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Posts Tagged ‘hua hin’

04
Feb

In love with Hua Hin

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News

 

Top 10 movies of 2015 
 

Listen to the podcast on our countdown to the Top 10 movies of 2015 (Rano and Del’s) and also the disappointments and our horribles section.

 

  
 

Up, up and away…  
 


My week stay at Sheraton Pranburi Villa at Hua Hin, Thailand. Truly love this place and the greenery.
 

Blogging away by the poolside and enjoying the breeze
 

This week has been amazing on many levels. The journey of learning, discovering and recovering have never felt compelling to the extent that I felt lighter, confused and amazed, all at once. It’s something that I couldn’t verbalize and I’m thankful to my friends who felt my expression. I am happy that I made this trip to the beautiful Hua Hin and thumbs up to Sheraon Pranburi Villa for their awesome hospitality since day one.

This is the second city I’ve visited this year and there are more to come (Vietnam, KL, KK and Taipei) in the coming two months for work and toastmasters. Despite the traveling, I’m slowly beginning to feel the pinch in terms of the Brunei economy. If SMEs are not doing well, then it will have downstream effect and even my revenue stream will have some impact, be it big or small. Now it’s the ideal time to plan for the year which I hardly do or just not my habit to do so. This is a reality and it’s something I have to be mindful on the decisions I make especially when it comes to time and money.

I haven’t been updating on a regular basis since my days in Hua Hin were quite packed and I chose the spare time to catch up with my buddies or just spend some alone time on my own. It feels great once again to type out my thoughts while enjoying the breeze by the poolside at Sheraton Pranburi Villa. How I wish I can blog in this kinda of environment, feeling peaceful and yes, my mind feels freer as compared to when I blog in the comfort of my room (the irony).

I kinda miss what’s going in Brunei after MIA for the past week. Usually I will be craving for local stories in the morning to see what’s interesting or what not. Now… mmmm… not so much. I choose to be in the moment and that is making the most of my time while in Hua Hin. Today’s news though caught my interest as it was on my IG feed where His Majesty the Sultan paid a visit to International School of Brunei early today. It was also the first visit by our monarch to the relocated ISB.

Now I tell you what I’m looking forward being back – tennis and The Revenant. Oh yea, I can’t believe the Oscar nominated film is showing in Brunei cinemas. Woohooo… I couldn’t manage to catch it while abroad but blessed it’s now showing in Brunei. Del Goh rated this movie as one one of his honourable mentions in his Top 10 movies of 2015. Who knows The Revenant could be in one of my Top 10 in 2016. And tennis, I just miss whacking the ball and I can feel that I’m out of shape especially in the fitness department.

Congratulations goes to Jaz Hayat on his new single which also available on iTunes. He has been MIA for quite some time and now he’s back with a bang, a new released single called “Dari Mata”. Just like Aziz Harun and Eia, he’s also another star in the making. We need more artistes and talents in Brunei. All the best, Jaz, and truly like the countdown on social media as a teaser to your single. Do check his single out and download on iTunes.

That’s it for me today and let me just enjoy the breeze and the music by the poolside. Life is just awesome 😀

  
 

28
Apr

Forgive me

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News

 

Hua Hin Trip 



Now previously known as Sixth Sense has been taken over by Sheraton and the villas have been renamed as Sheraton Hua Hin Pranburi Villas


The service is still excellent especially when we were checking in

Good morning, readers!!! If you have been following my on instagram, you would probably know where I am right now. Yes, I have been away for quite some time now and I’m still here at Sheraton Hua Hin Pranburi Villas, Hua Hin, Thailand. I was here exactly 5 years ago at the same place but it was under Evason Sixth Sense. Now half of the hotel area (the villa side) has been taken over by Sheraton (under Starwood). There were some minor changes but the most thing I truly missed is the personalised butler that we use to have. I recalled I was requesting for an iron and iron board. The lady butler came to our villa with the items but she did an extra more which was ironing my clothes on the spot *lol* Now that’s what I call service. Since the new management, we don’t enjoy that privilege anymore.

The villas are awesome as always and I highly recommend to friends who simply want to get away from the hustle and bustle of Thailand. This is my third trip to Hua Hin and it’s about a 3 hour ride from Bangkok too. I love the quietness and it’s a place where I could just relax my mind and think less about unnecessary things such as work and even my blog *lol*

We are quite fortunate to have a very good rate for our villas and it costs us USD 350 per night. Our room is a two story villa and my bed is located at the living room area while my buddies are sleeping upstairs. We have a mini private pool as well and a small jacquzzi. The wifi is pretty fast as well. It’s as fast as 18-19 megs. Awesome but it can lagged especially at night time. I would have to say that the wifi is way better than the dongle mifi I rented (BND 85 for a week) and it’s only 3 megs at best.

So peeps, I won’t be blogging for a while now.. Maybe I will back in two days’ time. I’m gonna enjoy the last few days here in Hua Hin.

 


Our two story villa 😀


Swimming at our private pool


We can rent bikes from the villas and cycle around the area to explore. Very convenient.


Night time at Sheraton Pranburi Villas


Hanging out with my buddies


Sarina is having a blast this trip. Full of joy and laughter.


My friends’ villa


Trying out the Sixth Sense Spa next door with my buddies

  

16
Jun

#AreYouHappy?

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News

 

Late post: Hua Hin Trip 
 

Late post: My recent trip to Hua Hin. There were some pending stories for me especially on my trip to Hua Hin sponsored by Royal Brunei Airlines with the support of Tourism Authority of Thailand. My followers on my instagram would know of my updates on my travel logs but I have yet to share my complete experience here on my blog. Another reason for the delay is the recent situation at Thailand where curfews were imposed. So now, not to worry and this is a major boost to increase the numbers of tourism in Thailand especially in Bangkok. The media, bloggers and travel agents were treated to a 5 day trip to Bangkok and Hua Hin so we can share with you all the places of interest in both places.

Hua Hin itself is a 3 hour bus ride and yea, I bet most of you are familiar with Phuket and Pattaya but Hua Hin is one of the most under-rated places in Thailand. I remember heading there back in 2010 and this time, things have changed rapidly and slowly it’s beginning to pick up the pace in bringing more attraction to the foreigners. I myself was impressed with the recent developments and after visiting many places of interest in Hua Hin, I’m beginning to appreciate the city more.

One of the places that we visited at Hua Hin is the Premium Outlet Cha-Am which was quite a fair ride but it’s worth it for sure. You will be able to look for tons of brand items in a discounted price and I did some shopping of my own too. You can find brands such as Adidas, Levis, Samsonite and Diesel to name a few.

 


Good news for travelers and if you ask me frankly, the situation was calmer than what was reported in the papers. But this is a huge boost that the curfew has been lifted just last weekend
 


Our Bangkok-Hua Hin trip last may sponsored by Royal Brunei Airlines
 


One of my favourite shopping place at Hua Hin is the factory outlet at Cha-am. It’s fair ride from Hua Hin city (about 30 mins or so) and there are tons of big brands too
 


Of course, this was my first pitstop at the factory outlet 😀
 


Since I’m blogging about my experience of the FAM Trip, I would like to acknowledge my huge thanks to Pinky who handled us pretty well. She’s such a committed and dedicated ground handler.

Swiss Sheep Farm. I really don’t know why these places are getting popular. When we reach there, there were quite a number of tourists there. It is located on Phetkasem Rd. opposite Santorini Park on the way to Hua Hin – Cha-am. The scenic views are pretty good and yes, you get to experience some sheep feeding too. Anyway, there weren’t just sheep there but you will get to see horses and ponies too. This is also an ideal place to take photos. I saw a billboard saying that there will be having sheep racing soon and I don’t know how that works *lol*

 


Group photo with the Brunei representatives at Swiss Sheep Farm
 


It’s feeding time…
 


The weirdest thing at the Swiss Sheep Farm is that you will find things not related to ….. sheep *lol* Here you see Azim and KC hogging on to a Hulk sculpture
 


Another odd thing to see this classic car at the area
 


I’m not sure what character is this
 


You can go on a horsey ride

Santorini Park Cha-am. This is a humungous park and very ideal if you come as a family or big groups. If you heard of the word Santorini, well, it’s a city in Greece and the theme park is structured in a way that it will give a Greek impression too. You will notice from the classic whitewashed buildings, colourfully painted windows, down to stone-paved paths and domed towers which will give you a feel of being in Greece. What more can you ask for? Impressive lineup of shops, restaurants and an amusement park and it feels it’s like one stop centre. The Santorini Park Cha-Am is open everyday too. Just check out the pictures below.

 


There’s a trick eye museum as well
 


This slide is awesome.. You slide on a tube and land on a bouncer.
 


Now this is interesting but we didn’t give this a try since we didn’t have enough time
 


The Thai Boxing machine was pretty cool. I had a run with @marul69 which lasted for 3 minutes and it’s cheap too.
 


There’s also a haunted house
 


Good thing about the Santorini Park is that they have small shops, a few of them including an Adidas store 😀
 


It had desserts at one of the cafes at Santorini Park
 


The restroom at Santorini Park is pretty unique

The Venezia Hua Hin. This was one of our pitstops and we were given a short period of time to wander around. It’s also one of the newest theme shopping and attraction village in Hua Hin. This is like a shopping village and compared to the rest, this is a great place to take photos with (add plenty of romantic photo opportunities) plus a couple of attractions and entertainment venues. A great place to eat and shop and take awesome pictures.

With 73,600 sq.m. and 316 shops, the park is immense and even includes a 200 meter ‘Grand Canal’ on which you can actually get a ride on iconic Venetian gondolas. Colorful mediterranean houses, shops and terraces are lined up on each side of the canal which ends in front of an Italian looking garden and two large church-like buildings: one is a Villa-Market (imported products supermarket) an the other a mini zoo. So if you happen to be at Hua Hin, do drop by these places.

 


How Venezia in Hua Hin looks like
 


There is also a mini train that bring you around. It’s not as happening as Santorini since there isn’t any theme rides
 


At Venezia in Hua Hin
 


A shopping area at Venezia but somehow lacking the traffic despite having good brands
 


Yay!! Another Adidas store at Venezia in Hua Hin
 

  

22
May

#CalmingTheStorm

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News

 

X-Men Days of Future Past 

 


Last night we caught the sneaks of X-Men Days of Future Past at The Mall Cineplex. Play our podcast featuring @delgoh and I reviewing the upcoming blockbuster from Marvel. Will it break the box office weekend record?


  


Beautiful Thailand 
 

(Part I) 
 

I’ve been to Bangkok quite a few times but this was my first familiarisation trip organised by Royal Brunei Airlines and Tourism Authority of Thailand and I’m very fortunate and privilege to be part of this experience. Whatever you see in the news about the political situation in Thailand doesn’t reflect what I saw with my own eyes in Bangkok. Business is as usual and perhaps what we read in the papers or online only affects a tiny portion of the country. Even with the recent martial law by The Royal Thai Army, everything is still going as usual.

I have to thank Royal Brunei Airlines for the opportunity and our ground handler (Richard, Pinky, Nora and Melissa) for helping us throughout the 5 days experience. We had two night stay at Hua Hin and two night stay at Bangkok and I learnt quite a lot of things that Thailand has to offer.

I will share some pictures of my recent adventure in Thailand and there will be more of them in my later post. Thank you once again for the opportunity. I would really love to explore more places in Thailand for sure.

The hotel that we stayed in Hua Hin was Amari Hua Hin and the prices are quite competitive as well. I was just checking on booking.com and you can get a good deal for less than BND 300 for two nights. That’s a great deal indeed.

The rooms are pretty spacious and I kinda enjoyed my stay at Amari Hua Hin. I regretted not to have swam in the main pool but then again, there’s always next time 😀 For you info, Hua Hin is about 300km or 3 hours from Bangkok. You will be surprised to see how they offer great rates as I was checking on booking.com. The prices do vary but the current one that I check is estimated below BND 300 for two nights. Awesome deal!!

It’s a ten minute drive to the Hua Hin City and night market and it has great facilities and I would recommend the Amari Hua Hin if you happen to drop by this area. I also like jogging at Hua Hin since it’s not that heavy of a traffic as compared to Bangkok. The hotel is not far from the beach shoreline but beaches in Brunei are much better.


Highly recommend the Amari Hua Hin
 


The rooms are spacious and lots of amenities and of course, free wifi
 


The reception area of Amari Hua Hin. Taken from their website.
 


The exterior view of Amari Hua Hin. Taken from their website.

Chatsila Night Market. It is located in a small square though it was quite a fair walk around. Inside the square, they sell cheap clothes, handicrafts and other novelty stuff. This market is ideal when visited at night. Of course, when I say night market, you will get cheap due to the inferior branded products. For instance, you get a branded name sunnies for only 100 baht or less. That’s like 3-4 dollars. I prefer to shop around the Hua Hin Floating Market because of its uniqueness. Refer the story below for more details.

 


The community and the people have high respect for their King
 


Chatsila night market at Hua Hin, Thailand
 


T-shirts are selling as low as 120 to 100 baht (3-5 dollars) each
 


Cheap sunnies every where
 


How the interior looks like

Hua Hin Floating Market. If you are bored of the usual night market, then try out the Hua Hin Floating Market which is an interesting place for tourist. The market features a man made lake and there are plenty of shops as you walk around the lake. Clothes are cheap, cheap, cheap and great place to buy souvenir as well. I kinda like the concept which has this 1920s feel to it and it has a circular layout with the man made lake in the middle. So do visit the Floating Market if you have the chance.

 


The Floating Market Hua Hin
 


I realised that the anchor design t-shirts are a plenty in the market
 


You can get a short boat ride to tour around the lake of the Floating Market
 


This colourful century eggs are eye catchy
 


The texture is softer according to one of the travel agents
 


Now have you seen a poached version of quail eggs? This seems to be double the cholesterol and one plate only costs 20 baht which is like 5 cents or less. Damn….
 


Gek feeding the goat at the Floating Market
 


You can buy the bottle of milk to feed them
 

  
 

18
May

#HuaHin

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News

 

Godzilla (2014) 

 

Check out our review of the current blockbuster Godzilla (2014). Click play to listen to our podcast with co-host Del Goh and special guest Seng Yee

  

 

Hua Hin adventure 
 


Representatives from Royal Brunei Airlines travel agents and members of the local media and bloggers before heading off to Bangkok and Hua Hin, Thailand
 

Hello peeps!! I’m currently outstation once again (nothing surprising there). This time, it’s the trip sponsored by Royal Brunei Airlines @royalbruneiair and I’m traveling with local media, one blogger and representatives from travel agents of RB. I will be away for a few days and be back shortly before I stay put in Brunei for another ten days before I head off again. Yea, this year, it seems I’m a certified jet setter.

I won’t be posting much pictures just yet but I shall tease you with a few. The FAM (Familiarization) trip focuses on Hua Hin and Bangkok. Yea, we all are familiar with cities such as Phuket or Pattaya outside of Bangkok but not so much on Hua Hin. I went there once back in 2010 and stayed at the Six Sense Hua Hin which was such a great experience (and pricey too).

Hua Hin is quieter than Bangkok and Pattaya but it’s slowing developing into one of the tourist destination. The last I recalled my visit to Hua Hin, it was a pretty relaxed and chill city and there aren’t many shopping places either. Fast forward to 2014, the city has definitely changed in terms of development but not so much on entertainment.

I shall update on my journey in my next post. I’m out of here. Adios.


Always happy to bump into my sister who’s busy on duty at the Brunei International Airport
 


It was almost a full flight. Most of the passengers were from our group and another by Brunei Unicity group.
 


I managed to get a DTAC sim card for my data prepaid plan while in Thailand. Only costs me 299 baht for a week of data. That’s roughly BND 10 and it comes with the sim card as well. Service was efficient as I had my line activated and all that help in less than 3 minutes. Do find this counter at the arrival area of the airport.
 


We had a quick lunch and this restaurant is pretty good indeed. It serves halal food and located nearby the airport. Ideal for groups and families and the restaurant is called Al-Hilal Restaurant
 


Pretending to drive the cart with everybody’s luggage upon arrival at Amari Hua Hin *huhu*
 


Loving the room at Amari Hua Hin. Not exactly sure of the price but it’s pretty reasonable I heard.
 


Always in my messy state after a day or so 😀
 


One of the night markets called Chatsila and things are pretty darn cheap
 


Yea, tons of fake stuff here. Sunnies selling as low as BND 2 to 3 each.
 


Looks like voodoo dolls to me
 

  
 

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