Hua Hin spotlighted by Forbes as top destination for the over-60s

Tourists on Hua Hin beach. File photo

In a recent feature by Forbes, Hua Hin has been spotlighted as a top international destination for the over-60s.

The accolade comes from Kathleen Peddicord, a journalist with over three decades of experience reporting on the best overseas destinations for living, retiring, and doing business.

Peddicord has visited thousands of locations and has been in touch with numerous expats and experts. Her evaluation of Hua Hin, and other such prime locations, took into account several key criteria including the availability and affordability of real estate, cultural and entertainment opportunities, healthcare quality, safety standards, climate, ease of transport, and the feasibility of English as a daily-use language.

In the article titled 3 Great Places Across The World To Live In Your 60s, Peddicord wrote of Hua Hin being a safe place for expats to live.

“For starters, it’s a very safe spot. In fact, you’ll likely feel safer here than in your own hometown,” she noted. With an amalgamation of welcoming locals, friendly expats, and an impressively low crime rate, the town certainly offers an allure for those in their later years.

Moreover, the town doesn’t fall short in the entertainment arena. Residents and visitors alike can indulge in a wide range of activities, from golf, watersports, yoga, and fishing to an assortment of cultural events, festivals, and religious observances. The town also boasts a thriving arts community, with galleries, exhibitions, and an ever-popular night market offering an array of local arts and crafts.

Conveniently situated along a scenic four-mile stretch of beach, Hua Hin provides an array of amenities ranging from upscale hotels and restaurants to casual eateries, shopping malls, and markets, the article highlighted.

The town’s layout encourages walking, but for those who’d rather not brave the tropical heat, a short tuk-tuk ride around town comes at an affordable one or two dollars.

Forbes also highlights the standard of health in Hua Hin.

Healthcare, an essential criterion for many retirees, doesn’t disappoint in Hua Hin. The town is equipped with both public and private healthcare facilities, notably the Bangkok International Hospital, which has received accreditation from the Joint Commission International and is favored by many expats for its commendable standard of care and English-proficient staff.

On the real estate front, English-speaking professionals are at the ready to assist in property searches. Rentals for a three-bedroom villa equipped with a pool average around $1,200 monthly, while a furnished one-bedroom sea-view condo can be rented for approximately $690 per month. Those looking to invest can anticipate a purchase price in the ballpark of $150,000 for a similar condo unit.

Alongside Hua Hin, Forbes highlighted Boquete in Panama and Malaga in Spain, both of which are hugely popular expat destinations.

Man on SUP at Hua Hin beach. File photo

The article said Boquete was renowned for one of the world’s most significant expat retiree communities, offers a blend of walkable town areas, notably Bajo Boquete, and a mild, predictable climate, with temperatures usually ranging in the 70s Fahrenheit.

Panama’s positioning outside the hurricane belt ensures weather stability. Bajo Boquete boasts accessibility to essential services on foot and promotes pedestrian safety. David, a city with more urban amenities, is a 45-minute, $2 bus ride away, while taxis charge approximately $20.

Health care in Boquete includes both public and private options, with private appointments costing between $20 and $50. English is commonly spoken, ensuring ease for expats, and the town’s safety record is commendable, with violent crimes being rare. Boquete’s thriving real estate market offers a range, from cabins to mansions. Rentals can go as low as $450 a month with connections, and buying starts around $170,000, reaching up to $350,000 for premium properties.

Meanwhile Forbes said Malaga, located on Spain’s sunny Costa del Sol, boasts about 300 sunny days annually.

The city is easily navigable due to its flat terrain, extensive pedestrianized areas, and affordable transportation, including a $1 one-way bus fare or a $40 monthly pass. E-bike rentals are available for around $5 a day, and a quick train ride from the airport to the city center costs $2.

Known for its safety, Malaga also provides the ease of English communication, given its large expat community and tourist appeal. Rich in culture, it hosts various events, notably celebrating its native son, Pablo Picasso, and features the Museo Picasso Málaga.

The city’s healthcare is top-notch, with high-standard public and private hospitals. Monthly health contributions for expats are roughly $60. Rental costs range from $700 to $1,200 a month, while property prices can start at less than $50,000 for fixer-uppers and $150,000 for studios in expat-favored locations.