Ivana’s Journey in Hua Hin and its Region

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By Ivana Rukavina - Blue Lotus Culinary Instructor Intern

HOW IS IT TO LIVE AND WORK IN A LUXURIOUS THAI RESORT?

I work in a Blue Lotus - Learning Center for Plant Based Cuisine located inside of the beautiful Evason Six Senses resort. My job description is a culinary instructor – intern. If you are a passionate foodie, being at work - in the kitchen 9 hours/day is like being „on vacation“...but...at some point you might as well need a short break. Changing the routine or slowing down to speed up is just what you need!

If you are like me you most likely spend your free time thinking of what to see and do next. Having an urge to explore is more like a necessity to feel alive.

But, again, if that doesn't suit your needs it is completely fine because Evason Six Senses got you covered for long.

WHAT DO I RECOMMEND FOR A DAY TRIP?

As a true nature lover and passionate hiking beginner I decided to spend one of my Saturday hiking and then cooling down and relaxing somewhere on the beach with my Kindle in one and fresh young coconut in another hand.

(Google search and decision time approximately 3.46 sec in total)

That is how I discovered Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park to be the perfect place for doing so. More precisely, Phraya Nakhon Cave as my final destination.

It is located in Kui Buri District, Prachuap Khiri Khan Province, approximately a 45-minute car ride.

More about Khao Sam Roi Yot HERE.

Ideally, I would have used my bicycle to commute anywhere around, but this distance seemed fair enough to re-think my initial idea and RENT A MOTORBIKE. And…thankfully you have a nice selection of them waiting for you on the street just in front of the Evason’s pool!

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To rent a motorbike, you may set aside 200 Baht which is enough money to cover 24 hours rent and a full tank. Another useful tip is to make sure you fully charged your phone and packed your charger (preferably, a portable one) because you are going to use your navigation to reach the final destination (If not, you’re more adventurous then I could have imagined). Every motorbike has a little container close to steering wheel, and that’s the place I would have used to put off my phone and to be able to hear my navigation.

But…before we leave let me first get back to some other essentials you might consider using for this trip. So, obviously, going for a hike and riding a motorbike, requires of you to have a good pair of sneakers, sportswear (quick dry preferably), sun hat, water container, sports rucksack to fit everything in and - when in Thailand - a good quality sun cream protection, sunglasses and mosquito repellent. Don’t forget you are in the tropical zone and the Sun is not benevolent as you may have imagined. If you are not a fan of creams, try wearing long sleeves instead – very common practice for bikers here.

One more thing, wearing a helmet is a must! You don’t want to take a risk of being injured and tied to your bed for the rest of the week.

Now, that you are all set, press the gas and enjoy the ride! One of the things I found very relaxing is that there is no traffic jam on this road! Only you and a wind breeze, few other vehicles every now and then but plenty of beautiful landscapes to observe. You might have even gotten “in the zone” feeling but then there is a Google maps lady all set to remind you to stay grounded.

Suddenly, you arrive at a big parking lot just at the base of the mountain part. The parking will cost you 10 Baht and the entrance fee for climbing up through the National Park and all the way to the Cave around 300 Baht. (Before climbing up, you can refresh yourself with some fruit smoothies or fresh young coconuts available at the bars in front). Brace yourself for a serious number of stairs to climb.

On your way to the top you may fall in love with the breathtaking view of the beach and vastness of the ocean surrounding it. And just before you got all hooked up you start climbing down to find yourself within a bosket on a beautiful Laem Sala beach. I suggest to take a break and observe the spot but not for too long because there is better yet to come.

As I love being active, new stairs for me to climb up were like a playground to a kid…and you somehow always know that at the very end there is something special waiting for you to see. There it was. Phraya Nakhon Cave or King Rama’s shelter. He discovered it 200 years ago to hide from the storm. The total climb up to the Cave is about 430 meters.

There is a water well at the foot of the mountain known as Phraya Nakhon Well. It is made of baked clay bricks in a trapezoidal shape. 

Phraya Nakhon is a large cave which has a hole in the ceiling allowing sunlight to penetrate. During certain hours of the day, when the sunlight shines from a certain angle, the sinkhole opening illuminates a nice tone of light over the pavillion, creating a spectacular view.

Thing that I was fascinated most with were stalactite and stalagmite inside. You would be surprised how long does it take for Nature to build a little node (that will become stalagmite later). Mind your step, please! …and read the text below.

When you decide to go downhill again, refresh yourself with some fresh young coconut from a restaurant by the beach…and take some time to relax by the water. There is something purifying by just observing the rhythm of the waves.

Depending how early you started this trip, just be aware to drive back before it gets too dark. There are still some cool things to see and do on your way back, so make sure to see them before the sunset (by 6.30pm Pak Nam Pran is pretty dark).

FEELING HUNGRY?

I decided to treat myself in a beautiful organic restaurant “Chickens and bees”. Good shadow, organic garden, homemade toiletry and peacefulness were enough for me to stay longer than one could guess.
On my way back to Evason, I decided as well to stop by the night market where on Sunday there are some more stands than during the week. As crazy as one can be for little ripe, sweet and juicy pineapples I often go and by some to finish my day by the beachfront close to the resort.

FINISH OFF YOU DAY RIGHT…

But this time, going to Mali – Thai massage studio (close to resort) seemed like a better option. One of the things you can rarely get better elsewhere than here is a proper Thai massage.

“Sawadee ka” and “Kob Khun Ka” my ladies for making me sleep like a baby.