Hua Hin boasts miles of clean beaches, good year-round weather, and a large foreign community. The rich selection of restaurants, internationally accredited medical care, and nine town golf courses, with several more being constructed, make it even more appealing. It’s close to the cultural offerings of Bangkok, yet far enough away to be well removed from the chaos. Mountains, caves, waterfalls, and abundant wildlife can be seen at the seven national parks within a two-hour drive from town.
The event that transformed Thailand’s oldest major beach resort from a small fishing village to the popular seaside resort destination that it is today came in 1911, when the railroad from Bangkok to Hua Hin was completed. Transportation to and from Bangkok became much easier and more convenient, inspiring members of the Thai Royal Family and Bangkok’s elite to build bungalows here.
In many respects, Hua Hin could be described as the San Miguel de Allende (Mexico) or Pedasí (Panama) of Southeast Asia—there is an expat community, but there are still enough local Thai people to keep things interesting. You’ll know and feel that you’re in a foreign country, but moving here does not require total immersion in a new culture.
There is always something happening in town. Besides the annual Jazz Festival and Kite Festival, there are soccer leagues, pool tournaments, darts leagues, book clubs, and running and cycling clubs—just a few of the numerous pastimes available for the entertainment of the many expats living here.
Few other places in the world seem to match the attributes of a retirement haven as aptly as Hua Hin. Dollar for dollar, you can enjoy a much higher standard of living in Hua Hin than you could afford to have back home.
Rents in Hua Hin are almost always negotiable, at least to a certain extent. Your biggest decision will be whether you want to live right on the beach or prefer to live more inland. The beach is lined with condominiums and apartments, and many units offer direct ocean views. If you want to live right on the beach, plan on spending around US$800-US$950 for a furnished two-bedroom unit. If you prefer to live a mile or two outside of the city center and away from the beach, rental prices will generally be about half of that amount.
Paying a damage deposit is the norm; usually one month’s rent for an unfurnished place or two month’s rent for furnished units. Since the deposit is used to cover potential damages made to the property, it is especially advantageous for you to have photos taken prior to moving into the residence. If your landlord insists on an overly large security deposit, you may want find a different place to rent.
You’ll need to clarify who pays for repairs. Structural repairs, electrical, and plumbing problems are generally paid for by the landlord. The tenants pay to keep the property clean and maintained, as well as replacing light bulbs, fuses, fans, and any items that break during the tenancy.
In most cases, you’ll have the utilities in your name and will be responsible for paying them.
|Gas||THB 315||Used for cooking.|
|Electricity||THB 1,102||No air conditioning installed.|
|Telephone||THB 630||Prepaid cellphone plan for 30 days.|
|Internet||N/A||Free with Hua Hin Citywide.|
|Cable TV||THB 787|
When you consider the kinds of culture shock you might experience when you move overseas, it's usually related to food, weather, or language. Most of us don't think about something like our concept of time being changed. Tick tock, tick tock... time is time, right? After two decades in Thailand, I realize that my concept of time bears little resemblance to that of my fellow countrymen living in America. Please understand, I'm not referring to the old expat clichés about...Read more