For Chinese New Year, my husband and I decided to escape the cold and head out of town. As we are incapable of planning the required 9 months in advance in order to have free choice of where to go, Bangkok ended up being the only vaguely affordable flight option, so we started to look into places to go that we could drive to from Bangkok as we didn’t want to have to get on another plane. Hua Hin seemed the perfect destination, being only a 2.5 hour drive from Bangkok airport. We arrived late on Friday evening and then hired a driver to take us to Hua Hin – a bit of a white knuckle ride for me as I was convinced the driver was breaking all the speed limits in order to get home to bed as soon as possible!
Arriving at the Evason Hua Hin in the middle of the night, we were struck by just how dark the sky was – you get so used to never seeing the stars in Hong Kong, and also by the noise of all the birds and animals which tell you you’re in Thailand. We were shown to our pool villa and just barely managed to unpack and collapse onto the bed for a deep sleep. Waking up the next day we saw just how beautiful our villa was – soothing neutral coloured decor with a rustic feel and outdoor shower, a good-sized pool which meant we never went to the main pool, and plenty of shady areas for me to lounge around reading and sleeping (I don’t do so well in the sun). The feel of the Evason resort is a little different from many other 5-star resorts in Asia, in that they’re very focused on being environmentally friendly – even going so far as to institute meat-free Mondays across all the resort restaurants (though actually if you ask for it you can have it, so real carnivores needn’t worry!). There’s a bit of an upmarket hippy-chic vibe going on with plenty of bright colours and natural fabrics… It’s as if they’re aiming at the crowd who 15 years ago might have been living it up at a Full Moon Beach Party, who now might have kids, but still want the nostalgic feel of being in a backpacker’s Thailand.
Breakfast is served in a beautiful pagoda surrounded by amazing water-lily-filled ponds, and has a wonderful selection of a la carte items all included at the same price as the buffet. For other meals, if you want to get more of a taste of the local cuisine (the restaurants in the resort cater very much to European tastes), you can wander down the beach to one of the little waterfront restaurants, or take a taxi into the actual town of Hua Hin itself. There are also plenty of beach-side little bars where you can sit and get a beer or a coconut juice and stare at the ocean.
The main pool of the resort is best for kids and families, and if you haven’t booked a villa with its own pool – there’s a road that runs right by the pool and which separates the beach from the resort. It’s a very quiet road, but we still preferred the vibe of staying in our villa. So much more romantic! We were extremely lazy, and as we knew exactly what freezing cold weather awaited us in Hong Kong, we made the absolute most of the heat and chance to relax, and ordered some meals delivered to our room.
At the end of the four days, we felt so sad to leave, but also that we’d had a great chance to unwind in such a short time, and without too onerous a journey. If you’re looking for a quick, luxurious getaway from Hong Kong, Hua Hin is a great destination!