Our invitation to attend the Gala Dinner as the finale of the 2019 Hua Hin Vintage Car Parade at the Avani + Hua Hin Resort, included a walk through the car park, this time occupied by many of the more than 50 vintage cars that had been driven from Bangkok for the occasion. Literally, a trip down memory lane!
That introduction preceded the more formal displays at the Avani + concourse and entry foyer. The largely European vintage car contingency (English, Italian and German), included numerous MGs, usually convertibles, and very different from that brand’s current more ‘suburban’ models.
However the star of the show was a gleaming white convertible Alpha Romeo bedecked with polka dots to reflect the event’s theme: ‘Visual Memory – Polka Dot’. We’ll certainly remember that Alpha for some time to come.
After three days of touring, commencing with a trip from Bangkok, local car enthusiasts have been given the opportunity to check out these immaculately presented vehicles around the region. Members of the Vintage Car Club of Thailand and their guests then joined this black tie event at the huge Avani + ballroom on December 14th for the Gala Dinner finale.
Around 140 diners of all vintages clearly enjoyed the opportunity to dress in their finest. Some sporting tuxedos, top hats and tails with polka dotted formals being worn by the ladies. Our gracious host, Avani + General Manager Matthew Fryar, even managed to find a black bow tie with white polka dots, but he wasn’t revealing the source. Of course the local governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand Ms Soraya Homchuen was in attendance, recognising the event’s importance to our tourism profile.
The organising skills and service mindset of the Avani + management and staff were on show with the very timely presentation of sumptuous four course dinner with fine wine service always on hand. Our main course of grilled Australian beef tenderloin in red wine sauce with creamy mash and buttered baby carrots showed us that tender and succulent steak really is available in Hua Hin!
The accompanying live music combo was also in vintage mode, presenting ‘classic’ songs from an earlier era through to the early rock of 40 years ago. Of course Brain Hyland’s hit about the ‘itzy bitzie teenie weenie yellow polka dot bikini’ was in the repertoire with some memorable CCR hits amongst the very danceable final set.
Khun Kwanchai Paphatphong, President of the Thai Vintage Car Association, is an icon of the Thailand automotive scene, including managing the annual Bangkok Motor Expo. But he’s also a very proficient guitarist. We’ve seen his performances at previous Vintage Car Club events. But Khun Kwanchai told us with a beaming smile that he’s been too busy for any practice lately and his fingertips were too tender for any musical appearance this time.
The annual Hua Hin Vintage Car Parade has a very special charm which matches the history and charm of Hua Hin with the earliest of these vehicles coinciding in years with Hua Hin’s early history. Accordingly a visit to the ‘vintage’ Hua Hin railway station is always on the tour schedule.
Avani + GM Matthew Fryer is eagerly awaiting the 2020 event at his resort for the third consecutive year. However the Car Club policy has been to change the host resort after three years. Assuming 2021 will see a change of venues, matching this year’s level of hospitality excellence will be no mean feat.