Hua Hin: the factoids
1. It’s pronounced Wa-hin and it’s the favourite resort for upscale Thais.
2. It’s only two hours by road from Bangkok on a six-lane highway (and just 180 baht to do the trip by air-conditioned minibus).
3. A beachfront holiday home here is obligatory for Thailand’s high society – the result of a royal connection dating back to the 1920s.
4. Thailand’s King is now based here all year, which means that the racier elements of other Thai resorts are absent (although a lively bar and nightlife scene is squeezed into Soi Bintabaht and Soi Selakam).
5. Golf has overtaken the five kilometres of unspoilt beach as the main draw for foreign residents. Black Mountain, which held its first Asian tour event in 2009, is among the nearby courses that makes this one of the country’s top golf destinations.
6. Strict building regulations, reflecting the town’s upper crust profile, have preserved a traditional feel and set strict limits on the height of buildings.
7. Foreign residents tend to be slightly older and more upscale than in other well-known Thai destinations – the city’s more genteel atmosphere deters the party crowd.
8. Hua Hin became Thailand’s first beach resort when the railway company built the famous Railway Hotel in 1921 and King Rama V created his palace of Wang Klai Kang Won (Far from Worries).
9. The weather is mild, without the intense heat or the prolonged deluges of other parts of the country.
10. The town is a popular spot to retire because of its many international restaurants, its several top-tier hospitals, its climate and leisure facilities – especially golf.