Around Hua Hin there are many choices for your ideal home location. Whether your preferences are about being close the ocean or green surroundings; or wanting to be being among the nightlife and restaurants or a quieter scene; it’s all about trying to match the location to your lifestyle.
We’ve been looking at the lifestyles that best suits living near to the city center, at the ‘boutique suburb’ of Khao Takiab or perhaps a little further afield near the coast at Khao Tao? Living inland among the hills heading west may also be appealing. All these options are within 12 kilometers of the city center but all offer very different lifestyle choices.
This article highlights some key features of these locations when you’re preparing your short-list of potential living places. We’ll also consider more options ranging to around 40 kilometers away in our next article.
Living in the City – A vibrant lifestyle but do you need peace & quiet?
Compared with many cities in Thailand and around the world, Hua Hin cannot be considered to be a big city. However for those who thrive on city living, a bustling street scene and vibrant nightlife can be at your doorstep.
City life offers immediate access to so many cosmopolitan dining choices. Cosmopolitan includes Italian, French, German, Greek and Scandinavian options as well as Asian varieties. Whether that’s the 5 star scene at a luxurious resort restaurant, embracing local markets and street food or somewhere in between, the city is the place for ‘Foodies’.
There is also ready access to the major shopping malls, medical services and transport to Bangkok or any other destination. All this and you’re never far away from the ocean; albeit largely dominated by many ocean frontage resorts.
What city dwellers accept is that like any busy city, traffic hazards, congestion and noise will be a part of day to day life. You’ll probably forego the need for personal transport, unless you can manage a motor bike around town. But that’s only recommended for very confident and competent riders especially with so many public transport options.
The housing choices are likely to be high-rise or ‘compact’ living, rather than your own ‘green space’ so maybe not for those who relish nature. City residences; especially those with the more scenic outlooks, are likely to come with a price tag to match!
Khao Takiab; So close yet so far away
Heading south along the main Phetchakasim road from the city, just follow the road straight ahead instead of veering right over the railway overpass and the ‘boutique’ suburb of Khao Takiab awaits.
You’ll pass a few resorts such as the Hyatt and Amari and the major tourist attractions of the Cicada and Tamarind markets before the real Khao Takiab can be experienced.
The entry road narrows and is no longer ‘traffic-friendly’. Khao Takiab then becomes reminiscent of the Hua Hin of old but alongside modern condominiums, international restaurants and Thai-style dining choices.
At the end of the road Khao Takiab is dominated by a 272 m high headland that juts into the sea with a 20m tall Lord Buddha statue and other religious figures, both Thai and Chinese, at the summit, together with a statue of King Rama V. The hill is also known as “Monkey Mountain” due to large numbers of monkeys (macaques) that are resident there.
The lifestyle at Khao Takiab offers a blend of the old and the new with an ambience of its own. Transport to the city is easy with a regular Song Tao plying the main road route or tuk tuks readily available.
Modern living is likely to be in a condo an outlook and facilities such as swimming pools and fitness areas once again influencing the price. The Sea Pines Golf Course provides a southern boundary and some further scenic outlooks. The ocean is never far away although access needs to be considered if strolling to the beach is what you are looking for.
Bungalows are sometimes available but sought out as holiday accommodation rather than more permanent residences; but you can get lucky!
Khao Takiab has an almost ‘Bohemian’ feel. The lifestyle here will not be quiet or secluded but there is an opportunity to ‘become a local’ just far enough away so that you will not be just another city dweller.
Khao Tao – Living in a village not far from town
Around 12 kilometres along the highway from the city then turning towards the coast, Khao Tao offers a village environment not too far from the ‘maddening crowd’
Living in Khao Tao is a definite lifestyle choice for those who enjoy a coastal community with its own distinct identity and environment. The village is self-sufficient (well almost), scenic and offers clean beaches, an historic lake and a traditional Thai fishing village alongside a hillside temple complex with views along the coast.
You’ll find plenty of dining options, just not too many, and plenty of opportunities to take long walks or maybe bike rides. You’ll see some modern condos near the entry road but the most housing options are likely to be within a villa complex inland of the lake with your own home sized to meet your requirements. A peaceful family oriented lifestyle typifies the needs of many Khao Tao residents.
More information about the Khao Tao lifestyle can be found on our article ‘Discovering Khao Tao – Hua Hin’s Relaxed yet Invigorating Southern Village’.
Heading Inland for a suburban or semi-rural lifestyle
Soi 70, 88 and 112 are just three of the roads leading away from the city and heading inland. Before reaching the hills, you pass through the ‘suburbs’ of Hua Hin which gradually thin out over the journey. These ‘suburbs’ are scattered between meandering (and sometimes confusing) roads in various states of repair.
There are also developing areas further south or north of the city center inland of Phetchakasem Road. One of the real considerations of suburban or rural living is the state of access roads and whether they may be prone to seasonal flooding.
A common housing option is a two or three storey townhouse which may be a relatively low cost option depending on the completion of any renovations and provision of modern appliances. However internal stairs are not going to become any easier to climb as time goes by.
The further away from the city, the more opportunities will be available for your own piece of land. Villa complexes also become more prevalent with a ‘gated community’ offering security and private recreational facilities. More green spaces may be enjoyed and a view over the city can be found if the price is right.
It has been reported that Hua Hin is approaching a time of land shortage but inland before reaching the Pranburi – Cha-Am bypass road that is not evident to the casual observer.
If suburban or inland living is on the agenda, transport becomes one important consideration. Commuting to the city is not hard but without your own vehicle not as convenient as some may expect. However many schools are within this region and most of the local golf courses are inland of the city.
There are also more independent communities developing as a reason for less frequent city visits. For example Black Mountain already boasts an international school apart from the world renowned golf course. A shopping mall is on the drawing board to make this community almost self-sufficient.
A Final Comment
Choosing the right location for your future home has practical, emotional and financial components. For many, the emotional elements dominate however that may be in conflict with real lifestyle choices.
One strategy is to sit down with your significant others and list what are the essential, desirable and unacceptable needs of your lifestyle. Be ruthless and honest; for example – will you really walk to the beach/park/shopping center everyday or is an occasional day trip OK? Some who are uncertain may opt for the ‘suck it and see’ approach with a rental trial period to experience whether the match is a good one before the purchasing commitment is made.
“A HOME IS MUCH MORE THAN WHERE YOU LIVE; IT REFLECTS WHO YOU ARE” – Ty Pennington