In Soi Ponsuk, the heart of Hua Hin’s ‘evening entertainment’ zone lies a beacon of hope for the enduring spirit of community and effort to earn a living, through honest hard work. Khun Darunee and members of the Ponsuk Women’s group craft and paint simple, wooden fans, which are on sale for Thai and international visitors in Hua Hin. The work is simple, but the fans certainly make a nice, small gift and support a good cause.
Contact: Darunee 086 314 0392
Prachuab Khirikhan province, including Hua Hin is famous in Thailand for delicious pineapples... Tucked around the corner of Phetchkasem Road, Soi 37, next to the Royal Palace, you will find an interesting row of local vendors, who have been supported by the Community Development Department, Hua Hin district, to sell local products, under the very successful ‘One Tambon, One Product’ (OTOP) scheme.
It’s worth making the journey to taste fresh Prachuab Khirikan pineapple, as well as typical Thai sweets and snacks made from preserved fruits. All vendors are registered with the OTOP scheme. The local vendors have limited English, but with a smile and a little patience, you will have a fun shop!
"Pom yaak chim saparot krup" spoken by a man or
"Chan yaak chim saparot ka" spoken by a woman
means "I would like to taste some pineapple please!"
The Royal Project shop is a great spot to enjoy a fragrant cup of organic coffee, top quality Oolong and herbal teas, and healthy snacks. This homely shop also sells fresh fruits and vegetables, preserved foods from Royal Project centers in Chiang Mai, and some charming souvenirs including handmade cotton scarves, fresh and dried flowers.
For over twenty years, the Royal Project Foundation, initiated by His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, has worked tirelessly to improve the livelihoods of remote, Thai highland communities. The Royal Project team has helped villagers to replace opium cultivation with chemical-safe agriculture, such as delicious, cool-climate fruits and vegetables. The Royal Project shops help to bring these products to the market.
Address: 214 Petchkasem Road, Hua Hin. (Next to Soi 84. )
Tel: 032-514 085
Thailand is a very friendly country. People always appreciate when a foreigner makes the effort to speak some Thai. Even just speaking a few words of Thai is enough to show your hosts that you are making an effort.
If you are in urban areas, where many people speak good English, you may find it more difficult to practice Thai. You will probably find that lots of people would prefer to practice their English with you!
If this is the case... head to the local markets. Have a bowl of noodles or a Thai coffee and chat to the owners. This is a great fun way to practice small-talk in Thai.
Traditional Thai massage is a highlight for many visitors to Thailand, and blind masseurs are renowned amongst Thai people for their expertise. At 'Thai Massage for Health by the Blind', guests can relax and enjoy a menu of traditional Thai massage treatments, including Thai foot and body massage and herbal compress, offered by trained and certified blind masseurs.*
Two clean and reputable salons are run by a friendly couple of retired teachers. They employ masseurs who have been trained at the well known Skills Development Center for the Blind in Koh Kret. The salon uses high-quality massage oils and lotions, including those produced in the local area.
*Note: Thai massage is intended to exercise the body, and can be vigorous. Always inform your masseur if have health problems, or you require a more gentle massage.
Opening times: Daily 07.00 – 21.00
Contact: 081 005 0327, 081 944 2174 (2 branches: Hua Hin Soi 37, and Nabkahad Rd)
Golden Place is a wonderful grocery store, bursting with delicious and healthy foods. Enjoy a wide range of carefully selected, fresh, high-quality products, including chemical-safe fruits and vegetables, salads, cereals, juices and cosmetics. This is also a recommended spot to taste Thai snacks, produced by local community groups.
Golden Place on the Hua Hin Green Map!
Golden Place takes sourcing seriously, making a sincere effort to support environmentally friendly agriculture and local producers. More than 70% of the shops’ products come from the HM the King's Royal Project, local farmers and community groups, including fruits and vegetables, mushrooms, dried fish and traditional Thai snacks.
Opening times: 24 hours
Contact: Branch 1 - 032 514 400; Branch 2 – 032 523 029
Head south down Phetchkasem Road, to Khao Takiab, and you will soon arrive at Cicada Market. The market has an innovative “open-mat, open mind, car-boot feel,” giving professional and amateur artisans a vibrant space to share and sell homemade arts and crafts, household ornaments, clothes and second hand goods. The Cicada team maintain a fresh and festive atmosphere by organizing regular workshops and stage shows by magicians, singers, orators, theatre troupes, dancers and photographers. An alfresco food garden completes the breezy ambiance. Friendly local youth also meet at Cicada to practice eye-catching dance routines.
Open: 16.00 – 22.00, every Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
More information: http://www.cicadamarket.com/
The Family Tree, for crafts, culture and community is a Fair Trade store, planted in Hua Hin, Thailand. Our blog will share our stories with you, as well as introduce inspiring places and people around Hua Hin, Thailand. Look here for a local insight.