Awesome. That’s the first and pretty much the only word that really describes Thailand. Interestingly it’s also a word that I’m using a lot at the moment –the last time was after driving the RX-8.
It’s (obviously) very different from England, we’ve not really seen any of Bangkok yet (other than the airport and a seemingly never ending sea of large buildings, but Hua Hin is great. It’s got such a friendly feel to it; everyone is courteous and polite, bowing to greet you etc -superb.
The driving is somewhat hair-raising, no, that’s not strong enough, it’s terrifying, a real white knuckle ride! I spent as much of the 3hour transfer from Bangkok to Hua Hin either looking out of the window at the side or with my eyes closed. The most commonly chosen form of transport is a small scooter with at least 3 people on it, that or an open back pickup with as many people as possible crammed in. Indicators are used surprisingly but that doesn’t mean they’re going where they’re indicating. Great fun but not for the faint hearted!
Personally I don’t think the photos on the Hilton site really do it justice, it looks nice but it’s much nicer “in the flesh”. The front of the hotel is enormous with big elephant fountain heads and about 10 big glass doors with plenty of bell boys on hand to carry your baggage. On arriving, they greet you with a fruit juice drink (I think it was melon) and cool towels to freshen up and you’re left waiting for the receptionist on massive soft sofas –a far cry from the fight to talk to the receptionist in the UK!
The main area of the hotel has a huge water feature running through it, it’s almost as large as the local canal! That then flows into an inside pond which runs up to a HUGE glass wall and it then continues on the other side, down into another pool and then through a stream into the pool (on closer inspection it actually goes into a drain which runs under the pool). The pools are 3 inter-connected pools with a swim-up bar and funny island feature. The river then starts again and flows towards the beach!
All around the pool is the usual collection of sun loungers -already occupied with the traditional Germans! In addition to the sun loungers there are a number of straw roof huts on stilts for you to shelter from the sun. We’ve not had a chance to visit the restaurant yet but they look pretty nice, there’s even one on the 17th floor which Stacey’s vowed to take me to for my birthday, I imagine the views are pretty amazing.
The room is phenomenal, far more than I was expecting even though we are staying in the Hilton. Normally we’re crammed into some box room, only just large enough to slide around the edge of the bed but this room is HUGE. At a guess I think it’s 31ft long and at least 15ft wide PLUS a balcony!
The view from the balcony is pretty darn good to even though the most of it is over Hua Hin, we can see the sea/beach, Monkey Mountain and a local temple. From what we’ve seen, the Hilton is the only hotel actually close to the centre of Hua Hin, the others are about 15mins drive away.
So in short, so far it’s a massive thumbs up, if you can afford the £18pppn room cost (remember it’s buy 3 nights get 2 free too!!) I’d defiantly recommend it, beats anywhere I’ve ever stayed without a second thought and that includes the Headland Hotel!
Oh, I should have mentioned, another Thai tradition is to give the lady an Orchid -or that may just be Thai airways, still it was nice non-the-less.
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