We have managed to avoid any 'massages' or having anything tailor made for us, despite insistent offers. Also, we have not ventured into any of the 'bars' that only have young ladies in them, fearing that drinks weren't the only thing for sale. The dirty underbelly of tourist Thailand is never far away but the positives far outweigh these negatives. The sea is warm, the climate and welcome too. After more than three months travelling, it's time to go home. We hope to avoid the civil unrest and get through Bangkok airport tonight to finish the journey.
Saturday, 22 February 2014
Like many holiday places, Hua Hin grew out of a fishing village (the name means 'stone head' from the smooth boulders studding the beach). Siam's Southern railroad connected it to Bangkok in 1903 and it then grew as first a destination for Thais, then later foreigners. A wedding yesterday on the waterfront, with a reception in the hotel grounds underlined the draw of the place internationally.
Friday, 21 February 2014
We scoffed our way through multiple courses in our bid to try the entire Nigella Flirts With Thailand recipe book. Our favourite passing trader was the girl on the mobile flower scooter shop, which took up the whole street. She rode texting her pals without looking up - or hitting anything. We did more quality shopping at 'Thaimark' after.
Thursday, 20 February 2014
Hua Him is Thailand's oldest beach resort and the royal family stay here during the hot season (March to May) in their Klaikangwon Palace nearby. The former Royal Garden Resort, our hotel has tropical lagoons and gardens, providing a somewhat more authentic experience than the other nearby high rise hotels in town.
Last night all the power went off for several hours during a downpour. This made the whole evening much more interesting as we searched the dark streets for a restaurant with generator backup, while diners elsewhere enjoyed a romantic candlelit supper. We preferred to be able to see what we were eating. The streets are lined with electric cable hung from poles; the overall impression is of one huge mess of copper wires and power cuts seem more of a certainty than an occasional hazard. The rain continued over night and then reached monsoon proportions in the morning, washing the air clean of the grubby haze that clings to The Gulf of Thailand.
Wednesday, 19 February 2014
The routine is established: Read by the sea, swim in the pool, cocktail o'clock, go to town in the evening. It could be a busy week. Last night the temple was closed due to a cremation while everywhere else was a throbbing vibrant exciting experience. The food is superb, especially if you like chillies and lime. We wandered the night market, crossing streets assisted by traffic controllers with glowing red sticks, dodging tuk tuks and ubiquitous scooters.
Tuesday, 18 February 2014
After a final week on The Central Coast, our time in Oz finally ran out and we headed North and 4 timezones West, to Thailand. Arriving into Bangkok (seeing no evidence of the unrest that's been a feature here since early January), we were taken to Anantara Resort in Hua Hin. Although on a busy road, it is set so far back on the beach that it is an oasis of tranquility. The gentle, friendly Thais are a pleasure, as is their terrific food.