October 2012
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Hua Hin is a sea-side resort city in Thailand – Part 3

Overview of Hua Hin

• It is popular among Thais.
• It has become quite fashionable as a weekend getaway spot for Bangkok residents, as well with foreigners.
• It is as an ex-pat retirement or holiday home location.
• There is a commitment by the local and provincial authorities’ in order to avoid the kind of overheated blight that has affected other beach resorts in Thailand.
• Hua Hin is closely associated with the Thai royal family.
• It is popularized as a resort in the early-1920s by King Prajadhipok.
• It is a quiet and relaxing seaside resort ideal for family vacations.
• It is a reasonable 2.5 hours drive down from Bangkok.
• Until 1934, it was known as Samore Riang which means “rows of rocks”.
• The tranquil fishing village was turned into a royal resort.
• It became popular among Siam’s nobility and upper classes.
• In 1928, Prajadhipok built his Klai Kangwon Palace.
• As of 2007, Klai Kangwon is a full-time residence of the current king.
• It is not open for visitors, although the outer palace grounds are open for walkers and joggers from 16:00 to 19:00 daily.
• The town is clean, warm and laid-back, making it ideal for families and couples.
• The 5 km long beach itself is pretty.
• It is more interesting than Pattaya’s, and the sea is relatively clean.
• Most of the beach can completely disappear along certain parts of the coast during high tide.

Things to do in Hua Hin

1. Golf
• Golf is extremely popular in Hua Hin.
• The place has several high quality courses up to international standards.
• Hua Hin and its surroundings are a golfer’s paradise with at least 7 quality courses within a 30 minute drive.
• Most courses offer transportation to and from the course.

2. Spa
• Spas in Hua Hin offer luxurious treatment which suits every budget.
• The treatment includes both traditional remedies and modern techniques.
• Facilities at spas in Hua Hin may also include a Jacuzzi and steam bath.
• Many Spas in Hua Hin also offer traditional Thai healing treatments.
• There is also alternative treatment such as Rieki. Resorts offer many detox programs.
• The most popular treatments are chi organ massage, karsai genital detox massage, deeper skin detox and herbal skin detox.
• Hua Hin has a world class Chiva-Som International Health Resort.
• It focuses on greater well-being and vitality.
• Chiva-Som offers extensive fitness, spa, spa cuisine and holistic health facilities to help you relax, restore and rejuvenate.

3. Massage
• Traditional Thai massage is characterized by its holistic approach to health.
• It is aimed at enhancing not only one’s physical and emotional state but also to allow one to grow spiritually.
• There are over 50 massage shops in Hua Hin.
• All good hotels in Hua Hin offer traditional Thai massage service.
• In Hua Hin, at Petchkasem Road next to the Golden Palace and the Royal Palace one can be massaged by very good professional blind masseuses.

4. Others
• Sand and sea: This is the number one attraction of Hua Hin, also according to tourist information.
• Fishing and eco-cruises can be done in Hua Hin, both at sea and inland.

5. Kite-Boarding
• It is very popular in Hua Hin.
• There are several schools giving lessons and tuition with equipment for hire.
• Conditions are good from January to May, thermal wind is blowing from afternoon with 14-20 knots.
• Water is shallow, has small chop and beach break.
• Fitness and Martial Arts can be practiced either in gymnasiums around town or in the top hotels.
• Elephant camps and trekking can be found just west of town. There is also an elephant camp.
• Walking and cycling are popular in Hua Hin due to the quietness of the roads.

6. Crafts are a plentitude in Hua Hin including:
• Handicrafts
• Silk weaving
• Embroidery
• Basket making
• Pottery
• Wood carving

7. Go Karting
• It can be enjoyed at the karting track near the airport.
• The 700m circuit has a banked curve for speed, pits floodlighting, beer garden and catering.

8. Water Sports
• Swimming
• Banana boat rides
• Water ski-ing
• Jet-ski-ing
• Sailing
• Windsurfing
• Parasailing
• Kayaking
• Snorkeling
• Scuba-diving
• Pony Rides can be found on Hua Hin beach

Festivals in Hua Hin

1. Thailand’s International Kite Festival
• It is during March, April and May.
• It features stunt kites, big kites, little kites, high tech kites, traditional Thai kites and displays of international kites.
• Visitors also enjoy a variety of opportunities for shopping, sightseeing and simply having a good time.

2. Hua Hin Jazz Festival
• June is the time of the year when ‘jazz on the beach’ happens at the annual Hua Hin Jazz Festival.
• The popular event attracts world class jazz musicians from Thailand and all over the world.

3. Hua Hin Vintage Car Rally
• Hoteliers, the Vintage Car Club of Thailand and the Tourism Authority of Thailand sponsor an annual ‘parade’ of vintage and classic cars starting at the Sofitel Central in Bangkok and ending in at the Sofitel Central Hua Hin Resort.
• The cars, with drivers and passengers decked out in 1920’s attire; make the 225 km promenade in December of each year.
• The festivities culminate with a 1920’s party at the Sofitel.
• It is appropriately is a Victorian-style structure built in the 1920’s.

Best time to visit / climate

• Hua Hin has a tropical climate with high humidity and occasional rain.
• It is typically pleasant and can be enjoyed all year round.
• The best time of the year to visit Hua Hin is in the cool season from November to February.
• For those who like it hot, then the hot season is from March to May (temperature gets up into the higher 30s).
• The rainy season is from June to October with September being the rainiest of all.

Location on Google Maps

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How to get there?

1. By Plane
• Solar Air flies to Hua Hin from Bangkok 4 days weekly on Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
• Passengers leave Bangkok’s Don Muang Airport at 16:00 and reach Hua Hin at 16:30.
• Return flight to Bangkok is at 17:00.

2. By Train
• Trains are an easy way to get to Hua Hin.
• The train station is right in the center of Hua Hin.
• The trains go very slowly getting away from Bangkok, so the 2 1/2 hour road time to Hua Hin stretches to 5 or 6 on the train.
• The price of the train is around 100 baht(and only 44 baht for ordinary trains).
• Most trains on the southern route stop at Hua Hin.
• They leave Bangkok’s Hua Lamphong and Bang Sue railway stations 10 times daily between 08:05 and 22:50.
• It takes 4 hours for the journey.

3. By Bus
• From Bangkok, buses to Hua Hin leave from the Sai Tai Mai terminal about every 20 minutes.
• It takes around 3.5 hours.
• The price (1st class) is under 200 baht.
• Buses run from 04:00 – 22:20.

For more information, contact:
• Hua Hin-Pran Buri Tour, Tel: 0 2884 6191-2
• Bang Saphan Tour, Tel: 0 2435 5105, 0 2884 8895
• Bus Southern Terminal, Tel: 0 2435 1199, 0 2435 5605, 0 2434 7192

4. Minibus
• To downtown Bangkok, you can also take a minibus from near the Victory Monument near the BTS skytrain.
• Cost is 180 baht.
• The Hua Hin vans board in the alleyway next to Century Movie Plaza which is close to the stairs at the southern end of Victory Monument BTS station.
• From the Skytrain station, take the walkway south, descend the staircase on the east side to street level.
• The minibus area is next to the stairs.
• Look for a small table with “Cha Am, Hua Hin” written in English to buy your ticket.
• T-Tour, Tel. 080-090-6540.
• Minibuses from Hua Hin back to BKK (180 baht) leave opposite the Pananchai Hotel in Naebkehas Rd.
• This is some 200 m along a side road from the clock tower.
• A 1st class bus service will eventually connect Hua Hin directly with Suvarnabhumi Airport.
• The main bus station is well outside the centre of town on Petkasem Rd beyond Soi 94.
• This is some 3 km south of town center.
• A tuk tuk there costs ~180 baht.
• This bus station is for buses which are going to or from Bangkok and points south.
• The orange bus from Bangkok Southern Terminal (150 baht) which takes about 3.5 hours.
• The other first class buses go to the station beyond Soi 94 on Petkasem.
• Stop the bus at any point prior to this if you want to get off.
• The clock tower on the left is the effective town “center”.

5. By Boat
There used to be a ferry between Pattaya and Hua Hin but stopped right now.

6. By Taxi
• Taking a taxi from Bangkok to Hua Hin (distance about 200 km) is possible.
• Price after negotiation should cost around 2,000 baht.
• The price for a taxi from Suwarnabhumi (Bangkok) airport was 2,600 baht in November 2009.
• The limousine services available at Bangkok Airport are more expensive than an ordinary taxi.
• Private taxi from Hua Hin to BKK Airport should be in 1,600-2,000 baht.
• It is bookable via agents around town.
• A few are located outside the post office, and others are along Naresdamri Rd.
• Taxi to or from Pattaya around 3,000 baht.

Some Travel Books about Thailand

Lonely Planet Discover Thailand Thailand PhotoMazing Thailand

Places to stay (hotels / restaurants along with website / contact numbers)

Hotels at wikitravel.org
Hotels at tripadvisor.in
Hotels at agoda.com

Blogs / Sites about Thailand – Hua Hin

Blogs at wikipedia.org
Blogs at travbuddy.com
Blogs at travelblog.org
Blogs and reviews at lonelyplanet.com

Images and photos of Thailand – Hua Hin

Images at google.com
Images at huahinpictures.com
Images at huahinphotos.com
Images at tripadvisor.com

Videos of Thailand – Hua Hin

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