We escaped the clouds and rain of Hong Kong (it seems this year the weather is particularly bad) to the sun and blue skies of Thailand. Instead of our usual ‘hang-out’ places in Phuket, we decided to try something else – especially as Patrick wanted to go on a paragliding tour with 300 Peaks Paragliding (which he did and which was great fun).
So we decided to travel to Pran Buri District, which is about 200km south of Bangkok. Instead of staying in the big and touristy city of Hua Hin, we went to the small fishermen village Pak Nam Pran, which is very close to the Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park.
We stayed at the renovated Evason Six Senses resort – which is an eco-friendly hotel, so the focus is on sustainability. The hotel aims to minimise the use of electricity and water, has its own vegetable and herbs garden and focuses on recycling and waste management.
But that was not what drew us to the resort – it was the lush tropical gardens with lotus ponds, the beautifully designed rooms (they were light and bright, with beautiful wooden floors and furniture – all in a modern design that felt more Scandinavian than Asian!), and the big terrace with daybed.
It was an ideal place for Lina to hang out – there is a big pool area that also includes a shallow pool for toddlers, but more interestingly there is a whole kids club with a separate pool, waterfalls and a slide.
The kids club had tons of toys to play with, either in the sand or water, or inside in an air conditioned room. For older kids they also run lots of arts and craft classes (at extra charge) but Lina was too small and too happy to play with duplo, balls, the train sets and soft toys.
She also loved to explore the vegetable and herbs garden. We were lucky in that our room was close to the garden, and it was the direct route to the kids club, so we could walk past the little pots and plants almost every day.
The only downside is that there is no direct access to the sea from the resort – but that’s the challenge all over Pak Nam Pran – it is a fishermen’s village, not a tourist town. Of course, you can see the sea, but there is no beach. Instead, there is a big wall and a road that divides the hotel (and all the other hotels too, so it does not matter which one you choose) from the sea. The reason for this is that at this point the ocean is eroding the beach away and they had to erect a wall to protect the land.
But a few minutes towards the south leads you to the national park – and there are plenty of beautiful sand beaches to choose from. We liked to hang out at lazy beach (yes that’s the name), which is just a few minutes north of the national park – and this is the perfect spot for kite surfers.
In February/March, the wind is optimal, and that’s why we saw 20-30 kits surfers every afternoon and probably close to 50 on the weekends. I even gave it a try myself, and yes, it is much harder than it looks – I was only able to keep the kite up in the air for a few seconds, while standing in the water WITHOUT a surfboard!
Most of the time we actually also ate at the small restaurant at the Lazy Beach – it was tasty, home-cooked Thai food and we could watch the sunset from our table, with bare feet in the sand. It was pure bliss!
There are a few things you can do in this part of Thailand – mainly surfing, snorkelling, diving and yes also paragliding. But if you are in none of these activities, or just want to try out something different, then you should know that the Evason is also home to a culinary academy in partnership with Matthew Kenney Cuisine – which is focused on the art of raw food preparation.
In terms of sightseeing,the Evason Hua Hin, is 25 kilometres south of Hua Hin, which is famous for the Thai Royal Summer Palace. And there is the “Three Hundred Peaks” (Sam Roi Yod) national park, which is a fascinating area of limestone mountains, caves, beaches, islands and marshy wetlands that is home to a great variety of plants, birds and some endangered animals.
We visited the Wat Khao Daeng, in the National Park – and this temple is just beautiful:
For two days we travelled further south, to Chum Phon and we stayed at the Baantalay at the Thungwualaen Beach. From there we went on a snorkelling trip to Ko Ngam Yai Island, which was just stunning – and it was all so quiet and beautiful, not packed with people like most of the places around Phuket!
Anyway, I am digressing – all I wanted to say is that we had a great time at the Evason Hua Hin, it was relaxing for the big ones and so much fun for the little one!
Evason Hua Hin, 9 Moo 5 Paknampran Beach in Pranburi, Prachuap Khirikhan 77220, Thailand
Telephone: +66 3263 2111