Hua Hin, located on the Gulf of Thailand's western seaboard, has long enjoyed Royal associations. The once sleepy fishing village was first marked for development by the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) who built and operated a handful of bungalows. 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 near Hua Hin's famous rocks in 1923 by the State Railway Authority, which also built Thailand's first public golf course in Hua Hin in 1924.
In 1926, King Rama VII built the Klai Kangwon (Far From Worries) Palace on the beach a few km north of the Railway Hotel and this palace is still frequently used by the Royal Family. This set the stage for Hua Hin's popularity and unique ambiance which remains to this day. With its Royal connections, sense of history and laid-back charm, Hua Hin is deservedly riding high in the popularity stakes as one of Thailand's premier resorts. That said, the beach side town remains a relative backwater when compared to the mega-resorts of Pattaya and Phuket. It retains a certain old-world panache and this is reflected in the constrained and sympathetic approach taken to the development of the resort.
Golf tops the list of recreational activities on offer. Water sports are well represented, with water and jet skiing, parasailing and boating readily available. Spa treatments are also very popular. In summary, Hua Hin is a great seaside destination for families, or for those who don't want or need the brash, in-your-face entertainments offered by Pattaya and Phuket, but who desire a quieter, more relaxing break by the sea.
Yuka, a friend from Japan came to visit me at the end of March, and to have a break and get out of the city – we decided to spend a weekend in Hua Hin. The trip down by train was meant to take 4 hours – but delays turned it into six, so we were late arriving on the Friday evening. I had booked a room in the A and B Guesthouse, so it was simply a case of getting a taxi to the guesthouse, checking in, and going up to bed!
Saturday was spent on the 5km white sand beach, with a walk into town in the evening to visit the night market, to have a look around, and to sit in one of the many restaurants for an excellent meal!
Sunday was a repeat of Saturday – more lazy hours getting burnt on the beach! We caught a bus back to Bangkok, taking around 3 and a half hours. The craziest thing about the bus journey is it cost only 120 baht, or around £2 for a 200km (125miles) journey! All said and done, a perfectly lazy weekend away! I will have to do it again sometime soon!
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