I have returned, guess it only took me a day to jump back in but I wanna get this done quick so here I am! Gona dive right back into wherever we left off.
I stayed in 2 different resorts during my trip to Hua Hin, the first was Wora Wana, a resort/hotel and convention centre that boasted a huge compound, complete with 3 buildings (the main lobby building, the hotel rooms building and the more “private”, single-storey row of terrace-like rooms) and a reservoir area that the rising sun would pour into in the mornings. The second resort that hosted me was De ChaoChom, a beach-side resort that homed a total of about 8 villas.
The small number of villas within the resort provided both an intimate playground and a secret garden hideaway at the same time. The service at the De ChaoChom was highly personal, with the staff guiding you along the way the moment you check-in. I stayed in the private pool villa, a cosy little hut that I’m pretty sure can comfortably house up to 4 people. My villa had a small private pool (ooo, wouldn’t have guessed that, chow) ,about 2.5m by 1.5m in size, and tall glass window panes to let all the bright sunlight in. My favourite part of the villa has got to be the vanity area and the bathroom, these screamed luxury and I felt so spoilt having that ridiculous amount of space.
The resort was generally quiet, with the loudest noise coming from the crashing of waves at the beach. The tide is high for most of the day and it only pulls back towards the evening so I didn’t get much opportunity to lounge on the beach. But the pool area is perfect for lounging too, and I couldn’t help doing exactly that after my floating breakfast basket. Yes, another floating breakfast basket. Of course, it was perfectly Instagrammable against the backdrop of calm and serenity.
We also had a private seafood dinner by the beach on one of the evenings, the setup was 100% romantic, like a scene right out of a rom-com. I would highly recommend you have this arranged for you and your partner or you and your special friend. I could see it being great for celebratory occasions, like an anniversary, or even a proposal. Y’know what, now that I’m on this point, I do think De ChaoChom is a perfect romantic hideout for all you lovebugs and is definitely worth a stay on your visit to Hua Hin.
A quick google search for “night market Hua Hin” would bring Cicada market up as one of the top hits. It’s a huge hotspot for tourists, maybe because the market provides a drastically different experience from the Hua Hin night market. While essentially it is still a night market, the layout is a tad different from the traditional Hua Hin night market. Imagine Artbox in Singapore, or even Bangkok, the Cicada market would score about 90% in similarity points to these markets.
The stalls are very neatly organised in straight rows with clean, white tentage, illuminated by glowing fairy lights. The food stalls are located in a separate area from the art and goods stalls and the areas are separated with ample seating area. The seating area made the market feel a bit like a hawker centre, since I picked up my food from the stalls and grabbed seats wherever they were available.
What I loved about the market is that all the food stalls used porcelain plates and metal cutlery, I did not spot any disposables in use and I think this must’ve helped keep the market a lot cleaner and free of litter. But, needless to say, this eco-conscious move contributed to higher food prices, with most meals costing more than THB100. What I didn’t quite enjoy is that the market used paper coupons for all transactions and you had to change cash for these coupons at allocated booths. So much for being eco-friendly. I do understand that they are practicing a higher standard of accountability and even hygiene by eliminating cash but I didn’t like having to commit to THB100 coupon bundles. I’m not sure how they provided change for the coupons but I would assume you forgo the value of the coupon that is unused. For example, if your meal costs THB110 and you had a THB100 bundle and a THB30 extra, you’d forgo THB20. I ended up buying 4 satay sticks because it was the only item I saw that cost THB100 in total.
The Cicada Market is still definitely worth a visit, I think you could even spend several hours here having a semi-fancy meal of street food, or grabbing a drink and enjoying the live music at the various bars around.
To be honest, I didn’t know that this market existed. We put Cicada Market into our maps and were looking for parking spaces when we came across the Tamarind Market. The two markets are adjacent to each other, literally less than 100 metres apart, so we parked our car at the Tamarind Market and visited both the markets together.
The Tamarind Market is smaller but had similarities with the Cicada Market in terms of its ample walking space and seating area. They did use disposables though, and the uncle cooking my Pad Thai used the same, ungloved hands to dig for coins in his change bucket and to sprinkle the Tau Ghey over my dinner- no complaints, though, I mean, it is street food. The prices are slightly lower at the Tamarind Market compared to the Cicada Market and the general experience is similar. There was also amazing live music at a medium-sized stage when I was there and the performers were so engaging that people were dancing and grooving along to their music in front of the stage. It was quite the energy. They also sang and international repertoire and I was thoroughly impressed.
The least eye-opening experience of my trip. I paid this place a visit despite being fully aware that it was literally just a building with many photo spots. I guess you could call it Instagrammable *shudders*. Am fully aware of how hypocritical I am beginning to sound but I did take a few photos at Seenspace because it was only a 200m walk away from De ChaoChom and I also wanted to shoot an outfit for Ohvola. If they are kind enough to send me an outfit the least I could do is take a presentable photo of it.
But yes, the visitors of Seenspace were mostly well-dressed tourists equipped with a DSLR or the latest iPhone, posing in front of minimalist, cement walls while holding an expensive cup of latte. I don’t mean to sound derogatory, I did exactly that, minus the latte (SGD$6 for a coffee? No thank you.) Even the tenants in Seenspace had photo spots within their stores, I walked into a frozen yoghurt shop and was greeted by pink neon lights glowing some motivational quote about living life to the fullest, and a ball pit filled with pink and white joy.
After I got the shots I needed, I promptly left without buying anything. I do wonder how much longer Seenspace will be around.
Paid a visit to Plearn Wan after Seenspace and it also seemed like a hotspot for photos but only for those who are into retro and carnival themes. This is an open-concept community mall that had 2 main rows of shophouses with carnival flags hanging overhead between them. It’s a rather chill, laidback place but there isn’t too much to do there. There were a couple of food stalls but the ones we visited housed pretty unenthusiastic tenants selling very mediocre pad thai (I’m being generous with my food description here).
I guess it doesn’t come as a surprise that the mall is closing down at the end of the month. I wonder what magic used to fill the complex back when it was livelier!
I think that sums up my experience in Hua Hin. I don’t think I would visit the place again any time soon because there are so many other cities, towns and islands over the SEA region that I haven’t explored. Hua Hin was a great getaway & a fun road trip to kick start my year and I’m excited to see how the rest of 2020 will go! Till then, stick around 🙂