[Updated 29 Nov 2013–please read update at bottom]
The Hua Hin Bike Week 2009 was a raging success. Many, many bikes and bikers from all over the country and Malaysia and Singapore. Lots of Chang, food, music and old friends catching up. Hats off to the Vampire MC of Hua Hin.
Billy’s Birthday party was also quite a night. Biggest crowd this party goer has seen since Randy’s Birthdays at Goldfingers. The band was excellent and still had the crowd going long after FBF headed home. The biggest surprise was that locals were heavily outnumbered by tourists and passersby. Will try to post some photos on the Billy’s Bar page. Can’t wait til next year.
The Hua Hin Rock Festival is this Saturday, the 19th, and there are sound trucks up and down the Sois reminding folks. Posters are everywhere so the road to Khao Takieb should be quite backed up all day Saturday. Too bad the road to Khao Takieb is the only road through Hua Hin…
It looks like the Intercontinental Hua Hin is finally open. At least all the trucks are off the street and traffic is much better in that part of town though the Marrakesh down the road has a long way to go and the earthmovers are still quite busy.
The new golf course at the Suan Son Army Camp seems to be coming along. Sprinklers are going full throttle and the heavy equipment seems to have all moved up to the Marrakesh operation in town. Shouldn’t be too long before the course opens.
Speaking of the Intercontinental, Maria Sharapova and Venus Williams will be celebrating New Year’s Eve at the new resort before facing off in the Hua Hin Centennial Invitation tennis match next year. This event is being organised by the Lawn Tennis Association of Thailand under the patronage of His Majesty the King and the city of Hua Hin.
The Hua Hin Centennial Invitation will be held at Centennial Park* (currently under feverish construction at Soi 112), on Saturday 2 January 2010 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the seaside resort and usher in the New Year in exciting fashion with two of the most popular tennis players in the world.
After their singles match, Maria and Venus will combine with local stars Paradorn Srichaphan and Danai Udomchoke for a set of mixed doubles.
There are other activities and festivals coming up over the holidays so there are places to go and things to do other than the mandatory gala dinners at the big hotels. Additional posts will be added soon with the details.
*Centennial Park is south of town at Soi 112, just past the big curve to Pranburi. It’s just south of the ramp of the overpass, across from the Mobil station. As it’s still under construction, it’s difficult to be sure, but it appears that parking will be limited.
The Hua Hin Bike Week is this Friday and Saturday the 4th and 5th of December. It will be held at the same place as last year, 48 Rai field, along the klong, roughly even with Soi 33 on Petchkasem Rd. or roughly across the klong from the Mooban Karet.
If you drive south along the klong from Soi 10 or north along the klong from Soi 56, it’s about half way between the two sois, on the east side of the road. Just listen for the sound of sweet pipes.
Haven’t been to one before but reports have always been very positive so will try to take the family this year. Lots of bikes, food and music. Tattoos and T-shirts and other things to decorate your body or ride are also available.
Lots of bikers and Motorcyle Clubs from all over Thailand will be there with their machines and probably some from S’pore and Malaysia.
If you like bikes, beer and good food, be there.
It’s been family friendly in the past and will assume it will remain that way this year as the MCs provide their own security and they like being able to come to Hua Hin.
The photo above is from the 2008 Bike Week and is provided by On The Road Thailand.com
A reader forwards the below. It was a Letter to the Editor in the Bangkok Post. As the reader states “Some parallels. Good we have sea breezes here.”
Living in Chiang Mai these last two months has been a bit like living in a garage with the car engine running, with the front port closed and with only small windows open high up for ventilation.
I use the garage analogy because it seems fashionable to blame the wood smoke from burning of forests and fields, to blame the Burmese and the Lao, the minorities and the farmers, rather than another major culprit for Chiang Mai’s dreadful air _ the dust and toxic gases created by traffic.
Developers have been and remain busy along the new middle and outer ring roads, tearing up rice fields in one place and filling them in another for housing projects, factories and shopping malls. A belt of new suburbia girds the city, and its inhabitants almost totally depend on the use of private motor transportation.
No one has yet been able to overcome the red songthaeo operators and the shadowy cooperative that organises them; apparently its members do not even have to have their vehicles checked.
This group and the powerful figures behind them present a major obstacle to setting up a rational bus system.
Chiang Mai has no organised mass transit bus system. No government has ever tried to set up an alternative to the use of private cars by massively funding a transportation agency and ensuring it has the powers to cut through the morass of different agencies and areas of administration within the city and the surrounding districts.
Thus, attempts to reduce traffic flow into the city and consequentially toxic emissions, have been almost non-existent, and the City Planning Department officials can only propose more road widening.
Micro-particles (particles of less than 10 microns) thought to seriously affect respiratory health, are increasingly reaching levels over 4 times the European safety standard of 50 microgrammes (per cubic metre/24 hours; the Thai standard is 120mg) during the dry and hot seasons.
With tens of thousands confirmed sick with respiratory problems and the numbers thought to be suffering from breathing ailments in excess of 100,000 people, and with lung cancer running at rates more than twice that of Bangkok and increasing, the medical facts speak for themselves.
Yes, the rains should come, the winds should blow, and for another season government officials will announce that p-10 levels are below the Thai safety standard.
Housing estate billboards portraying a dreamy green suburbia surrounded by mountains will continue to give public face to the ever growing lie.
The truth is breathing on Chiang Mai’s streets and arterial roads is unpleasant at most times year-round. For months on end you can barely see the mountains from the ring roads, if at all.
From sometime in January till whenever the rains start, the air in the city and much of the valley becomes extremely unhealthy, if not life-threatening. And it’s getting worse every year.
The problem of air pollution from motorcycles in Hua Hin was addressed in 1996 by John Laird in the Observer and reprinted as One Man’s Opinion on The Hua Hin Pages at that time. The article by Laird remains the page with the most external links on The Hua Hin Pages. Things haven’t improved in 13 years.
h/t to the reader