10+ reasons to hang out in Hua Hin — with or without a partner

How? When?

Hua Hin.

What? Where? Why?

Writing from Hua Hin, Thailand.  Empty. Missing. My wife is not here!

She’s doing her similar ‘readjusting’ home on Long Island, New York. Visiting family for the first time in nearly seven years.

Another surreal travel moment for us both. A week in Hua Hin alone. I never imagined. But I’m grateful to this enjoyable place for helping me cope.

Full disclosure: I just couldn’t bring myself to shut down our meandering worldwide adventure and make like a responsible adult in America again… even short term. And while my wife felt obliged to return – I decided to revisit old friends in the Philippines (next week). Hua Hin is a temporary layover, a transition, a necessary place.

Ellen and I have been to Hua Hin two other times. Both were ‘unpleasant’. The first time we ended up with a painful, 3:00 a.m. emergency room visit and CT scan, where Ellen was found to have undiagnosed broken ribs from my previous motorbike accident. Ouch!

Four years later, just after the Covid reopen, Ellen was hit by a car while riding a bicycle one afternoon in Hua Hin. Her right wrist was fractured – requiring treatment thereafter in Thailand and Malaysia. The photos here show the intersection then… and now.

Still, we always liked the place — heck, it might be my favorite spot in Thailand!  We often say ‘we never go backward’ on our travels. But Hua Hin is so convenient, comfortable, and calming that we keep going back.

In this particular instance, Hua Hin is the perfect buffer for me personally – as I adjust to travel without Ellie. A week alone, no schedule, no obligations, no one i know, it’s total ‘drop out’ & recalibrate time for me.

But here’s also why Hua Hin is a fantastic getaway for anybody passing thru Bangkok.

10+ reasons to hang out in Hua Hin — with or without a partner

1.  Ease of access

Hua Hin is about 4-hours mini-bus ride from either of the  Bangkok airports. At BKK, direct Hua Hin shuttle vehicles come and go every couple hours in both directions (inquire for pick-up location). From Don Maueng Airport, an A-1 city bus ride from the airport arrivals area to the nearby Mo Chit bus terminal is required (50 cents). Transfer is easy. Total cost from either airport to Hua Hin is less than 300 baht ($8.50). Land in Bangkok overnight. Get an early airport shuttle. Be enjoying Hua Hin beach by early afternoon.

The shuttle schedule is assured (as of May 2024), but ‘flexible’, and construction delays are common. Allow extra hours if you’re heading TO any airport. Regardless, the cheap, direct, shuttle bus service, makes Hua Hin a reasonable ‘days-long-layover’ when transiting through Bangkok.

2. Cheap accommodations

Hua Hin has lots of hotels, resorts and AirBnb listings. Many of the places are ‘studios’ — but newer, often with tourist ‘facilities’. We’ve used only AirBnb in Hua Hin. My current studio apartment unit is $19.00 per night with amazing swimming pool, great AC, solid Wi-Fi, smart TV, and 10-minute walking distance (or 50 cent public songtheaw ride) from malls, grocers, beaches, restaurants, bars, shopping, etc.


When I told my wife why I really wanted to ‘layover’ in Thailand, I most truthfully said, “THE FOOD”. After eight years of traveling — I’m making it official: my absolute favorite food is THAI!!!  And my God, on this trip, I have eaten some of the best – and spiciest – Thai dishes, I have EVER had. Unbelievably good! Big salads: $4-$5. Entrees at the beach: $5-$10. Big Chang/Leo Beers seaside: under $3.

4. Mangos!

More Thai food? It’s mango season!  March thru June is mango time all over Asia — including India, Thailand, Philippines. And over our years in the tropics, I’ve become mad for mango — especially ‘green mango’ (the unripe version of the Indian mango — and green papaya too). So fresh, zingy, crunchy, with salt, with beer — before the fruit gets ripe, mushy, and too sweet. Pick from trees, buy at the fruit stand, my new Thai favorite is “pickled mango” with hot pepper sugar – in the packaged refrigerator section at 7-11. Mmmmmmm… 50 cents!

5.  The beach

It should be obvious: look at the photos! Hua Hin is a gorgeous seafront town with amazing, sparkling-clean beaches and water – and a very laid back vibe. The whole developed oceanfront extends maybe 10 miles. We’ve always stayed and enjoyed the furthest southern parts of the town and beaches. Anywhere south of Bluport Mall provides easy access to the best of Hua Hin in both directions.

5. Transport

The direct airport shuttle is one positive. Getting around IN Hua Hin itself is another big plus. The traditional songthaews (similar to pickup trucks that serve as buses) are slow but constant on the main north-south highway… currently 20 Baht (55 cents) per ride. Love it! Taxis, Grab (like Uber), and ‘private’ vehicles are plentiful and reasonably cheap. Negotiate! You should be able to go anywhere in Hua Hin for just a few bucks in whatever style you choose.  Footnote: heat and humidity can be great in Hua Hin. Transport is valuable!

6. NOT Pattaya/Phuket

I’ve been to those Thai hot spots. Sad. The beaches – average. Often packed. And thousands of Thai prostitutes parading for old western men… Yuk! You CAN find that in Hua Hin — in one small section of town. But compared to the other named locations, Hua Hin doesn’t have 10%. It’s much more like normal, real, livable, respectful old Thailand.

7. Weed shops

Also on the “fringe” – if you are into it, cannabis shops are plentiful in Hua Hin – and recreational use is 100% legal. Just NO smoking of any kind is permitted in public.

8.  The Malls

Sounds trite, but after months and months in India, Thailand malls are a dream. Wow! Massive, organized, impeccably clean, super AC. Bluport and Market Village are great escapes in Hua Hin. Everything one can imagine is available. Huge department, grocery, food courts, and specialty selections – could be the USA if you didn’t notice the small prices! I even ate at a mall Sizzler restaurant! Yup, after days of scorching spicy Thai dishes — I needed a giant, bland , all-you-can-eat salad bar. Mmmmmmm.  $4 + drink.

9. Thai moments

–The Sizzler had a robot! — zooming around serving people. The first I’ve ever seem. Bizarre but enthralling. Will it ever hit/hurt someone? Is that the enemy? Will Trump blame them?

–There’s still roadside ‘cash pay’ gas pumps — even gasoline being sold in refillable, 1-liter, glass bottles. It sometimes feels like 50-years ago here!

–There’s a slow, laid-back, traditional tourist vibe (just get away from the MAIN road).  Compared to Phuket, Krabi, or Pattaya – this place is sleepy, thankfully! And great for families.

10. The Monkeys!

The monkeys remain. Mostly up on Takiab mountain and monastery, but also, far fewer than before. The ‘monkey food’ vending stall has been closed. The hundreds of monkeys who used to gather there are gone. A few dozen wander and relax in the same general area, but my favored pastime of watching monkeys ravage idiot westerners with food has been curtailed. (Pic is my fave from 2022).

11. Odds and ends

–Beers at carry out 7-11 stores cost 50 to 65 baht for 500ml cans & 620ml bottles. ($1.40 to $2).

–Carry-out sales are still prohibited from 14:00 to 17:00 hours. Those are work/school hours – no drinking!

–They sell packaged ‘western’ PRETZELS  here. India – none!

— Clerks at 7-11 still bow to the customer most times. I try to bow in return. It’s Thailand!

–There is a roadside ‘jerky’ stand here. One of my faves on planet Earth. Decent prices. Fresh cured meats! Mmmmmm.

In summary, if there is anyplace I must get used to being without Ellen, Hua Hin is a top choice. Things can’t get much more easy, pleasant, relaxing, and reasonably priced. In a few days I’ll head to Malay, Aklan, Philippines again — still without Ellie — to revisit our “Covid time” friends. She too will do the revisit/reacquaint thing in America for some weeks before we rejoin to continue our Earth Vagabond wandering.

As always, be thankful & generous. Happy trails & more beer.

Life is NOW!

Thanks for reading, “10+ reasons to hang out in Hua Hin — with or without a partner.”

About Theo

Tedly (Theo) retired early from the news business to wander the planet with wife Ellen. He enjoys exploring all Earth has to offer: jungles and beaches, volcanoes and deserts – always drinking beer along the way.

More about Thailand

2 thoughts on “10+ reasons to hang out in Hua Hin — with or without a partner”

  1. Enjoyed your article on Hua Hin! We’ve been a couple of times. This past winter we spent very slow travel-3 months there. You are spot on with your assessment. We had so much fun hanging with Scandinavians who winter in Hua Hin-Pickleball, Badmitton, book clubs, and food! Super great women’s group to connect with. Great base to head to other countries for short trips. We’ll probably go again and use it to hop to Borneo and check that island out! Safe travels to you and your wife!!

  2. I thought the Thai government had decided to rescind the laws legalizing recreational cannabis. We were in Chiang Mai in October, and there were weed shops everywhere, but, as you alluded to, you hardly ever smelled it.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top