Saturday, December 5, 2015

Hua Hin - Hills Vineyard

The trip to the Hua Hin Hills Vineyard wasn't exactly that cheap, especially since we are considering to take a private car to go there. There is a way to get there by the public transport that are designated to that area, but I think it also cost around THB350/person. In any case, the driver quoted us THB1,800 for a round-trip with a bonus stopover at Sam Phan Nam floating market along the way. They are expensive but since we are a group of 4 with a kid, I had no choice but to accept it.

We soon reach our first stopover at the Sam Phan Nam floating market where we had the chance to shop at some of the stalls and also take the boat to tour around.

The weather was extremely hot that day and you can see my poor baby had a red cheek there almost dehydrated.

The places were huge there and there were almost more than 100 shops there that we had pass by. We bought a couple of T-shirt for our son and then proceeded to go next to the main destination since time was running out.

Soon after, we went inside the car to proceed to our next destination at the much awaited Hua Hin Hills Vineyard.

The view throughout going into the Vineyard was amazing. You can see plenty of greenery out there which was next best to everything. Before we entered the Vineyard, we could see plenty of grapes farm which they've used to plant their grapes for the wine and you can step out to take a few close snapshot.

When we finally arrived, the first thing we did was to grab a place for lunch. We didn't make any reservations prior to coming here, so we didn't really get the best seat we wanted. The whole place for lunch wasn't exactly that big, so it is recommended that a reservation be made.
We ordered their specialty wine tasting which was mostly uniquely Hua Hin. To be honest, I've drank much better wines out there so I wasn't really impressed with it. We also ordered a few local fried rice and western food to go for our lunch while enjoying the scenery.
After our lunch, we toured around the area for a little while more before proceeding to go back to our hotel.


Our Hearty Lunch @ Hills Vineyard

Mommy, I am drunk

See Ya Next Time :)

Friday, December 4, 2015

Hua Hin - Venezia

Venezia was about 10 minute drive from our hotel. We paid around THB 1,500 for a round-about trip to Venezia / Santorini / Swiss Sheep Farm and then back to the hotel. The driver would wait throughout for an almost entire day itinery so I think it's the standard price unless you are driving on your own.

We arrived at 10 in the morning, but was made to wait for another half hour as the ticket counter will only be open at 10.30. We chose package A which cost about THB 530/person which includes all the activities you will see below and they are packaged in such a way so that most tourists would choose their package A. I think it's a little expensive and given the weather in such a hot condition (37 degrees when we were there), I don't think we are able to do much activities outdoor (or so we thought). Still, we try to squeeze in as many activities as we could while we were there.
1.) The Venetian Gondola
If you've been to Macao or even the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, I think you can skip this particular activities. The experience was great but since they are being shored outdoor, we have to bear the hot weather magnitude which can be very exhausting under the direct sun exposure. The water isn't also very clean and well maintained and throughout the boat experience we just wanted for it to end quickly since we were not really enjoying it.

2.) Mini-Europe

The Mini-Europe was fun and indoor and there was barely any visitors inside, so we took a lot of photos while we were roaming around. Rome, Holland, Greece and French alike buildings were some of those that were displayed and they are definitely good for photo-taking. 



3.) 3-D Art Gallery / Upside Down House

I think this was the most fun activities out of all, at least for our kid who enjoyed running around the gallery in amazement. Also, they are located indoor so we were again spared from the burning hot sun outside :)

4.) The Mini Zoo

Last but not least, we went the mini zoo section. There was some sheep and horses there and they were running around in herd. It's the first time my boy was seeing them so he felt somewhat terrified of it hahaha. I hope at least he learnt from it. It was a very nice atmosphere seeing these animals on the go.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Hua Hin - Cicada Night Market / Chatsila Night Market

Next, we proceeded to the cicada market by tuk tuk. The tuk tuk in Hua Hin charges almost the same price as the private car but it is so difficult to find one on the road unless you have a direct contact. Regardless, it was a very fun experience riding the vehicle, though I must say that they are really dangerous as the door was open and the driver speeds up.

Cicada Market

Cicada market is only open on the weekends, so make sure you grab the chance to go if you are there during the weekends. Luckily for us, our schedule fits right on sunday when we arrived.
The market is unlike any night market we've been to.
The market surrounds an atmosphere connection of artistique, creators, designers, culture and arts and they are represented by the activities they do over there and the items they sell.
The market is divided into 4 zones: Art A La Mode, Cicada Art Factory, Amphitheatre and Cicada Cuisine.
The first two is where the vendors are selling items of clothing, bags, accessories, crafts, cards and many more along the path of the sideways. Many of these items are unique on their own because they are mostly handcrafted so they boast individual unique identity that you cannot find in other stalls.
The Cicada Cuisine is the food zone area where you can get your dining. Some of the options include local thai cuisine, and a few Chinese and western food. Overall, the dining was pretty decent in a much relaxed open environment. There are also plenty of space around if you come earlier so there's really no need to worry not being able to find tables for dining.

Chatsila Market

Chatsila is a night market which runs adjacent to the Hua Hin night market.
They are a typical night market which sells clothes and accessories that are cheap and appeals to tourists. The market is much cleaner and more organized than the Hua Hin market though they lack scale of individuality as some of the things sold are repetitive.
Across the market, there are also a few seafood dining options and we managed to eat our dinner there. One of our dining options was the KO Seafood restaurant which I think was very fantastic. We ordered a lot, including an 800 gram of Lobster and Tiger Prawns which can cost near to THB 1000 baht for each. The tom yum and la la were also very delicious so I would definitely go back to the stall again if I decide to return one day.


Monday, November 30, 2015

Hua Hin (Thailand) - Rest Detail Resort

We chose to stay at the Rest Detail hotel in Hua Hin after hearing mostly good reviews from the travellers. From Bangkok, we booked a cab through the website online (THB 4,200) for round about trip which I thought was decent. The driver was very experienced with the road and we managed to reach in about 2 hours since there's not much traffic during the weekends. Note: If you need the driver contact, just PM me directly and I will give you the details.
In total, we spent about 5 nights in Hua Hin and all the stays were very pleasant throughout. On hindsight, it was actually just nice for us because we really want to enjoy our trip in a slowly relaxing manner and not rush it throughout. For the others, most people would spent only a day or two, which I think is a little bit of a rush.


Their classic Hotel Logo
When we reached the hotel, we were greeted by a very pleasant frontdesk who helped us to check in. We were given a nice welcome drink while we were awaiting for the room key while roaming around the resort. Immediately, I can already feel that all my nerves and mind from work seemingly gone away and I knew this was the perfect resort to get away from the daily hustle and bustle of life. How I wish I could have stayed there forever!!! 

Such an Amazing View

Once we get the key, we were led by one of the front desk guys into our room. I don't know if it is just me but I always get this excited feeling entering into the hotel room for the first time, leaving that suspense finally awaiting to burst out. When the door was finally opened, I was almost shell shocked because this is by far the BEST hotel room I have ever entered in my life. Not only does the room has a breathtaking sea view, but they were also extremely spacious and the room was very fragrant when we came in. Immediately, my wife and son roam around the room in happiness like I do too.
The room we chose was the rest horizon because it came with a huge balcony and Jacuzzi which obviously we enjoyed very much. In fact, I think this is the most popular type of room and you would need to book it early in order to avoid any disappointment. Based on what we know, the room was fully booked throughout and I had to make bookings about 6 months in advance.


Overall, I think I would rate the resort as one of the best I have stayed in my life. Although they are located somewhat further away from the town area, it provides a really nice serenity and peaceful surroundings that really entices people like us who wants some family time together.
The breakfast has also a very wide range of menus that you can choose from, including some of the famous local thai food, boat noodle, som tum, and many others.
For anyone who is going hua hin, I think this is almost a no brainer not to choose this resort. My wife even tells me at the end that she hopes to stay there for longer because she just simply love the atmosphere very much. Oh well, maybe we'll go back there on another day in the future.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Cato Restaurant Review - Modern Asian Cuisine Bar

We were looking for a new place to chill and hang out, and we found a place named Cato restaurant, which is located right across the Little India Temple at South Beach Road.

Cato is a restaurant & bar which offers Modern Asian cuisine and fusion and over 60 small batched craft beers and spirits from over the world.
We reached earlier than our scheduled appointment so we took the chance to tour around the second level which is perfect for chilling and just listening to live music.

Bar Area

Live Music

Anyway, we proceed to order from our menu for food and drinks since we are already hungry for the food.

Garlic Fries @ $8

Garlic Fries is pretty good and in fact I think it rates amongst the best dish throughout the night. The texture was crispy and the taste of garlic is strong giving a very unique perspective for the tongue. The portion is pretty decent too for a group of 4 to share.

Crispy Squid in Thai Glazed Sauce @ $12
The squid was very delicious as well since the texture is crispy and the taste of lemon thai sauce was succinct enough. I also like that they used baby squid instead so it comes in a nice small pairs where we can fit the whole thing into the mouth straight away.

Acai Cured Salmon @ $18

Steamed Baked Pork Cheek @ $28

Tom Yum Prawn Risotto @ $24

I was expecting quite a lot from the 3 main dishes but they are only pretty average to be honest. I think I have tasted much better elsewhere with a much better value out there than this one. The portion was not only small, but they also pale in comparison in taste. I was pretty disappointed with the main dishes overall.

Papaya Dessert

Apple Cider
Overall, I think I paid around $180 in total for 4 person. It's a very expensive meal because we ordered a few drinks but I think the main dish doesn't come cheap either. But the most important part was that I was left disappointed with some of the dish and it did not fill my stomach when I left the restaurant. Heck, I even had to go across Chinatown to buy some carrot cake home!!!
The restaurants did have some promotions ongoing with specific UOB credit cards and AMEX platinum but too bad I don't have those cards.