Situated on a five mile stretch of glorious white sandy beach on the east coast of the Gulf of Thailand, 200km south of Bangkok, Hua Hin is the country’s oldest beach resort.
The area still remains relatively undiscovered as a renowned international golfing destination, much to the advantage of those traveling here for golf as it means that green fees are still among the lowest in the world, whilst service and course maintenance are kept to a very high standard.
Hua Hin is a destination well suited to family holiday-makers and those looking to avoid the fast action and wild night-life of some of Thailand’s more ‘racy’ beach resort towns such as Pattaya and Patong Beach in Phuket. Of course the night-life is still available in Hua Hin with dozens of restaurants, bars and several clubs including the ever popular night-club at the Hilton Hotel which includes nightly live music and house DJ, plus its own micro-brewery. The usual water sporting activities of banana-boating, jet-skis and paragliding are available along the beaches and horse riding and Thai massage are also offered from beach vendors.
For travellers wanting a quieter evening then dotted along the beach-front, overlooking the brightly lit squid fishing boats in the Gulf, there are many restaurants serving a wide array of Thai and Western dishes. If you are a lover of seafood then you will not be disappointed in Hua Hin where seafood is the specialty and the days catches are on display in the local markets around the town, alongside many handicraft stalls and market traders offering copied designer goods, CD’s and DVD’s. The town also offers a newly built shopping plaza with well-known western branded shops, such as Tesco, Pizza Hut and Boots the Chemist, plus a Cinema and a Bowling Alley.
History of Hua Hin
Hua Hin became popular as a rainy season retreat in the 1920’s with the construction of the railway line from Bangkok. The beautiful, colonial style Railway Hotel was built in 1923 by the State Railway Authority. The building has been preserved and is now the Centara Grand Beach Resort which boasts 207 stunning rooms and 42 villas in keeping with its colonial heritage.
In 1926, King Rama VII built the Klai Kangwon (Far From Worries) Palace on the beach a few kilometres north of the Railway Hotel. The palace remains the official Royal residence to this day and the war-ships laced with rope-lights that can often be seen from the beach denote the presence of a member of the Royal family at the palace. The tranquil fishing village was turned into the Royal resort and consequently became popular among Siam’s nobility and upper-class. Many of Bangkok’s elite established their own weekend retreats along the beautiful tropical beaches to the North and South of the town.