vrijdag 28 juni 2013

The Cicada Market Hua hin

Hua Hin continues to be the 'in' destination among well-off holidaymakers, urban hipsters and international visitors. Cool and chic lifestyles of Bangkok, Hampton, Ibiza, Mykonos and even Marrakech can be spotted, experienced and savoured in this small coastal town. Offering a new vibe of recreations for Hua Hin locals and visitors, the flea market-cum-walking street on a 10-rai-plot of land is a place where they can appreciate art, enjoy a myriad of activities, savour good international food and shop till they drop. Of course, Hua Hin is always at the forefront when it comes to catching worldwide trends. Yet, no matter how dazzling and 'international' it is regarded, Hua Hin is somehow able to retain its humble identity, which keeps the town forever charming. As a seaside retreat, Hua Hin delights its guests with its serene, horse-studded beach that stretches as long as 10 kilometres. As a dining destination, this resort town has more than enough eateries to serve all kinds of gastronomic preferences (this statement might not be accurate if you're in town during a long national holiday).

Yet, as a shopping vicinity, Hua Hin has just started to catch up with shoppers' growing demand recently by welcoming metropolitan malls and stylish shopping centres. This is perhaps after realising that its super famous night market couldn't really handle streams of tourists on a busy weekend.

Adding a new vibe to Hua Hin's shopping scene is Cicada Market at Suan Sri, a 10-rai plot of land at the mouth of Soi Moo Ban Nong Kae on Khao Takieb-Hua Hin Road. This lovely venue is unlike other shopping destinations in Hua Hin with its art-inspired concept and outdoor tropical ambience. Here visitors can stroll around the spacious garden and enjoy a colourful variety of design-oriented goods, a number of art installations and plenty of tasty food under the moon-lit sky among the singing sound of cicadas.

''Every year the number of visitors coming to Hua Hin keeps increasing. Even though the town has an extensive choice of accommodation, it didn't provide enough choices for recreational activities,'' said Sasi-ampai Siriviroj, manager of Cicada Market project.

It is named Cicada Market because the insect, which has been a long-time resident in this garden, represents a healthy natural environment and is also a symbol of distinctive individuals who gather together to create an ideal community of artful lifestyle.''

The market, which operates every Saturday from 3-9pm, is divided into four sections: Art a la mode, Art Indoor, Art of Act and Art of Eating.

The Art a la mode, which occupies most of the space, is a place for selling and trading goods including arts and crafts, clothes, home decorative items, souvenirs and stationery _ brand new and used. This ''flea market with style'' is ideal for those looking for one-of-a-kind art pieces and hand-made clothing and fashion accessories.

A main base for Art Indoor are two lovely white houses in the middle of the garden which serve as fine art galleries catering to art enthusiasts who may come to enjoy photo or painting exhibitions, or other contemporary art displays. Those who wish to have their portraits drawn can also find this service here.

The well-built amphitheatre-style concert ground is a main stage for the Art of Act. Here visitors can find, or even join in, a myriad of performing arts and activities such as music, theatre, story-telling and dancing.

Deep down at one corner of the market garden is a zone dedicated to food. Representing the Art of Eating, it offers an impressive collection of food, snacks and sweets _ local and international. You might want to check out Hua Hin's authentic khao khluk kapi, or rice tossed with shrimp paste, and phad thai. At the same time, you can also sample dishes from the North, Isan and the South, while Japanese treats and Italian pasta are also available.

''We expect to have 150-200 vendors and other entertainment each evening. We hope this market can help serving the growing number of visitors to Hua Hin, while adding more recreational value and generating more income to the local community,''said Sasi-ampai.

Cicada Market is located at the corner of Soi Moo Ban Nong Kae and Khao Takieb-Hua Hin Road. It opens every Saturday from 3-9pm. For more information, please call 032-536-606, 080 650-4334 or visit www.cicadamarket.net

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