Situated to the south of Bangkok is the former fishing village and ever popular Hua Hin, often referred to as Thailand’s oldest beach resort. The Thai Royal Family favoured Hua Hin in the 1920s as an escape from the heat of Bangkok and built summer palaces to reside in. This resulted in Hua Hin being firmly marked on the map as it became known as the ‘royal coast’ which also had a huge influence on the area as there are no go-go bars. The royal connection draws Thais to the area and increasing number of expatriates are lured by the tranquil ambience and range of activities on offer.
Development is situated along the six kilometre coastline with much of it having direct beach access. Hua Hin’s wide expanse of sandy beach has a laid back feel. Families cool off in the sea, children enjoy riding ponies alongside the water and you can take your pick of hotels and restaurants to relax and watch the world go by from.
Hua Hin is one of the drier and sunnier destinations in Thailand. It has a similar weather season to Bangkok with the heat peaking in March and April before the rain starts in June. The driest and cooler months are December to February inclusive.
Expatriates and their families who have made their home in Hua Hin do so to enjoy the outdoors life as the sea and nature sit side by side. The beach is a hub for water sports and it is one of the few areas in Thailand with conditions suited to kite surfing. Hua Hin is home to arguably some of the country’s most prized golf courses, and for those who enjoy spending their time aboard two wheels, the surrounding countryside offers some great cycling opportunities.
Hua Hin’s hills provide a perfect backdrop for hiking, and the sea provides freshly caught fish for the assortment of Hua Hin’s seafood restaurants – many of which are situated on the beachfront or on stilts over the water. Other activities include visiting the local national parks for exploring or kayaking, horse riding or taking in the stunning scenery, and wine, of Hua Hin Hills Vineyard that resembles a feeling of Bordeaux rather than Thailand!
Whilst some Thai beach resorts lack culture, Hua Hin is one that certainly makes up for the rest. The King’s Elephant Polo Tournament originated in Hua Hin but has since moved to Bangkok to meet demand, but there are other events throughout the year to keep residents entertained. There is an annual Jazz Festival – The King’s favourite music genre – and the Vic Hua Hin is an art complex used to host theatrical performances such as Shakespeare plays, but also summer camps for children to enjoy.
Where to live
Hua Hin’s vicinity to Bangkok, just two hours by car, makes it a popular weekend getaway for city dwellers. There are plenty of condominiums ranging in different sizes and qualities for those wanting an easy to maintain property to lock up when it is not in use. However, small pool villas are often the choice for those living permanently in Hua Hin or those wanting more space and privacy. Naturally beach fronted villas are the most sought after and there are a number of luxurious villas also available for those wanting to enjoy watching the sunrise from the comfort of their own home.
Why should I live in Hua Hin?
1. It is rich in culture with plenty of activities to keep you occupied whatever your tastes.
2. Climb a hill or cool off in the sea, both are possible here.
3. Hua Hin is close enough to get away from Bangkok from, but far enough away to feel like you have properly escaped the hustle and bustle of Thailand’s capital city.