Now this was a strange little place. We decided to stop off here for a few days on the way back to Bangkok. It’s known as one of the first Thai resorts, made popular by the royal family because it was an easy weekend getaway from Bangkok.
Nowadays it is still a weekend destination for many but is also seen as a retirement option for many expats. This gives it a weird mix of cultures. Opposite our hotel was Anne’s Pies a restaurant specialising in pork pies and other very British delights!
Probably the most uncomfortable aspect was the number of elderly Brits with young Thai wives and children. We were aware on coming to Thailand that this is something that was fairly common but we had seen very little of it until Hua Hin. It does add an air of sleaziness to the place.
There is a lovely beach and it’s easy to see why it would be popular but there’s not much else to see or do. It’s kind of the opposite to Koh Tao in terms of the age range and restored our feeling of youthfulness as we seemed this time to be the youngest couple around! We felt like we were gatecrashing a SAGA outing.
This was particularly apparent one night when the local shopping centre hosted the ‘Thai Elvis’. To be more precise he was Elvis, Tom Jones and Englebert Humperdinck at various points so you got your money’s worth (it was free). Walking through the audience as he sang was probably not the best idea. The guy was a pro though and soldiered on through his performances despite the constant selfie taking (this makes a lie out of anyone complaining that only kids take selfies). The dancing of the audience was of the type generally only seen at weddings and golden anniversaries, similar to how Thunderbirds walk but slightly faster.
It tells you something about the place that the main sight was the railway station. We decided to take the train back to Bangkok so spent some time there and it was like being an extra in the Railway Children. There is a beautiful Royal waiting room but only royals are allowed to use it so everyone else bakes on the platform. However the train was on time and very comfortable we even got free biscuits and juice (just like the railway children!)