Sunday, August 17, 2014

Explore Hua Hin Hills Vineyard in Thailand

I am not a wine drinker, but I know it would certainly be unusual to put Thailand and wines in the same sentence. I’ve heard of French wines, Indian wines and even South African wines, but I wouldn’t peg Thailand as a wine producer. So imagine my surprise when I found a vineyard in a place that’s claim to fame is its endless seaside and vast expanses of pristine beachfront. However, don’t dismiss Thailand’s foray into wine production just yet. While they haven’t entered the league of top winemakers in the world, they have definitely proved that they can produce good quality wines in a region that the world couldn't imagine to be conducive to grape cultivation.

The discovery that wine production was possible in Thailand came about over 30 years ago, when a royal project under HM the King began experimenting with grape plantation in the region. That’s when they realised that Thailand’s Mediterranean climate would aid the successful cultivation of grapes. This eventually led Siam Winery to give Hua Hin its first boutique vineyard. Today, Hua Hin Hills boasts of growing over 30 grape varietals that include the Colombard, Summer Muscat, Sangiovese, Tempranillo, Hua Hin Hills’ on their loamy sand and slate terrain.

Spread over 560 acres, the vineyard is also home to the Sala Wine Bar and Bistro—which contains a wine bar, retail shop, wine cellar and a meeting facility—where you can learn more about oenology, viticulture, and the detailed story behind the conception of latitude wines in Thailand. Sala, also known as an open pavilion, is a facet of Thai architecture that is meant to be open on all four sides and provide shade, while protecting people from climatic conditions like rain. The bistro is designed using materials like bamboo and red bricks and looks over the lush green rows of grape-bearing vines.

The menu here not only allows you to sample their fine wines, but also offers delicious local food prepared with ingredients grown within the property. You can also request the staff to help you pair your food with their selection of wines. Those who don’t drink alcoholic beverages can choose from alternative grape-based concoctions such as the ever-popular red grape juice, grape smoothie and hot grape tea. People with a sweet tooth must try their grape sorbet and grape yoghurt cheesecake.



However, what makes this vineyard truly ‘Thai’ is the surprising element of elephant rides. Imagine being able to explore a grape plantation seated atop an elephant. Where else but Thailand can you think of doing this?


The activities here include wine tastings, elephant rides, cycling, jeep tours and wine and tapas pairing. The vineyard is open from 8:30am to 6:30pm. For more information, check out their website.

If you’re planning a trip to Hua Hin, do check the official Thailand Tourism website before you go so that you can prepare your itinerary in advance.




Tuesday, June 17, 2014

TRAVEL TIDBITS: Glow-in-the-dark roads hit the streets in the Netherlands

From glow sticks to glow-in-the-dark jewellery, there's been a flurry of products in this category. And now, you can add glow-in-the-dark roads to it.

If you were ever worried about driving during pitch darkness, this will an exciting proposition. Studio Roosegaarde teamed up with Dutch civil engineering firm Heijmans to come up with
solar-powered photo-luminescent powder that was incorporated into the road paint. As BBC News reported, this paint  charges up in the daytime and slowly releases a green glow at night, doing away with the need for streetlights. This technology can currently be seen on the N329 in Oss, approximately 100km south east of Amsterdam.

Photo source: www.engadget.com

Read more here: http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-27021291

Saturday, May 10, 2014

TRAVEL TIDBITS – Cartoon Network Theme Park

If you grew up watching cartoons like Johnny Bravo, The Powerpuff Girls and Ben 10, you’re going to want to visit the soon-to-be-opened Cartoon Network-themed water park in Chon Buri, Thailand. Spread over 14 acres, the park will comprise exciting attractions that include a gigantic family wave pool, a winding adventure river, speed-racing slides, family raft rides and one of the world’s largest interactive water play fortresses for kids.

For more information, click here: http://cartoonnetworkamazone.com/en/
























Photo courtesy: Tastythailand.com