2020 has been a special year. My wife and kids literally did not step out of our little apartment from March to June, and our usual trips back home to Singapore and Malaysia during summer vacation also wiped out due to the border closures.
That said, we can consider ourselves lucky to be in Amazing Thailand, where the situation is largely under control. It’s the perfect time for us to explore the country we live in and appreciate even more what it has to offer. We made a family road trip to Hua Hin last week, just to squeeze in a final getaway before school reopened.
|The kids enjoying the pool view in the morning.|
Then again, travelling is a touchy subject in this climate, as most of us are understandably still focused on keeping our families safe. Thus, instead of listing down my full itinerary, I will share some tips and tricks I learnt from this Hua Hin exercise for you to make a more informed decision should you decide to embark on a trip yourself.
1. Go on weekdays and avoid long weekends.
I understand that some attractions only open during weekends in Hua Hin, but keeping social distancing in mind, I highly-recommend going Thu-Sat or Sun-Tue instead of Fri-Sun.
This way, you not only get to enjoy part of the usual weekend vibe, you also give yourselves a couple of quiet days, likely a less-occupied accommodation, and the choice to avoid crowds.
2. Choose a hotel/resort that gives you a peace of mind.
For me, this has to be the basis of your trip-planning. Through some research and direct communication with the shortlisted accommodation, you should have a feeling whether it has done its due diligence to keep its guests safe.
|Thorough sanitization by Amari Hua Hin.|
My choice this time was Amari Hua Hin, as I understood how their new Onyx Clean initiative originated from a reaction to the pandemic. Their efforts started from the moment we arrived and their sanitization and crowd-control measures (splitting breakfast crowd to 3 timings, installation of sneeze guards for buffet stations, masked+gloved staff etc.) gave us a lot of assurance.
|Sneeze Guards installed for the buffet breakfast.|
They have also added many family-oriented activities to their repertoire, like a bigger Kids’ Club, cooking lessons, indoor movie screening and even beach-side boxing sessions, which was really an unforgettable experience. We ended up spending half our trip enjoying ourselves within a well-prepared beachside hotel.
|The amazing Muay Thai by the Beach experience.|
|Pizza-making class for the kids,|
3. Choose Nature
Whenever I make a roadtrip in Thailand, I will make sure I give my children a dose of nature, as a contrast to their everyday-life in the bustling city.
|Enjoying at Hua Hin beach.|
In this time, I feel it’s even more crucial for this, as not only do they get to learn about things they hardly get to see in Bangkok, they also gain access to space and fresh air.
|Long Rak Na|
Aside of the beach, which is not as crowded these days, we went to Long Rak Na, a restaurant overseeing a lake in Petchaburi on our way to Hua Hin, and Pran Buri Forest Walk, a spectacular mangrove walk just a short drive away from our hotel. If the weather was more forgiving, we would have gone to the vineyard in the vicinity as well.
|Viewing tower of Pran Buri Forest Walk.|
4. Hua Hin Favourites
I am happy to announce that many of our favourite attractions at Hua Hin are already open.
|Hua Hin Train Station|
We went to Hua Hin Night Market, which is open every night and the historical Hua Hin Train Station, which is in normal operation.
|Hua Hin Night Market|
Our all-time favourite haunt in Hua Hin, Cicada Market is also open every Friday to Sunday. I have to give a special mention to their Cicada Amphitheatre, which gave us a brilliant magic bubble show during our visit, one so intriguing that the audience stayed through to the end in spite of the unrelenting drizzle.
It is also good to know that precautions have been taken at many of these favourites and many vendors/visitors are wearing masks.
|Precautions taken at Cicada Market.|
5. Your own mentality
I can’t stress this enough.
At the end of the day, how much you enjoy a trip largely depends on your own attitude.
First and foremost, we have to do our part to be responsible for our family and the people around us.
Travelling in the new normal means we have to, at the very least, wear our masks and wash our hands as much as possible.
With sufficient research, we can also make sure we stay in and visit places that have made reasonable precautions.
One other challenge we faced during the trip was the rainy season. We worked our loose schedule around our limitations, even if we are clad in raincoats, holding umbrellas, or plain drenched, happily taking in everything Hua Hin had in store for us.
|New Normal Family Portrait!|
It was a great trip!