"Hua Hin is the promised land, departed and came back feeling disappointed, hmm....., the old memory is still around..." When this song is sang, I'm sure many people would not recognize it if not our parents or grandparents generation. But if we change it to "Hua Hin is a place of having shells, westerners are sitting to wait for it until the shells stick to stone...." Now, i'm sure many can sing hilariously and fun, haha, just thinking about it now, I feel like want to pry western shells, Oh no......pry shells from stones to show to our western friends.
Well, I accidentally received the invitation from friend asking if I would be interested to travel to Hua Hin, there'll be luxurious bed and welcoming from Amarin Hua Hin as well as full packages accommodation. Oh wow, this is so tempting, how could I reject?... hehe, after all, this is Amari not the motel on the side, and my last visit to Hua Hin was three years ago already.
The same friend also told me that Amari focuses on vintage style, a bit retrospect and very warm with a touch of romance from the sea. So then I was thinking how to make this trip the most romantic possible. Then, I found out that there's Hua HIn Live Music Weekend held by Cicada market, what a perfect activity! I will take the concept of taking train to Hua Hin, listening to music chill chill at Cicada, enjoying the stay at Amari, I think this is perfect way of starting this journey. After finishing the planning, I whisper to my Mrs. that "let's go honey moon at Hua Hin".
My ticket is booked from 5-7 July. Usually, I like to travel on weekdays but this time I include Sunday as well since Cicada market will open only on Friday-Sunday.
Taking a train to Hua Hin is fun and very economically reasonable. We have free train from Thonburi, Charan Sanitwong Road, and Hualumpong station. I choose to hop on at Thonburi station because according to the timetable, it leaves earliest which is at 7.30 a.m. But well, it's never be on time. And, it leaves 9.20 a.m. from Hualumpong station. As usual, one wait after the other, it's already 8.40 a.m. before the train starts to get on track. Very well maintain in its standard, let's give them three times applause...one....two....three......
The third class train start to move along Nakhon Pathom route, going pass Ratchaburi, Phetchaburi until we reach Prajuab Kirikhan province. What is the must not miss thing on the train journey is Red Pork Noddle. Previously, they only sole it at Pak Tor station but nowadays, they walk to sell within the train, starting its business since Photharam station. It is 10 THB/each, quite small quantity. To make you full, 3-4 packages will be needed. As for the taste, our Mrs. give it a pass.
Now we are going pass Cha Am and for your information, only 2 more stations which are Huisai Nua and Huasai Tai, then we will reach Hua Hin station. We finally get to Hua Hin station at 13.40 pm. with slight rain.
Amari Hua Hin is situated at Khao Takiab area, 5 k.m. away from the train station. We need not to worry about transportation issue as Hua Hin has taxi (song tiaw) running restlently. Just waiting on the side of Phetkasaem Road for a while, the green song tiaw taxi which will be heading towards Khao Takiab arrives. It is 10 THB/each. And within 10 minutes, we are already at the front of the hotel, I'm still thinking to myself " are we really going to stay here?"
The backpacker walking into the luxurious hotel is something quite striking. The lobby at Amari Hua Hin is very spacious and luxurious. It is slightly similar to royal Mrigadayavan Palace style but change to use the blue tone in order to get closer to the sea. It is noticeable that horses are largely used for decoration. Upon asking, they said horse is like the signatory animal of Hua Hin and it connotes a well-bred status. This is in accordance with the fact that the bureaucrats in the past often chose Hun Hin for their summer vocation. These details will not be so focused but more importance is given on architecture, interior, and designer!
Another important decoration is by using the ancient Hua Hin pictures,which are all in black and white, to give more of a touch of the old town feeling.
One more location that we will definitely get into contact is Coral lounge. It is situated at the lobby area and open for guests to sit and relax, some may use it as a waiting area for checking in or checking out. It is really looking beautiful! They offer soft drink beverages and bakery as well as foreign chess and you are most welcome to try it out but for me, I only know how to play Thai jackstones (mak geb) (haha...)·
Now, let's check in into our room, Deluxe Pool View, it is so romantic that I don't know how to describe. The room is not too big but very beautiful. From the terrace, you can see the swimming pool and faraway Hua Hin beach. I come to know later that several buildings I saw was the residential zone or condominiums. There's only 2 buildings surrounding the corner square around the pool that belong to the hotel. But only this, the hotel already has over 200 rooms.
A quick survey on the facilities, it is fully equipped like Amari's standard. This includes hair dryer, safe, bathrobe, slippers, flashlight, umbrella, tea, coffee, hot water pot, shower facilities, iPhone/iPod charger plug, ... etc. Let's say in short, the hotel offers everything they suppose to have. What my Mrs. love the most is bath and shower gel and the conditioning shampoo. It is the lemongrass fragrance flavor, smell really good. Even me, I also like it :)
After taking some resting time, now let's go take a walk at the garden and explore other parts of the hotel. Let's start at breakfast room, Mosaic, I must say it's quite beautiful. The wall in several parts are decorated with Thai wooden hand craved design which is, again, get the inspiration from royal Mrigadayavan Palace. The only change is that the restaurant used more colorful color and decorated the ceiling with hanging fishing equipment lamp. Tomorrow we are going to find out how breakfast tastes.
For lunch and dinner restaurant, it is called Reef Deli. The size is handy but quite elegant. In addition to Thai and international cuisines, they also offer many brands of imported wine as well as bakery, soft drink, home-made ice cream. I and my Mrs. also plan to have some good time here but not yet, so let's just wait a bit longer.
Time for some fitness..the fitness room is open all day and they also provide Kid Room for kids.
Swimming pool is the highlight of Amari Hua Hin. I have to give them a big hand on the idea as they simulate the beach atmosphere. Start from depth in chasing level and the pool is surrounded by coconut trees. It is noticeable that a lot of tourists come enjoy the water and not necessary have to go to the actual beach. Even the sky is not so blue, it is so beautiful. Wait until the good sunny day, I definitely come again for photography.
We are enjoying our time very much just by simply be at the pool, before we realize, it's time to go to Cicada market. It is only 300 meters away from Amari Hua Hin, so just a few steps and we are already here. Of course, our first mission is to find something to eat :) I feel like we've got more choices in comparing to several years ago. I'm a kind of guy who can eat just almost anything, so I have pork satay, deep fried chicken, deep fried lab and ended by grilled mushrooms and fruit juice smoothies. It is so full and so good ^^
After walking for stomach digesting, it's time to join Hua Hin Live Music Weekend festival. The music show starts from 19.15 – 23.30 p.m. I arrive here around 20.00 p.m. The concept of the festival is to enjoy the music "without shoes". So we will take off the shoes and take it with us into the concert, this simply gives us the feeling of at ease and let go.
I want to explain a little bit about the ticket. Normally, the ticket is sold as a package of 350 THB which includes the 200 THB of entrance fee and another 150 THB for the cushion and well made shoes bag in which you can take back home with you. And as for the first 100 people, if you click 'like' the page and share the activity, the 200 THB ticket will be given free to you and if you want the cushion and shoes bag, you need to purchase another 150 THB ticket. In case, you don't nee,d then you can also enter the concert and they will provide you with a small bag to put in your shoes.
Once I arrive at the entrance, of course, my first question is "do we reach 100 guests yet?" When I heard the answer is not yet, the big smile then shine over my face.
Upon entrance, you can choose any seat near stage as you wish. Some light food and beverages are also available like beer, cocktails, fruit juice at the entrance area. The price is quite additional to the outside ones and no outside food or beverages allowed. Restroom is nicely available so no worry on this issue. Inside, you can also rent the ball sitting cushion, pillow and other accessories. Well, I'm not so a good customer, they get no additional charge from me (haha....).
Now, let's enjoy the music. Two bands will be playing. The first band is Brothers and the other one is Plum Rang. And these two bands offer the audiences different style of music. Brothers band focuses on easy listening music where you can moving your head along. On the other hand, Plum Rang is considered the entertaining band. Many jokes and craziness is carried out for laughter in interchange with music. The music is filled with their own style of singing and creative way of adding their style. They have so many regular fans. They started to get famous from performing at Cicada market several years ago.
Here is the first time I and my Mrs. get to listen to "soul mates" by Cocktail band and is covered by Plum Rang. Only the first time, I already fall in love with this song. I love the meaning and more in the moment that we both get to listen to it together... What a wonderful night!
On the second day, it takes me quite a while before I can manage myself to get up off the bed. I just feeling doing nothing but laying here and there. I need a strong mind determination to move myself towards the breakfast restaurant, Mosaic. Once I get down here, I'm so surprise to see this amazing food lines, I don't even know where to start. Fruit and vegetable salad are at front which is close to Thai food corner like fried rice, jasmine rice and curry. On the side is bread counter, bakery, salapao, miso soup, rice porridge and some other light food to go with it. In fact, there are many more beyond my description but I'm not a heavy breakfast person.
After the stomach is full, today I want to go to romantic travel destination like the Venetian and Plernwan. I was thinking to rent a motorbike which many are available at Khao Takiab. Then I heard that the hotel can also directly contact the rent shop and provide the service with additional charge of 50 THB for the delivering fee. Just a few minute, the bike is already here, it is very convenient. The vehicle today is scoopy I, let's get it a location to photograph with the hotel sign.
Even the name is the Venetian Hua Hin, in fact the place is located at Cha Am district, Phetchaburi province. Well, even that, the Venetian is closer to Hua Hin downtown than Cha Am downtown.
We need to start ride up to about 14 km. following Phet Kasem road from Amari, this is quite easy. Not so long and we are already here. A little surprise, not that the place is so beautiful but the ticket is quite expensive. The tickets are sold in the package of 180/280/480 THB (the discounted price is 380 THB) with 11 activities. I think the highlight is the 3D art, upside down house, mini Europe and gondola cruising in which only the first highlight will be included in 180 THB package. After discussing with my Mrs., we agree to go for only 180 THB.
The second surprise is when we are walking in.......it's so quiet that we can say that it's way too quiet. Only 10% of shops are open. I think overall, the place is nice and attractive for photography, but since it's too quiet so that I feel it's not so attractive. At first, I thought I wouldn't be able to capture gondola ship image (simulation one), I'm lucky enough to get some photo of it. Only at the afternoon, more people are to be seen. However, in comparison to the size of the location, it's still considering very quiet.
Having enough satisfaction from the outdoor, now it's time for 3D art indoor. Here is the most popular place, with the cool air conditioning room so everyone is gathering here. I and my Mrs. also enjoy photography so much that we almost forget the time.
We left the Venetian a 14.00 p.m. and ride back to Hua Hin approximately for 6 k.m. and we will arrive Plearnwan. Although we have come here several times, we are so happy to keep coming back. The best thing about this place is that there's no entrance fee, haha.
Shops have some slight changes, some are new, some are already gone. But the thing that never change is that we can always find places to photograph with our smiles. The same corner can be retaken to reflect different time and different memory.
Another fun thing to do here is finding something to eat. I got 3 of these candy buckets from this famous shop, some Takoyaki, and dried rice which is advertised to be Ban Pong recipe, my favorite food. But I'm disappointed, the taste is not good only that it can fill up the stomach, so sad about dried rice here.
Then we do more photography to digest our food. Mrs. request to have coffee time at Bann Klai Wang, at Naab K Heart road. Her friend came here and said that the food tasted good and the atmosphere was great. Well, she already said this much, I have no way to reject that :) Then we ride towards downtown Hua Hin and turn to Hua Hin Soi 51 which will take us through Naab K Heart road, turn left and we will reach the destination. The coffee shop is quite easy to find. It's at the three happiness houses area where some part of the house is adapted to open the bakery shop and restaurant.
The atmosphere here is just simply making you fin (Thai slang-very happy). The old wooden house is situated among the green garden and close to the sea. We order a piece of cake and two drinks, the starting price for them is 80 THB and when combine them all, I think it's quite expensive. But in exchange for my Mrs.' happiness, I have no compliant :)
Now it's going into evening time and about time to go back......of course, to enjoy the water. We haven't got into the beautiful pool of Amari yet since we arrived. Please allow me to put down the camera for a while.
Upon getting up from the pool, it's already dusk. Tonight we have plan to have our dinner under the candle light near the sea at Shoreline Beach Club which is the restaurant near the seashore of Amari. What a perfect life! The building of Amari itself is not close to the sea, so we need to walk about 10 minutes to the Shoreline restaurant and there's also a shuttle bus for your convenient.
I walk hand in hand with my Mrs. just for a while, frankly, I almost cry out "Oh, My gosh!". We have spent our time together for about a decade and a half, and tonight is the first real and proper dinner.The atmosphere and dinner that the hotel provided for us is just incredibly amazing!
We are welcomed with the light and signature drink here, "Funky Margarita". I usually drink beer, today I feel so lucky to get to drink cocktail, such a fortunate thing for my tongue. The taste is sweet mixed with sour and hot and how far this taste can go depends on what they put at the mount of the glass.
The food is in full course. Barbecue Plater with two big prawns, two squid sticks, two pieces of fish, two lamb ribs and at the bottom of the plate is decorated with garden green salad, spicy seafood salad and sweetened pork. Only this, we spend a quality time to slowly enjoy this meal under the mixture of sea wave sound and light music appreciation, before they all can be vanished.
In fact, the food is the food, what's make thing all great is the atmosphere we enjoy. It is especially when this kind of atmospheric dinner is what me and my Mrs. have never experienced. In fact, we have never thought to have opportunity to spend time together like this. When I see her smile and happy, I am also very happy and I believe this is the most important thing. I just realize that candlelight dinner on the beach is indeed like this...
The last day that I never want it to come finally comes. I'm still drowsy, but once I see the good sunny sky after two days of the closed sky, I immediately wake Mrs. from the bed. Quickly finish our breakfast and come to take swimming pool photography. This is because apart from the fact that the sky is clear, it is only before 9.00 a.m that this place will be empty from the crowd. After that, the pool will be flooded with the guests until dark. Staying here,most guests prefer to spend their time at the pool more than the actual sea.
I have here photos from different angle, I also want to include the photo taken from the afternoon which is in another lighting angle. The pool is just Great!
After some photos and walking time within the hotel, there's still some time left before we return our motorbike back. So we ride to Hinlekfai Viewpoint, it is the most beautiful viewpoint to enjoy Hua Hin downtown and it's my favorite place. Usually, the light in the afternoon is much more beautiful than the half morning's. But since today, we have no choice and just need to see if there's any change at all. Up here is also enshrined the Rama VII monument.
Back to the hotel, there's another first time in life activity awaiting for us, that is spa, beauty and oil massage at Breeze Spa. This room is right next to Reef Deli. The program provided by the hotel for us is Hua Hin Tropicana, a signature massage here. It is the Mood Massage or massage according to the mood of the guest to get the most relaxing massage moment. Shells are also used to give the touch of Hun Hin beach, the oil is the sense from local fruits like mangoes, oranges, and herbs. For the scrub for skin, they use jasmine rice mixed with real pearl. Just by describing without actually doing it yet, I already start to feel so fin....
This is the atmosphere of Breeze Spa. If anyone love the bathing gel and shampoo that we used in our room, you can also find them available here.
This is inside massage room. Every room is in private as well as private bathroom.
You've heard that to get oil massage, we need to take off our clothes right? We can only wear a thin underwear that almost feel like naked? That's right! So please allow me and my Mrs. to get ready and have some censor here...
How to describe this feeling? Just feel so good. After finishing spa, I feel so light. The body that used to be tense under the sun start to get relaxed. If you ask me whether I'm shy or not, only a few second of shyness, after that, my face starts to get thicken (haha...) Well, in fact, this level of spa service, they will cover our body with towel, not letting us so naked. We spend about 2 hours in total. We start by scrubbing the skin, take a shower and then ended with oil massage. The only problem now is that I feel addicted now, what to do? Next time, we will have to pay ourselves.
The good mood is not yet ended as before we checking out, the hotel prepare lunch for us at Reef Deli as well. I have no idea on how to describe this. The menu includes apple-lychee juice-a famous drink here, lamb rip Panang, steamed red curry cake with mushrooms-the champion menu of the iron chef here, delicious chicken broth, and grilled duck. After that we are also served with several kinds of assorted bakery, this is just a heaven for my Mrs.
We are checking out excessively filled with romantic feeling. Now, let's go to take some shots at the beach while the sun is right and the sky is blue.
Then, we walk back to take photos with the front of the hotel. Until now, we have good photos from every corner of Amari except that from the front that we yet have nice shots.
On the way back, we can't make it for a free train ride as it already set off at 14.00 p.m. according to the timetable. So we have to adjust our plan a little by taking the green taxi to the market in order to take the van back to Bangkok. We soon, will go back to our lives as the rental room man as usual.
Once in a life time with the most romantic trip, this is truly our sweet honeymoon time that I and my Mrs. haven't really got a chance to enjoy even since we start to spend our lives together. This is definitely going to be deep rooted in our sweet memory forever.......
If you are interested in my other block reviews or want to just chit chat, or inquire for some information (if I have), or want to travel together, I'm more than happy to do so.