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Hello and welcome to our travel blog and we appreciate you dropping by! Our goal is simple – enjoy and experience life while we still have the health and energy to do so. Do that travel we’ve always wanted but didn’t get round to. Experience what traveling and living in other countries feels like. Revel in and enjoy the journey. Currently based in beachside Hua Hin on Thailand’s Gulf Coast, we are pursuing new passions. For Vivien, that’s learning Thai and helping others with English. For me, it’s writing and photography. For both of us it’s travel and being able to share our experiences with you here, and in publications that accept my writing. Enjoy reading! Michael & Vivien

We have set ourselves the goal that one day each week we will venture out for the day on a planned excursion so we can ‘discover’ what is actually in this region of Thailand. The other days of the week are spent doing the ‘normal’ things and learning our way around Hua Hin itself.

Our excursion this week was to Hua Hin Hills Vineyard – a self-described ‘New Latitudes’ winery.

Vivien and I had both worked in the hospitality industry at various stages of our lives. We had also visited many of the wine regions across Australia educating ourselves on the wines and wine history. We had also travelled to France, Italy and Spain and during these visits made the effort to learn a little about their wines and wine history.

We had some awareness of the term ‘New World Wines’ (describing wines from Australia, New Zealand, California, Chile, Argentina, etc.) and the traditions of ‘Old World Wines’ from Europe.  We had never heard of this term ‘New Latitude Wines’ so it was with a little trepidation that we made the trip out to Hua Hin Hills Vineyard.

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We’ve decided that one day each week we will set out for the day on a planned excursion so we can ‘discover’ what is actually in this region of Thailand. Obviously, the other days of the week are spent learning our way around Hua Hin itself. Our first planned excursion was to Pala-U waterfall within the Kaeng Krachan National Park.

Kaeng Krachan was established as a National Park in 1981 and is the largest in Thailand, covering an area of 2,915 sq km and sits right next to the Myanmar (Burmese) border. The waterfall is on the southern side of the national park and is about 60 kilometres northwest of Hua Hin so it makes for a good day out in the country.

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In our first week in Hua Hin, our Airbnb host (Anya) suggested that we visit the Cicada Market which was less than a 10-minute walk from our accommodation. They only happen Friday through to Sunday evenings each week from 5 pm to around 10 pm and located towards the southern end of Hua Hin. Anya told us Cicada Market is a great place to spend an evening and we could even get a very economical and tasty meal from the vendors in the food zone of the market.

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A day at the beach – a favourite outing!

The Hua Hin region is blessed with several beach options.

The main beach of Hua Hin stretches south some 7km from the town centre (around the Hilton Hotel) to Khao Takiab mountain. The beach can be walked end to end at most times other than high tide.

Many resorts and hotels front onto the beach and typically will have their own sun lounges and umbrellas set up for guest use.

At other spots along the beach, local restaurants or cafes that front the beach will also have their sun lounges and umbrellas set up for hire by members of the public. The going rate for a sun lounge is approx 100 Baht for the day ($4 Australian equivalent).

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In Hua Hin, like many other communities in Thailand, Songthaews are a very economical way of getting around town – for expats like us, visitors and locals alike.

In our area, Green Songthaews and White Songthaews have routes past our front door leading into town or away to outlying areas. Whether you own a car or not, often the Songthaew is the easiest and most cost-effective way to get around town.

Parking in the centre of town and some other locations is difficult as is the one way main street with limited spots to do U-turns and then there are the simply crazy drivers! The Songthaew is a more relaxed option.

Songthaews (literally meaning “two rows”) are covered pick-up trucks with two rows of seating in the back for passengers. They function like local buses in Hua Hin and there are 4 main routes. The Songthaew is the cheapest form of public transport, and you don’t have to worry about haggling when taking these local “buses”.

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