About Hua Hin
The rise of Hua Hin in Thai history came with the opening of the Railway Hotel, built by Prince Purachatra, the Director-General of the State Railways, after the Southern line was completed. It was an elegant Victorian structure on the shore. Not far away, an excellent golf course with meticulously tended greens, awaited golf professionals and amateurs.
The elite of Bangkok society began flocking to Hua Hin, at first to stay in the hotel and later in bungalows they built along the beach. One of them, Princess Chumbhot of Nakorn Sawan, recalls that the first of the holiday residences, Saen Samran House, belonged to Prince Nares, a son of King Chulalongkorn. Not far down the shore was a sizeable compound belonging to the Prince of Chandaburi. Prince Chakrabongse built a complex of bungalows, together with a Victorian-style gazebo on a scenic location near Hua Hin village. This was used in the film “The Devil’s Paradise”, and the Railway Hotel portrayed Phnom Penh’s leading hotel in the hectic days just before that city’s fall in the film “The Killing Fields”.
Princess Chumbhot was a lady-in-waiting to Queen Rambhai Barni and remembers being part of a royal party, which spent several weeks at Prince Nares’ palace in 1926. His Majesty King Prajadhipok was there to plan a summer palace on the beach, to be designed by one of Prince Nares’ sons.
The palace was named Klai Kang Won, which means “Far From Worries”. It was built in Spanish-style-architecture with a facade overlooking the sea. The present monarch, King Bhumipol, often is in residence here, hence the presence of Royal warships normally anchored offshore.
At the northern edge of Hua Hin, it is where His Majesty the King Bhumibol now spends a great deal of time.
Hua Hin Beach offers safe swimming most of the year round with the sand gently sloping into the water. The backdrop of green hills, pineapple and rice fields make Hua Hin a beautiful place to stay and explore. In the mornings monks can be seen walking down the beach on their daily rounds, accepting food and donations from the locals.
Khao Takiab or Chopsticks Hill is about half an hour walk to the south of Chiva-Som. As you approach you will see a large statue of the Buddha standing on the cliff, overlooking the sea, along with a sprawling temple on top of the hill. Once on top one can see the Hua Hin coast and Hua Hin downtown.
Phraya Nakorn Cave is found about 35 kilometres south of Chiva-Som. The cave is named after one of the Governors of Prachaub Khiri Khan who sheltered here for several days during the rainstorms. It is a spectacular cave which houses a beautiful pavilion inside, constructed at the command of King Rama V who visited the site around 1890.
Nam Tok Pa-La-U is a beautiful 15-tiered waterfall in the middle of rich and fertile virgin forest, about 60 kilometres west of Hua Hin town center, literally right next to the Burmese border. The area is under the supervision of Kaeng Krachan National Park, and water cascades down the falls throughout the year. Normally many butterflies can be seen here, although the best time to visit is early in the morning from 7.00 am, when the air is still fresh and cool. It is also possible to spot wild animals including elephants and several species of rare birdlife such as hornbills.
Petchaburi Summer Palace is in one of the oldest provinces in Thailand and any trip into Petchaburi should include a stop at the 100 year old temple of Wat Kamphaeng Laeng at Phra Nai Khon Khiri. The palace can be accessed by cable car to see the beautiful summer palace of King Rama VI, also the setting for the famous movie “The King & I”. On view are many items of Royal Heritage and an expansive view from the Observatory.
Maruekkhathayawan Palace is one of the oldest and most attractive royal palaces in Thailand, located 14 kilometres north of Chiva-Som. The palace was constructed at the command of King Rama VI in 1923 as his holiday residence. It was entirely made of teak and was fashioned in Thai-Victorian style. The palace is normally a very quiet place where one is free to wander through stopping to enjoy the relaxed atmosphere and cool sea breezes.
Elephant riding until the introduction of railways and automobiles, travel by elephant, especially in rural areas, was a safe, efficient and sensible method of transport, as well as having the ability to assist in agriculture and forestry. An elephant with passengers can travel over any terrain, however steep and treacherous. Today guests can experience the sensation of elephant riding at several locations near Hua Hin.
Hua Hin Railway was built in the reign of King Rama VI in order to welcome the King and his entourage. The architecture of the Royal Pavilion is a feature of the station; it was originally named as Plub Pla Sanamchan, and it was initially situated at Sanamchan Palace in Nakorn Pathom Province. This train station is an attractive site behind which Thailand’s first golf course Royal Hua Hin lies.
Nowadays, in a world of change and development, Hua Hin remains a tranquil haven not all that different from the days of its first aristocratic visitors. That is Hua Hin a charming resort town with a sense of history, peace and beauty.
Golf in the Hua Hin vicinity
Banyan Golf Club
Imperial Lake View Golf Club
Majestic Creek Country Club
Palm Hills Golf Resort and Country Club
Royal Hua Hin Golf Club
Springfield Royal Country Club