Last week I asked: Where does the Thai royalty enjoy the beach?
In the Cha’am/Hua Hin area of Thailand.
The much-loved Thai king, Bhumibol Adulyadej, also known as Rama IX, has reigned since 1946 making him the longest serving current head of state and the longest-reigning Thai monarch.
When the king and the royal family want to enjoy a beach getaway, they head three hours south of Bangkok to the Cha’am/Hua Hin area.
International tourists, especially North Americans, usually head south, too; but to Phuket, Phi Phi Island, Ko Samui, and other places that are reached by plane.
The current royal family has a large property on the beach near Hua Hin which cannot be visited by the public but the beach retreat of Rama VI is now a walk-through museum.
The grandfather of Rama VI was immortalized in “The King and I.”
The Thai/Victorian-style summer seaside palace was built in the 1920s with lots of verandas, lattice work and high ceilings to keep it cool during the hot summer.
It is beautiful.
John and I have been to this area several times usually staying at what is now the Regent Cha’am Beach Resort (it was once a Holiday Inn Resort).
The hotels in the Hua Hin/Cha’am area are generally less expensive than those favored by North Americans in the other beach areas of Thailand and hiring a car to drive us from the Bangkok airport to the hotel is cheaper than airfare to Phuket and other places.
We prearrange transportation with Sawadee Travel Company and pay on-line.
We seldom run into North Americans at the Regent Hotel.
The grounds are massive with impressive landscaping.
There are full-size elephant topiaries at the entrance.
Someone told us it was once part of the royal gardens.
The hotel offers long-stay rates so there are many European guests who stay for several months in the winter.
The hotel usually has a special cocktail party for long-staying and VIP guests.
It is a great option to renting or buying a condo.
We enjoyed the two swimming pools and extensive breakfast plus there are a variety of free activities each day from kick boxing to a cooking class to creative napkin folding.
The Regent recently opened a hospitality school to train people for professions in the hotel business.
There are many things to do in the area.
John continued his kite surfing lessons.
The area is perfect for kite surfing as the waters of the Gulf of Thailand are not as choppy as the South China Sea and the beach is much better – wider with a gentle slope.
I, personally, enjoyed reading around the pool and taking a dip to cool off.
There are a variety of choices when it comes to dinner.
The Regent has a new minimarket where we could buy cup of soup and make it in our room as almost all hotels in Asia come with an electric hot water pot instead of a coffee maker.
Sometimes we would eat at the hotel’s Mediterranean restaurant.
The veggie pizza is great and we usually had enough left over for lunch the next day.
The other option was to walk into “town” which is actually a collection of shops and restaurants that serve the nearby hotels and condos.
The food is great and the prices very reasonable.
It is possible to have a tasty dinner for under $5 per person.
Trivia Tease™: What place claims to have the best mangos?
Look for the answer next week.
Sandra and her husband, John, have been exploring the world for decades, always on the lookout for something new and unique to experience. We have sailed down the Nile for a week on a felucca, stayed with the Pesch Indians in La Mosquitia, visited schools in a variety of countries, and — to add balance to our life — stayed at some of the most luxurious hotels in the world. Let the fun continue!