Plearn Wan

Written by mdw on January 10th, 2011

Plearn Wan

kanom wanPlearn Wan is a shopping area masquerading as a theme park in Hua Hin. Mostly there are people taking zillions of photos, because the retro decor has plenty of old-time picture taking venues at every turn. The place was setup with that in mind.

But the other main activity is eating. Or should I say snacking? Most of the food there has names starting with "kanom" although there are a few restaurants serving actual meals. We ate kang kiew wan, namprik pla tu and more. All passable, but nothing really noteworthy.

naprik storeThis place is perfect for young Thai facebookers who want to post pictures with their friends. I think Plearn Wan was the inspiration for Palio being built. Palio is a bit bigger but is similarly filled with picture taking young Thais posing in all the places provided by the theme creators.

The decor seems to be of the Rama VI period, based on the pictures they choose to hang in the restaurants. But actually pretty much anything from the first half of the 20th century seems like fair game. Old-time pharmacies sell decades old packages of mosquito powder, detergent, cigarettes, toys, candy and more. I don’t mean that the candy is decades old of course.

The King and I poster from decades agoThey have many old movie posters and music on CDs that were quite interesting. Most of it was Hollywood productions, but there were some that I can only presume were big hits in Thailand back before I was born.

We were completely stuffed by the time we completed our tour of the Plearn Wan. Yet we only tried about ten different foods there, we could easily return and continue the sampling. As I indicated earlier this is a place tailor made for snacking.

making custard dessertsThey had an unusual snack that was a combination thai omelette with fried rice and more and was cooked takoyaki style. They used a giant version of metal takoyaki plates and turned these big omelette balls periodically for even cooking just as if they were the classic Western Japanese snack.

Other items included grilled, pressed squid – no surprise here! We sampled a decent pad thai as well. And what self-respecting Thai snacking place could avoid offering sticky rice and mango? Of course custards and roasted peanuts and corn were available, along with Thai tea and coffee.

takoyaki Thai omeletteMy favorite snack, kanom kroak was available right by the entrance! It did seem a bit strange to me though. The lady making them made these picture perfect little round cups that had zero excess part, none less than 100% full, none overcooked or undercooked; they were more perfect than I’ve ever seen.

And I must say, for some reason that caused me to enjoy them less! I’m not thrilled if every one has exactly 5 pieces of chive – and I like a bit of the crispy excess overspill part. Perfection is usually not desirable in life as in kanom kroak!

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