2020 Top News Compilation

Hua Hin Street Arts   (January)

Samor Riang Village, one of the historical community in Hua Hin, has set up a designated area to display the works of local talented artists. The various artworks reflect the lifestyle and uniqueness of Hua Hin as a community.

Hua Hin sheriff Thanon Panpipas, Mayor Nopporn Wuttikul, Ms Pornrawi Siluengsawad, President of YEC Prachuap Khiri Khan had joined to launch the project “Hua Hin Street Arts” at Samor Riang Village.

The art will feature for example important places such as the old train station, a picture of an old tricycle and the way of life of fishermen in their village with a modern twist. Locally Graffiti is called Street Art or “Art on the Wall”.

Twenty art students from the Faculty of Architecture and Design of King Mongkut University of Technology Thonburi voluntarily came to create their expressions of Hua Hin through paintings and drawings, which took them a total of 5 days to complete.



Chinese visitor to Hua Hin diagnosed with coronavirus, caution not alarm is advised   (February)

Diagnosis of a coronavirus case in Hua Hin has been revealed by the public health agencies with a second laboratory test waiting to reconfirm the results at the time this news is being reported.

The patient, a 73-year-old Chinese woman who passed through Suvarnabhumi Airport on January 19th, and travelled to Hua Hin on January 25th. She is reported to have travelled directly to the hotel and has not visited any other locations in Hua Hin.

Hospital admission followed reporting a high fever and the patient was admitted to a private hospital in Hua Hin on January 23rd where she remains hospitalised in isolation.

The Hua Hin sheriff has issued a letter to hotel operators to monitor Chinese tourists who had travelled to Thailand from Wuhan city, China. Sheriff Thanon Panpipas has now informed all hotel business owners in order to prevent a local outbreak of the virus.



2020 Cha-Am Bikini Beach run   (March)

The Cha-Am Bikini Beach Run has done much to promote running and sports tourism in the region.

The 13th annual edition of the race is open to novice and experienced runners alike. At the top level, this will be an international field including runners from African countries, Japan, Australia as well as Scandinavian nations.

There were three distances to choose from: the Half Marathon (19.6km), Mini Marathon (9.5km) and the Fun Run (5km). The entry cost was 800, 700 and 450 baht respectively for the 3 divisions.

The starting point was on the beach road opposite the Long Beach Hotel and the event was organised by the Phetchaburi Tourism Business Association in cooperation with Cha-Am Municipality and JOG & JOY event management.



Airport Upgrade to ‘Kick-Start’ the Future of Tourism   (April)

A rejuvenated international airport will soon become the catalyst towards promoting Hua Hin as a prime tourism destination in Thailand. Planning to ensure that this opportunity becomes a reality is now gathering momentum as airport developments are about to commence.

 A key player in this development, who is now seeking even more community support, is Udorn Olsson, Advisor to the Deputy Minister of Transport and a resident of Hua Hin. Mr Olsson, together with Hua Hin Airport Director Apisit Ubolkomut and professional marketing consultant John Laroche, has been busy rallying Hua Hin stakeholders, including tourism authorities and associations as well as travel/ hospitality industry leaders, to join the cause.

Their mission is to develop and commence extensive marketing plans to coincide with airport developments. Mr Olsson said the airport rejuvenation provides the opportunity to “kick-start” Hua Hin tourism and “open the door” for the resort town to become one of Thailand’s best-known international tourism destinations.

Airport Director Apisit confirmed that the first stage of transforming the airport into a fully-fledged international destination is about to commence.

As soon as contracts are enacted, work will begin on widening the airport runway, a project with a completion date set for mid-2021. A budget of 250 million baht has already been approved through the Ministry of Transportation.

Hua Hin has long been regarded as a secondary tourism destination by international travellers–and maybe a well-hidden secret with the people of Thailand and those that have ventured here.



A Facelift planned for Train Library   (May)

Ms Sutthikan Yamnil, Director of Formal and Informal Education (Hua Hin), met with Hua Hin Mayor Nopporn Wuttikul to discuss improvements for the Train Library, which is currently located at the roundabout in front of Hua Hin Railway Station.

During the meeting, Ms Sutthikan said that the Hua Hin Train Library has been around for more than 11 years and its condition is starting to deteriorate.

“The train needs to be repainted as its color is starting to fade and cracks appeared to be all over the body, making it unattractive for tourists who come to take selfies. The garden surrounding the coach also needs to be refurbished to maintain its beauty,” Ms Sutthikan added.

On the other hand, the municipality was informed by the State Railway of Thailand that since the double-track railway project is underway, it is advisable to move the entire Train Library from the roundabout to the new railway track connecting to the permanent Steam Locomotive behind the train station to give the library a ‘new look’.

Once the planned ‘facelift’ is completed, Hua Hin Railway Station and the new Train Library will resume their roles as important landmarks of Hua Hin for generations to come.



Hua Hin tops list of dream destinations outside Bangkok   (June)

Hua Hin placed second only after Bangkok on the list of “Thailand’s Top Ten Dream Destinations,” according to a survey by travel booking site Booking.com. An additional recognition for the region is the appearance of Cha-Am at No 8.

The influential travel and lifestyle publication BLT Bangkok has also featured this information. Data from the survey, conducted during the two months since March, show that many around the country are looking forward to the day they can travel again.

Thailand’s top ten dream destinations according to booking.com are as follows:

  1. Bangkok
  2. Hua Hin
  3. Chiang Mai
  4. Koh Chang
  5. Jomtien Beach
  6. Pattaya City
  7. Patong Beach
  8. Cha-Am
  9. South Pattaya
  10. Ao Nang Beach (Krabi)



Dual track set to transform regional railway transport    (July)

 Many observers still mistakenly believe these structures are intended to support a high-speed or ‘bullet train’ from Bangkok.

That project, needless to say, remains shelved due to a lack of investor interest, now likely to be more distant in a difficult post-Covid-19 economic environment. The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) has a budget of nearly 90 billion baht for the dual track rail project, which will be a major boost for tourism to the region.

Modernised carriages will enable passengers to travel in comfort from the new Bang Sue station in Bangkok to destinations such as Nakhon Pathom, Ratchaburi, Phetchaburi, Cha-Am, Hua Hin, Pranburi, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Bang Saphan Noi, Chumphon, Surat Thani, Songkhla and then on to Padang Besar at the Malaysian border. Bang Sue Central Rail Station in Bangkok is destined to be the largest station in ASEAN.



Hua Hin ready for reopening   (August)

Poll after poll has put Hua Hin among the best positioned to benefit from the post-lockdown shift to domestic tourism. With this in mind, the city has been doing everything it can to be ready for full reopening.

 Four months after the government imposed nationwide coronavirus lockdown restrictions, most sectors have at least partially reopened. And although the country is still closed to most international flights, domestic tourism has started to pick up and is expected to play a leading role in post-lockdown recovery.

On 15 July, local officials met with a group of tourism operators led by Ms Wassana Srikanchana, president of Cha-Am Hua Hin Tourism Business Association, to discuss Hua Hin’s future. Mr Prayong Chanteng, the new District Chief, said, “Although we too, have had to comply with the government’s Covid-19 restrictions, Hua Hin is one of the destinations many visitors would like to visit.

“If these events are publicised broadly across the nation, I’m confident that they will bring in more domestic and foreign tourists,” Prachuap Governor Panlop Singhaseni said. “Hua Hin should promote itself as a safe, clean and attractive resort town with many exciting activities.

Subsequently, more revenue will be generated for all businesses.” This month the city is set to host two such events. The first is the annual Hua Hin Food Fest on the beach, to be held 7 – 8 August on the beachfront of Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Hua Hin.

The city has been doing everything it can to be ready for full reopening of restaurants, markets and convenience stores, on how best to keep the city Covid-free.



Running for Mayors   (September)

Is it time for Hua Hin to change? What more does Hua Hin need to do to make itself a standout city in the Thai tourism industry?

Hua Hin’s mayoral election is coming up soon and it is promising to be a tough battle between three candidates vying to become our next mayor.

Three mayoral candidates have declared their interest to run — current mayor Nopporn Wuttikul, Mr Udon Olsson and Senator Than Awsuwan.

The central government has passed a resolution that the nationwide municipal election should be held by early next year.

Mayor Nopporn Wuttikul already had to remain acting in his position for the last two years, as a new municipal election was delayed by central government political changes and the Covid-19 epidemic. Nopporn Wuttikul (นพพร วุฒิกุล) who’s well known in Hua Hin intends to run for re-election to the job that he has been ably doing for some eight years.

Mr Nopporn is an ally of the Democratic Party and he is a member of New Power Group (Phalang Mai Group) in June 2012. He won the election and became the mayor for the first time and during the early days as a mayor, he concentrated on solving water and traffic problems.

Mayoral candidate Udorn Olsson (อุดร ออนสัน) has Political Science Bachelor Degree from Ramkhamhaeng University and a Master in Business Administration from Stamford International University. He has been a successful real estate businessman in Hua Hin for more than 30 years.

Udorn is also an advisor to the Ministry of Transport and the senate of Natural Resources and Environment Committee. Mr Udorn said he was keen to offer himself as mayor with new ideas and different approaches to developing Hua Hin.

He says that the city already has its own distinctive look and feel as a historical and cultural resort and is especially attractive to visiting families. The key is to consistently add to this welcoming holiday image, he said. Mr Udorn has established his own group called ‘Hua Hin Mahanakhon’ and is also a member of the Pracharat Party.

Senator Than Awsuwan (ธันว์ ออสุวรรณ์), the third mayoral candidate is also another contestant to watch. With more than 10 years of experience in Hua Hin politics, Senator Than had been a member of the Prachuap Khiri Khan Provincial Administrative Organisation Council for two terms totalling eight years.

He is currently a senator representing Prachuap Khiri Khan Province and President of the Agricultural Co-operative Community of Thailand. A native of Hua Hin, Mr Than also holds an Arts bachelor degree plus a master degree in Arts from Ramkhamhaeng University. Running for mayor, Mr Than is not affiliated with any political party.

What would be the main responsibility of the new mayor?

For the permanent residents who loved their city, and to also share it with visitors and foreigners, the need of good local systematic management with effective municipal policy and practice is clear.

As the current mayor and mayoral candidates would agree, our popular seaside city has much potential that have not yet been fully realised and it is for the best interest of everyone for the next mayor to improve the city as a premier desired holiday destination in Thailand.



City CCTV’s cameras are now on   (October)                       

For your own safety, if you now have a vague feeling that someone is stalking you from behind, it may be because 523 closed-circuit TV cameras have now been installed in and around Hua Hin city.

The CCTV system started looking at the city since September and municipal police monitors the cameras at all times day and night. Hua Hin Mayor Nopporn Wuttikul, Permanent Secretary Jirawat Pramanee and city officials recently inspected the CCTV camera system in the operational room at the municipality.

The system was installed by Digital First Surveys Network Co Ltd under the supervision of digital network expert Apisit Tumthong. CCTV covers starts from Hua Hin Airport to the entrance of Khao Tao village and monitors schools and roads.

These state-of-the-art CCTV cameras, used in many cities around the world, can detect motion during both day and night, identify and record a passing vehicle’s make, model and plate numbers. Their recording system has storage memory of up to 60 days, so can help police in surveillance, recording accidents, protecting assets and properties and deal with disturbances and crime.



Hua Hin to benefit from fast-track MOT projects  (November)

Hua Hin is set to be one of the major beneficiaries of large projects put on the fast track by the Ministry of Transportation (MOT).

The MOT is moving ahead with land, water, and air transport infrastructure projects to boost the economy amidst the fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic, Minister Saksayam Chidchob revealed during the opening of the event “MOT 2020: Move On Together” attended by top ministry officials, representatives of public- and private-sector organisations, media, and members of the public.

The expansion of Rama 2 Road and construction of a new, 4-lane highway connecting Wang Manao Intersection in Pak Tho District of Ratchaburi with Highway 3510 in Phetchaburi’s Nong Ya Plong District is expected to significantly reduce the amount of traffic congestion and travel time from Bangkok to southern provinces.

Other road projects earmarked for acceleration include the intercity motorways linking Bang Yai and Kanchanaburi, Nakhon Pathom and Cha-am, and Hat Yai and the Thai-Malaysia border.

A number of other projects are also being sped up with the goal to make Thailand an important sea transport hub in the ASEAN region. These include the construction of large-scale terminals and deep-water terminals and a land bridge connecting the Gulf of Thailand with the Andaman Sea.

In air transport infrastructure, works are under way to increase the capacity of airports in the southern region, including the renovation of airports in Hua Hin, Phuket, Hat Yai, Krabi, Trang, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Surat Thani, Narathiwat and the construction of the new Betong Airport, due to open by the end of this year.



Jazzed up about Jazz Fest   (December)

Hua Hin is ready to once again host its most captivating and exciting entertainment event – one that gives it the nickname ‘Jazz City of the Orient’.

 Hua Hin International Jazz Festival is the grandest of the city’s events and the most-awaited live entertainment of the year. Organising this year’s edition amidst Covid-19 disruptions has required the utmost efforts and perseverance by all concerned, but all that hard work will be worth it when the proverbial curtain goes up and the stage comes alive with the sounds of jazz.

Slated to take place 4 – 5 December from 5:00pm to midnight on the beachfront of Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Hua Hin, the festival is expected to draw large crowds. Famous and talented local jazz artists and foreign musicians living locally will be performing different genres of contemporary jazz, and admission is free.

This year’s organisers, Ms Benja Intasin and Mr Watchara Kunanupong of the Hubster Co Ltd, Musical Director Sekpol ‘Ko Mr Sax Man¹ Unsamran along with Mr Vudtinun Bhirombhakdi of Singha Corporation and Dr Pawat Kalpravidh of Apollo Oil (Thailand) have worked tirelessly to put up together this major event.

During an interview with Hua Hin Today, ‘Ko Mr Sax Man’ said, “Although no foreign artists from overseas will be performing with us this year, the charms of Hua Hin International Jazz Festival will not diminish in any way.”

“As members of the Hua Hin community, we would like to invite all to come and take part of this much-loved event. Besides a guarantee of full enjoyment, we can assure you that you will also be contributing to the revival of domestic tourism and Hua Hin’s economy in bringing back the glamour and excitement this city is long known for…. See you at the festival!”