DOWN BY THE SEA

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From Chiang Mai to Hua Hin

Some History:
Hua Hin means rock or stone head, because of  the low outcrops that appear just like “heads” along the shoreline. In 1910, Prince Chakrabongse, brother of King Rama VI, came upon this serene stretch of coast in Prachuap Khiri Khan province while on a tiger hunt. Within a decade, the town was in vogue with Siamese society, boosted by the construction of the king’s vast Mrigadayavan Palace. Built in 1923, this huge, now-restored structure, known as the “longest golden teak palace in the world”, stands in a Thai Army reserve on the Cha Am beachfront, North of Hua Hin. It is open to visitors.


Rama VII later built his own summer palace in town, named Klai Kangwon (“Far From Worries”). This palace can be seen when entering the city of Hua Hin from the airport.

A Relaxing At Mosphere:
In contrast to Pattaya, across the Gulf, Hua Hin lacks the bustle of an international playground and instead offered a quiet escape. The chance to relax on a lovely beach and escape the crownds
are main attractions of the city. You can also visit a fishing village experience the traditional lifestyles of local communities. If, after your relaxing break you are hankering for a more lively scene, you can hop on a ferry and spend a few days in Pattaya, The ferry between Hua Hin and Pattaya runs three times per week.

Hua Hin’s beaches are long and pristine, So far,they remain unravaged by massive tour group invasion and lethal, hooning watercraft. The view in front of the Centara Grand Resort (the first hotel in Hua Hin) and neighbouring Baan Laksasubha Resort, remains free of the ranks of umbrellas and beach chairs. Other area in the resort city offer high class beach furnitures and services.

Activities:
Hua Hin is a charming city with relaxed atmosphere, it offers some of the finest golf courses in Thailand (Banyan Golf, Black Mountain Golf), modern shopping centers (Bluport, Seenspace
Beach Front Mall), plenty of activities (Vana Nava Water Games, Greenfield Valley Fishing & Cottage, Sanae Beach Club, Kite Boarding, Hua Hin Safari), high class spas (Refresh Spa , Let’s
Relax Spa), delicious restaurants, night bazaar and sparkling nighlife (rooftop bar at Hilton Hotel).

Through Pranburi and down to Prachuap Khiri Khan there are numerous quiet coves and tiny fishing villages, ideal destination for day excursions. There is also Khao Sam Roi Yot (Mountain of 300 Peaks) National Park, a short way south of Pran Buri. Covering 60 square kilometres, it is a place of wonder where the stunning landscape is a breath-taking blend of forested hills, deep valleys, waterfalls, caves, beaches, mangrove swamps and coves. A profusion of tropical vegetation makes the park a sanctuary for various animals and birds. Tham Phraya Nakhon cave is the focus of most day trips because it houses a large pavilion built for Rama V in 1896. Viewed in the early morning, when the first light breaks through the openings in the roof of the cave, this pavilion is a spectacular and often photographed sight. Further south, Prachuap Khiri Khan, a fishing town with a scenic bay, is another relaxing spot in the coastline.

Trip 2days -4Night

Day 1
Morning: Enjoy life on Hua Hin’s beach. Take a long and quiet walk by the sea.
Afternoon: Visit Mrigadayavan Palace. This stunning summer palace was built for Rama VI in the 1920s. Tour the gardens and take a peek inside this royal site. Back to your hotel, swim a few laps in the pool then dress for your first evening in town.
Evening: taste delicious seafood in one of the many restaurants along Naresdamri Road (with sea view, close to Hilton Hotel) or at L Restaurant, in Baan Laksasubha Resort (by the sea). Later in the evening, visit Hua Hin’s Night Bazaar for some great desserts and maybe a relaxing foot massage.

Day 2
Morning: after breakfast, head to Rajabhakti Park, an historically themed park honouring past Thai kings from the Sukhothai period to the current royal house of Chakri. Each statue is made of bronze and measures about 14 meters high. A visit will take less than one hour and after that, if you have children, your next stop is Vana Nava Water Park. Vana Nava is an exotic tropical environment with amazing slides, rides and an incredible choice of 19 attractions including Abyss, the largest water slide in Thailand, Freefall, Aqualoop, Inner-Tube, Boomerang as well as a surf zone, rope courses and a climbing wall. Check out their website for online bookings with special rates www.vananavahuahin.com Adults without children may prefer a peaceful day fishing at Greenfield Valley Fishing and Cottage Resort. One of Thailand’s most beautiful fishing resorts, it is an anglers paradise, with lakes full of large fish from Asia and the Amazon.

Late Afternoon: on the way back to your hotel, stop for some shopping at Bluport. This newly opened mall boasts over 500 stores in fashion, beauty, lifestyle and IT. If you would prefer to put your feet up, why not spoil yourself a litle more with an amazing spa package at Refresh Spa (Pechkasem Rd, Hua Hin soi 55).

Evening: enjoy a cocktail and watch the sunset from the rooftop Lotus Sky Bar, situated on the 22nd floor of the Hilton Hotel. Later, dine in style at Prime Steak Restaurant, only forty meters down from the Hilton Hotel. Prime’s menu offers a variety of delicious European dishes, including imported beef and fish, pasta, salads, desserts and the highest quality whiskey, cognac and champagne. Don’t miss tasting the wagyu rib eye, the cod fish or Norway steak salmon.

Day 3:
Take a tour to Sam Roi Yot National Park (buy at your hotel’s reception). Your English speaking guide will pick you up and drive you to the beautiful national park of Sam Roi Yot, some
63 kilometres south of Hua Hin. Your journey will start at a pineaple plantation, then continues to a coconut farm where you will see a trained monkey picking coconuts from palms.
You will then drive to Bang-Pu fishing village from where a boat awaits to take you out to the open sea. After 20 minutes you will reach a beautiful stretch of beach below Tham Phraya Nakhon Cave. The cave has a gaping through which a shaft of light reaches and permits the growth of various kinds of plants. Phra Thi Nang Khuka Kharuhat, a Thai style pavilion, provides the most attractive view to the cave and has become the symbol of Prachuap Khiri Khan. It is a four-porched building first constructed in Bangkok in 1890 during the reign of King Rama V, then dismantled and moved to the cave where it was reconstructed. Its gable tops were raised by the King himself.

After this visit, refresh in the sea and enjoy a traditional one dish lunch at the National Park beach restaurant. You will be back to your hotel around 14.00.

- You can also choose to fly from Chiang Mai to Bangkok Souvarnabhumi Airport and take an Airport Hua Hin Bus by Roong Ruang Coach (270 THB). Departure 9 times a day, from 7.30am to 7.30pm, counter at Level 1 Gate 8.
www.airporthuahinbus.com

- Sombat Tour offers night VIP Bus from Chiang Mai to Hua Hin (about 900 THB). Bus departs Chiang Mai at 7pm and arrives in Hua Hin at 6am.
Tel. 053-304 153

Where to stay:
- Baan Laksasuba Resort:
Baan Laksasubha Hua Hin is a beachfront resort where guest’s villas share the same grounds with the owner’s original family home, creating a cozy environment. The decor reflects the traditional lifestyle influenced by Thai nobility. Baan Laksasubha Hua Hin consist of 16 two-story villas, a delicious restaurant by the sea and premium spa.
53/7 Naresdamri Road. Hua Hin. | Tel. 032-514 525
www.laksasubhahuahin.com

- HiSea Hua Hin Hotel: newly opened and modern this hotel is located within walking distance to Hua Hin Night Bazaar at Hua Hin Beach. Prices starting from 3,000 Baht with special promotion of “Stay 5 nights and Pay 4 Nights” for Ocean View rooms. Enjor the restaurant with delicious fare on-site and the HiSea Sky Bar with infinity pool frome the roof top.
62/1 Nahb Kaehat Road. Hua Hin. Tewl.| 032-515 655
| www.hiseahuahin.com






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