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"The Head of the Rock"

In 1910, Prince Chakrabongse, while hunting a deer, irrupted on a superb, very quiet beach. The prince was so impressed by the beauty of the site that he had a huge summer residence built in the neighborhood, the Villa Chakrabongse, which is still in the modern part of Hua Hin today.

Hua Hin became popular as a rainy season retreat in the 1920's with the construction of the railway line from Bangkok. The beautiful, colonial style Railway Hotel was built near Hua Hin's famous rocks in 1923 by the State Railway Authority, which also built Thailand's first public golf course in Hua Hin in 1924. In 1926, King Rama VII built the Klai Kangwon (Far From Worries) Palace on the beach a few km north of the Railway Hotel and this palace is still frequently used by the Royal Family. This set the stage for Hua Hin's popularity and unique ambiance which remains to this day.

Located on the western shore of the Gulf of Siam, Hua-Hin is a approximately 2 and a half hours by road from Bangkok or 25 minutes by Air.

For over sixty years Thai Nobility, high society and the smart fashionable set have been coming to Hua-Hin to escape from the heat and the bustle of the city. Hua Hin is unlike any other beach resort in Thailand. If you're looking for bright lights and the frantic all-night action of cabarets and discos, you may be disappointed here. However, if you enjoy walks through the quiet winding streets of a friendly coastal village, sampling delicious seafood in restaurants overlooking the brightly lit fishing boats on the Gulf of Thailand or around of golf on one of the several international standard links, Hua Hin could very well be what you're looking for; it has a special character of its own.

Hua Hin has one of the lowest rain falls in Thailand and being a coastal town gets that lovely sea breeze, so Hua Hin can be visited all year round.

NATIONAL PARKS

Though the beaches and swimming pools are always beckoning, the Hua Hin area also has shopping, temples, waterfalls, caves, quaint neighborhoods and historical sites that will create memories for all members of the family. A leisurely drive though the countryside, where one can see rice paddies and pineapple plantations, children playing in the canals, and the beautiful scenery of Prachuapkirikhan and Petchburi provinces is also a must.

Kaeng Krachan National Park

Extends along the Burmese border from Petchburi Province north of Hua Hin. To the south, Thailand's first marine national park, Khao Sam Roi Yot, is only about 35 km away. A bit further away, in Kanchanaburi Province, there are five more national parks, Erawan, Sai Yoke, Sri Nakarin, Khao Laem, and Chalerm Rattanakosin.

Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park.

Dramatically scenic, the park includes some of the best selection of shoreline habitat in Thailand. It is located on the east coast of the southern peninsula in Prachuab Kiri Khan Province.

The park between Kuiburi and Pranburi, some 35km to 70km south of the town of Hua Hin, has an area of 61,300 rai (about 9,808 hectares, 24,520 acres) The geographical and geological make-up of the park is high limestone mountains, a wide prairie near the seashore as well as off-shore islands.

Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park.

Dramatically scenic, the park includes some of the best selection of shoreline habitat in Thailand. It is located on the east coast of the southern peninsula in Prachuab Kiri Khan Province.

The park has a wide variety of plant species and is home to many wild animals. There are three caves worth visiting within the park; they are: Sai Kaeo Cave (The cave near Pranburi is fairly deep and one needs a flashlight or lantern to go far inside.) Sai Cave (This cave is situated on the same route as Tham Sai Kaeo. To get there one passes Phu Noi Village, Phu Yai Village, Khao Daeng Village, and Khung Tanoad Village. Finally, one climbs the hill for 20 to 30 minutes.) and Phaya Nakhon Cave (This cave is located near Pranburi. One can either take a boat from the mouth of the Pranburi River which takes 2hrs or a boat from Khung Tanoad Village which takes only about 30min to reach the fairly large cave. There are a couple of natural ventilation holes in the roof of the cave thus allowing sun light to enter. At the cave is Phra Thinang Khuha Kharuhat, a four-gable roofed pavilion constructed during the reign of King Chulalongkorn, Rama V, reigned in 1890. The pavilion is now used as official symbol of Prachuap Khiri Khan Province.

GOLF

Thailand, and especially Hua Hin, are not well known around the world for their golf courses though they should be. The first golf course in Thailand was built in Hua Hin in 1924 and there are now 8 courses within 30km of the town and more are under construction. There is great golf to be played here, in addition to the many activities available to the non-golfers in the family. Courses are well maintained and service is excellent.

Green fees at most courses are about $25 on weekdays and $50 on weekends. Caddies are required at most courses and are about $6 with an additional $4-8 tip, depending on their experience and help during your 18 holes.

At those courses where available, electric carts are about $25 which usually includes a caddy. Caddies in Thailand are usually female and often quite adept at reading greens and determining yardage. They are not hired for their English ability however so speak slowly and listen attentively and you'll both do fine. Clubs are often available for about $15 and shoes an additional $2.