Hua Hin Low Season Blues

It’s September again in Hua Hin and, as is traditional, the foreign contingent are complaining that there’s nothing to do. It’s certainly true that foreign visitation is down, and venues that depend on the international trade are cutting back on their entertainment schedules. On the other hand, weekend traffic from Bangkok is up and drawing an increasingly upscale and sophisticated crowd. So let’s have a look around and take stock.

First of all, we have a major theatrical premiere at the state-of-the-art Vic Hua Hin Theatre. The show, titled “Chui Chai (Transformation)”, by the Pichet Klunchen Dance Company, comes to us directly from performance in the prestigious Lincoln Center Festival in New York City. That’s right. We have the same entertainment that they get in the Big Apple’s biggest-name theatrical venue. Don’t tell me that Hua Hin isn’t happening!

Chui Chai opens on Saturday, September 11 for a 3-week run. Performances are each Saturday starting at 7:30. Highly recommended to come early and enjoy dinner, atmosphere, and conversation. The Vic Hua Hin is part of the Patravadi High School and Performing Arts Complex, located on Petchkasem Road about 3 kms South of the Market Village Shopping Center, and about 500 meters (on the right) beyond the ‘flyover’ going towards Pranburi.

Next up, the delightful Cicada Market continues its weekend schedule, adding a very nice jazz program in the early evening each Sunday. The Hua Hin Ensemble, our top local jazz group, sets up in the ‘grassy knoll’ by the art galleries and plays from 5 to 8 pm. Various guests join them, making for a really nice low-season jam session. Ray’s Place may be down until November, but that doesn’t mean we have to do without our weekly dose of jazz jamming. Cicada Market is located in Khao Takiab, next to the Hyatt Regency Resort and Nokkachan Pub. If by some chance you haven’t been there on a weekend, make it a big big point to do so. Saturday evenings are recommended, too, with a different program every week.

Also in a jazz vein, Sverre Bey, owner of the highly successful Fat Cat Guesthouse, is now playing every night of the week from 7 to 10 pm in his newly expanded restaurant and lounge. ‘Doctor Jazz’, as he is known, plays the trumpet and the upright bass and creates a lovely atmosphere for you to enjoy dinner and/or beverages. Stop by. The Fat Cat is located by the shore at the corner of Naresdamri and Chomsin Roads, near the fishing pier and the oceanside restaurants.

Another nice addition to our arts community is the brand-new Suoay Vista Social Club and Jam Bar, located inside Soi 94. In fact, it’s well inside Soi 94. After turning off of Petchkasem Road, continue for about 1 kilometer, across the railroad tracks. When you reach the point that the road appears to end, turn right and then left again to continue on 94. Suoay Vista is on the right about 120 meters beyond this ‘jog’ in the road.

The music schedule at Suoay Vista is still forming up, and may not be fully active until high season arrives. But owner Paul Bankes is an excellent classical guitarist and all-round entertainer. Say the word and he’ll take the stage, regaling you with high- and not-so-high-brow tunes guaranteed to bring pleasure to your evening.

Besides all of this we have (by our count) more than a dozen venues going with live music very night of the week, with another 4 or 5 spots that kick in on the weekend. In addition, there are at least sixteen year-round art galleries in Hua Hin, including the stunning Baan Sillapin Artist Village in Hin Lek Fai.

So stop moping at home, check out our (In)Complete (because it’s always growing) Guide and make a plan to get out and enjoy the fine arts, theatre, and entertainment we have here in our beautiful and cultured community by the sea.

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