This guide is for people who don’t have time to trawl through pages of forums on how to travel from Bangkok to Hua Hin by road, rail and air. Everything you need to know about trains and transfers is summarised below.
Our recommendations in a nutshell:
Take a train for the experience: see how locals travel, see the countryside, and pull into the quaint Hua Hin Station. When travelling alone or as a couple you’ll save money. But when travelling in groups of 3 or more, it’s actually more economical to get a private car.
Take a bus if you arrive at Suvarnabhumi International Airport, or if you are staying close to the Southern Bus Terminal (Sai Tai Mai) in Bangkok.
Take a private car or taxi if you want the comfort of door-to-door service and the option to stop when you want.
It’s expensive and you need your own.
The main activity at Hua Hin airport is the Civil Aviation Training Centre (CATC). It’s also used by the military and private planes. Fixed and rotary wing training are also conducted at the airport.
Even though when you search for flights from Bangkok to Hua Hin numerous travel and air sites pop up, when you actually put your departure and arrival details, the search results will come up with nothing. There were some flights from Chiang Mai but it seems that this route has ceased.
At the time of writing, taking a private plane from Bangkok to Hua Hin is an option. However, we guess if you can afford a private plane, you can also afford an assistant who will be making all the necessary travel arrangements for you and you are probably not reading this post.
Plane: Pros and cons
- You’ll need your own plane or enough money to hire your own one, but you’ll arrive in style feeling refreshed and ready to relax in Hua Hin at your preferred luxury resort.
*AirAsia has announced that, as of May 2018, there will be four weekly flights linking Kuala Lumper and Hua Hin.
It’s a great cultural experience that’s cheap, but long.
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There’re pages and pages of information on taking the train to Hua Hin. There’s a mix of new and outdated information. Some of it contradicts itself. We have found the most up-to-date information and sites to direct you to below.
The consensus is that the best train to get from Bangkok to Hua Hin is the #43 departing at 8.05 a.m. and arriving at 11.29am. It’s the express train that leaves from Bangkok Railway Station, also known as Hua Lamphong Station. The station is located near hotels and hostels. It’s also accessible from the MRT also called Hua Lamphong Station. Keep in mind there are two main train lines in Bangkok the BTS and the MRT.
Hua Lamphong Station is quite a beautiful building. There’s lots of places to get food and coffee while you wait for your train as trains are sometimes late in Thailand. Some people would argue that they are notoriously late. You can also buy meals, snacks and drinks on the train.
When getting a ticket it’s recommended to book tickets in advance for the #43. There’s an office at Hua Lamphong station to the left of the main ticket booths for foreigners to book trains. They ask for ID when booking, so bring a photo ID or passport. If you are staying a few nights in Bangkok, you can ask at your hotel if they can secure tickets for you. For second class it’s between 400 and 600 baht; this includes a meal, juice and water in an air-conditioned carriage. Ticket prices vary and are based on the type of carriage used. Book tickets in advance, especially if it’s a national holiday.
If you’re coming from Suvarnabhumi International Airport, you can get to Bangkok Railway Station from the airport by using the rail link. If you are travelling with heavy suitcases, keep in mind that there might not be elevators and you might have to carry your bags up and down stairs. But rather than doing this, we recommend taking the airport bus to Hua Hin. See section on taking the bus to Hua Hin below.
If you’re arriving at Don Muang Airport, catching the train to Hua Hin is quite complicated. You have to find your way to the city either by taxi or cross the road at the airport and get on a bus or train to Bangkok. Then get to Bangkok Railway Station and from there catch the train to Hua Hin. From Don Muang Airport, we recommend catching a taxi to Suvarnabhumi International Airport then taking the airport bus to Hua Hin.
Train: Pros and cons
- Don’t recommend with little ones as it takes a long time. But, if you’re a family of train enthusiasts then go for it.
- Difficult with lots of luggage, especially if you are catching public transport to Bangkok Railway Station. There might not be elevators. However, once on the train to Hua Hin there’s room for your luggage.
- For some people the scenery is not so special; for others it was a good chance to see the countryside and interact with locals. The train rolls past coconut trees and open fields of lush green grass. In the urban areas the trains are within arms reach of make-shift restaurant tables.
- It’s not the quickest way, especially if you have a deadline to meet. But if you have time to spare, and want to experience a different mode of travel in Thailand, then book your ticket. You could always catch the train down to Hua Hin and get a taxi back to Bangkok or the airport.
- Even though you might be on an express, it could take four to five hours if there are delays. But if you are in holiday mode, then sit back, relax, and start that travel diary you’ve always wanted to do.
- If you’re travelling 3rd class during heavy rain, the windows may be closed, which means it would get pretty stuffy, but for 44 baht one way, you can’t complain.
To get a sense of what it’s like to catch the train from Bangkok to Hua Hin, check out this video.
By Bus and Shuttle:
It’s cheap and air-conditioned, but BYO snacks and drinks.
You can catch the bus to Hua Hin directly from Suvarnabhumi International Airport. It will take 3 – 5 hours depending on traffic. Even if you’re stuck in traffic, the buses are comfortable and well air-conditioned. Some of the seats recline, there’s a toilet and water is provided. The bus will drop you in the centre of Hua Hin and then you’ll have to get a taxi from there. Most people get taxis once they arrive in Hua Hin. There’s plenty of taxis waiting at the bus terminals in Hua Hin. Most will quote 100 baht to take you anywhere in Hua Hin. If you’re planning on spending a few weeks there, you might want to look into renting a scooter.
From Bangkok head to the Southern Bus Terminal, also called Sai Tai Mai to catch the bus to Hua Hin. Expect to pay from 200 – 300 baht. Minivans also operate from Mo Chit bus terminal. However, the mini-bus service from Victory Monument is no longer available.
You can get more information on the bus to Hua Hin here.
Bus and Shuttle: Pros and cons
- It’s cheap if you’re catching the bus directly from Suvarnabhumi International Airport, but costs can add up when travelling from Don Muang Airport. You either have to get to Suvarnabhumi or head to Bangkok and take a bus from there.
- Once you arrive in Hua Hin, you’ll have to find transportation to your hotel. This will be an additional cost to keep in mind.
By Taxi and Private Car:
It’s more expensive, but a comfortable door-to-door experience.
Travelling by taxi or private car to Hua Hin is very popular. It takes about 3 hours, but this depends on traffic. We recommend leaving as early in the morning as possible. There are lots of car services available online. However, sometimes you might end up paying for something that you don’t end up getting on the day. Some sites will charge extra for a better or bigger car or a specific type of car and on the day it won’t be available, but because you have paid online, it’s almost impossible to get a refund.
Word-of-mouth is a safe and trusted way to book your private transfer to Hua Hin. Here are our top 4.
In no particular order.
#1 Oriental Escape >> great service; safe and professional drivers who are not in a rush to get there. It’s more expensive than other services, but worth it. Expect to pay from 2600 – 3000 oneway. The car you select online is the one you get; they can also arrange baby seats. When booking online, you will get a confirmation of reservation email first that then requires you to click a link to confirm and pay. If you want to pay cash to the driver, you’ll have to email them directly or call. The level of English is excellent.
#2 Mr Roong email@example.com >> private car service gets good reviews on trip advisor, 4000 baht return, excellent drivers who arrive on time, or if in a rush call him at (+66)0811915017, some travellers have used this service for 12 years. Expect to pay 2000 baht oneway.
#3 Ms Na >> very reliable; always on time; some travellers have used this service for 10 years. Expect to pay 2000 baht oneway.
#4 If you don’t want to book beforehand, you can arrange a car transfer at the airport to Hua Hin. Hua Hin car Service is reliable: firstname.lastname@example.org. The office is located outside gates 3 – 5 at the airport.
Taxi & private car: Pros and cons
- It’s more expensive, but if you’re traveling as a group, splitting the cost of a private car works out to be close to the cost of travelling by train or bus.
- You can ask the driver to stop whenever you need to grab a coffee, stretch your legs, or use the restroom.
- You get picked up from where you want and dropped off where you want. You don’t have to worry about getting a taxi once you arrive in Hua Hin.
- When you prepay with some online companies, they sometimes don’t deliver what you pay for: car quality; car type; baby seat; etc. So, choose a company that comes recommended.
- If you book through your hotel expect to pay anywhere from 3000 – 6000 baht oneway.
When making any travel arrangements to Hua Hin from the airport, remember that there are two in Bangkok. So, always check and confirm this prior to booking or deciding on what the best way to Hua Hin is for you.