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eBook Issue 74

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Hua Hin Legacy

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Putahracsa
 

Hua Hin

When a Bangkok family wants a quiet, relaxing weekend by the sea with clean waters for swimming and uncrowned sandy beach, they opt for Hua Hin.  Just over 200 kms away to the south on Petchakasem Highway, Hua Hin is a charming old-fashioned beach resort and a fishing town of Prachuab Khiri Khan Province on the west coast of the Gulf of Thailand.


Swimming off Hua Hin beaches is pure and unadulterated delight

The water is warm, clear and clean, absolutely untainted by any form of pollution.  The beach slopes gradually far out into the sea, that the big incoming waves gradually dissipate in soothing and rocking motion of the water, well before reaching the beach.  Children down to toddler can safely frolic in the shallow waters of the beach, without fear of crashing waves or steep underwater bank.

Klai Kangwol Palace is the official royal summer palace. Where the royal wedding anniversary is celebrated every year on April 28. Hua Hin in Thai means stone head.  Off the main beach are rock outcrops jutting out of the sea that gives the beach its name.

Hua Hin Guide

Getting There

Most people coming to Hua Hin travel by Petchkasem Highway by bringing their own transportation or by air-conditioned bus leaving new Southern Bus Terminal every hour from 5.00 to 22.00 hrs.  The trip usually takes three hours to reach Hua Hin and three and a half hours hours to Pranburi estuary.  Although daily train services is available for those who are not time pressed.  It takes more than four hours.  But it makes 5 – 6 stops on the way like Amphawa, Rachaburi, Petchburi etc.  Those who are travelling light, microbus runs from victory monument to Cha Am, Hua Hin and Pranburi.  It takes two hours to reach Hua Hin.

Getting Around

Hua Hin is not that big but four wheelers (tuk-tuk) and trishaws are handy to take you around.  If you are in bigger group hire them and take a tour of the town or go to your favorite dining outlet.  It is fun when a husband is seated behind and the wife infront of a trishaw.  Don’t forget to take your camera along.  There are also motorcycle taxis which are safe to use for long distances.  The motorcycle drivers wear numbered jacket.  It is advisable not to hire unauthorized taxis for long distances.  These vehicles don’t have comprehensive insurance and safety  could be at stake. 

Climate

The climate of Hua Hin is tropical and therefore warm throughout the year.  At the same time it is dominated by the monsoon winds that bring about seasonal changes from dry to wet.  There are two very hot weather in Hua Hin, the first between April and May when the average temperatures range from 32 to 36 degrees Celsius and only the occasional tropical thunderstorm brings relief.  It also gets very hot between September and October but the frequent rainfall has a wonderful cooling effect.

Night Entertainment

Hua Hin is a family destination and doesn’t stand close to Bangkok and Pattaya in night life.  However, it has three discotheques at Hilton, The Hua Hin Grand.  Nightly there is live music at outdoor restaurant next to Hilton, Some hotels do off trio’s in the evening for drinks and cocktails.

However, there are two streets  Bintabhat, opposite the Hilton and Poonsuk road, next to the City Beach Hotel, that has bars with girls and pool.  Mostly bars cover live sporting events and stay open till 01.00 in the morning.  All bars open again around lunch time.  The street has few pubs offering Guinness stout and other drafts, and few of them have live band.  Hua Hin Soi 51 and nearby  on the main Petchakase, are Thai style pubs. Thai style open bars have sprung up, along the railway track, from soi 58 to soi 88, bars with hostesses.  There has been development  of sports bars  in Khao Takiab lately.  Close to the Centara Villa and Resorts, there  is  all-night karaoke bar, a coyote club near The Lapa Hotel and full fledged Thai club “The Face”, opposite  The Sheraton Hotel.

Cha Am

Cha Am beach, which comes in Petchaburi province, is in fact older than Hua Hin . The sand, at Cha Am beach and its water is undoubtedly better than Hua Hin and Pranburi.  Cha Am boundary goes half way down the tunnel, near  the Hua Hin airport, so hotels like Dusit  Resort and Sheraton come under Cha Am. 

The  good restaurants are on the  beach road, facing the sea, and   on Narathip road, especially bar-b-que chicken or pork, in simple tropical ambiance.  Cha am town has its wet  market( talad) in the morning, before the railway line, with plentiful parking space.  Every Wednesday evening, here is  open air drinks and dining. Cha am has its own hospital, municipality and railway station.  See Cha Am map under maps for guidance.

Pranburi

Visitors heading for the beach and coming from Hua Hin take left turn after 15 kms, where hotels sign posts are. Visitors who wish to avoid Cha am and Hua Hin, use by-pass before  reaching Cha am, you will travel through Pranburi town.

World renowned properties like Evason Hide Away, Villa Maroc and Aleenta grace this very wide beach.  Properties like Aleenta, Villa Maroc are on the beach, while Evason Hide Away, Bacchus, Dolphin Bay  are  facing the beach.

Your trip is not complete, if  you don’t go up the first Marine National Park of Thailand called ‘Sam Roi Yod’ (forest with three hundred mountains) and Pranburi National Forest near Khao Kalok.  Fresh seafood one can buy on the beach, while the day market is in Pranburi estuary.  The Pranburi river and ferry to go to  Pattaya,  depart  from here.  Some seafood restaurants here are note worthy and one on the beach called Great Restaurant (raan chaew), is packed during weekends.

 
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