Hua Hin – Royalty by the Beach

Andrew Leeson


Hua Hin City

The Huffington Post named Hua Hin as one of the best places in the World to retire, with a low cost of living, highly affordable beachside accommodation and a welcoming expat friendly environment. The city is around 200kms south to southwest of Bangkok, and is famous for being the location of the King of Thailand’s Summer Palace. But increasingly these days its retirees from all around the World who are living like Royalty, and they’re absolutely loving it!


The district of Hua Hin covers some 911 square km’s and at its heart sits the beachside resort city of the same name, which has a resident population of approximately 85,000 (although this swells significantly at week-ends and during Thai holidays). The beach is the dominate attraction, but the surrounding countryside has plenty for the visitor or long term resident to enjoy. Hua Hin offers a wide range of accommodation options, from five star resorts to hostels, and everything in between. The affordability of condo’s is particularly attractive for retirees, with prices comparable to Chiang Mai and far cheaper than Bangkok, Pattaya, Phuket and Samui.

The city also offers a diverse mix of shopping and dining options. There’s a lively night market, a number of top class fancy malls and lots of restaurants and cafe’s, with cuisine to suit every taste and budget. As you’d expect from a Thai city this popular, there’s also a good range of bars and clubs to entertain you through the night (but its not quite so full on as some other more well known Thai cities). 

Getting there

Whilst Hua Hin has a small airport, its only really for private use, so the vast majority of visitors access the city via the main Highway from Bangkok, which generally takes about 3 hours (although this depends on traffic). Whilst there are plenty of cheap public bus services, it’s fair to say most international visitors tend to hire private cars/minivans. Other than by road, there is also a daily train service.

Trains are an easy way to get to Hua Hin, as the train station is right in the centre of the city. The trains go very slowly getting away from Bangkok, so the 3 hour road time to Hua Hin stretches to 4 or 5 on the train. The price of the train is around 250 baht. They leave Bangkok’s Hua Lamphong and Bang Sue railway stations 10 times daily between 08:05 and 22:50.

In January 2017 a ferry service was introduced between Hua Hin and Pattaya. Whilst this makes the journey between the two popular beach resorts much quicker than by road, the service has had a few reliability issues. 

Hua Hin Marriot

Hua Hin Marriot

Things to do

Aside from the markets, dining options and night time entertainment, being on the beach the city has lots of water based activities, from fishing through to kite-boarding. There’s bush walking at nearby Takiap Hill, Hin Lek Fai and Tai Hill (which takes you down to the beaches of Hat Sai Noi and Hat Sai Yai). Pa La-U Waterfall is another local favourite attraction, with an 11 tier scenic waterfall set amongst an evergreen forest filled with birdlife and butterflies.

For golf lovers, Hua Hin has some of the best in Thailand, such as Black Mountain, Majestic Creek, Royal Hua Hin, Banyan and Springfield. For many long term residents/retirees this is a big draw card.

Away from nature and sports, the general social environment is another big plus. The large number of expats make this a wonderfully international location, and there’s lots of opportunities to join clubs and associations, or participate in ‘expat friendly’ events. 

Hua Hin Beach Life

Beach Lifestyle


The Bangkok Hospital, Hua Hin, became fully operational in 2011 and significantly lifted the quality of healthcare in the city. It has a full range of medical services including general medicine, women’s care, general surgery, orthopaedics, urology, dental, eye and other clinics. Essentially, you will be able to visit the hospital for the full range of medical complaints. In limited cases where test results or treatment cannot be given in Hua Hin, patients will be referred to Bangkok.

San Paulo, is private hospital in central Hua Hin. It is very well organised and staff speak good English. This will probably be one of the best hospitals to visit first as long as your ailment is not too serious. The accident and emergency ward is always efficient and attention to detail is good. Rooms are comfortable and the level of patient care is exemplary. San Paulo also has dental and physiotherapy clinics.

In addition to these hospitals, there’s also the main Hua Hin Public Hospital, and numerous health clinics throughout the city. 


For those interested in finding out more on Visa’s, please visit the Thailand Visa section of our website. Whilst Australian’s are not required to obtain a visa for short holidays, for those considering a longer stay or perhaps retirement, there are a number of requirements / guidelines. At Retire to Asia we have assisted many clients in this area.

Royalty by the Sea

Hua Hin is another delightful location to add to any itinerary in the region. Its affordability and friendliness make it a perpetual favourite, whether you’re on a short holiday or planning a long term stay.

If you’d like more information or have any questions, please feel free to call 1800-961-377 or email in**@re**********.au and let the team at Retire to Asia help make your dream lifestyle a reality.

Andrew Leeson

Andrew Leeson

Over 20 years of experience helping people live a better life in SE Asia. Having worked in financial services in Asia I understand the challenges when moving to and living in a new country. I have travelled extensively throughout the region and experienced what SE Asia has to offer to retirees.

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