Hua Hin and Santorini Park – Bangkok

Last post I mentioned that Hua Hin and Santorini Park were not worth a visit. Amidst all of the reviews which we realised were overrated, you could really do with a little bit of excitement though (no thrill rides, sorry to disappoint for adrenaline junkie!). Get away from the busy and over populated city of Bangkok!

Hua Hin is about 2 hours 30 minutes drive from Bangkok. There are a few travel options for you to choose – by bus, train or flight. We went by Grab Taxi. The convenience of Grab, I know!

To start with, breakfast by the street. We googled for halal food joints and found a few but located quite a distance from our hotel. We walked for about 15 minutes before reaching the place. A little exploration as we walked.

It was scorching hot in Hua Hin and we were not dressed for the beach cause we never intended to stay there long. There were pretty horses for ride at the entrance.

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We took a stroll along the beach. It was supposed to be calming but I spent more time meddling with my camera actually. My lense just had to fail on me, out of all time! 😓 So, I had to find the right setting and doing it under the hot sun really got me on my nerves. I really wished I had brought along a point to shoot camera instead. Pfft!

There were resorts and villas facing the beach but most of it were empty, not many patrons on the beach. I can count the number of people sun bathing with my hands.

Not long after we left, it started to drizzle and we took shelter at Hua Hin Market Village.

The road along Hua Hin reminded me of Bali and Mui Ne. Or maybe all of the roads to the beach were built to look like that? Freshened up and the rain finally stopped so we head out and asked the tuk tuk how much it would cost to drive us to Satorini Park. The first two drivers we asked charged us 120 baht to Santorini Park while the third offered to take us to Santorini Park and The Swiss Sheep Farm for 200 baht round trip for one person. So be smart to ask around before hopping on the tuk tuk.

To our dismay, it started to rain heavily when we reached Santorini Park. The theme park was not closed but the rides were. Only the indoor games were available. And it was kinda confusing how they charge for every entry. For example, you bought yourself a pass to enter the park. Then, to go on a ride, you’d need to pay with the pass you got and some rides may require additional tickets or you’d have to pay cash on top of it. We wouldn’t be keen if the rides were opened.

Since my camera failed on me, I couldn’t get a pretty picture of the Ferris Wheel at the entrance.

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We were given an hour by our driver but because it was so bored, we left early. Have you been to Santorini Park? Tell me your experience below.

The Swiss Sheep Farm didn’t have much to offer either but thank goodness the rain stopped so we had our chance to feed the sheeps. Since it was only November, they hadn’t remove their Halloween props. Kudos to their Halloween decorations.

Apparently, every visitors who interacted with the sheeps had their pictures taken.

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This was taken off the frame they sold at the exit.

If you don’t wish to buy the photo which comes with a frame, you are allowed to take a photo of it. Too bad they didn’t sell just the photo. I would have gotten it otherwise.

Another long journey back to Bangkok City by the minivan. Took us so much longer than expected. I don’t remember how much we paid for the van but I know it was cheap! Howver, it took us longer than expected. There was one stop for toilet break and multiple stops to pick and drop people off. I remembered reading somewhere on trip advisor that the van rides cost them somewhat 120 – 150 baht. And it was an express ride. Guess we should have checked on that before boarding. Lesson learnt.

Later, there was a small confusion about the drop off due to language barrier but was saved by a local who could speak basic english. She guided us to our next destination. Thank you for kind people!

The van dropped us off at an MRT station and then we had to make the switch to BTS and head over to Saphan Taksin. Take the exit to the Central Pier and take a boat to the Asiatique Mall. You could go the easier way by just flagging a cab there.

For easy navigations and references, you can refer to the BTS and MRT map which looks like this.

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Or you can just easily get it off the internet.

I found Asiatique Mall to be a food heaven. We were surrounded by food trucks, restaurants, bars and cafes. I would love to walk around for a bit more but my legs were screaming for help! It’d been two days straight we spent walking from dawn to dusk! That must have been my calling! Time to do more exercise. Ah, maybe I do have a resolution after all. 😂

We took our exit and bought ourselves dinner by the road side. There was a halal chicken rice food truck and the famous banana pancake with nutella! Or it was really just prata with banana and drizzles of nutella and condensed milk. I’m not a fan of nutella but if you’re in Bangkok, you can’t miss their banana pancake!

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Well, it’s been quite a lengthy post for just a day out, guess I’ll keep the rest of our story for another post.

Laters,
S

Bang-Cock

As usual, I can never be on time to write on my travel experience. Which is why I am bent on not having a New Year resolution for myself. Anyway, if you’d read my earlier post, you’d have known I sold my 10 years old Louis Vuitton Neverfull GM Damier to go on this trip. That tote was bought with my first bonus pay-out as a working adult and has been with me to many occasions. I even carried that tote for my short trip to Batam. She has served me well and it is about time she serves others who wanted her badly but couldn’t afford the actual price (and don’t mind a preloved luxury). After putting so much thoughts into it, I put it up for sale. Goodbye sweetheart.

If you also noticed, 2017 was the year of letting go.

Before I digress any further, let’s get back on track.

To start off, I’m trying to keep this short and yet memorable (for myself) but full with information that anyone might need for their trip to Bangkok. I realised from previous travel posts, I get swayed with emotions.

Jo and I had been on two trips which we’ve experienced many of our firsts together. This time, it’s different for Jo. She had been to Bangkok twice and with me would be her third. Therefore, not much research needed to be done except to look for places of interest. Getting to places was pretty much a breeze. Bangkok reminded me so much of Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. Swarmed with heavy traffic, street food, night markets, hipster cafes, shop houses and shopping centres.

We got to our hotel quite late since we touched down at Suvarnabhumi Airport late evening. Hence, we only have time for dinner, a walk to the night market and a visit to Big C to get some bites and drinks to stock up in our room.

This time, no hotel hopping and we stayed in the same city the whole week. Jo and I wanted to spend within the budget we planned for ourselves but of course, we underestimate our spending capabilities.

Places (of interests) to visit in Bangkok:

1. Night markets – there are aplenty! And depending on your stay, you can pick a few near your locations.
For Muslim travellers, not all markets sell Halal food as per reviews. We chanced upon a few but some were closed (due to the rain maybe).

2. Street food – Nothing beats cheap and yet delicious street food. Well, maybe not everyone will enjoy street food like we do but if you have a sensitive tummy, maybe you shouldn’t take the risk of trying.

3. Temples – there are over 400 of them in the Thai Capital but to name a few worth of visiting are The Royal Temple of the Emerald Buddha and The Grand Palace, Wat Pho (The Temple of the Reclining Buddha), Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn) and a few others which I will name them along with pictures.

4. Floating markets – Most floating markets start early and are mostly far from the city. So if you’re willing to sacrifice sleep time on a holiday, put this on your itinerary.

5. Shopping centres – You really don’t have to because honestly I would have skipped shopping centres, even for Platinum Fashion Mall because nothing suits me except for the shirts.

The night markets we went to were Talad Neon, Cheeze Pop Up, Rot Fai Train,  Srinakarin, Silom Night Market, Ratchada Rot Fai Train/The New Rot Fai Ratchada (we were confused of these two!) and Chatuchak Weekend Market! (except that Chatuchak starts from 7AM to 6PM)

The first night, we went to Central World for dinner at Manhattan Fish Market. The only decent meal we could have since it was already close to 9pm. It was certified Halal by the way! Then off to Cheeze Pop-up night market for supper. Cheeze Pop-up was located just outside Central World. You can see from my pictures there are stools and tables for visitors to dine in.

Seafood for supper. Lucky for me, Jo takes her seafood well.

Big C Supercentre is located across the road from Central World. To get there, you may walk over to the overhead bridge which will link you to the other side of the road.

Pretty much sums up the day of our arrival.
Let me just gather some recollections of where we went the next few days. Been too long, too old and too tired. 😜

Laters,
S.