does Thailand celebrate lunar new year_featured

Does Thailand Celebrate Lunar New Year?

Lunar new year is coming soon in January 2023. Another name for the Lunar New Year is Chinese New Year. The origin of the name Lunar New Year is the new year according to the lunar calendar, that the Chinese people follow. In Thailand, it is one of the celebrations that people have during the year. Do you celebrate the Lunar New Year in your country? If you are curious about Lunar New Year celebration in Thailand, this post is for you.

Table of Contents

Lunar New Year in Thailand

According to a survey by Thailand’s National Institute of Development Administration (NIDA), as much as up to 25% of Thais are of Chinese descent. This makes Lunar New Year one of the “festivities” in Thailand for Thai Chinese (although not as big as the Thai new year or international new year). 

Lunar New Year in Thailand happens in the same time period as celebrations in other countries. However, unlike in China where it is a long public holiday, Lunar New Year in Thailand is not a public holiday. Nonetheless, Lunar New Year in Thailand is widely celebrated among Thai Chinese.

China town Bangkok

does Thailand celebrate lunar new year_china town bangkok

Without question, you can find the biggest Thai Chinese community of all Thailand in China town Bangkok (located in Yaowarat Road). We just went there on our last trip to Bangkok, and it was our first time in China town.

There are so many people in China town. So many restaurants and eateries by the road. You will never run out of food options when you are in the area.

Other than being famous for delicious food, China town in Bangkok is also famous for its gold shops. 

So, does Thailand celebrate Lunar New Year?

For most Thai Chinese yes, and the festivities tend to focus around areas with significant Thai Chinese population like around China town in Bangkok. However, the festivities welcome everyone who wants to participate.

Thai Chinese usually follow the Chinese tradition like a family gathering at home, visiting relatives, collect red packets from relatives, etc. Other Thais usually join the celebration in popular areas like China town where there might be lion dance performing on the street and other fun festivities happening.

Taiwan vs Thailand: differences and similarities

The best time to travel to Thailand

Thailand vs Vietnam: Similarities and Differences

Taiwan vs Thailand_city

Taiwan vs Thailand: differences and similarities

If we had to rank our favourite Asian countries, Taiwan and Thailand would be among our top picks. Having lived in both countries, we will be sharing our take on similarities/differences between Taiwan vs Thailand. 

Table of Contents

Where is Taiwan vs Thailand?

First off, where is Taiwan? Taiwan is very near to Hong Kong (flight between the two places is around 1.5-2h). It is in the north of the Philippines and the south of Japan (the nearest place in Japan to Taiwan is Okinawa island). Taiwan’s biggest/main island is around 394 km at its maximum length. It stretches a long distance between the north and the south part of the island. But not so much between the west and east parts). Taiwan is part of the East Asia region, along with other countries like Japan, Korea, and China.

Thailand, on the other hand, is in the Southeast Asia region. Thailand also stretches a great distance north to south, similar to Taiwan.

Taiwan vs Thailand: how similar are they?

Asian culture with Buddhism influence

Both countries share the same Asian culture, heavily influenced by the Buddhism belief. You can see a lot of temples when you visit these two countries. Temples are even part of many tourists’ itineraries, especially those who are keen to learn about the country’s culture. You can check this website for more info about temples you can visit while in Taiwan and this one for temples in Thailand. Many tourists visit temples in these countries not only for cultural immersion purposes, but also to enjoy and learn about the beautiful architecture in the temples. Oftentimes, these temples have great architecture, and some might want to take photos in those temples!

Does Thailand Celebrate Lunar New Year?

Street food and night market experience

Both Taiwan and Thailand have a strong street food and night market culture. Night markets are places where you can find a lot of street food vendors selling snacks, game stations, food stalls with open tables around the walking aisles, and vendors selling miscellaneous items. There is no formula of what defines a ‘night market’ other than the fact that these markets open only in the evening.

There are plenty of famous night markets in Taiwan that tourists always go to, both for fun and also to fix their meals. In Thailand, we also saw a lot of night markets. However, the size and the fame of night markets in Thailand is not at par with the ones in Taiwan. One of the most famous night markets in Taiwan is Shilin, and there is even a Taiwanese fried chicken vendor named after it. Find out more about Taiwan night markets here. Also find a list of famous Thailand night markets.

Cicada market in Hua Hin offers a lively atmosphere where visitors can find delicious street food and other locally made wares.

Bountiful agricultural produce

Both Thailand and Taiwan are blessed with bountiful natural resources. Fruits and vegetables in both countries are of high quality. For example, you must have heard of the famous Thai jasmine rice right? And you must have heard of the famous Taiwanese guava.

Whenever we eat in any of these countries, we are always amazed with the high quality of the vegetables, fruits and fresh seafood that are available for us. In many other countries, to enjoy such quality agricultural products people will need to pay a premium. You will understand this when you go for a hotpot in these countries. Having great quality ingredients is very important for hotpot and it can make or break your hotpot experience. 

Taiwan vs Thailand_Vegetable

Vegetables in Taiwan are so fresh that some restaurant would allow you to pick vegetables for your own dish!

Travel destination that offers both city and nature experience

Both Taiwan and Thailand offer you metropolitan city experience as well as more nature-focused trails around the mountains or seaside areas. We have covered about places you should visit in Thailand including the big cities and scenic areas in our previous post. Taiwan has varying natural landscapes that you can enjoy besides the big cities like Taipei, Taichung and Kaohsiung.

Some famous natural scenic spots in Taiwan include Taroko Gorge in the north, Green Island in the east and Kenting beach in the south. Green Island is also famous as an amazing diving site.

Taiwan vs Thailand_Jiufen

Jiufen is famous for its old street and scenic view known to have been used as a reference for the famous animation, Spirited Away. While Jiufen is only an hour ride away from Taipei, the spot is surrounded by nature.

Taiwan vs Thailand: what are the differences?

Is Thai food from Thailand or Taiwan?

Thai food, as the name suggests, comes from Thailand and not Taiwan. Food in both countries are different in terms of the way the food is prepared. The spices and herbs used are also different. We have covered the topic on herbs that are commonly used in Thailand in our previous post.

Thai cuisine often uses galangal, lime, basil, lemongrass, chili and the likes to give the aromatic herbal fragrance and flavor. There are a lot of spicy foods in Thailand that you need to be aware of when you order local food. Some food like “som tam” ส้มตำ is spicy by default. And this means, you will need to request less chili if you cannot handle too much spiciness. The usage of fermented shrimp (aka “Nam Prik Kapi “ in Thai) and fermented fish is also common in Thai cuisine. 

Taiwanese food, on the other hand, use herbs and spices as well but not to the same extent as Thai food does. Other than cilantro, garlic, chili, basil and Chinese parsley (aka cilantro), Taiwanese food gets its taste from seasonings. The typical Taiwanese seasonings include soy sauce, rice wine, sesame oil, fermented black beans, pickled radish, chili oil, to mention a few. 

Language and culture

Taiwan predominantly uses traditional Chinese as its main language in the country. You can see English commonly used in bigger cities like Taipei, Taichung and Kaohsiung. On the other hand, Thailand uses Thai as its main language in the country. Check out our dedicated post on Thai language here. People in bigger cities are mostly comfortable conversing in English as they have a lot of interactions with overseas tourists.

Culturally, from the perspective of someone who lived there before, Taiwan is heavily influenced by both Chinese and Japanese culture. Japan being one of our favorite countries, we really enjoyed the influence of Japanese culture in Taiwan. Taiwanese are very polite, highly value cleanliness, order in the society and also environment preservation! Taiwanese do take their trash recycling seriously, similar to the Japanese.

Thailand has a strong culture on its own – which to a certain extent is influenced by Buddhism that is the main religion in the country. No country has ever colonized Thailand and this helped to preserve the purity of its culture. Being part of the Southeast Asian region, it also shares some similarities to the neighboring countries’ culture. 

Geographic location and weather

Geographically, Taiwan is in higher latitude compared to Thailand. Taiwan is a standalone island and does not share any land border with other countries. Whereas Thailand shares land borders with other countries like Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and Malaysia. 

The geographic location of Taiwan gives this country 4 seasons. However, the distinction between the seasons is not as high when compared to Japan or Korea. The spring and autumn seasons in Taiwan are relatively shorter compared to those in Japan or Korea. You can distinguish Thailand weather mainly as rainy / wet or dry seasons. Around November to February, Thailand experiences “winter” (no snow though!) where the weather is less hot and less humid. Check out our post on Thailand weather here.

Infrastructure development

Taiwan is a small country with well-developed infrastructure. Going around different places in Taiwan, from north to south, can be super convenient. Taiwan has high speed rail (HSR) that can bring you from north (Taipei) to south (Kaohsiung) in less than 3 hours. There are local trains as well that can bring you to the smaller towns throughout the island. We have tried taking local trains from Taipei to Fulong beach and also from Taipei to Taroko Gorge. The trains are very reliable, clean and comfortable.

Within big cities like Taipei or Kaohsiung, you can travel easily using public transport. This includes MRT, buses or rental bikes (in Taipei it’s called Youbike). 

Thailand is bigger in terms of size and therefore infrastructure development varies across the country. Infrastructure is well-developed in cities like Bangkok, however in smaller towns it is still relatively underdeveloped.

Bangkok has underground trains and sky trains (BTS) as well as a well-developed bus transport system. The trains are convenient to use and quite safe. Despite the bus system being well-developed and having great coverage, we would not recommend non-locals to take it. You will understand why we say this when you read more about safety precautions while in Thailand. 

You can easily travel within cities or between cities using Taiwan’s rail system. Taiwan’s high speed rail is efficient, clean and convenient – which would remind you of Japan.

If you still confuse the two, you must visit them!

Thailand is a home country for us and Taiwan is one of our favorite places to visit and to live in. Both places are lovely and you should visit both if you have not. The experience will be quite different, in a good way. For holidays, the two countries are both relaxing.

You can do island hopping in Thailand, enjoy the bountiful fresh and affordable seafood while watching the picturesque sunset with Singha beer in your hand. Then you can go to Bangkok, do some shopping and pamper yourself with an aromatic Thai massage afterwards.

In Taiwan, you can visit Taipei and travel to other parts of the country using HSR, explore the various night markets and eat plenty of hotpot. If you are bored with city life, go to Taroko Gorge to enjoy the seaside and hike in the national park. Or you can take a ferry to Green Island, ride a scooter and explore the whole island in 1-2 days.

Having said all that, Thailand is now fully open to tourists. You do not need to quarantine yourself upon arrival. There is not even a check process anymore for vaccination status. However, in Thailand, you still see many people wearing masks. On the other hand, Taiwan accepts travelers now (no quarantine is needed), however there is a 7 day self-initiated epidemic prevention upon arrival. Masks are still mandatory for indoor settings in Taiwan.

Both sound amazing, don’t they? Explore our other posts on Thailand:

Thailand vs Vietnam_featured

Thailand vs Vietnam: Similarities and Differences

As travel is starting again, many are looking for a getaway spot in Southeast Asia. Thailand and Vietnam are both great and popular destinations. If you are not Southeast Asia native, you might not know the difference in Thailand vs Vietnam each offers. Learn more about the two countries, their similarities and differences before deciding your trip!

Table of Contents

Thailand vs Vietnam: Location

Thailand vs Vietnam_locations

Thailand and Vietnam are neighboring countries in Southeast Asia. In fact, a flight from Bangkok to major cities in Vietnam like Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh takes less than two hours! Both countries have a fair share of mountain ranges as well as coastal areas.

The key difference between Thailand vs. Vietnam is A) their neighboring countries and B) latitude

A) Thailand is connected to Myanmar at the west, Laos at the east, Cambodia in the southeast, and Malaysia at the south. Whereas, Vietnam is connected to China in the north, Cambodia and Laos in the west. Vietnam faces the South China Sea at its east. 

B) Vietnam stretches further north connecting to southern China hence slightly cooler weather in Northern Vietnam. During winter, the winter wind blows from China blow directly into the northern part of Vietnam. On the other hand, Thailand is lower in latitude and therefore it has warmer weather.

Thailand vs Vietnam: Vacation Style

Both countries have bountiful nature of mountains and seas so you can enjoy mountain ranges, beach and islands. However, Thailand has slightly more developed large cities like Bangkok where you can find a lot of shopping malls, skyscrapers, and transportation modes like underground and BTS trains. Having said that, Vietnam is developing rapidly and it will certainly catch up soon!

Also, as we just recently came back from Vietnam, we would say Thailand is more walkable generally than Vietnam. We use Bangkok vs Hanoi as comparison here (both are capital cities of each country). Bangkok still has more pedestrian paths where pedestrians can actually walk. Also, crossing the street feels safer in Bangkok because people respect the traffic rules. On the other hand, in Hanoi there are so many motorcycles (and also cars at the same time). Crossing the street / road is challenging because motorcycles and cars do not stop even when the pedestrian light is green.

Thai vs Vietnamese: Language

Thai and Vietnamese language have similarities but there are more differences between the two. Both languages are tonal and the characters will indicate the tones. Both Thai and Vietnamese languages are also phonetic, meaning you can look at the words and pronounce them directly.

There are 5 tones in the Thai language whereas in Vietnamese there are 6. The Thai language is part of the Tai language family, which originates from an area at the border between Vietnam and China. On the other hand, the Vietnamese language is part of Austro-Asiatic language family. That means it comes from similar roots as Khmer in Cambodia and several other languages spoken by minority groups in the surrounding regions.

There are different external influences for each language. The Thai language is influenced by the Sanskrit language whereas the Vietnamese language is influenced by French and Chinese.

Make sure to check out more info on Thai language in our other dedicated post

Thai vs Vietnamese: Food and Beverages

Thai and Vietnamese food are similar in terms of the herbs and raw vegetables that they serve with their dishes. Both dishes use a lot of basil and lime in their cooking. Also, fresh vegetables at the side or as part of the food are also common. Other than that, fish sauce as part of the seasoning is commonplace. 

However, in general Vietnamese food is lighter in taste and texture compared to Thai food. Thai food is also generally more greasy and makes use of ingredients with heavy taste and texture like coconut milk. For food with gravy/soup, Vietnamese food typically has clear soup whereas Thai food has both. There is more stir frying involved in Thai cuisine compared to Vietnamese cuisine. Vietnamese cuisine on the other hand has a lot more fresh vegetables in their dishes / salads. 

In terms of beverages, there are less popular Vietnamese drinks compared to Thai drinks that people know globally. Thai drinks that are popular among the general crowd include Thai milk tea, butterfly pea tea drinks, and also to a smaller extent Thai coffee. The most popular Vietnamese drink that most people know is Vietnamese coffee (drip coffee). We have a more detailed discussion on the differences between Thai vs Vietnamese coffee in our dedicated article. 

Thailand vs Vietnamese: which one should you visit?

It depends. If you are into a mix of metropolitan city and nature side experiences, Thailand might be your pick. Bangkok as the capital of Thailand is very developed and it is easy to move around in the city with the BTS/underground MRT infrastructure. You can go to the outskirt area or even nearby beach/mountain area for a weekend trip too. 

We have been from northern to southern Vietnam and loved every bit of it, however, the big cities in Vietnam like Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) are still not as developed as Bangkok. If you do not mind the slight inconvenience (e.g. taking a cab or Uber everywhere rather than taking the train), you can visit Ho Chi Minh (HCMC) or Hanoi and famous nature spots like Ha Long Bay too!

Localise your experience in Asia with us!

Thai coffee vs Vietnamese coffee_featured

Thai coffee vs Vietnamese coffee: the authentic coffee taste

We have covered the different types of Thai coffee extensively, along with the calories content in the coffee beverages. Now we will cover the difference between Thai coffee vs Vietnamese coffee. A lot of people who come to Southeast Asia and visit both countries often ask this question. Perhaps it is because the coffee culture in both countries is very strong. Vietnamese coffee is, in itself, very popular due to its strength and also the uniqueness of serving the coffee. While we ourselves have had more than a dozen of trips to Vietnam, we also tap into our own Vietnamese friends to give more local insights into Vietnamese coffee. Let’s find out!

Table of Contents

Authentic Thai coffee beverages

Let’s recap a bit on Thai coffee. We have extensively discussed this in the previous article. In general, there are different types of Thai coffee depending on the ingredients, especially whether it has milk and what type of milk it contains. All of these types of Thai coffee beverages use traditional ground Thai coffee.

If we were to summarize, these are the main four types of Thai coffee beverage:

  • Thai iced coffee(“กาแฟเย็น”): coffee + condensed milk + evaporated milk + sugar
  • Oiliang(“โอเลี้ยง”): coffee + sugar
  • Yok Lor Oiliang(“โอเลี้ยงยกล้อ”): coffee + sugar + evaporated milk
  • Kopi(“โกปี๊”): coffee + condensed milk

Vietnamese coffee

Thai coffee vs Vietnamese coffee_Vietnamese coffee

Traditional Vietnamese Milk Coffee


You can have Vietnamese coffee either hot(cà phê sữa nóng) or cold (cà phê sua dá). Vietnamese coffee is always served with that quintessential stainless steel Phin Vietnamese filter. 

This particular blog is very extensive in discussing the making of Vietnamese coffee, which we use as our reference as well for this post.

The ingredients required to make either the hot or cold Vietnamese coffee are as follows:

  • 3 tablespoons of Vietnamese ground coffee (you can use any brand but there is a famous one that most people know, the Trung Nguyen brand)
  • 1-3 tablespoons of sweetened condensed milk (you can use any brand but there is a famous Vietnamese brand Longevity brand)
  • Around 250 ml of water close to boiling point
  • (If you want to make the cold version) Ice cubes

Pro tip: Before you make your Vietnamese coffee, rinse the Phin filter and the cup with or in boiling water. This is to make sure the coffee blooms and drops better later on. Also, this cleans and pre-heats the filter.



(Hanoi) Egg Coffee

Thailand vs Vietnam_Hanoi egg coffee 2

We just came back from Hanoi recently and we realized that there is one Vietnamese coffee we have been missing out on! Hanoi-style egg coffee. This type of Vietnamese coffee might make you raise your eyebrows as first, but you might change your mind completely once you try it. In contrast with Vietnamese milk coffee, Hanoi egg coffee is more like a treat, or a dessert. 

You only need 3 ingredients to make a basic Hanoi egg coffee: condensed milk, egg, and coffee (espresso).

To make 2 cups of Hanoi egg coffee, you’ll need: 

1. 1 egg yolk
2. 12 oz espresso
3. 4 tbsp sweetened condensed milk

To make this, you need to:

1. Brew 2 cups of espresso
2. Whip the egg yolk and condensed milk until light frothy
3. Pour slowly the mixture of egg yolk and condensed milk on top of the espresso

The above instruction is to make a basic egg coffee. However, in our trip in Hanoi, we visited many cafes with their own variations of Hanoi egg coffee. For example, there was a Hanoi egg coffee that we had that has rum and also coconut syrup in it. This will add extra fragrance and flavor to the egg coffee for sure! Play around with your recipe and you can make your own version of egg coffee.


How to make Vietnamese coffee?

  1. Measure 3 tbsp of the ground coffee, spread evenly into the filter. Do not shake the filters or compress the coffee, to prevent clogging of the filter by the coffee powder 
  2. Add 1-3 tbsp of condensed milk into your cup
  3. Pour 2 tbsp of boiling water into the filter. Allow the coffee to bloom for 5 seconds. Bloom means the water will release the CO2 from the coffee and the coffee grounds will expand
  4. Press on the filter to compress the bloomed coffee. It will help to slow down the drip rate and also make a more flavorful coffee
  5. Pour the rest of the water into the filter. The coffee will start to drip into the cup
  6. Wait for around 5 minutes for the dripping to stop 
  7. Once the dripping stops, remove the filter and stir the coffee and the condensed milk together to mix them

To make the iced Vietnamese coffee, transfer the mixture of condensed milk and coffee into a cup with ice cubes. Enjoy your coffee!

Thai coffee vs Vietnamese coffee: the differences

So, in general what are the differences between Thai coffee vs Vietnamese coffee? Other than the types of ground coffee used, there are a few that we can summarize here.  

First, the filter used. Thai coffee is made using the reusable muslin strainer, whereas Vietnamese coffee is made using the Phin filter.

Second, the types of milk used. The Thai iced coffee itself is made using both evaporated milk and condensed milk; whereas Vietnamese coffee is made using condensed milk only.

Third, the sweetness level. Vietnamese coffee is generally sweeter than Thai coffee because it uses sweetened condensed milk only. And the amount used is generally more than the one used in Thai coffee. Thai coffee often combines both evaporated and condensed milk and the condensed milk used is lower than the one in Vietnamese coffee as a result.


Thai coffee vs Vietnamese coffee: which one to try?

You should give both Thai coffee and Vietnamese coffee a try! Thai and Vietnamese cuisines share a level of similarities, and they are both among our favorite Southeast Asian cuisines!

hua hin hotels_boutique hotels in hua hin Vala bedroom

Hua Hin hotels: boutique/ hotels with private pool

We have talked about Hua Hin briefly in our previous article as a popular beach holiday destination, especially among Bangkok people. If you are tempted to go to Hua Hin for holiday, you might be thinking about where is the best place to stay. We will cover the Hua Hin hotels / Cha Am hotels topic in this article. A lot of what we write here comes from our recent experience staying in the Hua Hin and Cha Am area. Moreover, we will also talk about options for Hua Hin hotel with private pools and boutique hotels in Hua Hin / Hua Hin boutique resort as well as Airbnb experience.

Table of Contents

Hua hin hotel with private pools: Cape Nidhra

We stayed in a 5-star boutique hotel in the middle of Hua Hin called Cape Nidhra. This hotel is part of the Cape & Kantary hotel group. If you want to book the hotel, you can do so via its own website or find some deals in aggregating platforms like Agoda or Expedia.

The hotel has a narrow entrance on the main road. But once you check in and go to the area where rooms are located, you will realise that the hotel is not small. The hotel complex is more narrow than most other bigger chain hotels like Marriott or Intercontinental in the same area. However, it goes deep to the beach area. Also, there are rooms on the ground floor, all the way to the 5th floor. Each room has its own private pool, but rooms on the ground floor have bigger pools located in your private garden.

The hotel has parking lot basement, gym, reading room, spa, and conference room. They have yoga class by the beach on the weekend morning as well.

A look into our room

We will show you photos of our room on the ground floor. The room is spacious and has a private pool inside, surrounded by some vegetation to allow you soak in the nature. However, being on the ground floor and surrounded by trees and plants may expose you to some insects, choosing rooms on higher floor will help to address this issue. 

hua hin hotels_cape nidhra private pool
hua hin hotels_cape nidhra room

The private pool on higher floors will look like this. This is taken in our other room we stayed in on the 4th floor.

hua hin hotels_cape nidhra private pool higher floor

Boutique luxury hotels in Hua Hin: VALA

After our stay in Cape Nidhra, we moved up from Hua Hin closer to the Cha Am area. We stayed in another Hua Hin boutique hotel called VALA Hua Hin hotel. This hotel can also be considered a 5-star boutique resort that provides a lot of activities which you can do inside the hotel compound alone (painting class, etc.).  There is gym, swimming pool, and also bike you can use for free in the hotel.

The hotel compound is large and the rooms are spread across the complex. They have a villa/bungalow or room version of the accommodation that you can choose. For the room type of accommodation, the highest floor you can stay in is the 3rd floor. The architecture of the hotel is appealing and Instagrammable to many – very minimalistic yet modern.

hua hin hotels_boutique hotels in hua hin Vala
hua hin hotels_boutique hotels in hua hin Vala evening

A look into our room

We stayed in one of the Beachfront rooms on the 3rd floor. We could get a full view of the beach and the sea from our room window. The room is not as large as Cape Nindhra’s – but the space is sufficient. The overall feel you can get from the room once you step into it is ‘luxe’. The room is bright, clean and has the ‘effortlessly chic’ vibe. 

There is no spa place per se, but you can get spa services like massage in your room. We actually tried the 60min massage service (they have 30, 60, 90 min options). The hotel staff will set up the massage bed and the masseuse will come to the room to give the massage service. It was a very good massage and I slept super well that night, highly recommend!

hua hin hotels_boutique hotels in hua hin Vala window
hua hin hotels_boutique hotels in hua hin Vala bedroom
hua hin hotels_vala room massage

Moreover, food in the hotel was great – we had both dinner and breakfast in the hotel’s Woods restaurant. The restaurant is very open and airy, just like other parts of the hotel structurally.  

hua hin hotels_boutique hotels in hua hin Vala restaurant
hua hin hotels_boutique hotels in hua hin Vala restaurant
hua hin hotels_boutique hotels in hua hin Vala breakfast2

Airbnb option

You can find a good number of luxury condominiums and apartments in Hua Hin, some of which are located right along side 5-star hotels like Marriott or Intercontinental.

We recently stayed in a 4 bedroom condominium with pool and beach access. It also came with a fully equipped kitchen and a large living room. This makes it a perfect place for family or those traveling in a large group.

Hua Hin Airbnb

Our take on boutique luxury hotels in Hua Hin

We would say they can be pricey, but they tend to offer more unique experiences compared to the bigger chain hotels. However, what we noticed is in the central Hua Hin, bigger chain hotels like Marriott, Dusit, Intercontinental, might have better locations and better beach front compared to more boutique hotel like Cape Nidhra. But if you go up slightly north closer to Cha Am area, boutique hotels like VALA might have better chance in securing bigger space (and perhaps better location as well) for the hotel compound. That’s why we found VALA hotel to be more open and airy compared to Cape Nidhra. 

Having said that, we thoroughly enjoyed our stay in Hua Hin staying in those two hotels. And we hope to go back again!

Learn more about Thailand with us!

restaurant in hua hin_miss T drinks

Cafes and restaurants in Hua Hin: highlights/reviews

When you go to Hua Hin for vacation, you would want to enjoy seafood and a chill vibe by the beach. There are plenty of options for this and you can enjoy both Thai and non-Thai food in such places. Other than places for food, there are many places in Hua Hin with amazing offerings for beverages as well, especially coffee beverages. In our previous articles, we have talked about general info on Hua Hin as well as Hua Hin hotels. Now we will talk about cafes, restaurants and night markets in Hua Hin. 

Table of Contents

Seafood restaurant in Hua Hin

We went to a famous local seafood place called Sungwean Seafood. This restaurant offers a wide array of seafood. The portion is huge so ideally you go with a big group or your whole family. Then you will be able to try many different types of food and not struggle to finish them. The coconuts in this place are amazing! Make sure you try their coconuts.

The venue is semi outdoor, so it’s very open and airy. The distance between tables is quite substantial as well so every group of guests will be spaced out from each other. They have a big parking lot but it can be packed quite fast during peak hours. However, rest assured that you will be able to get your parking space inside the compound or nearby, because they have very good parking attendants.

restaurant in hua hin_sungwean seafood fish
restaurant in hua hin_sungwean seafood squid

The food itself was great but the taste was a bit different from what we remembered from 2-3 years ago when we visited. The taste was a bit sweet this time. So you might want to ask for less sweet if you are particular about sweetness.

Restaurant by Hua Hin beach

Next in our list of restaurants in Hua Hin is a Thai seafood restaurant located by the Hua Hin beach. We walked for 30 mins from our hotel at Cape Nidhra to the Sailom hotel restaurant. This restaurant is located pretty close to Intercontinental and it has a very nice sea view. You can walk along the beach from other areas and end up in this restaurant too. The vibe is super chill. We recommend going there around dusk for dinner. You can see the horizon over the sea and the sky changing colour to orange-pinkish hues.

restaurant in hua hin_sailom hotel restaurant hua hin

Pick the table nearest to the beach. We recommend putting mosquito repellent as there were quite a bit of mosquitos when we were there. All in all, food was great and the seafood was super fresh.

Hua Hin beach clubs

We visited 2 beach clubs while in Hua Hin. Both were amazing, the atmosphere was on point, not too crowded and the food and drinks were great!

Oceanside Beachclub

restaurant in hua hin_oceanside beachclub

One of them is the Oceanside beachclub. It has accommodation inside the area as well. There is a swimming pool located quite close to the beach. Guests who just finished swimming can grab drinks or food at the nearby cafe/restaurant. We had drinks and also our lunch at the restaurant, while looking at the blue sea and enjoying the sea breeze. Highly recommend this place for a chill afternoon by the beach.

Sundance Dayclub

restaurant in hua hin_sundance dayclub building

Another one that you can try to visit is Sundance Dayclub. This place feels even more exclusive than Oceanside. You better make a reservation before going to this beach club. There is a minimum of THB 500-1000 per person depending on which area of the club you wish to sit. Even with the THB 500 per person you can sit in a good area with a nice sea view.

restaurant in hua hin_sundance dayclub building 2
restaurant in hua hin_sundance dayclub seaview
restaurant in hua hin_sundance dayclub food

The food and drinks were great. For the price, we could not expect less though. Amazing service too.

This place has a basement parking lot, accommodation, a shop for beach-related stuff, and cafe inside the compound. We recommend you go there around dusk, the vibe is very nice once they start turning on the lights of the venue. 

Restaurant for non-Thai cuisine

restaurants in hua hin_carlo restaurant hua hin

We had some cravings for non-Thai food when we were in Hua Hin and had been stuffing ourselves with local cuisines for days in a row. So we found Carlo Ristorante Hua Hin that serves Italian cuisine. You can simply search on google “carlo restaurant hua hin” and you’ll be able to locate this place.

The ambience that this place offers is wonderful. They put yellow lights for its outdoor seating, giving the place a very warm, inviting glow. They have some fans outdoors as well so it’s not hot when you sit outside.

Food was great, and the house wine was of high quality too. Service was superb. The food came quickly and the owner/manager visited each table to check how everything was going. We will definitely go back to Carlo if we need a fix for Italian craving while in Hua Hin next time.

Hua Hin beach cafes

restaurant in hua hin_miss T building

We visited some cafes with very nice beach view as well. First was Miss T. Miss T is popular for its Instagram-worthy venue and installations within the venue. It can be very hot to go there during the day as a lot of the areas are uncovered. We went there during noon time for lunch (not a very good idea!). It will be much more comfortable to go there around dusk. However, despite the nice venue, the beverages themselves are so-so in our opinion. Therefore, we will not recommend this place if you are looking for superb drinks and food – but if you want to take photos, go for it!

restaurant in hua hin_miss T drinks
restaurant in hua hin_miss T cafe

Another one that we love so much is Baan Gliwang. The cafe is located inside a house-like compound, so it looks very homey. We went there 3 years ago when we visited Hua Hin and the quality is very consistent. The coffee was as good as we remember it and a must try is their coconut cake! You can spend the whole afternoon there with your loved ones for lunch and coffee, while watching the sea.

restaurant in hua hin_baan gliwang coconut cake

Pro tip: go there during the weekday or non-peak hour of the day. We went there during a weekend before (also pre-covid) and the waiting time in the afternoon around 2-3pm was quite long (almost 1h). This place is popular, y’all.

Other cafes for coffee in Hua Hin

restaurant in hua hin_palm fruit coffee

Other than the traditional coffee (cappuccino, americano, etc.), there are coffee beverages that have gotten popular recently using non-conventional ingredients. We tried some of them while in Hua Hin and will show you some places to get these drinks.

The first one was coffee with palm fruit/syrup. There are some palm tree farms around Hua Hin that have their own coffee shop selling this drink. We tried 2 places: Farmily and บ้านไร่ภู่หวาน. The taste of palm fruit and coffee mixed together creates a very unique flavor.

restaurant in hua hin_bonnie on the beach

Another place that has been popular lately among millennials and Gen Z is bOnnie on the beach. This place is unique in a way that the cafe building itself is super simple and minimalistic. It has a very big window facing the sea that makes it a very scenic place to sit and sip coffee for the guests. It also has a dedicated area for guests with pets to sit down and have their coffee. The drinks are unique and they mostly combine coffee with tonic water to give that fizzy, refreshing sensation. We tried raspberry tonic coffee and coconut tonic coffee. We are a fan of these drinks – perfect for the hot day in Hua Hin! 

However, we are not sure if this place has any toilet (didn’t see any when we were there). So if you are thinking of going there for coffee + toilet stop, it may not work. You can find other place with proper building and toilet! 

Hua Hin night market

Thais and visitors have learned to live with Covid-19, and this has brought life back to various night markets in Hua Hin. We recently visited Cicada night market in late
2022, and the vendors have told us that the life and vibrant have returned to pre-Covid
level if not better.

Cicada night market is broken primarily into 3 zones 1) street food stalls run by
local vendors 2) organized food stalls which require official coupon and 3)
non-food area where you can shop for locally made souvenirs and clothing.

Food wise you can everything from local Thai food, fresh seafood to pizza and hamburger. Various beverages like fruit juice, coconut water and beer are also available.

Live music by local bands also lighten up the atmosphere during Friday/weekend evening. 

Hua Hin nightmarket

Our take on cafes and restaurants in Hua Hin

There are many options available for cafes and restaurants in Hua Hin and many of them are really good. Each has its own unique offering. Even if you spend a longer time in Hua Hin, you will not run out of options for food and beverages. 

While we are in Hua Hin, we try to stay on the beach side as much as possible to enjoy the sea and beach view. This is simply because we cannot have that anymore once we are back in Bangkok. Personally, we really enjoyed the beach clubs experience, and the meals over there tasted very good as well. They provided us with a comfortable environment (clean, very few mosquito if any) to enjoy the beach and the sea. 

As coffee lovers, we also love cafes with beach view and a great cup of coffee. Baan Gliwang is still our favorite all this time. Other than great coffee and food, it has a unique homey vibe inside the cafe as well. We will always go back to that place in our future trips to Hua Hin.

Learn more about Thailand via our other posts:

Thai yoga massage_vs

What is Thai Yoga Massage?

You might have heard about Thai massage a lot of times. But what about Thai yoga massage? What is this about and is it possible to combine yoga and massage? Previously, also on the massage topic, we have discussed Swedish vs Thai massage topic. Learn more about Thai yoga massage in this article.

Table of Contents

What is Thai yoga massage?

Thai yoga massage_forms

Thai yoga massage, as the name suggests, incorporates deep stretching and movements that resemble those in yoga practice. The names “Thai yoga massage” and “Thai massage” are often used interchangeably. When Thai massage schools or practitioners want to emphasize the relationship between the massage technique and yoga practice, they often use the name “Thai yoga massage” instead of simply “Thai massage”. However, to the mass customers like us, normally we only hear the name “Thai massage”. 

The origin of “Yoga” massage name

The close association between Thai massage and Yoga is because the massage is a complementary practice to Indian yoga asana. Indian yoga asana has similar principles of alignment and focus on the energetic as well as the physical body. This is also why the massage itself is often called “Thai yoga massage”.  Moreover, during the massage, the therapist will put you in positions that may push your flexibility limits. This is why it is sometimes called yoga for lazy people.

Thai yoga massage_origin

Things you should know about before doing the massage

There are a few common elements in all Thai massage: 

  • Stretches
  • Traction
  • Joint movement
  • Acupressure

During the session, the therapist will utilize their hands, fingers, elbows, feet and also full body weight to put pressure on your body and move your body around. The therapist will also use their “relaxed” full body weight on you, and such movement can prompt you to do deep, slow breathing.

How long the session lasts? Typically between one to three hours, but there are some sessions that last as long as 6 hours. 

As this massage involves a lot of deep stretching and movements, you should inform your therapist of any pre-existing conditions or injuries that you have. This is to avoid further damage on your body.  

At the end of the session, normally guests leave tip for the therapist. You can give whichever amount that you like. 

Where to do this massage in Thailand?

There are many options to do Thai massage in Thailand. If you are visiting Thailand, we suggest you go to Google Map and check the review and photos of the place to avoid dodgy places.

Some recommendations:
Arima Onsen in the middle of Bangkok
Divana Spa in the middle of Bangkok
– A luxurious massage/spa experience in Mandarin Oriental Bangkok
– A relaxing getaway with Thai massage at Anantara Chiang Rai

Should you try Thai yoga massage?

Thai yoga massage is a popular massage technique in Thailand loved by many. If you are into deep stretching, are not pregnant, and do not have a pre-existing injury, you should try this massage for sure! Try with the 1-hour session first just for the experience in case you are not sure. In Thailand spa or massage centers, usually there are multiple types of therapy/massage available. If this massage is too intense for you, you can opt for other massages that are more relaxing. For example, rather than opting for a full-body Thai yoga massage, you might want to just do a Thai foot massage. We have written about Thai foot massage and its benefits, so check out that post too!

Thailand coins_featured

Thailand Coins: Its Look, Variety and Values

Thailand is famous for its markets, small street vendors and local travel scenes. While the country is digitizing rapidly, cash is still king for the majority of small vendors. If you are planning to travel to Thailand, it might be a good idea to familiarize yourself with local currency ahead of time. Also related to payments, we also covered a topic on how to transfer your money to Thailand in another post. Learn more about Thailand coins, their appearances and value in this article!

Table of Contents

Value range

Thailand predominantly uses 8 types of coins which range from 10 satang (0.1 baht or ~0.003 USD) to 10 baht (~0.3USD). In Thailand, 1 baht consists of 100 satang, putting it in dollar terms this is similar to 1 dollar containing 100 cents.

Here is a list of Thailand coins and their values (from largest to smallest)

  • 10 baht coin
  • 5 baht coin
  • 2 baht coin
  • 1 baht coin
  • 50 satang coin
  • 25 satang coin
  • 10 satang coin

Almost all transactions you make in Thailand are rounded up to the nearest 0 decimal places or whole numbers. This is why you will not encounter satang coins very often. However since the smallest bank note in Thailand is 20, you will likely end up with a bag of 1 to 10 baht coins during your travel! Your next question might be: how can you tell these coins apart? First all coins are labelled by number. Secondly they all have different shapes and colors. We will go into more details in the following sections.

Thailand silver coins

Thailand coins_silver coin

In general, silver coins represent whole baht coins including 1 baht, 2 baht, 5 baht and 10 baht. The only exception is the 10 baht coin, where the silver 10 baht coin has a golden section in the middle – making it the biggest and thickest Thailand coin.

The 5 baht coin is roundish but its design will make the coin look nonagon. The 2 baht coin is the newest and rarest among common coins in Thailand. The government issued the 2 baht coin in 2005, making it the newest coin among the rest. The 1 baht coin is the smallest, round shaped silver Thailand coin. 

Thailand gold coins/copper coins

Thailand cents or satang coins are generally gold or copper in color. Although some satang coins are meant to be yellow gold, as the coin gets older, the color might dim. Hence, they may appear darker yellow instead. Satang coins include 50, 25 and 10 satang coins. All coins are round in shape with 10 satang coins being the smallest.

Older Thailand coins

The history of these coins dates back to 1857 when Queen Victoria of England gave a small coining machine to King Rama the 4th. Following that, the first series of flat “Siamese” coins were then produced in 1860. 

More on the history of Thailand coins here.

Is it still relevant in Thailand?

The use of Thailand coins is getting less frequent these days but it does not mean they are obsolete. These coins are still popular among vendors in rural areas or smaller cities in Thailand. Therefore, understanding these coins is important so that you know how to use them for transactions while you are in Thailand.

Learn more about travelling to Thailand with us!

Swedish vs Thai massage_featured

Swedish vs Thai massage: similarities and differences

If you are traveling in Southeast Asia, getting a massage and spa treatment is almost a must. It is nice and relaxing. The price point is also very attractive, especially if you are coming from the US or Europe. However, Southeast Asia is not the only region known for massage. In fact, Swedish massage is famous as well. We also covered the topic of Thai foot massage in another article. Learn more about Swedish vs Thai massage in this article.

Table of Contents

What is Thai massage?

Swedish vs Thai massage_Thai massage

Thai massage is like a blend of massage, stretching and yoga. The Thai massage therapist will perform Thai massage on the customer as the customer lie down on a mat or on the floor. During Thai massage, the customer does not need to take off their clothes. It is a wholesome experience doing Thai massage as it includes abdominal and breath work, deep tissue massage and application of pressure at specific points on the body. It is often dubbed as “lazy man’s yoga” because the customer can just relax and the therapist will guide the customer to do certain body movements. There are any benefits to Thai massage including improvements on psychological and physical ailments like stress and chronic pain. A lot of athletes and fitness sports professionals choose Thia massage as one of their recovery methods.

Differences between Swedish and Thai massage

There are some aspects from both types of massage that we can compare and contrast.


In Thai massage, the customer can wear their clothes and perhaps change to a loose-fitting clothing to assist the Thai massage body movements. Thai massage does not involve application of oil on the body so there is no need to remove the clothing. On the other hand, Swedish massage requires the massage recipient to remove their clothing. This is because the Swedish massage involves oil or lotion applied to the customer lying down with face down on a massage table.

Techniques used

Thai massage uses acupuncture points to apply pressure on certain parts of the body that can help to alleviate certain physical ailments or help the body to get into deep relaxation mode. Sometimes the masseuse will stand or walk on the back of the customer as well. It often involves many body parts of the masseuse – not only hand and arms but also legs. On the other hand, Swedish massage is often called soft massage or deep tissue massage. It typically involves rubbing and stroking using hands, forearms, fists and elbows. Swedish massage does not involve legs or other body parts unlike Thai massage.


In Thai massage, that is often called “lazy man’s yoga”, the customer will lie on the floor or mat and the masseuse will move the body parts around. This is to help stretch the body and apply pressure on certain points on the body. On the other hand, in Swedish massage, the customer can just lie down on the massage bed with head down.


Thai massage helps to relax the body and also at the same time energizes it. Since the body is not static during the massage, the Thai massage process helps the body to stretch and pressure on acupuncture points helps to release tensions. Overall the Thai massage helps to enhance the energy flow in the body. Therefore, it has more “healing” effect on the body and many athletes use this massage for their body recovery post intense exercise. Swedish massage, on the other hand, focuses more on relaxation. The use of massage oil also has some aromatherapy aspect to it. The long strokes and rubbing techniques helps to relieve stress and pain on the body.

Massage options besides Swedish and Thai massage

Thailand, as a holiday and relaxation destination, does not only offer Thai massage. There are plenty of other massage types available in Thailand. You can also try Swedish massage while in Thailand. For example, Quan Spa in Bangkok also offer both Swedish and Thai massage.

Other massage options that you can choose from in Thailand: 

  • Warm oil / aromatherapy massage
  • Herbal massage
  • Foot massage
  • Other classics like shoulder massage, facial etc.

Personally we have tried a combination of aromatherapy massage and Thai massage too. It was at Thann Sanctuary Spa in Sukhumvit 24. Thann is a renowned Thai aromatherapy products brand and the spa uses Thann’s own aromatherapy product during the massage. For aromatherapy oil massage, you need to wash your body after and they also provide Thann body wash products in the shower. It was a very relaxing and rejuvenating experience during our holiday in Bangkok. 

Which one is better: Swedish vs Thai massage?

The answer depends on what you are looking for. Some people might think that Thai massage is too intense. In fact, it is intense to the point that pregnant women in their first trimester are not advised to do it. If you want to just relax and doze off during your massage, you can do Swedish massage. But if you feel tired from exercise or stiff body and want to relax while at the same time feeling energized, go for Thai massage. Thai massage is more dynamic than Swedish massage and you need to “participate” in the movement as guided by the masseuse.

If you are in Thailand and want to have a more relaxing massage, Swedish massage is not the only option. You have other massage options besides Thai massage while in Thailand. We highly recommend aromatherapy and foot massage after a long day exploring the city!

Localise your experience in Thailand with us!

Thai foot massage_featured

Thai Foot Massage and Its Benefits

Thai massage is popular among local and foreign visitors alike. While Thai massage in general is a full body massage, you can easily find foot massage parlours in Thailand even along street. Previously we have covered Thai massage in another article and its comparison with Swedish massage. Now, learn more about Thai foot massage and whether you want to give it a try in this article.

Table of Contents

What is Thai foot massage?

What is Thai foot massage

Thai foot massage, just like Thai massage, focuses a lot on the acupuncture points. You can just sit down on a comfortable chair or sofa at the massage parlor. Then they will clean your foot with exfoliating soap and scrub, which also can help to relax the muscle. Having said that, we recommend you wear shorts when you are going for a foot massage. Otherwise, you will need to change to loose pants provided by the parlor. 

After applying massage oil to the foot and pressing the acupuncture points on the foot, the therapist might continue massaging the calf and also lower thigh area as well. Acupuncture points on the foot have connections with other body parts. Therefore, when these points are pressed, other body parts can benefit from this. After the therapist finishes with the foot/leg, they often continue massaging your hands/arms and also shoulder and head. 

Benefits of this massage


Other types of Thai massage often involve full body treatment, or even usage of oil/aroma therapy. These will require you to sit/lay down or even change your cloth. Because of this reason, it may not be very convenient. Thai foot massage, however, only requires you to sit down – you can read a book, play with your phone or fall asleep it’s totally up to you! 


The price for this massage may vary from as cheap as THB200 on the street side to THB500+ in established resorts & spas.


Thai foot massage typically only requires 30 to 60 minutes/session. If this is too short for you, you can combine foot massage with other types of massage like head & shoulder or palm. Both massage types are convenient as they will not require you to change clothes.

Health benefits

There are plenty of health benefits from this massage which we will discuss in the next section.

Thai foot massage health benefits

Thai foot massage has a lot of health benefits

First, Thai foot massage helps to enhance the function of muscles, tendons, and joints. The foot is a heavily used body part and it supports the full weight of the body. Hence, relaxing this part of the body can enhance body movement.

Secondly, it relieves stress and helps to relax mentally. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, the soles of the feet have nerve connections to the brain. Some people have improved their migraine through foot massages. Since it relaxes the mind, this massage can also help you to sleep better at night. 

Thirdly, it helps to restore balance in the body system and also enhances blood circulation. Massage in general helps stimulate blood and lymph flow to the muscles in the feet. As the nerve center is located on the feet, this results in better function of the internal organs.

Fourth, your experienced Thai foot massage masseuse would be able to tell which body organ of yours is not functioning properly from pressing points on the soles of your feet. From there, if you need further examination with your doctor, you can take the necessary action.

Lastly, foot massage can complement other treatments that you undergo. For example, stroke, rheumatoid arthritis, and musculoskeletal diseases patients are often encouraged to do Thai foot massages. This is because Thai foot massage enhances circulation in the body and also muscle relaxation. This might enhance the benefit of conventional medical treatment and quicken the recovery of the patients with these diseases.

Where can you go for this massage?

Thai foot massage_street side

There are many places where you can do Thai foot massage.

First option is street side. Many popular walking streets like Khaosan road often have street side vendors that provide foot massage. These are perfect for your tired foot after a long walk. If you go to a touristy sides of Bangkok it might be a bit more expensive compared to when you go to more local-oriented places. 

The second option is dedicated spa and wellness centers. There are many standalone spas and wellness centers in Thailand. For example in Bangkok, the most famous ones are Thann Sanctuary Spa and Oasis Spa

The third option (if you are a tourist) is your hotel. Many resorts and hotels have their own spa centers and they must have professional masseuses who can do Thai foot massages for you. For example, when we stayed in Hansar Hotel or Emporium Suites, both have their own dedicated spas. Some hotels like Vala Hua Hin also have massage services, but they provide it in-room. You can read up more about our experience with massage in Vala Hua Hin. 

Should you do Thai foot massage?

Yes! Not only that it is relaxing, it is also healthy and convenient. You can just go to a nearby massage parlor and sit down on a sofa and they can start with the massage straight away. We easily fall asleep on our sofa while doing the massage as it is very relaxing. 

If you have an existing medical condition, you can always check with your doctor if it is safe for you. But in general, it is not as intense as Thai massage so we do not worry too much about it. 

If you are visiting Thailand as a tourist, there are usually plenty of Thai foot massage places near the hotel area. Ask your receptionist about reputable ones near you. 

Other articles about Thailand: