19 April 2015

Hua Hin July 2014 Part I - Journey, Chatchai market, Hua Hin night market, Asia Herb Association

Pardon for this super late account of my trip to Hua Hin last year. I took so many photos that it took me a long time to resize and edit them!

Anyways, Hua Hin isn't on my travel radar for the longest time because it's not directly accessible by flight. Travellers would have to fly in to Bangkok and then take a coach or rent a car for a 2-3hr journey. I thought it's too troublesome and brushed off the idea a few times when hubby talked about going to Hua Hin, until I read a Taiwanese travel blog about Hua Hin that it ignited my interest. And so, we took a 3D2N recce trip last July and I've been thinking about going back again!

I will be breaking down the posts into different parts covering different topics/areas of interest.

Part I - a bit about the journey from Bangkok to Hua Hin, Chatchai market (day time), Hua Hin Night Market, Asia Herb Association (for spa experience)
Part II - accommodation in Hua Hin at Amari Hotel
Part III - Santorini Park at Cha-Am (located 30 mins before reaching Hua Hin)
Part IV - Dining in Hua Hin, namely Chao Lay seafood, Koti restaurant, Sangthai seafood and Meekaruna seafood
Part V - Cicada Weekend Art Market (CICADA - Community of Identity Culture Arts & Dynamic Activities)
Part VI - Plearn Wan Vintage Village, Baan Sillapin Artists Village

Journey from Bangkok to Hua Hin

We chose an early flight to Bangkok so that it gave us ample time for a leisurely drive. After touched down at Suvarnabhumi Airport, we proceeded to pick-up our rental car from Budget service counter located at the arrival hall. Hubby brought his GPS along, which is essential for navigation since we weren't familiar with the roads. The drive along the outskirts of Bangkok was straightforward with mostly highway until we reached a toll area where there were many diversions and intersections. Thank goodness we had the GPS with us.

After the intersections, we got onto Highway 4 which is a long and seemingly endless drive towards Hua Hin. Along the way we saw many eateries and rest points and decided to have a pitstop to fill our tummies.

We love this type of thai street-food, serving cook-to-order noodles and rice.

I ordered a bowl of rice noodle soup and hubby ordered kway teow. Both rice noodle and kway teow were yummy, very smooth and springy texture, and the soup broth was delicious!

Hubby wanted a side dish of stir-fried roast pork with kailan but due to miscommunication, it was served together with rice. Nevertheless, it was so good!

After filling our tummies, we travelled a further 10 mins and saw this pitstop that looked like a mini-mall. Decided to stop and look for restroom.

Pleasantly surprised that the toilet is so nicely decorated with a nautical theme, very clean too!

After Highway 4, we hit the Samut Sakhon area, where we saw many roadside stores selling these white bags of stuff, and fields and fields of "pond". Then we realised that those are salt farms and the bags of white stuff were salt! Interesting!

After Samut Sakhon, we would reach Cha-Am town first (where several outlet malls and Santorini Park are located; will talk about Santorini Park in another post), before reaching Hua Hin. The journey took almost 3hrs, depending on traffic condition and number of stops taken.

Chatchai Market, Hua Hin

Chatchai Market is located in the centre of Hua Hin town, and near to the night market location. By day, it's a wet market selling all types of fresh goods, groceries and sundry goods.

We took a quick stroll around just to "look see look see". Didn't go up to level 2, not sure if it's food stalls or more shops.

Came across this ice-cream cart selling coconut ice-cream! The lady was so nice, she let me try a spoonful and naturally I couldn't resist :p

Ended up buying a cone. The base of the cone was filled with glutinous rice, followed by a generous scoop of coconut ice-cream and some peanut toppings. Aroy mak mak!

Hua Hin Night Market (http://www.huahin.bangkok.com/hua-hin/night-market.htm)

The Hua Hin Night Market is opened every night and offers an array of merchandise from souvenirs to clothing & fashion accessories to small electronic gadgets etc, as well as food stalls selling seafood, snacks and desserts. As the streets were narrow, it could quite quite crowded and difficult to walk around unlike Cicada Night Market which I will talk about in another post.

As the weather was hot, this dessert stall was popular and very crowded. Customers could select your own dessert and toppings. Yums!

These souvenirs were affordable and attractive, thus very popular among the tourists.

Located next to the night market is another night market called Chatsila. Actually not much difference, mostly clothing and fashion accessories. Surprisingly quiet, unlike the hustle and bustle of the Hua Hin Night Market which is just on the adjacent street.

Asia Herb Association Spa (http://www.asiaherbassociation.com/en/index.html)

There's no shortage of spas in Thailand, likewise in Hua Hin. We decided to drop by Asia Herb Association which is located in the centre of Hua Hin town (opposite Koti restaurant, near to the night market). This is a spa chain very popular among the Japanese expats and tourists, and we've also been to the branch in Bangkok before.

Reservation is recommended. We walked in and appointments were fully booked till about an hour later. So we decided to head for lunch at Koti restaurant first and strolled at Chatchai market before the treatment.

Spa treatment rooms were cozily furnished. Hubby had a traditional thai massage whereas I opted for their signature aromatherapy massage with herbal compress. Overall the service and skills of the therapists were efficient and quite good. Due to time constraint of our short trip, we managed to try only one spa salon, hopefully we could be back for more next time!

End of Part I.

Stay tune for Part II on our accommodation, Amari Hua Hin.


  1. Hi,
    May I know how much the rental for car from airport to Huahin and back to Bangkok? Do we need to have international driving license?

  2. Hi,
    Sorry forgot how much is the rental already. You can get quotations from different car rental companies to compare. Yes, international driving license is required.

  3. Hi,

    Just want to ask if parking at the attractions are costly? and how is the parking system usually like, parking by the road side?


  4. Hi hedgejayy,
    When I was there, most of the parking were free. A few places (where parking was hard to find) had designated parking lots and the ushers asked for a small token. The central area night market area we parked by road side for free, but hard to find lots, had to park further away or wait. Cicada market has a parking area with small token charged.

  5. YOu have mentioned some most attractive places and things to do in Hua Hin. I also want to mention the name of Hua Hin Hills Vineyard. It is really a live beauty. All Hua Hin helped me a lot to find out the best deals during my tour also there.

  6. Thanks for the information! :)