Hua Hin has many local markets, the most popular one being the night market in the center of town. It opens daily from around 6pm till late and offers all sort of food, clothing, and wooden carving for tourists. This market is visited by many tourists and therefore prices are a bit higher that other local markets.
Chat Chai day market is just along from the night market and is mostly undercover. Here you can buy fruit, vegetables, fish, and meat at local prices. It is fun to stroll around the dim aisles that make up the market complex.
The weekend market at the Grand Hotel runs from Thursday to Sunday and offers something different again. Here you can shop for clothes, books, plants, toys, pets and tropical fish. This is another evening market starting at around 6pm.
Possibly the best and the largest market in Hua hin is at Pae Mai on Tuesdays (across the railway next to the driving range). This one gets very busy and is extremely popular with the locals, here you can get anything; fresh produce, clothing, motorcycle accessories, electrical appliances, tools, household items and much more. It is well worth a visit.
In the Khao Takiab area there is sea food market open daily early in the morning. You can buy here fresh or ready cooked food.
Take a stroll down to the fishing pier to watch the boats coming in with their daily catch, you can also sample some of this fine seafood at some of the local restaurants in the area. This area is the old fishing village that Hua hin once was, a must for photographers.
There's a new floating market, night market and "old-time" art market in Hua Hin, but much of the diners' attention is veering to the Sea Market next to Khao Takiap.
"Hua Hin is increasingly becoming a second home to Bangkokians looking for a getaway from their hectic lives," says managing director Sasiampai Siriviroj.
"And Hua Hin is a very beautiful place, complete with wonderful beaches and scenery. It's not that far from Bangkok, either - just a little over two hours' drive."
The Sea Market comes hot on the heels of Sasiampai's previous success, the Cicada weekend night market, now three years old. He's long been aware that Hua Hin is more than just a holiday destination - it's a major source of food supplies, led by its abundance of seafood. The Sea Market enjoys a prime location beside a small canal that leads to the shore.
"The key is to get the seafood from the locals and cook it right away so that diners get that freshness," he says. "We try to keep it simple and basic here, in a friendly atmosphere with top-quality seafood."
The open-air market offers the full range of cook-as-you-like-it seafood - prawns, oysters, mussels, fish and crab. Recommended are the somtam thalay, salads like yum platu with mackerel, and kaeng som pu kai.
There's also great pla kai (soup with crab roe and fish roe), pad thai, hoy thod (mussel omelette) and many kinds of fried rice. Dried squid and shrimp and shrimp paste are also available.