Monday, October 22, 2018

Explore Hua Hin - 华欣 [ Day 1 & 2 ]

Usually, we do not travel during September holidays, this trip was kind of a impromptu decision made, to have the much needed break for Don. Here we are back to the land of smiles and decided to explore Hua Hin District in Prachuap Khiri Khan Province, at our leisure pace. This is our 5D4N itinerary, with the two kids.

We engaged the same driver which we had for our Khao Yai trip. This time, Neck came with a van with a capacity to hold about 10 - 12 passengers comfortably at the same rate as her former vehicle but this time, more spacious. 

Day 1

Cha-Am Beach 
I always love to experience the local lifestyle whenever possible. Neck was nice to drive us to Cha Am before we head to our Hotel at Hua Hin. Cha-Am, if you are a backpacker, the type of accomodation there can be much more afforable while Hua Hin on the other hand, has a line of hotels with bigger and more established names and of course, more luxurious.

We were told that locals love to spend their weekends at Cha Am Beach just to relax. As we cruised along the road, we saw the long stretch of Cha Am beach lined with beach chairs, tables and fully sheltered all the way with umbrellas. Food stalls lined both sides of the road, patrons could placed their orders and pay a minimal fee to "rent" those beach chairs (around 40 Baht) for the whole day. 

The whole shore was filled with huge jellyfishes believed to be washed up the shores by the rough current, just be very careful not to touch them be it dead or alive, lest that you got sting. In the event should you got stung by one, do seek medical treatment immediately.

There were water sports available and the kids went for horse-riding after lunch as promised.

This was also the first time, I experienced fear. Come to think of it, it was also my fault for not insisting to sit with Vera when she confidentally said and insisted that she could be on her own.  

After 10 mins, the horse which she was riding on, from where I was standing, I saw that the horse was not its usual self. It seemed like it was trying to have Vera off it's back. With just two flicks using its body, the little people lost her gripe and fell off. 

The horse was not moving any further at that point of time and I think it was lucky that Vera fell onto the beach instead of a concrete ground which could have been more painful. Till date, she remembered this incident of the horse being angry and thus, losing its control. 

To make her less fearful, I rode with her after picking her up. When we rode back, several times, I did not feel quite right by the horse's behaviour. It seemed rather irritated, I requested to the man who was walking along side with us to stop the ride as I would not want to risk another accident, I rather forgo the payment than to have getting ourselves injured. 

However, he insisted that it would be alright and kind of refused to let us get off the horse's back, I rode back feeling jittery while holding on tight onto Vera but yet at the same time, I could not let her feel my fear. Thanks but no thanks, it was a bad experience this time. So if you happened to be there and wanted to go for horse riding, ride at your own risk. 

Cicada Night Market 
Only on the weekends if you are planning a visit, this night market sells more handmade products instead of knockoff merchandise.

Procedure in purchasing food operated the same way as foodcourts in the malls, using vouchers and get the remaining encashed after you are done.

The dining area was pretty huge and spacious with a wide variety of food to go for. I would very much prefer Cicada night market as compared to the rest which I have been to before and usually would leave without buying anything.

Day 2 

Plern Wan Vintage Market (Free-Entry)
This place is great to visit if you love photography, there were plenty of lovely spots for photography! I love the quaint, little place with retro setting and a mini fun fair within. 

The beautiful, vintage ferris wheel on display definately made a nice background for photos or simply just watch it made its rounds. 

On display only

The first thing she requested to go for, was to go on the carousel.

I loved the place being small and cosy and not flooded with shops selling the same kind of products. Great place to get some customized souvenirs or gifts but I left empty-handed though! I remembered there was a toy shop and photo studio if you would love to have some photos taken. Even locals would visit, a good place to relax too! 

 It also offered a few stalls selling some local thai food and desserts on the second level.

Lovely resting area for food and drinks.

Enjoying her ice-cream

We went in the early morning but I think the setting would be better in the evening with all the lights lighted up. 

The Venezia (Cha-Am)
This place was just like a massive photo playground with some areas beautifully decorated. With Italy as its main theme, they did up a replica of Venice, completed it with St Mark's Square, St Marco Plaza with its pretty bridges and even gondolas in the canal. Of course, I am missing and prefer the real Venice I onced visited 15 years ago. 


Entrance fee for the ticket was based on a combination of three different packages with a mix and match of different interest spots within the compound. Even if we chose to skip any one of them, it would still be the same amount we needed to pay.

It offered a combination of 3D Museum/ upside down house which we gave it a skip because I did not want to keep asking the kids to posing for the camera. There were also train ride to tour around the premises, horse cart rides and mini zoo.

You would not want to miss these coloured brollies that made up a nice backdrop and also doubled up as shades as well from the scorching hot sun, near to the entrance. What a brilliant idea !

had a mini-zoo but I found it quite disappointing that it had only feeding for sheeps (for a small fee) and I saw a few horses in the stables. Probably that was all but I was expecting more. The rest of the place was more for photo taking but the kids were easily contented with just feeding the sheeps.

Trying so hard to get a wefies with these darlings but they were only keen on the food in my hand. 

As for shopping, when we visited, there were less than five units of the shops in operation. Most of the units were vacant, except for one or two gift shops plus a food court. Do not expect too much from this place but it is of good to take a slow walk around if you have the time to spare.

The Venezia Hua Hin, 
1899 Phet Kasem Rd, Tambon Cha-am, 
Amphoe Cha-am, 
Chang Wat Phetchaburi 76120

FN Outlet 
From the name, you would have thought that it would be some kind of outlets selling some of the common brands we probably were familiar with at an outlet price but no, merchandise were pretty pricey. Seemed to me that it was just another departmental store, I would suggest not to waste your time shopping here.

What I loved was, it's beautiful inner yard and with those pretty flamingos (fake though) !

Could not resist to have a photo taken too!

With larger than life dinosaurs around the premises, this would definately appealled to kids who love dinosaurs!

There was not alot of choices for food but we stopped by Suzette for lunch. I love the minimalism design with ample natural lighting that came in from the huge window glass panels, gave me a very relaxing feel, nice place to chill out! 

The western food were quite decent and price was reasonable in my opinion.

The pizza was great, Vera polished off almost everything by herself.

Cha-am, Cha-am District, 
Phetchaburi 76120, Thailand

Santorini Park Cha-Am
About 40 mins drive away from Hua Hin, Santorini Park was located in Cha-Am. This place is another mini theme park just that the design of the premises was a replica of the real Santorini in Greece. I preferred the settings here more than Venezia, if you are looking to places to take your #OOTD posts, this place has plenty of instagrammable spots. 

There were more shops with common brands like Timberland,  Adidas, Converse if you would love to do a bit of shopping. 

Entry fee per pax, inclusive of a ferris wheel ride.

For Miffy fans, there was a Miffy's Garden Cafe and Miffy Garden for more photo opportunities. We skipped the garden as the sky was totally overcast. 

As promised, her ferris wheel ride. 

To sum it up, basically this attarction is divided into two parts, an area for photography and the other for rides with activities like Carousel, Haunted House (a small scale). Time over-ran at Venezia, hence, and we planned to drop by Swiss Sheep Farm and Camel Republic as well.  We did not managed to finish covering the whole of Santorini Park Cha-Am but I wished there weren't any last min changes, as there were alot more to cover. Till the next visit if I ever return to Hua Hin, which is unlikely not. I will prefer to explore another new province. I came upon a blog with more pictures of this park posted in 2013 but the photos in it were quite the same I saw personally. 

Energy level was low by the late noon, the tuk tuk driver told us that Camel Republic was similar to Venezia and Swiss Sheep Farm and we decided to skip it. 

Khao Yai, Cha-am District, Phetchaburi 76120, Thailand

Swiss Sheep Farm 
This was just right beside Camel Republic, who knows the kids decided to just skip it as well. I guess they were probably looking forward to dive straight into the pool instead from the sweltering weather.  We could see that there were more variety of animals as compared to Venezia and if you would like to bring your little ones for more interaction with animals, Swiss Sheep Farm is more recommended.

These places were planned with the kids in mind, since they had fed the sheeps earlier and we have seen the adorable alpacas before in Khao Yai. We were totally fine with skipping this place as well.

Petchkasem Road, Cha-am 76120, Thailand

That's so much for Day 1 &2! The places we went to on Day 2 were all along the same stretch / cluster. I hope it is helpful in giving you a rough idea of where you can head to should you be planning for a trip to Hua Hin. 

Thank you for reading through and do stay tuned for the second part of our trip. There is some sales going on on Klook too, get some savings too as you plan for your next holiday! 

Related Travel Thailand Post: 
Disclaimer: This holiday is a NON SPONSORED post but the post does contain affliliated links. All expenses are paid through our very own pocket. Just purely documenting down these lovely memories and to be shared to all who are looking into kids friendly places in Thailand!

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