Hua Hin lies approximately 90 miles south of Bangkok.
Due to the relatively short distance from the capital, and good transport connections, Hua Hin is a very popular weekend getaway for those who want to escape the hustle and bustle of the metro.
I've already written a long post on things to do in Hua Hin (linked later on), so this post is solely dedicated to ways in which to get there – according to your budget.
1. Hua Hin by Bus
Whether you’ve just landed in Suvarnabhumi Airport (Bangkok International Airport) and want to get to Hua Hin immediately, or you are already in the city centre, you can easily get to Hua Hin by boarding a bus.
From Suvarnabhumi Airport
Modern 24-seat coaches that take you directly to Hua Hin are available at the airport. These coaches are equipped with a toilet, and water is provided to passengers free of charge.
You can find the service counter on the ground floor near Gate 8. Tickets cost 340 Baht each. Bargain!
The coaches depart the airport eight times a day, starting at 9 AM and every 1 hour and 30 minutes thereafter.
Travel time is approximately 3 to 4 hours, but allow extra time to get to Hua Hin especially during peak times when traffic is heavy.
Do note that these coaches have a strong air conditioning system, so here’s a little tip: bring a light blanket or sweater for a more comfortable journey.
After a flight and lack of sleep you're likely to feel the cold more, so with a blanket or jumper you can always cover your head and escape the aircon.
It’s also worth noting that you may be charged for extra baggage.
They allow a 20-kg piece of luggage and a hand bag (per person) that can fit in the overhead compartment. If you have more luggage than this, speak with the staff about fees.
You might get away with a laptop bag that you can sit with on your lap.
From Bangkok City Centre
If you want to catch a bus from Bangkok to Hua Hin goes from Sai Tai Mai (Southern Bus Terminal), where the big buses are stationed. However, expect these buses to be slow, making the travel time as long as 5-6 hours.
It’s a bit challenging to get to the station because it isn't on a main BTS or MRT station. I'll list the address below but I'd recommend a taxi.
Expect to pay approximately 200 to 300 Baht for a metered taxi going from Khao San Road or Sukhumvit.
A bus ticket going to Hua Hin will set you back 200 to 300 Baht. You can buy a ticket upon your arrival at the station, but during peak times, it’s recommended to check if advance and book at a specific time so you can board at a specific time.
Buses depart every 20 minutes.
The Sai Tai Mai terminal functions as a shopping centre, so if you’re not pressed for time, you can visit the shops. You’ll also find plenty of restaurants, ATMs, banks, a food court and even a clinic.
2. Hua Hin by Train
Despite being a normally slower alternative to buses and minivans, a train to Hua Hin is a great option for those who want a scenic route.
A train won't get caught in traffic but do note that they aren't always on time!
The Bangkok-Hua Hin train departs from Hua Lamphong railway station on a regular basis. Departure times start at 8:05 AM and finish at 22:50 PM. Average journey time is around 4 hours.
There are three different ticket classes to choose from, and fares vary depending on your chosen class, with third class priced at approximately 150 Baht, second class at approximately 400 Baht, and first class at approximately 600 Baht.
Air-conditioned sleepers are also available at higher prices and are recommended for those who want to travel through the night.
Normally, there’s no need to pre-book a train ticket to Hua Hin from Bangkok, as you can purchase even the third-class tickets directly at the counter on the day of your departure.
3. Hua Hin by Taxi
If you’re the type who puts comfort and convenience over expenses, taking a taxi to Hua Hin is your best bet.
You can book a taxi in advance for a specific price or negotiate with one upon your arrival at the airport or in the city centre.
Taxi stands in the airport usually have a fixed price set for a destination. For Hua Hin, expect to around 3,000 Baht. If you’re in the city centre, you might even negotiate a deal as low as 2,000 Baht.
Traveling by taxi to Hua Hin takes approximately 3 hours. There are private car companies to be found online; expect to pay 3,000-3,500+ for those.
4. Hua Hin by Minivan
The cheapest and easiest way to get to Hua Hin from Bangkok is by a minivan. Travel time is approximately 3 to 4 hours, of course, still depending on traffic conditions.
Minivans have a capacity of 10 to 12 people and are equipped with air conditioning. Ticket price is approximately 180 Baht.
One advantage of traveling by minivan is the flexibility it offers in terms of departure points.
Unlike the Sai Tai Mai bus station, companies that operate minivan transport depart from the following accessible locations: Ekkamai, Khao San Road, and Mo Chit New Van Terminal.
One drawback of minivans is the limited space for both the passenger and baggage. So if you have lots of bags with you, traveling by minivan may not be a great idea.
It's cheap, but it can be a squash when full. I have to say, in my opinion this is the least safe way to travel.
Drivers work for companies and have deadlines to meet, which means they often drive way too fast. At least with a taxi you can tell them to slow down. When you're in a minivan with 11 other people you have a smaller voice.
5. Hua Hin by Plane
Although there is an airport in Hua Hin, there are no regular commercial flights from Bangkok. However, if you have the cash a private jet charter is an option.
Traveling by plane is absolutely the quickest way to reach Hua Hin – just 35 minutes travel time – but will be the most expensive one!
I have no idea how much this would cost. If you've taken one before, let me know in the comments section.
6. Hua Hin by Rent-a-Car
Renting a car is a good option, not least because you're in control of the car, but because having a car to drive in Hua Hin is very useful.
Unless you stay in and don't go out of the town, you'll need transport during your stay, which means daily Tuk Tuks, taxis or mini-vans.
It's a very convenient option if you’re traveling with family or friends, and the route is relatively straightforward from Bangkok – road signs are in both Thai and English.
One thing I would say is that if you're just come off a long flight and haven't slept much, renting a car could be a risk. I don't want you falling asleep at the wheel or losing concentration.
That said, if you can share the driving, you might even make a day of it and visit some spots along the way such as Nakhon Pathom’s giant Chedi, the Damnoen Saduak floating market, or one of the numerous temples in Petchaburi.
If you don't make any stops, you'll get to Hua Hin in under 3 hours.
Cars can be rented at the airport, but do book in advance. I've used Budget and Sixt in the past, without problem.
Depending on how much space is needed for your group and luggage. Prices for hatchbacks and sedans that can seat up to five people start at approximately 1,200 Baht per day, while 7-seater SUVs start at approximately 1,500 Baht per day.
Planning a trip and getting from point A to point B is unquestionably challenging especially if you’re not familiar with the place you’re visiting. But in the case of going to Hua Hin from Bangkok, the options are broad and easily planned.
All you need to consider is which is going to be the most comfortable, convenient, cost effective and safe!
Beach Tip: There are beaches in Hua Hin and in nearby Cha-Am, but the water and general prettiness may not what you expect in Thailand. As a rule of thumb, the further South you go in Thailand the better the beaches get.
However, if you want a good beach in Hua Hin head to Suan Son. It's the other side of the Buddha mountain, about 8km south of Hua Hin.
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