• Temple in Khao TaoTemple in Khao Tao
  • Villa Vista in the middle of the photoVilla Vista in the middle of the photo
  • Tropical rain storm heading towards Villa VistaTropical rain storm heading towards Villa Vista
  • Sun umbrellas at Had Sai NoiSun umbrellas at Had Sai Noi
  • The beach Had Sai Yai, five minutes from Villa VistaThe beach Had Sai Yai, five minutes from Villa Vista
  • Temple in Khao Tao with Hua Hin centre in the background
  • The beach Had Sai Noi, bike distance from Villa VistaThe beach Had Sai Noi, bike distance from Villa Vista
  • The mountain Khao Takiab behind the pine treesThe mountain Khao Takiab behind the pine trees

Hua Hin

Hua Hin beachHow come Hua Hin is such a popular destination for discerning Westerners buying second homes abroad? Or should we first ask that question regarding Thailand in general? One of the answers is that if you buy the right property now, you are likely to make a lucrative investment. Also, the cost of living is low, especially for domestic services and restaurants. The crime rate is low. But above all, the Thai people are wonderfully kind and friendly which makes life incredibly pleasant. And of course the climate here is not something to complain about either.

Nils and Adam, who run Scandinavian Thai Homes, have surveyed all the top destinations for would-be buyers of second homes in Thailand, and decided on building their development in Hua Hin after careful consideration. In particular, they noted the many fine golf courses, stimulating activities, beautiful beaches, relatively little rainfall and the particularly high security resulting from that the much revered King of Thailand resides in Hua Hin.

However, the single most important factor is difficult to put in concrete terms, and relates to the difference between a holiday destination and a place to have a second home. While Phuket and Koh Samui both offer stunning beaches and bars, they lack the non-tourist urbanization that creates a sustainable town centre. By contrast, Hua Hin offers the infrastructure of a modern town with its international restaurants, shops and cafes, while at the same time providing the beaches and palm trees of your dream holiday, making it a sustainable place to live in a second home.

Lastly, Hua Hin is also an important destination for domestic tourists, particularly attracting the upper and upper middle classes from Bangkok, who enjoy the combination of its proximity to the big city, and its feel of a beach town.

In the end, all these factors positively affect both the long-term value of your property, and the sustainability of Hua Hin as a destination you are going to want to come back to, time after time.

History and a few curiosities

Rama VII on a stampHua Hin became a tourist destination in Thailand around 1926, when King Rama VI built a summer palace in golden teak just north of town. His successor, King Rama VII, then built the palace Klai Kang Won, meaning "far away from worries", which is the current royal couple's main residence after the palace in Bangkok. Many Thai royalties temporarily moved to Hua Hin after King Rama VII, and soon enough a large part of the Bangkok aristocracy had their own summer estates on Hua Hin's beach. The journey from Bangkok to Hua Hin went by elephant (for royalties) and oxcart (for commoners) until 1922 when the train link from Bangkok all the way to Malaysia was completed. A Victorian railway hotel was built in Hua Hin at the same time, now run by Sofitel, and is definitely worth a visit, if not for a night's sleep then for a cuppa. When Thailand became a democracy in 1932, and the King's influence diminished, the rapid growth of Hua Hin tapered off to some extent.

Since King Rama VI built his palace 80 years ago, Hua Hin has maintained it's somewhat exclusive status by avoiding sleaze and mass tourism, to a great extent thanks to the royal couple's presence.

Activities in Hua Hin

  • Beach
  • Cycling
  • Golf
  • Kitesurfing