When I went to Hua Hin (Thailand) I stayed at Amari Hua Hin. Even though it has been a while since the trip, I still remember the place fondly. We had already been in Bangkok for a few nights and I somehow managed to tire out myself completely.
So when I saw the facade of the hotel, I was actually longing for some peace and rest in the seaside town of Hua Hin.
For us the check-in was a breeze as we were given a group check-in. We gave our passports, sat in the lobby, sipped on the welcome drink and got our room keys and passport! Now isn’t that cool?
The lobby looked something like this! It had fancy looking showpiece hanging from the roof which looked like coral but I could not capture it in this picture!
This was my lovely room at Amari. I liked the muted colors, you can see it was spacious and comfortable. There was ample tea supply in the room. There was free wifi as well. They had beautiful photographs of the iconic Hua Hin Railway Station within the room.
The bathroom had a shower area only, there was no bath tub. But overall it was clean and comfortable.
I had a dinner and all my breakfasts at Amari. The food was quite good. I particularly remember breakfasts as a jolly time when many of the bloggers would come together and had a laugh along with the breakfast!
The Swimming Pool
This was the view of the swimming pool from my room. I spent one evening splashing around in the pool, it was great fun. Later I was told by colleagues that on that evening there was a double rainbow on the beach!
Amari is not right by the beach but they have a restaurant by the beach. They run regular golf carts to the beach, but it is a nice pleasant walk, I would not need a cart really. The beach at Hua Hin was peaceful.
Overall, I found the staff courteous throughout my stay. I had a nice stay at Amari, Hua Hin in Thailand.
PS. I stayed at Amari Hua Hin in July 2014. My stay was sponsored by TAT New Delhi.
PPS. I have started collecting all my hotel reviews on one page and I know I need to add so many more.
When we got down at the Hua Hin Railway Station our guide Joey told us, “you have 15 minutes to spend here. I replied, “you give me an hour at a place where I wish to spend 15 minutes and now you are giving me 15 minutes where I would wish to spend an hour!” He said, “OK let us bargain, you can have 25 minutes!” Such is life! Here I was at a quaint and beautiful place and yet I had only 25 minutes to spend there! Hua Hin Railway Station is a major tourist attraction. It has the feel of the small stations we have on Kalka Shimla Railway Line.
The railway line to Hua Hin was built in 1920s. Around the same time King Rama VI built his summer palace in Hua Hin. It was named Klai Kang Won which means ‘far from worries’. Hua Hin is a functional railway station, you can easily catch a train to Bangkok. Or if you fancy going the other way, the trains would take you to Sungai Kolok on Thailand-Malaysia border. Unfortunately, I could catch no trains from this beautiful station. The structure on the left hand side is the Royal Waiting Room. I am not sure if the royals visit it anymore but it looks royal indeed.
Even tough I could not catch a train, I saw a train arriving on the station which I was told was Bangkok bound. Trains used to hold such a fascination in our childhood. My elder nephew wanted to be an engine driver when he was young, it is another matter that he became an engineer when he grew up! Maybe it was a small part of that childhood fascination that made me run to the front of the train so that I could click the entire train!
I liked the train all the more because it was not packed, it actually looked inviting with so many empty seats, but then I had 25 minutes in all to spend at the station! I would have loved to hop in and get down at the next station, at least!
The waiting area was clean and once again quite empty after the train left. It exactly looked like a place where I would love to sit down with a novel and wait for the next train! I remember seeing a cafe at the station as well, but once again that 25 minute deadline was still there and I was already on its last minutes.
I was quite fascinated with the station bell as there was a picture of it in my hotel room. The picture in my room was quite beautiful. So I had to click it myself. Now of course my picture is no where as beautiful as the one that was there in the hotel room but still I kind of like it.
By the time I was clicking this picture I could see Joey hanging in the far horizon. I thought it to be prudent to make a move so that he would not have to come to the near horizon to drag me away from the scene!
PS. I was invited to Thailand by TAT New Delhi
Hua Hin is actually the first beach I have visited in Thailand, even though it was my third visit to the country. We were staying at the Amari, Hua Hin. It is a beautiful, contemporary property but it is not by the beach. So, we took their golf cart to go to the beach. It was high tide when I visited, so reaching the sandy bank involved some walking and hopping around. But if you ask me, it was fun. Hua Hin is a quiet beach. If you are looking for night life, this is not the right place.
The day I went to the beach, it was, once again, overcast. By now it has become the dominant recurring theme in my life, at least for the past one year. Sometimes, clouds make the sunset even more spectacular. But on this day they just overwhelmed the sun. The beach is not a white sand beach. But there are things that go in its favor too.
The beach is absolutely clean, and there are only a few people on it. So if you are looking for a quiet time, reading a book this is the ideal place. There were a few water scooters and a banana boat ride available. There were horses for hire as well. Hua Hin is a resort town which also has the summer palace of the king. So it is more of an upscale place. There are restaurants dotting the shore of the Hua Hin beach. Overall, you are guaranteed a peaceful time by the beach. I did not notice any hawkers on the beach.
Hua Hin is about 2-3 hours from Bangkok by road. It also has many other attractions. I loved the night markets at Hua Hin. There are theme parks and shopping complexes as well in the vicinity. But my best experience was trekking to the Phraya Nakhon Caves, nearby. Then there is the cute little Hua Hin Railway Station as well. Hua Hin is a beautiful and relaxed place for a holiday close to Bangkok.
PS. I was invited to Thailand by Tourism Authority of Thailand, New Delhi and I had a great trip!
What starts and end with muddy feet is a good trek in my definition. The trek to Phraya Nakhon Cave in the Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park (in Prachuap Khiri Khan Province close to Hua Hin) was one such trek. We reached the village Bang Pu which was quaint and lovely. We had to take a boat from the village to reach the Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park. It was low tide and my feet were clearly muddy by the time I reached the boat! It was so much fun!
We were asked to wash our messy feet before we entered the boat. The boat was sparkling clean! The boat ride was short, about 20 minutes or so. The weather was not too hot as there were clouds in the sky, which also meant most of my pictures would have grey skies!
The boat ride was quite uneventful, not that I was looking for any extra excitement after the muddy walk. We were deposited at the Hat Laem Sala beach and a short walk would take us to the start of our hike. Our guide Joey gave us water bottles, and soon we were headed for the climb to the Phraya Nakhon Cave. There are clean washrooms available on the national park side of the beach, which are free to use as well.
Before we made any real progress, down came the rain. A few us took shelter where ever we could find it. I was standing under the overhang of a rock. I would not mind getting wet, it is my precious, my camera that doesn’t like rains!
The way to the cave is not very long and if you are used to walking/trekking it is totally doable. It goes up for quite sometime though. I was walking in my sneakers and in spite of rain I was fine. The path was not too slippery. At the half way mark there is a beautiful view.
If you are tired at the mid way, this beautiful view of the Gulf of Thailand greets you along with some wooden benches. I stood there for a while, admired the view and then decided to continue walking as I was not too tired.
Even at a leisurely pace it did not take me very long to reach the cave. I was quite fascinated by this bridge like structure within the cave. I tried clicking the dark parts of the cave which had stalactites and stalagmites but the pictures didn’t turn out very well!
There is a beautiful pavilion, the Kuha Karuhas Pavilion inside the cave. It was built by King Rama V in 1890. I realized that it was so old only later, the pavilion is so well maintained that it doesn’t look that old! After spending some time exploring the cave, reluctantly it was time to head back to the beach. I was one of the last person to leave the cave.
I did not stop for long at the mid way while coming down as well. I sat at the Hat Laem Sala Beach and enjoyed the view. While walking back I was lucky as I spotted some wild life as well.
There was a group of Dusky Leaf Monkeys playing around in a tree. I stood there for a while but even then I got only this passable shot. The monkeys were quite good at hiding behind the leaves and going about their monkey business!
When we got back to the Bang Pu Village our feet were muddy again. While I was waiting my turn at the wash I was distracted by a bunch of butterflies. I was so busy clicking them, I was the last person to wash my feet.
The trek to the Phraya Nakhon Cave was an exhilarating half day affair. If you are in the Hua Hin region do give this a try. It was great fun to be outdoors, get our feet muddy and walk to the beautiful cave.
PS. I was invited by Tourism Authority of Thailand, New Delhi on this trip. I had a great time too!