2 (open daily between 9.30 am and 9.30 pm). It’s very centrally-located but only provides on-street parking for motorbikes; those with cars might struggle to find a space, or be better off parking next door at Nadpob.
The mall is split across three floors – it’s rather disorganized but there are a few bargains to be had amongst the multitude of shops. Downstairs there’s a medium-sized supermarket with quite reasonable prices, though for a larger selection of products you’d be better off going to Tesco Lotus at Market Village.
The lower and second floors comprises dozens of smaller shops selling a wide variety of goods including clothing, bags, shoes, makeup, jewelry, various handicrafts and even a small bookshop. There aren’t many big name brands and the layout is quite haphazard but the prices are generally acceptable.
The third floor contains the IT market – several small shops selling (and repairing) typical computer and electronics goods such as laptops, printers, mobiles, SIM cards and accessories. JIB Computer is the largest and most professional-looking here with a fair selection of products.
Outside the mall is the usual assortment of coffee stands, handbag shops, snack vendors and tailors. Lucky Pro golf shop bucks the trend, accessible by a small door at the side.
Power Buy Electronics
Power Buy is a large electronics and appliance store (with around 70 stores nationwide) which opened in Hua Hin in late 2010, located at 226/3 Petchakasem Road on the corner of Soi 88 just a few minutes from the town centre. Open daily from 10 am until 10 pm, there is limited parking at the front and additional space at the rear.
Power Buy is essentially a large warehouse store specializing in home electronics such as TVs, computers, cameras, mobile phones and home appliances (fridges, vacuum cleaners, air-conditioners, even lighting). There is a fairly good selection of computers including popular brands, printers, inks and other accessories as well as a dedicated Apple section. The products are displayed clearly and there is a respectable choice in most categories.
Nearly half the store is dedicated to the latest flat-screen TVs, so they should offer some of the best choice and availability around.
There is however only a small mobile phone section, so it’s worth checking out other venues (such as Market Village) before you buy.
The Index LivingMall is a large home decoration and improvement superstore several kilometres north of Hua Hin at 17/139 Petchakasem Road (between Sois 23 and 25), open between 11 am and 8 pm daily.
They offer some very high quality goods as reflected by the prices, but if you want a wide selection of home and outdoor furnishings this is well worth considering. During the week and at quiet times you might be outnumbered by the staff which can lead to a suspicion that you are being followed around the store!
There is also a small coffee shop and immaculately clean toilets, as well as ample parking.
FN Factory Outlet
This large clothing outlet store is on the way to Cha Am opposite the Sheraton resort, approximately 10 kilometres north of Hua Hin just past the 222 km marker on Petchakasem Road. It’s open until 8 pm daily and there is plenty of shaded parking at the front. The buildings are set in very modern grounds with a quirky but fun collection of life-sized pink dinosaurs outside and an attractive garden populated with dozens of white bunnies.
However the main reason to shop here is the availability of international brands that can be purchased at massively discounted prices – many reduced by 50% or more. Brands include Polo Ralph Lauren, Zara, FCUK, CK, Diesel, Adidas, and Miss Sixty to name a few. All items are originals but the labels show that they are manufactured in China and many also have Japanese price tags. The choice of items is extensive – suits, shirts, trousers, dresses, shoes, ties, bedding, furniture, lingerie, beachwear, and even luggage.
The smaller adjacent building on the site includes a pizza restaurant and coffee shop, and sells various home-ware and kitchen items.
FN Factory Outlet is a worthwhile store to visit and many great bargains are to be had. The location is accessible and you won’t be crowded by fellow shoppers.