Prowlin Around Pranburi

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Pranburi is rapidly developing into Hua Hin’s favourite weekend or day trip escape. Just as Bangkok residents enjoy a weekend away from the ‘Big Mango’, for Hua Hin or Cha-Am, ocean-side Pranburi offers Hua Hin locals an escape from daily routine.

Our ‘prowl’ was in a brand new Mitsubishi Triton Double Cab 4 X 4 (Sterling Silver); a test vehicle provided by Pranburi Premier Supply Co.,Ltd. ( Hua Hin branch) The Triton is clearly a very versatile vehicle. Some may use it as a workhorse and way to transport their goods or equipment in the cargo bed (around 1.5 x 1.5 metres). Others may take advantage of the 4 X 4 drive to negotiate off road conditions or as family-oriented transport with a four door cabin.

For us it was a ‘tourer’; a hasslefree way to take in the sights in comfort and style. The focus of our ‘Pranburi prowl’ was the seven kilometre strip commencing at the southern side of the Pranburi estuary and finishing at Wat Pak Klong Pran. It’s easy to find the Pranburi River entrance just a few kilometres oceanside of the town from Petchakasem Road.

The river entrance is a squid processing centre with multiple drying racks which are a little ‘on the nose’. Far enough away are probably the most authentic seafood restaurants you will find anywhere in Thailand. From the ‘squid centre’ the ocean frontage heads south along a brand new road and is protected by a breakwater which has resolved any erosion issues. Cycling along this strip is a popular and easy way for visitors at the many resorts and hotels to get around. Some of the ‘big boys’ (Evason and Sheraton), have been here for some time and there are also more boutique style options if you are planning to stay.

This could be the perfect unplanned romantic getaway where you can find your preferred style of accommodation for a spur of the moment weekend away. We called into the Ley Café for an excellent cappuccino half way along the strip. They also have an onsite bed and breakfast (the Foresta Resort) in a shady garden setting if the ‘unfussy’ style is your thing. At the end of the strip you’ll find some cliffs and caves sheltering a sandy beach at Khao Kowlok and the Thaao Ko Sa Forest Park. This is a great place for kids to safely explore and just have fun. Finally the glittering Wat Pak Klong Pran marks the completion of this cruise. Any further and you’ll arrive at the next location, Dolphin Bay, but that’s another story.

ABOUT THE NEW MITSUBISHI TRITON

The fifth-generation Mitsubishi Triton is produced at the Laem Chabang Factory of Mitsubishi Motors Thailand Co. and rolled-out in more than 150 countries. It’s always more relaxing to take a day trip when the vehicle you are driving is carefree, easy to drive and comfortable. Our Triton offered much more than we needed for our very simple cruise.

The word ‘nimble’ kept coming to mind. I’ve never been a fan of the large, high riding vehicles. In days gone past they were awkward, clumsy and not a lot of fun to drive. To say they were nimble would be far from the truth. Things have changed; I was surprised how responsive, lively and agile the Triton proved to be.

The only real adaptation I needed to make from my sedan was the extra step up (and down) to be seated. Apart from enjoying the higher driver position, there is no need to adopt a different driving style. It may be dubbed the “Ultimate Sport Utility Truck,” but it doesn’t feel like you’re driving a truck! Apart from nimble, this classy vehicle is both simple and versatile. Our thanks to General Manager Khun Amon Sehaphol and Customer Relations Manager Khun Pannapa Bunchuay for the opportunity to take their Triton on our ‘Pranburi prowl’. Also thanks for showing us where the CD player is stored. Someone else suggested that expecting such an outdated music machine in such a modern vehicle was a bit far-fetched – not true!

Cost: From THB 791,000 and the Double Cab 4×4 (our vehicle) THB 1,008,800.

Engine:
– 2.4-litre MIVEC VG Turbo Diesel (4N15)
– 181hp @ 3,500rpm
– 430Nm of torque @ 2,500rpm
– 200 MPa high-pressure common rail injection system
– 20% improved fuel-efficiency (vs. previous 2.5-litre turbo diesel)
– 17% CO2 emissions reduced (vs. previous 2.5-litre turbo diesel)

The key highlight of the new engine is the use of an aluminium alloy block – especially so in a high-compression (15:5:1) diesel engine. The alloy block sees a gross weight reduction of 35kg, and Mitsubishi tells us that the material’s toughness, durability and heat resistance is what contributes most to its improved fuel consumption.

Features & Equipment: The all-new Triton employs a true Keyless Operation System with Engine PushStart button, meaning that you never have to remove the key fob from your pockets or bags. Also offered for the higher-spec Tritons is the Mitsubishi Multi Entertainment System (MMES). The system features an in-car navigation system (SD card compatible), a CD/ DVD player, other infotainment facilities, and a guided display of the rear-view camera.

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