Hua Hin and Cha-am Are Set to Welcome ASEAN Leaders (24/02/2009)
Hua Hin and Cha-am are ready to welcome all visitors participating in the 14th ASEAN Summit. Both districts, although separated by an administrative boundary, share the same pristine seacoast along the Gulf of Thailand, as Cha-am is on the southern tip of Phetchaburi province, bordering Hua Hin, the northernmost district of the slender and elongated Prachuap Khiri Khan province.

Visitors to Hua Hin normally cross into Cha-am to visit various attractions and relax on the well-shaded beaches. Now, the twin beach resorts are jointly hosting the 14th ASEAN Summit.

Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya on 14 February 2009 inaugurated the operation center for the 14th ASEAN Summit at the Veranda Resort and Spa Cha-am. He was joined at the briefing session by Directors-General of the Department of Protocol and the Department of ASEAN Affairs, the Deputy Director-General of the Department of Information, and Governors of both Phetchaburi and Prachuap Khiri Khan.

The Minister thereafter inspected various sites of the 14th ASEAN Summit, namely the Dusit Thani Hua Hin Hotel in Cha-am, which is the venue of the Summit; the Sheraton Hua Hin Resort and Spa Hotel in Cha-Am, the Press Center for the Summit; and Mrigadayavan Palace, the seaside golden teak royal retreat of the Sixth Reign in Cha-am, known as the "royal home of love and hope," the site of the dinner reception for ASEAN leaders on 28 February 2009.

The operation center for the 14th ASEAN Summit also serves as the coordination center on protocol and administration for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and for coordinating with both Phetchaburi and Prachuap Khiri Khan provinces and other related government agencies.

Meanwhile, Prachuap Khiri Khan province has prepared a special memento for ASEAN leaders, their spouses, and significant ministers: a miniature signboard of the Hua Hin Railway Station, featuring the name “Hua Hin” in Thai and English in distinctive red letters on a white board, presented in a pineapple fiber box.

The Governor of Prachuap Khiri Khan, Panchai Bowornrattanapran, said that the item had been selected as it represented Hua Hin and local wisdom, being one of the OTOP goods of Prachuap Khiri Khan.

Mr. Wanlop Iam-udom, the creator of the memento, said that the product evolved from a toy he made for his own children. It became commercialized over four years ago, marketed among OTOP goods in both Hua Hin and Cha-am, and became a sought-after item among tourists who found the Hua Hin Railway Station attractive, with its classic style.

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