Monday, July 12, 2010

Plearn Wan

According to its website, Plearn Wan is ... “Center of joy and happiness ... stop the past in order to tell the various tales of Hua Hin in the past ... toward present”. In truth, it’s a giant wooden box stuffed full of people and shops. The design is said to reflect the not-so-distant past; looking and feeling decidedly retro. The slogan of almost everything at Plearn Wan is “as in the past”. Meaning you can eat, dress, shop and hang-out, as if it was fifty years ago.
You can browse an old skool pharmacy, record shop, general store, toy emporium, photography studio and more. Many souvenirs of the edible and collectable variety are available. There are also a couple of cafes where you can sit and relax with a coffee whilst reflecting on days gone by...
Highly popular with the local tourists due to the cutesy shops and numerous photo opportunities, it really is quite fun walking around the shops, snapping away and deciding which yummy desserts to try. There is also a mini theme park (with Ferris wheel) and even a hotel for those who want to brave the noise and stay the night.
I am told that in the day, the look and feel of Plearn Wan is quite different from the night and that it is excruciatingly packed. My Thai friends and I certainly had a pleasant time roaming the "streets" of Plearn Wan, experiencing a little bit of "old" Thailand and stuffing our bellies along the way. If you come to Hua Hin this slice of the past is well worth a visit for an hour.
 Getting there: it’s located on the main highway running into Hua Hin, about 5km before you hit the city proper. The drive from Bangkok is about 2-2.5 hours depending on traffic.
Times: open daily 11am – 12am.
Price: free entry, snacks around Bht 20-100

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