Friday, 21 December 2012

Bangkok & Hua Hin trip – Prologue

It's Air Asia Big Sales again! My trips for this year has been almost fully plan except year end. As usual, I didnt stay awake at midnight for the commencement of the promotion. I woke up at around 6plus in the morning and remembered the sales. Hence I logged in using iphone Air Asia app and found cheap airtix during Xmas period. I quickly switch on my laptop and booked. I saved $16 convenience fee per pax for using enets payment (this mode of payment is not applicable if using Air Asia iphone app). I didnt waited long in the waiting room as I guess most people are still sleeping at that time. I booked the departure flight on 22 Dec and return flight on 25 Dec which means I only need to apply 1 day leave! The cheapest airtix is $115 but the return timing is in the early afternoon hence I booked the return flight in the evening which cost $24 more.

At first, this is purely a shopping trip as 4D3N in Bangkok is not sufficient to explore the outskirt. After a detailed planning, I decided to squeeze in a 2D1N trip to Hua Hin as a pure shopping trip would be too boring for me.

A brief introduction about Hua Hin. While most other Thai holiday destinations cater mainly to foreign tourists, Hua Hin is a holiday resort for foreigners and Thais. It was discovered as a resort in the early 1920s by King Prajadhipok as a gateaway from from the sultry metropolis of Bangkok. The tranquil fishing village was turned into the Royal resort and consequently became popular among Siam's nobility and upper-class. The construction of a railway line from Bangkok ensured its accessibility and popularity with a wider part of the the Thai public. But it was the resort's royal endorsement which has given Hua Hin a special character of its very own. In 1928, King Rama VII built Klai Kangwon (Far From Worries) Palace which remains until this today an official royal residence.

Hua Hin is a 3hr drive from Bangkok which makes it an ideal weekend destination for the urban dwellers. There are several mode of transport from Bangkok to Hua Hin: Train, bus, minivan or taxi. I choose to take the minivan as it departs from Victory Monument BTS and cost THB180 per pax. The minivan is relatively faster as the duration from Bangkok to Hua Hin takes about 2.5hr compared to 4 - 5 hrs for train and 3.5hr for bus. The minivan departs every 1/2hr or when the van is full. You might be asked to buy extra seat if you have a lot of luggage.

There are a number of attractions in Hua Hin. Hua Hin railway station is one of the oldest and most beautiful train station in Thailand. There is even a royal waiting room at the railway station. Actually, one of the main reason why I choose to make a trip to Hua Hin is because there is a vineyard here. It's unthinkable that there is a vineyard in Thailand right?  I once read in a newspaper article about visiting vineyard in Thailand and I made a mental note to visit one if I have the chance. Siam Winery has a vineyard just outside Hua Hin and there is daily shuttle bus from Hua Hin market village at 10.30am or 2pm @ THB300 per pax. Reservation is recommended as the shuttle bus can only accommodate 10 passengers. The booking form on the website does not have a choice for shuttle transfer only, I did not click any of the tours and just submit the form with the details. Then I received a reply from Hua Hin vineyard to confirm the date of shuttle service. Bingo, booking for shuttle service can be make without selecting the tours.

I choose to stay at Budacco Hotel in Bangkok this time round as my main purpose is shopping in Bangkok. The hotel is conveniently located near Pratunam shopping area which saves precious travelling time. The rate for a deluxe room inclusive of breakfast is THB1,500 ~ S$62/ night.

For Hua Hin accommodation, I booked a night at The Bee & B which is within walking distance from the beach front. It is a bed & breakfast and is currently ranked No. 1 in Tripadvisor. I booked the humble bee room which includes breakfast. The rate is THB1,800 ~ S$74/ night.

Itinerary for this trip:
Day 1: Arrive in Bangkok at 12.15pm (GMT +7), Shopping @ Chatuchak
Day 2: Arrive at Hua Hin - Plearn Wan, Maruekhathayawan Palace, Hua Hin Railway Station & Cicada market
Day 3: Hua Hin hill vineyard
Day 4: Shopping @ Pratunam/ Platinum Mall, Depart Bangkok at 6.50pm (GMT +7)

Budget for this trip is $500:
- S$100 for accommodation
- S$70 for transport
- S$80 for meals
- S$50 for massage
- S$200 for shopping

1 comment:

Betty and Ling Shing said...

Hua Hin is somewhere new to me. Thanks for the information :)