The 2023 Thailand Open Hua Hin presented by E@ gave the opportunity to professional tennis players from around the world to experience Thai culture and gastronomy.
The 2023 Thailand Open Hua Hin presented by E@, a WTA 250 Tournament which was held in Hua Hin, Prachuab Khiri Khan in February, still lingers in the minds of professional tennis players and remains their topic of conversation, even past its completion more than a month ago.
Hua Hin boasts a number of famous tourist spots, namely Vana Nava Water Jungle, Cicada Market, and its white sand beach, all of which are well known to foreigners who have visited before. In fact, this resort town actually offers a lot of charming aspects that are worth discovering. Thus, Proud Group and True Arena Sport Club, on behalf of the organizers, joined hands with the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) to carry out special activities to highlight Hua Hin as a city of culture and health to tourists from across the world using social media and word-of-mouth.
The first Player ACES activity was held at the Gallery Hua Hin, a vintage automotive museum located on the second floor at Bluport Hua Hin Resort Mall. Attending the event were 2019 Thailand Open champion and former world No. 21 Dayana Yastremska of Ukraine, former world No. 26 Anna Karolina Schmiedlova of Slovak Republic and world No. 142 Katie Boulter of Great Britain. The classic collection piqued the interest of the three WTA players, who even had the unique experience of sitting in some of the classic automobiles. Apart from the antique cars, the gallery also displays paintings by world-class and local artists. The three players also received a tutorial on an Eco-printing technique, which showed them how to transfer colours and shapes of leaves onto cloth bags. In addition, the trio witnessed a session of shoe paintings by young students.
Another ACES activity focused on Muay Thai, the traditional form of self-defence that uses the fists, elbows, lower arms, feet, head and body in battle. The program was made available to players by the Tourism Authority of Thailand and the tournament’s organizers. On this occasion, world No 115 Tamara Zidansek of Slovenia and No 139 Nao Hibino of Japan donned gloves and honed their fighting techniques under the instruction of 2004 taekwondo Olympic bronze medalist and current boxing promoter Yaowapa Boorapolchai at the Legend Arena.
Meanwhile, the 96th-ranked Ysaline Bonaventure of Belgium and former world No. 105 Han Xinyun of China underwent beauty and body treatments conducted by doctor Chanunchida Choomwiset at Chevala Wellness Center on the 2nd floor of Bluport.
One of the more unique activities Tourism Authority of Thailand and the organizers selected for players was a local culinary class. 2019 US Open winner and former world No. 4 Bianca Andreescu of Canada, No. 41 Lin Zhu of China and No. 330 Ellen Perez of Australia participated in the activity named “Make Thai Cuisine at Proud Thai” where they learned how to prepare “Pineapple Fried Rice” at Proud Thai on the first floor of Bluport. While Pineapple Fried Rice is a well-known and well-liked dish among foreigners, pineapple is a famous product of Prachuab Khiri Khan. The players also learned how to make Taro Balls and Sweet Eggs in Coconut Cream, a tasty Thai sweet dessert menu. A great assortment of coconuts grown by Hua Hin agriculturists were chosen for the session. During the cookery lesson, a dulcimer band was performing, and Andreescu was so captivated by the Thai instrument that she requested to give it a try herself.
Later in the same location, Andreescu, Lin and Perez observed provincial handicrafts that reflected the Thai way of life and charms from communities nationwide. These artefacts included Benjarong porcelain ware which are the traditional man-made ceramics from the Tha Hong Thai factory in Ratchaburi, bamboo weaving products from Chonburi, Yan Lipao products from Nakhon Sri Thammarat, reed mats from Chanthaburi, wooden items, woven fabrics, goldware, silverware, brassware, accessories and brassware.
Last but not least, during a welcome party on the beachfront of InterContinental Hua Hin Resort, Thailand Open players and VIP guests were mesmerized by a traditional Thai dancing performance by the Lookmai Nattasin Hua Hin group, which comprised of school and university students in the area. That was a part of the promotional campaigns run by the tournament organizers in response to the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s campaign which called for using The 2023 Thailand Open Hua Hin presented by E@ as a soft power tool to increase Hua Hin’s economy and tourism.
In the end, The 2023 Thailand Open Hua Hin presented by E@ was a huge success. Chinese Lin Zhu was the last woman standing in the competition. She did, however, leave the Kingdom with a memorable experience of Thai culture in addition to the singles trophy.
Darin is monitoring the Asia-Pacific travel & hospitality market and reports the most important news of the region. Her role includes interviewing C-level executives as well as running the content campaigns of companies and NTOs
She holds a MAMBM from the University of Westminster in UK and a photography certificate from the Kensington and Chelsea College in UK.