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As Hua Hin is billed as a beach resort people come here expecting a beautiful tropical beach but that isn’t quite the case. Many of the nicest stretches of sand are in front of hotels – the Hilton, Marriott and Sofitel in particular.
The famous Railway Hotel was built in 1923 by a Thai prince, Purachatra, who headed the State Railways of Thailand. It became Thailand’s premier seaside hotel, but by the 1960s had fallen into rather glorious disrepair. It experienced a short burst of stardom when the building played the role of the Phnom Penh Hotel in the film the Killing Fields, but it still seemed destined to rot into oblivion. Saved by privatization, it was renovated and substantially expanded in 1986 and is now an excellent five-star hotel. Unfortunately, it has been renamed, and goes under the unromantic name of the Sofitel Central Hua Hin Resort . At the other end of Damnoenkasem Road from the hotel is the railway station itself. The station has a rather quaint Royal Waiting Room on the platform.
Khao Takiab (Chopstick Hill), south of town, is a dirty, unremarkable hill with a large standing Buddha facing the sea. Nearby is Khao Krilat, a rock covered in assorted shrines, stupas, ponds, salas and Buddha images. To get there, take a local bus from Dechanuchit Road.
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