Thursday 21 July 2022

Hua Hin in 4 days

We went from Bangkok to Hua Hin with pre-booked transportation from Hua Hin Plus. The ride was about 3 hours. 

Hua Hin is a quiet and relaxing seaside resort, a laid back and free of hustle and bustle town. It is not too crowded, or perhaps it's the aftermath of covid where tourism is still gradually picking up. An ideal getaway if a slow paced itinerary is on mind. 

We stayed at Hilton Hua Hin Resort, which is a beachfront resort. Booked the twin executive junior suite, and added lounge access for some pampering snacks, drinks and alcohol. A good add-on option if you plan to spend more time in the hotel. With a good range of amenities like spa, tennis and basketball court, table tennis, pool table and kids club. It's ideal for family stay.

We were given a high floor room with balcony, good partial view of the ocean and spacious room. I was grateful to be waking up to direct beach sunrise view. Was so beautiful that it made me jumped out of bed one of the mornings. 


Twin Exec Junior Suite
Hotel's amenities
Some other activities we did, included horse riding by the beach. It's not operated by the hotel. Just walk out to the beach in the evening, and you will spot cowboys and horses.
Hua Hin Night Market
We arrived Hua Hin near evening, and since Hua Hin Night Market was walk able from our hotel, we headed there for some shopping and dinner. Souvenirs, clothing, toys and street food lined the market. It's not extensive or huge, a good market size to walk through. It's opened only in the evening, which is of course, when the weather is cooler than the day.

Many small fishing boats were actually sighted along the Gulf of Thailand, and that's where they bring their night catch to the markets and restaurants. Finding nice Thai food isn't an easy find around the area, instead there are many seafood restaurants with some Thai dishes complementing. Fresh seafood with huge lobster was definitely on our list, pampering delicacy that doesn't hurt the wallet much.

We tried two restaurants in Hua Hin Night Market, Hua Hin Seafood Restaurant and Rodfai Seafood, which are just few doors away from each other. I would highly recommend Hua Hin Seafood Restaurant, food was great and experience was wonderful. Nice sitting at the upper deck for meal, overlooking the market. Had quite a bad experience at Rodfai, the son was served a stale beef steak. They eventually refunded. It's always good to go for what's more popular on their menu than what's not. Considering it's a seafood restaurant, western food stock in their kitchen may be slow moving. And was a little annoyed that the server asked us for tips upfront. Well, a cheerful giver I shall be.


Cicada and Tamarind Market
Two other night markets that we explored on another are Cicada and Tamarind Market. Both opens only over the weekend, Friday to Sunday, and are only 5 minutes walk from each other. Cicada is much more huge than Tamarind. It's aesthetically organized and pleasant to shop in here. I really like the vibes in here, nice live singing with live performance at its amphitheater. A great place to settle dinner in here too, with varying choices of food cuisines that's purchased like food court style. Just that it's in the breezy outdoor. 

And since Tamarind Market is just down the road, we had to curiously visit it. More of food than shopping. Also with live singing, it's a great place to dine, chill and enjoy some good music. Most drinks in Thailand are heavily sweetened, even fresh juices. If 'less' or 'no sugar' is your motto, you may request it upon order. Oh, we discovered a stall that sells extremely delicious cubed beef. Possibly the only one in there. Keep a lookout if you're there. So tender and tasty!

Like how Hua Hin is described, the markets are all laid back, relaxing and slow moving. Nice getaway from the usual hustle and bustle of life.

Hutsadin Elephant Foundation
An experience we can't get in our homeland, getting up close and near to elephants at Hutsadin Elephant Foundation. There were various packages in here, and of course priced at tourist rates. We opted to walk and shower the elephant. Prices go by per head, which I felt didn't quite make sense. It's one elephant we are walking, not like we get to walk one each. I did the aunty thing, bargained down a little. I mean, it was still quite some good earnings for them even after I counter offered. I forgot how much though.

Elephant assigned to us was Song Kran, a lovely gentle giant that we got to spend about 20 to 30 minutes with. Time wasn't in check as we were having fun. We were each given a basket of bananas for feeding while walking. Feeding elephants is easy, we don't even need to peel off the skin on the banana! It wasn't too long before our baskets went empty. After more photo taking with it, we headed back to give it a cool shower. 

It's stated that The Hutsadin Elephant foundation is a wildlife refuge that rescues mistreated and abandoned elephants in Thailand. A non-profit organization. I'm trusting lightly on information that I cannot much verify. Regardless, I choose this over the other elephant attraction in Hua Hin, and visiting it is our little contribution to it.

Glad we all had a fun experience in here! Do wear long pants to the ankle, the long grasses can itch you.  

Inu Cafe Hua Hin
Our kids are a bunch of animal lovers. Since we needed lunch after visiting elephants, we visited the Inu Cafe to fill our tummies and at the same time interact with the Shibas. There were 5 in there, if I remember right. These dogs are so well behaved, I mean my dog would be lurking around me when I eat. But these dogs are only lured to you, if you bought their food for feed. 

The place is lovely, even its human food was surprisingly delicious. It wasn't a long stay in there though, the space assigned to us was rather tight and the cafe isn't air-conditioned. 

Again, the kids had a fun time eating and interacting with the dogs in here. 

Outlet Shopping - FN Outlet and Premium Outlet
There are two shopping outlets in Hua Hin. FN outlet and Premium Outlet, a little further away in Cha-am. FN outlet is really small, and extremely quiet on the day we visited. It's a huge department store, with other small shops looping around it. We didn't shop much, but was happy to have discovered a lovely cafe within, The tea house, where we did tea, pastries and cakes. All at wallet friendly prices, in comparative to living in Singapore. The cafe is cosy, nicely embellished with vintage feel. I guess what made the experience more pleasant was having the whole cafe to ourselves. There were no other patrons.
If shopping is itching in you, visiting the premium outlet is a better alternative. 
The brands at the Premium Outlet are varying, mostly local with some foreign brands. I will say prices are not exactly discounted, and it really isn't quite worth the visit if you have other interesting locations on itinerary. But still, nothing beats premium outlet shopping in the states. 
Shopping Malls 
We did Bluport mall for movie and lunch. But I opted out of movie from the gang, went for a message instead. Before that, I explore the Market Village, which is about a 10 minutes walk from Bluport. It's huge with more shops and brands to comb than in Bluport, there's a cinema in here too. The daughter likes Miso Miso, which is found in Market Village mall too. Miso Miso has a huge range of cutesy stationery, bags, accessories etc. at low prices. Love it in this shop too. 

Market Village

Most shops and malls don't operate late to the night. That's how laid-back life is in there.

It felt like we did so much in 4 days, at Hua Hin, but it had been slow and relaxing for us. We transported from place to place by Grab. Most drivers will offer to give you a ride back with an agreed time and fee. To think back, I would have dropped outlet shopping from itinerary, to spend more time in the hotel. To relax, enjoy more of the view and amenities. Hua Hin, best place to go slow with time.

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