Saturday: ASEAN Summit in Hua Hin Traffic Report

Didn’t fancy fighting the Summit’s first day of traffic so stayed at the house.

This morning did a little drive and it was pretty much smooth sailing. It looks like most folks that would have come from Bangkok have stayed home, which is probably what the authorities wanted.

Was going to try going down the Klong road to Chomsin and come back up Petchkasem but traffic was really backed up, as it usually is so turned around and took the road from the Klong Rd. to Hua Hin Tansamai and headed north on Petchkasem.

The road between the Klong Rd and Petchkasem is now one way heading west–you can’t turn off Petchkasem onto Soi 56 so that very narrow road was unusually clear of traffic.

Once we got on Petchkasem, it was like a ghost town. Very little traffic in any of the lanes and the No Parking is strictly enforced. Any shops without parking are suffering.

As we headed north noticed the usual crowds at the Rust Stop so either the ASEAN folks are there or some folks from Bangkok did make it down.

Noticed lots of places to make U-turns along Petchkasem so it seems they’ve loosened up a bit on that.

Decided to keep heading north just to see how it was and noticed lots of troops and police. Many, many troops on the airport runway, around and above the tunnel.

Cars parked everywhere at the Dusit, even the Polo field.

Few customers at the Essan places near Saep Eli.

Got almost to the Regent/Holiday Inn and decided we’d seen enough police and troops so headed back to Hua Hin.

Never saw a check point and no one gave our vehicle a second look.

Very quiet so expect just the opposite next week.

It will take some time to remove all the traffic cones however, as they are ALL nailed to the road. If they merely rip the cones off the nails and don’t either drive down the nail or remove them, there will be many punctures.

UPDATE On ASEAN Traffic in Hua Hin

An UPDATE for this Update:

Was just out at 1600 and at the hospital and a couple of selected intersections north of the hospital, U-turns are now allowed with men in brown watching the ASEAN lane in case it needs to be kept clear. This will make things better.

Reports from around Market Village say that traffic is light and U-turns are still very limited. The placement of the cones, nailed down as they are all the way to the Sheraton, makes 2 lanes very difficult, especially with all the heavy equipment for the construction going on.

More and more locals using the klong road.

First off, folks in Hua Hin aren’t getting out much these days. Just too much trouble but FBF sees that there are an increasing number of hits from folks in Bangkok and abroad looking for everything from traffic reports to the status of the Pranburi bypass.

So, FBF has his ASEAN sticker for the car but hasn’t seen a check point. The check points must be way out of town,  either north of Cha Am or between Cha Am and the Sheraton.

Once you’re inside the check points, it seems you’re safe from further stops.

The Pranburi bypass should be clear. One thinks the powers that be would prefer everyone go that route rather than through town. There’s probably a check point on the Pa La-u Rd between the bypass and town but can see no reason for any on the bypass itself.

Crossing Petchkasem is allowed at Palm Hills but not again until the hospital. One can now cross Petchkasem to enter the Hua Hin Hospital and to make a U-turn. Not planning on venturing south of there to see where the next crossing is allowed.

Was out Wednesday evening and early Thursday morning and the ASEAN lane is being well used but didn’t see any processions. Saw lots of individual limos and hotel shuttle buses but no Range Rovers.

The ambulances and cherry pickers w/water canons are still parked at Bo Fai School and am told that tanks are at Wat Bo Fai but upon clarification it seems the tanks don’t have large bore barrels so sound more like APCs than tanks.

If anyone has more detailed news than this, please leave a comment so sent a note and we’ll put it up.

No U-Turns In Hua HIn

Now it’s getting interesting.  The ASEAN lane is in full force and that means no U-turns.

Should one happen to be at the driving range just north of Soi 10 and wants to go to the Hua Hin Hospital, just a few hundred meters to the south, one needs to drive north to Palm Hills before a U-turn can be made. Once heading south, one cannot turn right across the ASEAN lane in to the hospital but needs to go further south to Soi 35 and negotiate the left turn to the school, a U-turn, and then a right turn at the light at Soi 35 before one can continue back north to the hospital.

There are several men in brown with radios at every intersection but rather than facilitate or assist those trying to save driving several extra kilometers, are strictly enforcing the ASEAN lane and waving people away who try to cross the closed center lanes.

FBF has no idea what it’s like south of town and doesn’t plan on venturing that way for several days.

ASEAN Summit in Hua Hin Traffic Report

Your intrepid reporter braved the rain storms, Bangkok traffic returning home, and the ASEAN lane this evening just to see how bad it was, or is going to be.

Actually he was delivering Khao Soi to the needy south of Bo Fai but that’s another story.

The ASEAN lane now runs south from at least Narasuan Fort, about halfway between Cha Am and Hua Hin all the way through to Khao Takiap. The ASEAN lane is the inside lane, and while the No Parking signs are up for parking on the shoulder, they don’t go into effect until the 21st so are ignored, as they probably will be to a certain extent after the 21st.

On the highway, it’s not that big a deal–3 lanes are reduced to 2 but making right turns can prove interesting as then one is intruding in the ASEAN lane.

Once in Hua Hin town, 3 at-the-VERY-best lanes are turned into 1 and it really gets interesting at places like Hua Hin Tansamai.

Going north, the ASEAN lane doesn’t start (as of Sunday evening) until just north of the Chomsin Rd (Soi 70/55) intersection so it’s pretty much good sailing past the market.

This is just Sunday and the festivities don’t get started for a few more days.

FBF witnessed at least 60 identical ASEAN vehicles backed up at the PTT station at Soi 6 on Friday evening. The queue extended south past the Honda dealership. This is the last PTT station leaving Hua Hin so if you need gas, smokes or munchies, this is the station to avoid as it’s the closest gas station to the meeting site.

FBF makes a TESCO/Villa run tomorrow and will hunker down with his Khao Soi for the duration. Bullshit, we all know he’s a keen observer so expect further posts but if you’re heading this way, think again and again.