Construction of motorways, a double track high speed train link to Bangkok and three international airports, plus a possible revival of flights, the royal resort is looking good
Well, that’s all going to change - but you’re going to have to wait a few more years. Thailand’s capital and its famous royal resort are going to be linked by new motorways, high speed train services and a revival of domestic flights. The plan is to turn Hua Hin into the ‘Thailand Riveria,’ one of former PM Thaksin Shinawatra’s pet tourism projects that will simultaneously allow easier trade links with China and other members of ASEAN.
Once completed, the new coastal motorway that from Bangkok to Samut Songkhram, across the salt flats of Samut Sakhon and beyond, will bring joy to motorists who for more than four decades have faced frustrating delays because of constant repairs to the existing road. Several sections of the new elevated highway have already been completed.
There are also plans to build a motorway from Nakhon Pathom to Cha-Am.
The 34 billion baht ‘high-speed’ rail project links Bangkok’s soon-to-open Bang Sue Grand Station to Hua Hin, via Nakhon Pathom, and further south to Chumpon. At certain points trains may reach a maximum design speed of 160 km per hour along the 211 km double track.
Apart from laying a new track running parallel to the existing track, the project involves the construction of a large number of railway bridges, overpasses, some 40 U-turn bridges, 12 underpasses, six container yards, and a 4 km elevated track at Hua Hin Station. A total of 58 new small and large stations en route are being either upgraded or built in the authentic traditional style.
It’s been estimated that the new fastest express service will take about 2hr 45min from Bangkok to Hua Hin – more two hours quicker than the current service. The project was scheduled to begin operations in January 2023, but this deadline is thought likely to be extended by 12 months because of various delays.
This southern route is one of nine similar double track projects in Thailand. The Bangkok – Hua Hin line will be linked to Suvarnabhumi Airport, as well as the Bangkok – Rayong High-Speed rail project, the Bang Sue – Rangsit Red Line, and MRT Blue Line. Some sections of the project linking Thailand’s three major airports will allow speeds of up to 250 km per hour, classifying it as a genuine high speed train service.
Meanwhile, flights from Bangkok to Hua Hin are already in operation, with a small 12-seater aircraft plying the route two times a week. Regular domestic services between Hua Hin and Chiang Mai and Udon Thani have also begun.
When the road, rail and airport projects are all completed, it’s clear that Hua Hin will enjoy a new golden era of tourism.