Hua Hin Travel Guide
You're arriving to a hotel. What is the first thing you notice on the property? Probably the hotel's sign or maybe a grand porte cochere, right? In most cases, sure, but not in Thailand. Pull up to any hotelor for that matter, house, restaurant, gas stationand instead you're greeted by mini temples, shrines to the spirits of the land and to the gods.
These temples, called ศาล พระภูมิ, may be mini but the design, care and devotions to them are elaborate affairs. Everything from bottles to water to strands of fresh flowers and fruit are offered to the spirits, and though every hotel has one or two, they aren't exactly part of the grand tour; the shrines are a Thai custom, as commonplace to the locals as windchimes are to us, though the shrines are obviously deserving of greater reverence.
As of tomorrow, there will be a new Intercontinental resort to choose from in Thailand: the InterContinental Hua Hin Resort.
Hua Hin is about two and a half hours south-west of Bangkok, and being home to the Summer Palace of the Thai royal family gives you a good hint that this is a bit of a beach paradise. The InterContinental Hua Hin is located right on the beach along Petchkasem Road, apparently a famous strip for vacationers.
It has 119 rooms, a bunch of luxurious-sounding suites and three beachfront villas with their own plunge pools. The resort also houses an infinity pool and a beach-side fire pit where you can enjoy a barbecue.
The area around Hua Hin sounds like a quieter alternative to the well-known trails of other Thai destinations like Phuket, but just as beautiful. The local architecture sounds pretty photogenic and there are temples to visit, monks to watch and night markets to shop at.
We did some daydreaming in anticipation of the opening and found there are still rooms available, starting at $154 per night.