Goodbye Plearn Wan: Nostalgia-Inducing Tourist Trap to Shut Down

Photo: yokiyokk / Instagram
Photo: yokiyokk / Instagram

PRACHUAP KHIRI KHAN — A nostalgic open-air shopping arcade in Hua Hin will soon be just a memory after its company announced Tuesday that it is going out of business.

Plearn Wan, or “Joy of the Old Days,” will close on Jan. 31 after nearly a decade of business, according to a memo sent to vendors Tuesday morning. The company cited financial problems as a reason for the closure, though the popularity of the venue has been waning among its Bangkokian client base for some years now.

“We have to close Plearn Wan Hua Hin due to economic downturn and losses the company has suffered,” the statement wrote.

The attraction opened its doors in 2009. In its heyday, Bangkokian families would flock to Plern Warn to take photos among the retro architecture, fueled in part by the hit film “Fan Chan” (2003).

Drawing inspiration from the vibes of 50s Thailand, when people raved about rock ‘n’ roll and gangsters ruled the streets, Plearn Wan features two-storey wooden buildings with shops selling vintage toys, ultra-sweet milk tea, snacks, and clothing. It was an instant hit for the social media-obsessed Bangkokians.

The complex also houses an outdoor cinema, and a 20-room guest house surrounded by the festive atmosphere that resembles a temple fair from decades ago.

However, its clientele shifted from the young and fashionable to everyone’s middle aged-and-up aunties in its later years. Some visitors are known to go in to take photos without purchasing any of the goods.

The company behind Plearn Wan also owns retro-themed cafes “Plearn Wan Panich” at several locations across Bangkok.


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