One feature of our region is the large proportion of foreigners from Scandinavian countries; either tourists, snowbirds who are here for the winter months or full-time residents. Norwegians figure very prominently amongst these numbers.
However there is no reliable information available about the numbers of Scandinavians in Thailand let alone the number of Norwegians who are in either Hua Hin or Cha-Am. Some pundits would say that Cha-Am has an even higher proportion of Norwegians than Hua Hin. There has been some research about why Norwegians find Thailand such an attraction. The obvious reason relates to an escape from winter chills to find the sun, together with their longstanding affinity with the ocean and that Thailand beaches and islands meet this need. Another important prerequisite is a destination that is safe and secure.
The research indicates that Norwegians are generally not high risktaking travelers. Costs also come into play as well as convenient flight schedules. Finally there is a need for familiarity and being able to socialise with fellow countrymen. This may include familiar food and being able to converse with others in the Norwegian language. Groups of fellow countrymen seem to be the preferred companions when abroad. It’s easy to see how our region ticks all these boxes. When it comes to familiarity, local restaurants and bars featuring a Nordic theme and proudly flying the Norwegian flag are easy to find. Inside there are bound to be groups who are clearly enjoying freely speak in their native tongue. However restaurants, bars, beaches, swimming pools and golf courses aren’t all there is to life, especially over the long term.
The next step is to link up with fellow countrymen who have found other ways both to socialise and participate in community affairs. In Hua Hin and Cha-Am this is easy. The forum and best source of information for Norwegian’s spending time here can be found at either ‘Nordmenn I Hua Hin’ or ‘Nordmenn I’ Cha-Am. There are websites and facebook pages offering all kinds of recreation choices and the opportunity to mingle with fellow countrymen.
The facebook of the Cha-Am group recently asked visitors ways to suggest ways to increase these options. One result has been an enthusiastic group at a Norwegian language quiz night in Cha-Am. During our visit to the EnJoy To Eat Restaurant, some 60 starters were testing their knowledge. Another group of about 45 players now playing a social version of the age-old European pastime of Pétanque. Both very social ‘events’ are now staged on a weekly basis with no shortage of participants.
The message is there are many ways to enjoy your stay in either Hua Hin or Cha-Am if Norwegian company is what you’re after. Word of mouth remains a very important way of spreading the word. So if you are Norwegian (or not) speak up when you return home, more visitors are always welcome!
Or in Norwegian ……………………………..
Meldingen er at det er mange måter å nyte ditt opphold i enten Hua Hin eller Cha-Am dersom norske selskap er det du leter etter. Jungeltelegrafen er fortsatt en svært viktig måte å spre ordet. Så hvis du er norsk (eller ikke) snakker opp når du kommer hjem, flere besøkende er alltid velkommen!