Hua Hin Today was recently granted direct access to the Lord Mayor of Hua Hin, Khun Nopporn Vuttikul, also known by his nickname as Khun Nui. We enjoyed an informal conversation at his office to better understand his views about managing his important position.
Our article is an abridged version of what he had to say; not word for word, but we hope without losing the sense
the conversation and the Mayor’s vision for the future.
How you see Hua Hin’s rapid development?
Hua Hin now is well known both at home and abroad. The location, not far from Bangkok has helped Hua Hin to become one of the best places to attract investors, especial in the hospitality and property sector. The fast growing population of Hua Hin has created high demand for consumer products. To meet this demand, coming from both domestic and foreign consumers, new shopping areas are being built, with Bluport Hua Hin Resort Mall and significant new hotels such as the Marriott, Intercontinental, and many residential apartments doubling the visitors and investors the last two to three years.
This has created many logistic problems for the municipally to deal with, what is the municipality plans to solve it Hua Hin has become a major tourist attraction from both domestic and foreigner visitors, being only 180km away from Bangkok and a 2 1/5 hour drive. This has become one of the most popular destinations in Thailand, especially for people living in the capitol of Bangkok. However this has created traffic problems, especially on the weekends. To solve this problem the Hua Hin Municipality has worked hard to complete the parallel road to canal (Hua Hin soi 6) next to along the rail (Hua Hin soi 116) to help with traffic congestion during peak hours, weekends and holidays. This so you can more easily enter Hua Hin especially if you come from Cha-Am or travel from Hua Hin to Cha-Am.
The completion of the new 4 lanes road in soi 112 has helped the residents and tourists that live south of the city to over pass Hua Hin via the bypass road. They don’t have to use the always busy entrance to Hus Hin from Cha –Am. The development of the extension of the Hua Hin – Pranburi road will also relieve traffic congestion in the southern part of the city. Plans to solve the rapid growth of our city is in one of the most important issues and the government, municipality and private agencies working very close to give solutions. Travel is important to promote tourism and helps strengthen the economy. The government, the municipality and private agencies have held informal meetings to open a ferry line (hydrofoils), between Hua Hin, Pattaya and Bang Pu to add convenience for tourists. The infrastructure at the Hua Hin pier is already underway. Until all this infrastructure is completed traffic problems are likely to continue.
Sports development is very high on the municipally agenda, are you personally involved?
Yes, with my team we believe sport is the best medicine to solve many of the young generation’s problems. Together with education, we must move the children towards more social events and not let them stay inside with computer games or find themselves involved in illegal activities. Sports can help with football, tennis, bike events, badminton etc. Our agenda is to promote them as much we can.. To the south of Hua Hin at Khao Takiab, is a completed football stadium with a capacity of up to 3,500 people seats and open for nearly one year.
This supports the wellbeing of sport. The new sport centre has just opened at the intersection of soi 112 and there are many planned sports events during 2016. The municipality and social clubs are municipality is very active also in many social events: The Hua Hin municipality has contributed to the education, knowledge and adjustment in the housing and tourist attractions for foreigners including co-sponsoring. Many new social clubs have been established in close cooperations with the municipality, for example the Woman Club, now entering the third full year. In co-operation with the municipality the Club has been involved in helping and supporting those less educated.
Members of the club are mostly business women coming from different backgrounds and representing Thai people and foreigners. They help the local population help as much they can. This is a good example of an organisation providing support in developing technical and social assistance, as I mentioned. The main activity of this co-operation between the Hua Hin Municipality and the Women’s Club is to teach languages, such as English as the common language. Additionally donations of food to poorer communities are made and the provision of educational materials and medical equipment. This also promotes the culture of Thailand to foreigners forging strong links with foreign residents, and tourists.
The message of the Lord Mayor of Hua Hin Khun Nui:
Mayer Nui wishes to all foreigners living in Hua Hin, tourists and residents a “Happy New Year for 2016 and hopes all have fun with family and loved ones. He wishes you all a happiness and success. “ “I would like to say thank you for all for your respect and understanding to coexistence in this city. I am glad that there are foreigners, many who support the community to development and help in many the Hua Hin Municipality. This means that the town has benefits because of cooperation and support.
Please be mindful of your safety and happiness throughout your time here.” “I want to ask for help and advice from foreign tourists who plan to visit Thailand to understand and to study the traditions and lifestyles. This is to avoid misunderstandings which may make the experience called ‘culture shock’ and lead to negative experiences. The desire of the Hua Hin Municipality is that you all have a pleasant time during your stay.”