fbpx

Hua Hin set to become an international tourist destination – Great time to invest in the Hua Hin real estate market!

In recent year, Hua Hin has seen a lot of infrastructure improvements. Many of the roads got a new pavement, such as the up-and-coming Hin Lek Fai area of Hua Hin, pictured below. In some areas the road was extended from two to four lanes, and there have been a lot of new development projects taking place.

In particular, the walkovers are being constructed in many areas where the road meets the railway and, in some areas, the local government is constructing new flyovers to improve the connectivity between Hua Hin and Bangkok, as well as other southern regions.

In addition, the further development of the fast speed train and adding a new railway track is well underway, which will ultimately shorten the travel period to Hua Hin and make travelling from Hua Hin to southern part of Thailand more accessible. All these improvements are a clear indicator of Hua Hin’s growth over the recent years and steady increase in demand from expats and local travelers, to both live and visit this beautiful beachfront town.

Last year, a new expansion plans have been announced for further development of the Hua Hin airport to cater the growing demand to visit Hua Hin. The demand has of course been affected by Covid 19 pandemic, however the plan to expand the Hua Hin airport is going forward, despite the current Covid 19 situation. Recently, there was an announcement that Hua Hin airport will not only cater domestic flights, but international flights as well. The said flights are set to connect Hua Hin directly with China, Hong Kong, Malaysia and other Southeast Asian countries, Australia and Middle Eastern region. The airport expansion is set to be fully completed during the next 2-3 years. Starting from 2022, Hua Hin airport will operate 2 international flights per day and by 2025 that number is expected to increase to 5 international fights per day. The number of Hua Hin visitors on a yearly basis is expected to increase from 100,000 to more than 1,000,000 visitors per year by the 2025.

With that being said, now is the perfect time to invest in the Hua Hin property market before it becomes known as an international tourist destination. There are some great deals at the moment on Villas for sale, Condos, Commercial properties and Land for sale in Hua Hin and the surrounding areas. Once the infrastructure development plans are completed, and Hua Hin becomes more easily accessible, there is no doubt that the demand for properties in Hua Hin will increase as well.

The Misconception of Foreigners not being welcomed to Thailand

The Covid 19 pandemic has impacted the whole world in a very negative way, Thailand included. With restrictions on travelling in terms of closed borders and state of emergency in place, Thai people have been put in a difficult position with uncertain future due to the high dependency on the tourism industry.

Lock down – Businesses Closed!

Over the course of the past 5 months, Thailand has witnessed many unfortunate events. A large number of people have lost their jobs or had to close their business when the Covid 19 outbreak started and find another way to feed their families. Borders being closed and restrictions on business operations forced the majority of businesses to downsize in order to re-open and try to survive, while many weren’t able to restart their business after the lock down restrictions were lifted.

Quick reaction by the government

Thai government took the situation seriously from the very beginning and made necessary steps to successfully prevent the spread of Covid 19 virus. During the past few months, the situation got fairly under control, with no local transmissions in the last 78 days. Thailand has started to lift the restriction and slowly opened the country, with focus on the domestic economy. It’s fair to say that life in Thailand has returned to somewhat normal at this point, and the government has put efforts into promoting local tourism and traveling, in order to help boost the hospitality and tourism sector, that has been impacted the most.

Rise in Covid 19 cases – Borders Closed

The fact that foreign nationals are still not allowed to enter the Kingdom is of course negatively impacting the businesses. However, since Covid 19 cases started to increase in many countries that decided to open its borders, Thai people have a feeling that Thailand might have the same situation if the borders reopen, which could eventually lead to another lock down. In other words, again they would not be able to put food on the table for their families, therefore they prefer not to have any tourists, but rather keep the country safe from Covid virus. One of the recent events that caused the fear in the country, was Egyptian soldier who visited a shopping mall in the Rayong province and turned out to be positive for Covid 19. This caused the whole province to go into lock down, with hundreds of people being quarantined and tested for Covid 19 virus.

Foreigners Welcomed – Fear of New Lock Down

Recently, we’ve seen various news articles on Thai people preferring to keep the borders closed, that gave foreign nationals a feeling that they are not welcomed in Thailand anymore. This is of course not true as many Thai business depend on foreign tourists, however the perception of Thai people is, that it’s still better to have lesser income by depending on domestic tourism only, then to risk letting foreign nationals and tourists in to the country, and experience another lock down if the Covid cases start to rise. To put it differently, Thai people are simply prioritizing the well-being of their families over higher income.

Where to Live in Hua Hin, Thailand – Matching Your Location to Your Lifestyle!

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

The Weather in Hua Hin – Made To Enjoy All Year Round

The attractions of life in Thailand are many and varied. For some it’s about the friendly people, the traditions and culture or perhaps Thai cuisine. Enjoying a lifestyle that embraces the beaches, recreational opportunities and natural surrounds is also high on the list of attractions.

But to enjoy these attractions, the weather must allow visitors and residents to get outside and be unhindered by inclement conditions; especially temperature and persistent rain.

The average daily temperature in Hua Hin, Cha-Am and Pranburi is remarkably consistent throughout the year. There is a much greater variation in the amount of rain, however when compared with other regions in the country these variations pale into insignificance.

This may be described as a tropical savanna climate, with temperatures ranging from warm to hot throughout the year. The waters are consistently warm throughout the year and the region has one of the lowest rainfall measurements of the entire country during the wettest season.

Sitting on the north-eastern side of the peninsula, Hua Hin is subject to three main seasons. Let’s take a closer look at these seasonal variations in our Region and especially how they may impact on enjoying the tropical lifestyle.

The Peak Season – December to February

The “cool and dry” season lasts from December to February. The nights reach a welcome cool of around 22°C and the average daytime temperature is around 26°C through the entire season but peaks still reach 30°C so don’t expect to be cold!

There is glorious sunshine 9 hours per day, although it is not as intense as throughout the rest of the year, and the waters are perfect for pretty much all kinds of aquatic fun, with a constant temperature of 28-29°C.

December is the driest month of the year, and rain is rarely experienced during this period with up to 10mm at the most. Humidity is gentle at 70% on average, and chances of clouds are also minimal. Christmas in Thailand is a favorite for many foreigners as the weather is comfortably hot and dry enough to make a seaside holiday an absolute delight compared to the winter weather experienced back home.

The Shoulder Season – March to June

Extending from March to June, the temperatures become higher with an average of 29°C. This year has been hotter than usual with temperatures frequently in the mid 30’s and evenings staying hot and sometimes uncomfortable. However compared with some regions, particularly as northern regions rising to the 40 degree mark, outdoor activities haven’t been out of reach and of course a cooling breeze from the ocean is always present for beach goers.

This is also a dry season with only a light shower or two appearing towards the end of April to signal the welcome cool change to come. The humidity is still moderate, at 75-78% on average, but it tends to become higher towards the end of the season. This is a time when SPF protection lotions, water and a hat are often recommended as essential when you’re out and about in the hot summer sun.

The Off-Peak Season

The season between July until November is labelled by some as the ‘Wet Season’ the ‘Monsoon Season’ or perhaps the ‘Green Season. However the ‘Green Season’ is only avoided by ‘green tourists’!

There are fewer European visitors at this time of year; although that’s really because these ‘snow birds’ have avoided the cold and gloom or their winter and now returned to a summer at home. However the chances are that the European summer will be both cooler and wetter than they would experience here!

This means a quieter time for year-round residents, some lower priced seasonal ‘specials’ including hotel room rates, rental properties costs and restaurants. Maybe the ‘Green Season’ really refers to golf course green fees, which may be up to 50% lower than during the Peak Season.

The ‘Wet’ and ‘Monsoon’ labels are really unnecessary, especially in our region, as Hua Hin does not experience the monsoons that affect both the north and south of Thailand. Temperatures dwell around 28°C on average with the higher end at 33°C, and evening humidity levels are around 83% on average.

Mornings can be overcast, but most days tend to be hot and humid rather than gloomy. Rainfall will average about 200mm in October as the wettest month of the year. October waters around Hua Hin are a favorite for kite-boarding and parasailing and you can enjoy the beaches with plentiful sun for around 7 hours per day.

The good news is the rain tends to come in short bursts and will not fall every day. There aren’t long periods of drizzle, as you will see in North America and Europe, which means that outdoor enthusiast are not deterred on most days. It’s really just a matter of being prepared. An afternoon downpour late in the afternoon may mean seeking shelter for 30 or 40 minutes before resuming your bike ride under clear blue skies.

These short, sharp showers may also be restricted to small ‘zones’. We’ve driven into the airport tunnel with windscreen wipers at full speed to emerge on the other side to a dry road and clear skies without a cloud in sight!

To demonstrate that this time of year is fine for recreation the annual Centara Masters Golf Tournament is held each June. Around 500 golfers return each year, undeterred by the weather; there is never a round cancelled. They are predominantly Australians escaping the winter; it does get cold in Australia and other countries of the southern hemisphere at this time of year!

Enjoy The Great Outdoors Any Time!

The bottom line is that our year-round weather is unparelled for those who want to enjoy the outdoor lifestyle. Light clothing will be all that you need at any time of year. Taking care of yourself in hot weather (drink lots of water) is much more important than being protected from storms, persistent rain and gloomy weather. Even if you do get caught in a rain shower you may be wet, but not cold!

Sure you should have an umbrella on hand at times and sometimes need to seek shelter either undercover or in the comforts of air conditioning; but you’ll still be able to enjoy the great outdoors in Hua Hin any day, any time of the year.

Graphs by www.travelfish.org/weather/thailand