Hua Hin, with the lowest rainfall in Thailand has always attracted retirees, but since the tsunami that destroyed much of the Andaman coast in 2004, its popularity has shot up.
The town now has quite an international flavor supporting various foreign language newspapers, internet forums, and delicatessens catering to the needs and wants of the Italian, German, Swedish and British ex-pat populations to name a few.
Much of the time will be spent relaxing on the beach or garden, but for those of an active disposition, the town offers a wealth of opportunities to learn a new sport, take up a hobby, or just continue an old one.
All types of water sports are available, from kite boarding to kayaking, with expert tutors to help the novice.
Check out the nightly Thai Boxing matches in the town center and then consider taking up the sport. You can learn Thai, take up painting or yoga, go cycling along the coastal highway, or go on night fishing boat trips.
Retirement is the ideal time to take up golf, or to improve your game. Hua Hin has eight of the country’s top golf courses and although it is difficult to quote prices in the present climate, the average prices for a round of golf for two, ranges from 2,020 Baht at the Royal Hua Hin to 3,800 Baht at Springfield, with all courses charging about 300 baht. extra for week-end play If you enjoy Thai food, you may sometimes still yearn for the tastes of home, and all you need in this respect can be had from the Hua Hin Bazaar in the centre of the town, Villa Market or Tesco/Lotus in the Market Village Shopping Mall which also includes a cinema, and bowling in addition to many restaurants and retail shops.
Take the modestly priced local bus to nearby places of interest (about 10 baht per journey) or book a taxi for a day for about 2,000 baht (but make sure the taxi-driver has insurance)! Many days can be spent at the seafood restaurants along Cha’am beach, at Khao Takiab, Suan Son, and at the National Parks of Kaeng Kachan and Sam Roi Yod and there are umpteen places of interest in the area, from The River Kwai to Petchaburi and the Floating Market.
Hua Hin is the Spa capital of Thailand and prices for treatments range from 5,000 baht in the top hotels to 700 baht for equally good treatments but less luxurious surroundings in the town spas. You can, of course, have an excellent massage on the beach for about 300 baht for one hour (bring your own towel). For the ultimate spa adventure visit Chiva Som in Hua Hin, consistently voted one of the ten best spas in the world.