Nice ride South along the coast to Hua Hin today (tailwind) home to the King of Thailand. Hua Hin has been the summer palace for previous Thai royalty and having to and fro here myself for the last 40 years I can see why it's become a very popular place for expats and foreign investment.
A quick pie stop was in order just before hitting Hua Hin, certainly a bit of cultural shock after eating Vietnamese and Cambodian food for the last 2 months. Bumped into a young chap, Mark Gresser, riding from Darwin with a plan to ride around the world. The long ride home team wish you well Mark with your adventures ahead.
Hua Hin prides itself on having the best golf courses in Asia , top one being the Black Mountain Golf Course officially rated in the top 100 courses in the world.
Hua Hin has a big expat community mainly European - Danish, German, Dutch and Swedish to name a few. Hua Hin has always featured in the travel pages of Australian newspapers for many years as Paradise undiscovered, but to recent days many foreigners have been attracted to living here full time because of local amenities; hospitals, dentists, great shopping facilities and cheap real estate.
Maruekhathaiyawan Palace between Cha-Am and Hua Hin was built by King Vajiravudh (Rama VI) as a seaside summer retreat in 1923.
Originally, the King had a Palace built on Hat Chao Samran beach, a little more North, but he was unhappy with it and decided to demolish the building and use the teak wood to construct a new Palace facing the sea in Cha-Am district. The location was found convenient because Cha-Am was by then connected to Bangkok by rail and the area was beneficial to health with its forest and fresh sea air.
The Palace is built raised from the ground on pillars and entirely made from teak wood. Its very attractive architectural style is completely different from that of other Thai Palaces.
The overall design of the Palace was done by the King himself, and it was built to be a very comfortable place with excellent ventilation and niches filled with water in the pillars to keep out ants. Ercole Manfredi, an Italian architect was hired to finish the design.
King Rama VI used the Palace, which name is also written as Marukhathaiyawan or Mrigadayavan, as a summer residence for him and other members of the Royal Family until his death in 1925.
The King’s wife, Queen Indrasakdi Sachi lived in the Samundra Biman section of the Palace, which contained a number of rooms including a living room, a bedroom, a dressing room and a bathroom as well as a corridor leading to a bathing pavilion on the beach.
The Sewakamart section was used for official functions, offices and a theatre where dramas were performed.
When the Royal Family would come to stay in Maruekhathaiyawan Palace for the summer, the furniture would be moved there from Bangkok.
After the King’s death in 1925, the Palace was left deserted. Today, it has been fully restored and you can still see some of the King’s furniture like his writing desk with pencils and paper, sofa and bed. Walking around the Palace will give you a rare insight into how the Thai Royal Family used to live almost a century ago.
After visiting the Palace, you can enjoy a walk on the nature trail in the surrounding mangrove forest, or simply chill out on the sandy beaches of Hua Hin.
Truck, Troy and Giles
On the long ride home in Thailand