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An Expat Talks about Living in Hua Hin, Thailand

Aug 15, 2017

Hua Hin Pier in Hua Hin, Thailand

Here is an in-depth report from someone discussing expat life in Hua Hin, Thailand. The former fishing hub turned tourist hot spot offers some modern amenities but few employment opportunities beyond expats sent there by their companies.

What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?

Hua Hin

How long have you lived there?

2 years

What activities, clubs and organizations would you recommend to newcomers to help them meet others?

There is a myriad of groups in Hua Hin to join, including a ladies group, foodies, Trash heroes, BikerBoys and others. Best way to find them and join is on Facebook.

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In terms of religious, racial, economic and cultural diversity, are the people of this city or town diverse? Are they accepting of differences? Describe.

The Thais, as Buddhists, are very accepting of diversity. However, the expat community's views on diversity will range from those you see in their own countries. The Thai culture is, of course, dominant, but the expat community has also introduced a lot of its varied cultures (mostly food) into the city.

What are the main industries in this city? What types of career opportunities commonly exist? How do most people find new jobs?

Hua Hin is a former fishing village now turned into a tourist hub, primarily for families. There are few jobs available for foreigners, mainly as English teachers. Westerners who have other jobs here tend to be those transferred by their companies. Hua Hin, however, is a good location for digital nomads, as its internet access is pretty good (most of the time).

In general, what are peoples' priorities in this city? For example, do lives revolve around work, family, socializing, sports, etc.?

For western expats, Hua Hin is mostly a retirement and second home city. There are a few who have moved here and opened up businesses, usually bars and restaurants, but most are either on winter vacation or permanent vacation. Their priorities, therefore, are socializing, the beach, visiting nearby sites, restaurants. For the Thais who live in Hua Hin, the city is mostly service oriented for the expat and tourist communities. Hua Hin also draws many Thais as a beach vacation location, as well as many Chinese tourists.

If a friend of yours was thinking of moving to this city or town from far away, what other advice would you give them.

First, you need to have an independent source of income. To secure a one-year visa here you need to have about $23,000 held in a Thai bank or show proof of at least $1,800 in monthly income. Second, Hua Hin is somewhat difficult to get to, as you have to fly into Bangkok and then take a bus for 3 hours to Hua Hin. As to what to bring, Hua Hin has most, if not all, of what you will need. Western-style housing, food, clothes, appliances, etc., are all available. And while Hua Hin has some party areas, the town is pretty quiet, as you would expect from a primarily retirement community.

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