If you're driving along Highway 4 from Phetchaburi's Cha-am district towards the town of Hua Hin, you may spot a couple of bizarre structures which have popped up in the last year or so. They are theme parks cum shopping malls, but they look so out of place in the local landscape that they are difficult to simply pass by.
The Venezia Hua Hin’s Saint Mark’s Square. Photos by Arthur Jones Dionio
The impulse to take a peek is irrepressible, although some may later regret the time wasted. You may think I'm weird to want to tour these Western-inspired attractions, instead of relaxing on one of the quiet beaches in this area like Khao Takiab _ still one of my favourites _ but I was curious about the increasing popularity of these glittering commercial palaces to which city folks have been flocking to snap photos of themselves in settings they find exotically foreign.