Moments after we step into Chiva-Som Hua Hin, we are told firmly but politely to put away our mobile phones as electronic devices are not permitted in the public areas of the famed Thai wellness resort.
The goal is to ensure guests — including the likes of Kate Moss and Madonna, according to reports — have privacy on the grounds. More importantly, it allows guests to refocus attention on themselves without the mindless distraction of the infinite scroll.
Thankfully, there are many ways to wean off one’s digital dependence here in this charming seaside town. During the pandemic, low-key Hua Hin, a three-hour drive from Bangkok, became a refuge for the city’s hip denizens. Hence, resulting in buzzy entrants such as The Standard Hua Hin and Teens of Thailand’s forthcoming outpost.
Even without these shiny new attractions, Hua Hin is itself quietly beguiling. At sunrise, I find myself uncharacteristically rising without using an alarm clock to take rejuvenating walks along the beach. I’m not alone, joined in the company of saffron-robed monks and locals with their dogs. While observing this golden moment without the preoccupation of capturing the perfect photo for Instagram, I notice how long it lasts.