Hua Hin, Thailand (aka the first time I left Bangkok in a year)

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Strange but true.  Two weekends ago we went to Hua Hin (a beach town 3 hours south of Bangkok), and it was the first time I left Bangkok in one. whole. year.  Frank and I were joking that it would be like that movie The Truman Show.  I would reach the boundaries of Bangkok and only after cutting a hole in the bubble that enclosed the city would I realize there was an outside world.

Overly dramatic, yes.  But that’s totally how it felt.

M and C Hua Hin Hilton

Thanks to a twin pregnancy in a part of the world with inconsistent medical care and the shocking adjustment to new parenthood, my travel-hungry self has been quite a homebody for the past 12 months. Most days I was happy to stay close to home and take care of myself and the girls, but was I ever glad to get to the beach and have a change of scenery.

Hua Hin thailand

This trip was nothing fancy.  A trial run of sorts before our Christmas trip to Spain.  We stayed at a nice, big, beachfront hotel (the Hilton Hua Hin if you’re wondering – I totally recommend it for families!) with lots of restaurants and easy walking distance to everything downtown.

Hua Hin Thailand_Hilton

The pool was perfect for us because some part of it was in the shade for most of the day.  We had our little fish in and out of the water every day of the trip and us adults took a trip or two down the water slide while the babies cheered us on from the sidelines.

Pool Hua Hin Thailand

Hua Hin is a quiet, charming little town with decent sidewalks (about as stroller-friendly as one could hope) and a fun little train station that I’m told makes it super easy to come from Bangkok by train.

Hua Hin Thailand

Thailand Hua Hin

We had two adjoining rooms on a high floor overlooking the beach so Frank and I spent nap times reading the paper and drinking lattes with this great view.

Hua Hin Coffee

M and C_Hua Hin

Most meals were the total chaos that I think most new parents can understand.  Molly and Clara had zero patience for adults who wanted to sit back and enjoy the breakfast buffet.  They’re at this funny age where they understand food and want in on whatever we’re eating but (obviously) can’t yet partake of the joy that is a runny-yolk egg over toast.  (Post-pregnancy Jess, by the way, is loving those runny-yolk eggs. Loving.)

Clara Hua Hin

Where was I?  Oh right.  Meals on vacation.  Before we arrived at the Hilton Hua Hin we had eyed their weekend dim sum brunch.  But, never ones to make the same mistake a third time, and after peeking in on the dignified (read: whisper-quiet) dim-sum restaurant, we had our lunches by the pool.  And had one lunch sent up to our room to eat on the balcony after a pre-nap twin screech-fest.

M and C _ Hua Hin

Fortunately, one great perk of many hotels in Thailand is inexpensive room service of delightful Thai food, so we didn’t starve.  We tucked those sweet ladies into bed and had long, quiet dinners complete with wine that we brought in our luggage along with 479 burp cloths, 47 changes of baby clothes, 432 diapers, 2 pack ‘n plays, and assorted toys.

Dinner Hua Hin

(Minimalist travelers we were not.)

M and C_ Hua Hin

It was a low-key, fun family weekend.  Nothing too crazy happened.  There were no Truman Show-esque revelations about the world outside of my Bangkok bubble.  Just a sigh of relief to be traveling again, and the fully-anticipated shenanigans that come with the crazy jump from vacations as a couple to vacations as a family of four.

Hua Hin Beach


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About Jess Smith

Jess is the recipe creator and photographer at She spent nearly a decade as the Chief Recipe Developer for the award-winning meal planning app Cook Smarts. Her colorful, healthyish recipes have been featured in popular online publications including Parade, Hallmark, and HuffPost.

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  1. Oh I’m so glad you guys got away for a little trip! It sounds like you had a great time. And those two cuties – I love seeing pictures of them! 🙂

  2. Jess, thank you for your heart warming stories about your small adventures on top of telling beautiful stories pictures with stunning photos, you are a very talented writer, I think. Thank you and keep going!

  3. You guys are awesome! I love getting your life adventure updates. Molly and Clara are getting more and more adorable!

  4. Jesssssss – you loved runny egg yolk pre pregnancy too (so did I, and also through pregnancy, oops). So proud of you for taking this voyage! xo

  5. Can those darling girls get any cuter?! They melt my heart! So happy you were able to get away and enjoy some family time. Wishing you Happiest of Holidays and safe travels Jess!