A brief spurt of tourist activity lifted the low season in Hua Hin as school holidays in the west spurned the urge to travel for many families. Otherwise the months of July and September are usually very quiet in terms of international tourists. Domestically the town has been busier than ever with a number of long weekends recently turning Petchkasem road into a multi-million baht car park for the rich.
The Hua Hin golf festival is in full swing with discount green fees at all of the town’s major courses, there are plenty of golfers on the forum so no shortage of discussion there. A new golfers sub-forum has been created just for that. The annual Hua Hin Regatta also attracted boaties from across the globe to compete in a number of events for royal trophies.
At the time of writing there was still no word on the 2012 Hua Hin Jazz Festival which, in years gone by, has been one of the highlights of the year. Usually the beach concert takes place in the second week of June however dates were changed three times last year and it ended up in August. It is a great shame that the organizers and TAT can’t get their act together with this one.
Hua Hin has gone from low to slow in recent weeks as the tourist season grinds to its annual halt and local businesses go into hibernation. Those that rely on the expat trade seem to do better since the numbers of foreigners choosing to settle in Hua Hin is on the increase. The forum is the only place online for expats to find out what is happening in and around town.
Unfortunately that is not the case for the Hua Hin Jazz Festival as we still have no idea whether it will even be held this year. The words organisation and communication evidently do not come into the vocabulary of those that arrange the event. Other events continue to delight though, they include beach polo championships, triathlons, regattas, and smaller local music festivals – Hua Hin is now firmly on the events map.
Hot with scattered showers has been the best way to describe Hua Hin this month as the searing heat continues and the welcome bursts of rain come in short supply. Every year the town suffers the same problem; water shortages – local reservoirs are down to 30% capacity and Hua Hin’s thirst is unquenchable. Unabated development has seen the loss of water retaining natural hinterland with heat retaining concrete replacing it. Hua Hin remains one of the driest places in Thailand and residents certainly feel it at this time of year.
Such development has been the subject of a number of discussions on the forum this month such as the resurfacing of Soi 102 and excavation in the Borfai area. A ring-road is being built to alleviate the hellish snarl-ups in the center of town at weekends and peak times. Traffic congestion is not getting any lighter, especially in months like May which have more than their fair share of public holidays when Hua Hin turns into “Bangkok Noi”.
As the memories of Songkran in evaporate with the heat of the sun Hua Hin enters into low season once again and the pace of life slows down a little. The forums have been as busy as ever with readership records constantly being broken, they now average over 90,000 per month.
A long discussion comparing Hua Hin to Pattaya took place with a number of readers commenting on how the town is becoming similar in terms of traffic congestion, massive expansion and development, prices, and an ever present seedy side. Others though thought the opposite as Hua Hin does not have any of the blatant raucousness found across the pond or the associated dark influences.
The new Makro store in Hua Hin has created a lot of discussion on the forum this month. The majority see it as a vast improvement over Tesco Lotus in terms of product selection, location and parking, customer service and price – it is a welcome addition to Hua Hin. Meanwhile the mayhem continues at Market Village where a rumoured multi-storey car park is being built. There were also rumours of a Big C coming to Hua Hin and a Tesco store down soi 112 however we cannot verify them.
Most of us only ever see ATV’s when they are offered for rent on beaches and road sides next to resorts. There is another level to the ATV experience. A path ‘less ridden’ perhaps. The chance to own your own ATV and ride whenever the mood suits you.
I have a good friend who lives amongst the pineapple plantations around Pranburi and owns several of his own ATVs. He can regularly be seen riding along off road tracks, river paths, abandoned airports, beaches and open spaces around the area. Frequent visitors to his house are often treated to a guided ATV tour of the points of interest in the area. After one visit and several rides I found myself well and truly ‘hooked’.
In less time than it takes to say; “all terrain vehicle” I had three ATVs in my car port! Since then I and my two teenage sons have enjoyed many an hour cruising around the little known byways and unspoilt countryside near our home. Its a great family experience and a chance to see places you would never get to in your car. As more of our friends become owners we are hoping to start a club where we can arrange regular meetings with BBQ’s and organised route tours.
HuaHin has its very own ATV dealer in QUADMASTER their showroom is just north of Pranburi on the Petchkasem road. Why not stop by and see if they have a machine or two to suit you. Or you can always visit Quadmaster online.
We would like to wish all of our members, readers and sponsors a happy new year and a prosperous 2012. We will be expanding the forum and our web services in the new year to accommodate our ever growing readership which currently stands at over 80,000 per month making Hua Hin Forum dot com the area’s best read publication.
The explosion of new bars and restaurants in Hua Hin are turning the town into a culinary paradise for those that like to eat out. Soi 94 is becoming a bit of a feeding hotspot with a new eatery opening almost every week. Our roving critics are constantly reporting back with restaurant news and reviews so don’t forget to login to the feeding time forum to find out what’s new in your area.
We would firstly like to wish all of our readers and contributors a very happy festive season and a prosperous new year. 2011 has certainly had its ups and downs, both for Thailand and the West, we are optimistic that 2012 will bring brighter times for all. The forum itself continues to grow despite slowdowns elsewhere, membership now exceeds 5,000 and daily readership continues to climb.
The flooding in Bangkok has dominated the news and diligent forum members posted round the clock updates on the situation in the capital and here in Hua Hin. Updates on routes to and from Bangkok have also been posted. The town itself has been heaving; the roads have been jammed solid resembling Songkran day, every day. Local police have been fighting a losing battle against Hua Hin’s flood of the four wheeled variety. The demand for rental properties has also soared as people look to relocate from the submerged city.
According to the organisers, the Vampire MC Club, the 2011 Hua Hin Bike Week will be held on December 2nd and 3rd. No venue has been specified at the time of writing but previous Hua Hin Bike Weeks have been held at 48 rai along the canal road. For more updates on the 2011 Hua Hin Bike Week please visit the Hua Hin Forum: Hua Hin Bike Week 2011.
hua hin bike week 2011
Some interesting tourism figures for the Hua Hin area were reported by TAT and picked up on the forum for discussion. We are all aware that the town is very popular with the Bangkok weekend crowd but surprisingly the tourism arrivals figure for Hua Hin and Cha-am is over 80% Thai. This would go a long way in explaining why local events and festivals are only promoted and marketed in Thai language banners that get plastered over town preceding them. Naturally the forum is the best source of local news and updates for expats and visitors so be sure to check it out for information on upcoming events in Hua Hin. From the foreign tourism arrivals to Hua Hin Finland topped the list with over 44,000 visitors in 2010, followed by Norway, Sweden, Germany and the UK – it is also no surprise that Hua Hin is very popular with Scandinavians!
What is traditionally a low season month in Hua Hin has seen the town busier than usual this year with a number of Thai holidays and a slight change in the demographics of the typical Hua Hin tourist. The Ansana Bucha weekend in July saw Petchkasem Road turn into a ten kilometer long car park as Bangkokians fled the big smoke to enjoy a weekend by the sea. Keen observers also noted the increase in Russian visitors to Paradise City, a topic on the forum was created to discuss the recent changes.
All of us at the Hua Hin Forum are happy to see the Observer rolling off the presses once again, it remains to be one of the stalwarts of the town’s publications. Also in this category is the forum which will be celebrating ten years online at the beginning of 2012. From a small website covering the town’s nightlife we have now expanded considerably and currently attract over 2,200 readers per day and have a membership nudging 5,000.
Golfers will be rejoicing during August and September as many of Hua Hin’s golf courses will be taking part in the Hua Hin Golf Festival which offers discount green fees of 800 baht. Golf courses included this year are:
Hua Hin Golf Festival 2011
Royal Hua Hin
Imperial Lake View
The Eagle Milford
Kaeng Krachan Country Club
Caddie fees are usually an additional 250 baht and it is advisable to book your tee times as the courses get very busy, especially at the weekends. For more information check out the
Hua Hin Forum: Hua Hin Golf Festival 2011
This time of the year always generates more discussion on the weather in Hua Hin as we are in the middle of the rainy season and flooding is still common despite numerous efforts to alleviate the problem. Rain has been long overdue around the town following months of very dry weather earlier this year. November will bring the high tides and wind changes and the likelihood of flooding again will increase. Infrastructure development has lagged a long way behind the rampant construction of buildings and houses so it will be interesting to see what happens this year, El Nino may bring unusually higher tides and more rain.
The new Bangkok Hospital is almost ready to open its doors and one of the Doctors has kindly joined the forum to answer questions from Hua Hin’s expats and visitors. The response has been overwhelming with 6 pages of information and over 4,000 views. If you have any health concerns or questions about new services offered join in the discussion direct with hospital representatives.
The expat community in Hua Hin has been shocked by a recent spate of murders, many of which have been under similar circumstances. The highest profile was the killing of Asia Times Online editor in chief Allen Quicke whose life was taken at his home in Naebkehardt road on August 17. The police report suggests the crime was a simple robbery that got out of hand, a culprit was quickly apprehended and the case closed.
Other attacks on foreigners in the town center have also been on the increase however not all of them are reported. While Hua Hin still remains a safe haven it will soon change unless real action is taken against what appears to be a rising criminal element and more brazen assaults upon its residents.
Hua Hin’s expats and visitors were shocked last month by the brutal murder of British retiree Raymond Hind in what was later discovered to be a pre-meditated attack carried out and arranged by relations of his estranged Thai wife. The forum was the first place to break the news in English, word of which spread rapidly as messages of support and condolence for the family poured in from across the globe. Ray Hind was 68 years old and will be missed by many friends here in Hua Hin and his daughter and granddaughter back home in the UK. RIP Ray.
As shocking as they are, incidents such as this remain few and far between here in Hua Hin, especially when compared to what goes on across the pond in Pattaya. A glance at any local newspaper will reflect this however as Hua Hin continues to grow the bad elements are likely to increase along with the good.