The "Pull" of Hua Hin Thailand

In tourism terms, a location has to have certain qualities in order to attract, or "pull" tourists to that location. Hua Hin, Thailand, has many attractive qualities. Some of which we will detail in this article. This author lived in Hua Hin for three years in 2004-2006, providing first hand experience with the area.

One of the foremost attractions of Hua Hin is its proximity to Bangkok. It is the oldest beach resort in Thailand, 281 kilometers from Bangkok. With the improved road from Krung Thep (Bangkok) to Hua Hin, the trip takes about 2 1/2 to 3 hours by car. Mini-vans take travelers there for 180 baht - $6 USD. (2011)

Hua Hin has long been the summer residence of King Bhumibol Adulyadej (crowned May 5, 1950) allowing His Majesty and his family to escape sultry Bangkok capital, for the once tranquil fishing village. King Rama VII, in 1928, built the Klai Kangwon (Far From Worries) Palace and remains to this day, the official royal residence.

For those who prefer the leisurely travel trains provide, the railway line runs through the eastern edge of town. The beachfront Railway Inn, built in 1923 in the old Siam style of  architecture, is today the Sofitel Central Hua Hin.

Although the residential construction boom of the last few years has cooled, many hundreds of expats have made Hua Hin their home, both permanent and summer. The area boasts several - seven at last count - top quality golf courses.

Many of the temporary markets have been replaced by modern shopping malls, but at least two night markets have survived the recent increased development.

Seafood here is caught nearby, and, at night, shrimp boats can be seen off the coast catching the next days' supply. The beaches south of Hua Hin are still relatively "unknown" and arguably more attractive than the beach in Hua Hin proper. Along these southern beaches, Khao Tao – Turtle Mountain  -  rises from the sands and is worth a visit. Try the seaside restaurants there for their fresh seafood and competitive pricing.

Don't miss a seaside beer and snack in front of the Hilton Hotel - one of the author's favorite pre-dinner Hua Hin haunts.


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