If you are planning a trip to Hua Hin there are a host of options to get you to the seaside resort. The best way to get to Hua Hin will depend on where you are travelling from, your budget and the level of comfort you want. If you are travelling as a family from Bangkok or have lots of luggage, the quickest and most comfortable way is by taxi or private transfer. Coming from Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi airport, the VIP airport bus is another comfortable and convenient option. For solo travellers or anybody who enjoys slow travel, the railway journey from Bangkok can be a good way to get to Hua Hin.
Taxi and limousine services
The journey time from Bangkok to Hua Hin by taxi is approximately 3 hours. Because the destination is outside of Bangkok, fares aren’t on the meter and you’ll be quoted a set price instead. You may have to speak to a few drivers before someone agrees, but expect prices to be in the 1,800-2,200 Baht range from Bangkok to Hua Hin. Not all taxi drivers will be willing to take the job if traffic is bad or if they don’t think they can get a return fare for the journey from Hua Hin back to Bangkok.
If you’re coming from either Bangkok Don Muang airport or Bangkok Suvarnabhumi airport it should be easier to get a driver to take you. The fare is approximately 2,000 Baht. From both airports you can also book a limousine service for around 3,500 Baht depending on the size of vehicle required to accommodate passengers and their luggage. In theory this should be safe and easy, but on the one occasion I’ve used it from Suvarnabhumi to Hua Hin with family, the experience was disappointing for what is supposed to be a premium service. Although the vehicle was comfortable, the driver was obviously in a rush to get there and back as soon as possible and his standard of driving left a lot to be desired.
There are also a number of private transfer services that you can use. I’ve used Oriental Escape for airport transfers when family have visited Bangkok from the UK and have been very happy with their service. I’ve not yet used them for the Hua Hin trip, but in the future I would either use them or the airport bus service if I was travelling with family. Prices with Oriental Escape start from 3,000 Baht for the Bangkok-Hua Hin trip.
The journey from Bangkok by train can be a fun way to travel especially if you haven’t used the Thai rail service before. You will arrive in Hua Hin at the elegant and historic train station located conveniently in the middle of Hua Hin town centre. The railway station is only a 10 minute walk away from the beach and the central area close to the Hua Hin Clocktower. I often take the ordinary train from Bangkok-Hua Hin when travelling solo and although it can be slow, it is good value for money.
The cheapest way of getting to Hua Hin by train is to take the ordinary service. From Bangkok Hualamphong railway station the fare is just 44 Baht. Seating is unreserved on the ordinary trains and tickets can’t be purchased in advance; you buy them at the ticket counter on the day of travel. Seats in the third class carriages are firm and functional rather than comfortable. With no air-conditioning, passengers rely on a combination of overhead fans and the breeze through open windows to try and keep cool. The carriages can get hot and dusty and the trains are slow so it isn’t the most glamorous of journeys. Despite all of that, there is something to be said for this no-frills form of slow travel with pleasant views out of the open windows and a constant stream of food vendors walking up and down the carriages.
As the name suggests, the special express offers you more comfort and is quicker than the ordinary train. Carriages are air-conditioned and you are allocated a seat number when you buy your ticket. Special express trains provide a trolley service on board with snacks and water included in the price of your ticket.
You will usually be asked to show your passport when purchasing tickets for Thai trains. Thai passengers are asked to show their ID cards. However, for the ordinary trains with unreserved seating you won’t always be asked.
Most buses from the Thai capital to Hua Hin depart from Bangkok’s Southern Bus Terminal with departures every 30 minutes throughout the day and early evening. Journey time to Hua Hin is approximately 2.5-3 hours. Some buses also run from the northern bus terminal at Mo Chit although these are less frequent. Buses are air-conditioned with ample space for large bags in the luggage compartment under the vehicle. The fare from Bangkok is approximately 160 Baht. The main bus station in Hua Hin is located in the south of town on Soi 96/1. If you are staying in central Hua Hin, many services will stop at the Clocktower if you ask to be dropped off there. Some bus companies also use Sasong Road close to Hua Hin railway station as a pick-up and drop-off point.
Sombat Tour run a direct overnight VIP service from Chiang Mai to Hua Hin although it’s a long haul at around 13 hours and will cost 980 Baht. The reliable Green Bus company also operate a service from Chiang Mai to Phuket that stops in Prachuap Khiri Khan to the south of Hua Hin.
There are bus services to Hua Hin from various locations to the south including Chumphon and Surat Thani which in turn connect with boat services from the Gulf Coast islands of Ko Tao, Ko Pha Ngan and Ko Samui. If you are travelling from the Andaman Coast (e.g. Phuket) there are a limited number of VIP services and some Bangkok-bound buses will also stop on request in Hua Hin.
A direct bus service operates between Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi airport and Hua Hin. The route is covered by Bell Travel/Roong Rueang Coach (RRC) and I’ve always found it to be a comfortable and reliable service. Although the airport bus is aimed at passengers arriving or departing from Suvarnabhumi, it can be worth considering if you are staying in Bangkok. The airport rail link connects with the BTS Skytrain and MRT metro and, depending on where you are staying in the Thai capital, it can be quicker and easier to get to Suvarnabhumi airport than it is to Bangkok’s Southern Bus terminal.
The Bell Travel counter at Suvarnabhumi airport is located on Level 1. Once you enter the arrival hall, go downstairs to Level 1 and you can find the counter between Door 7 and Door 8. Tickets can be bought at the counter or booked online in advance. The fare is 269 Baht.
Journey time between Bangkok airport and Hua Hin is approximately 3 hours, but depends on traffic and can sometimes take longer. The VIP bus uses 3 seats across with a 1-2 configuration which can mean added comfort for solo travellers. Large bags are tagged and stored in the luggage hold under the bus. Passengers also receive a free bottle of water on board.
On arrival in Hua Hin, the bus stops at the Bell Travel/Roong Rueang Coach station which is located close to Hua Hin airport. From here there is a free shuttle mini-van to the Clocktower in central Hua Hin. For a drop-off at your hotel the mini-van fare is 100 Baht for central Hua Hin or 150-200 Baht for the Khao Takiab area and beyond.
Public mini-vans from Bangkok provide a relatively cheap way to get to Hua Hin, but they are certainly not the best or safest option. Drivers tend to drive too fast and space inside is cramped especially if you have baggage. In some cases you may be asked to pay for an extra seat for your bag. Since late 2016, the mini-vans have operated from Bangkok’s Southern Bus Terminal instead of the more central Victory Monument. If you are at the Southern Bus Terminal and have the choice of mini-van or the regular bus, I would advise taking the regular bus service.
Mini-vans also operate on the route south of Hua Hin connecting the seaside resort with a number of destinations including Prachuap Khiri Khan and Chumphon.
Since January 2017 a passenger ferry service has linked Pattaya and Hua Hin. The journey takes approximately 2 hours and may be convenient if you are travelling from Thailand’s eastern seaboard to Hua Hin or the Gulf of Thailand and don’t want to travel via Bangkok.
There is a small airport located a short drive away from the centre of Hua Hin. It is used by private aircraft, but at the time of writing there are no scheduled flights to or from Hua Hin airport although Air Asia may soon be flying between Kuala Lumpur and Hua Hin. There have been on and off services over the years with Kan Airlines being the most recent carrier unable to make flights to Hua Hin a viable option.