Archive for May, 2007

May 29th, 2007

If you saw heatwave, would you wave back?

Finland has finally joined the rest of the Europe enjoying the spring heatwave — yesterday and today has been sort of tropical here, hot and humid…

The temperatures are just above 20 degrees, so some of my dear readers would think that quite cool, but for us this has been quite nice.

Bland seafood

Restaurant Thanachote is just one of the waterfront restaurants on Naretdamri Road. They got us lured inside with inexpensive prices and fresh lobsters in tanks nearby the entrance.

Restaurant Thanachote in Hua Hin, Thailand
The dining area has excellent view to the sea, as it is built on top of an old fishing pier. Which is nice, although usually there is not much to see on the sea.

The food is just okay, maybe a bit too bland to my tastes. The amount of different portions is breathtaking, but none of them tasted as good as Thai food usually does. We had tried Ket Sa Rin Seafood in the neighbourhood, and the experiences were not from the same world. Go there instead.

Restaurant Thanachote, Naretdamri Road, Hua Hin, Thailand

The best seafood

Ket Sa Rin Seafood is a locally recommended seafood restaurant on the northern end of Naretdamri road, a few blocks from Hilton Hua Hin. The tables are set on a pier that has magnificent views on the empty sea. The neighbourhooding restaurants have similar settings, but worse food.

Ket Sa Rin Seafood restaurant
Talking of food, I’ve never ever tasted any Thai food so good. Not even close. Both me and my wife were really ecstatic about the restaurant, as the meals just melt in our mouth. Everything was as it should be, including the price and the service. Just perfect.

Ket Sa Rin Seafood, 17/1 Naretdamri Road, Hua Hin, Thailand

May 20th, 2007

Visited Ideapark

Ideapark is a huge shopping mall built about 20 kilometers south from Tampere, the second biggest urban area in Finland. So we travelled about 150 kilometers one way to visit a shopping mall. The trip didn’t start that well, as a rock hit our windscreen on Kehä I, leaving a permanent scratch to the glass…

Anyhow, Finns tend to have these crazy ideas of building shopping complexes in middle of nowhere. We’ve visited in Tuuri, so Ideapark was just a must to see. And it didn’t let us down. We entered the building from the rear entrance, so it didn’t look much of anything there — just cheapish stores — but fortunately the shops got better towards the main entrance.

Ideapark in Lempäälä, Finland
Unlike most other malls in Finland, Ideapark has been divided into different types of surroundings. Most of the fashion shops are collected on Catwalk, and restaurants, galleries and bakeries are to be found in the old town. There’s even a central park with fake trees. This all sounds corny, but the idea is executed well enough to change the atmosphere. We find it quite nice to sit in the old town restaurants and cafés — it beat normal mall eating and drinking experience hands down.

There were surprisingly many shoe stores, and Sanna found a pair of sneakers. I bought seven books plus one colouring book for Aapo. We spent five hours there, spending a couple hundred euros. The mall seems to be working…

On our way home, a bird hit our car on the highway. I was overtaking slower traffic and suddenly the bird darts across the lanes and hits the bumper of the car. No damage to the bumper, but the bird was probably in very sorry state. Despite the shortcomings with the car, the trip was positive.

Australian barbeque

Hua Hin Brewing Company is a shipwreck themed restaurant in Hilton Hua Hin complex. The main entrance in on the street, and you probably cannot miss it.

Hua Hin Brewing Company
The food is quite okay, and the place is a good spot for those that are not really into Thai food… Poor you. Anyhow, the prices are a bit higher than in the surrounding restaurants, but the Western food is really Western food. There are also some good Thai dishes on the menu. Drink list is extensive compared to the nearby restaurants, but not very long in European standards.

Hua Hin Brewing Company, Naretdamri Road (next to Hilton Hua Hin), Hua Hin, Thailand

Starbucks clone next to the beach

If you are accustomed to get daily dose of coffee from Starbucks (or similar), you need to walk quite a bit from Hua Hin beach to find the local dealer next to the clock tower. Fortunately, there is an alternative next to Hua Hin Hilton: World News Coffee.

World News Cafe in Hua Hin, Thailand
The joint is operated by Hilton, and offers the same kind of stuff as Starbucks. The exact roasts, blends and other tidbits might not be identical, but probably you wouldn’t notice any difference in a blind test.

There is also quite inexpensive internet connection available from the PCs in a corner. WLAN is available as well, but for some odd reason the price is five times higher.

World News Coffee, Naretdamri Road (just next to Hilton Hua Hin), Hua Hin, Thailand

May 15th, 2007

Helsinki Cruise Guide updated

Cruise season is starting and big ships will board to Helsinki docks daily. If you have planned being on board of one of those ships, check out Nomadig.com’s Helsinki Cruise Guide.

The guide, as the name implies, is a tight-packed information about Helsinki for people that stay only a day. The city is full of wonderful places, restaurants, shops and such, but you don’t want to waste your precious time finding them. So, read the guide, save or print the best places, and make other passangers green with envy — using your insider information.

Sort of French

La Paillote is a French style (or one could say French inspired) restaurant on Naretdamri Road, facing Sofitel hotel in Hua Hin tourist area.

La Paillote restaurant in Hua Hin, Thailand
The menu has both French and Thai dishes, and it is usually a bad sign. This restaurant is not an exception; the salads that we had were tasteless to boot and the only ingredient with some taste was the sauce — and it was only due to amount of fat…

The restaurant itself looks quite nice, but faces a bit too dirty street to have romantic views.

La Paillote, Naretdamri Road (opposite to Sofitel Central), Hua Hin, Thailand