This is part of an ongoing travelogue. To start at the beginning, please click here.
For the casual visitor to Hua Hin, the biggest attraction here is the night market. Similar the ones spread all over Bangkok and most major Thai cities and towns. You can’t miss it, its right in the centre of town, happens every night of the year. Ask any local or your hotel, they’ll tell you what’s the fastest way to get there.
But to be clear there, are at least five night markets in Hua Hin (in addition to a few day markets). The biggest one is called just Chatchai or just Night Market and is located on the western end of Dechanuchit Alley from the railway tracks to the main Petchkasem Road. The other markets are Cicada Market (Artist market open on Fridays to Sundays only), Grand Night Market (in front of the Grand Hotel Plaza), and another nameless, smaller market. Out of the five, we managed to visit three of the five. We left Hua Hin on Thursday so we couldn’t make it for Cicada.
So on Tuesday, after spending the whole day visiting the floating market, Swiss Sweet Farm and Santorini Park, in the early evening, we took a slow walk down to the Night Market for dinner and a walkabout.
The walk from our hotel is slightly less than 2km, and it was interesting to see the shops and sights along the way. In the evenings, Hua Hin settles down into a quiet town.
There is no particular area called Chinatown here, but there are definitely a lot of Thais of Chinese descent, as evident in the shops in this row. Here’s a stall selling soya milk and herbal tea.
Apparently, sale of fireworks in Thailand is legal.
First stop at the Night Market is the pad thai stall. This stall was touted by a Thai vlogger as the best in town, so we gave it a try. We ordered 3 pad thai and one fried egg omelette (another local staple).
The dish on the left is the fried egg omelette. The pad thai was just okay, we definitely had much better in Bangkok (the very best being Thip Samai). Over the 5 days in Hua Hin we tried many pad thai, and most of them were average at best. I guess Bangkok is still the food centre.
The Night Market is very interesting, but rather small compared to Bangkok or Chiang Mai. But it is compact and varied in the stuff they sell, instead of the same few items repeated over many stalls.
Towards the end of the night market, there are a few restaurants displaying live seafood where they will grill it for you to eat.
We spent a lot time shopping for souvenirs for my friends and colleagues here.
After turning back from the market, we decided to go to Chatsila Market. This smaller market is actually on the next street, and there is an entrance from main night market. Chatsila is a quieter market, with more emphasis on souvenirs and handicraft.
At the entrance to Chatsila, there’s seating area surrounded by food stalls. We stopped here for some ice cream and mango sticky rice.
The latest trend in local markets is portraits done with airbrush.
At the end of Chatsila, there is a free museum of 60’s stuff on the first floor. I remember my family having a TV just like this.
Although I’ve seen a phone like this one.
Next – Hua Hin Hills Vineyard.