is one of Thailand's most popular holiday and retirement destinations, located 230 kilometres - or 140 miles - south of Bangkok.
Many westerners own houses in Hua Hin - some live here all year round and some visit once or twice a year. It is not uncommon for foreigners to use their Hua Hin property for holidays for a few years and finally retire here.
Houses in Hua Hin range from modestly-sized two or three bedroomed villas to far larger, sprawling single-storey villas. There are truly majestic two and three storey houses of very high quality on golf courses and private housing estates and there are town houses and shophouses in town and on the roads leading in and out of the centre.
Asking prices for most houses for sale in Hua Hin are between 2 million and 15 million Thai Baht - about 40,000 to 300,000 British pounds or 50,000 to 375,000 Euros. There are cheaper houses for sale in less attractive areas and of course there are far more expensive luxury houses for sale in the best locations.
Hua Hin beach-front properties are for many the most attractive and certainly the most expensive. Houses on or near the beach are very seldom offered for sale.
The majority of houses for sale in Hua Hin are located in suburban private estates and these are often maintained by property-management companies who provide services like gardening, pool-cleaning and security patrols.
Foreigners can own houses, but Thai law unfortunately prevents foreigners from owning land. There are, however, different solutions for different circumstances including 30-year or life-time leases and a legal arrangement which involves the incorporation of a Thai company - which can own land - with a foreigner having sole-executive control over the company.
Sub-districts of Hua Hin
Hua Hin town stretches almost to the airport 8 kilometres north of the town centre, to the "fly-over" bridge across the railway tracks 4 kms south of the centre and 3 kms inland, westwards from the beach.
Further west, along the Pa La U Road, lie the districts of Nong Kohn, Tap Tai and Nong Hiang. The elevation in these areas is about 40 metres above sea level which often means more breeze and cooler temperatures. There are several housing developments there and many foreign owners.
To the south og Hua Hin lies Khao Takiap - "Monkey Mountain", so-called because of the macaques who live on the steep slopes of the hill. Khao Takiap village is a bustling little centre with a busy shopping and social life and the suburban areas feature many housing estates and condominium developments. It is primarily the condominiums and hotel/resorts which occupy the beach-front locations.
On the inland side of the main road south of the fly-over is an area called Hua Na with several housing developments and several score houses. These are all private estates of 3 to 4 bedroomed villas for the most part, and nearly every home has a swimming pool. Hua Na is about 5 kms from Hua Hin centre and almost 3 kms to the beach.
Further south is Khao Tao, which at 12 to 16 kms from the centre is certainly outside the town but still close enough to be considered part of Hua Hin. Property developments in the Khao Tao area stretch from the inland (western) side of the main road to the beach. Hat Sai Noi - "Little Sandy Beach" - is a favourite with locals and foreigners alike. Villa-quality in Khao Tao ranges frm the economic to the distinctly opulent, but perhaps the finest properties of all here are the condominiums, many of which are of very high quality and enjoy truly fantastic beach-front locations.