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Published: March 27th 2018
Woolly says – It’s amazing what a couple of days rest can do for humans, having let them lie by the pool and burn (well in Zoe’s case) they both seemed upbeat and ready for adventure. I hadn’t fared so well having suffered the indignity of having been bathed and put on the balcony to dry, the view was lovely, but the water really didn’t agree with my sense of humour even though I had to admit that I’d forgotten that my tusks are actually white! We had decided to have a week by the beach and Hua Hin met most of our criteria on paper (although it’s not really paper these days, more documents online!), once a quiet fishing village, it grew into a fashionable escape for residents of Bangkok during the 1920s when the railway arrived and the Thai royal family built summer palaces here. Some of which were still about to see and would make interesting viewing.
The rest was doing us good and having nothing other than a swim and a short walk to find some food as our only daily activities seemed quite strange. Woolly says –
With day three starting under a haze of clouds we had asked the reception desk to call a tuk tuk for us and gave them our destination. The driver arrived and without speaking pointed to the rear of his colourful vehicle for us to climb in, we’ve travelled enough by now to know that you must always agree the price before setting off, pointing at our first choice place of the day and asking how much, he replied ‘700 baht’, I nearly choked on my après breakfast snack and Jo just laughed, ‘it is a long way, over 30 kilometres’ he said. Jo laughed again and told him that the palace that we were seeking was around fifteen kilometres away and that he was full of it, I wasn’t sure what he was full of and turned my bewildered stare towards her to seek enlightenment.
It was to hot to argue and having looked at our list of attractions I pointed to one I knew was about two kilometres away, the driver didn’t look happy and muttered ‘300 baht’, I laughed again and told him we would pay one hundred and fifty and climbed on,
we paid far more on the short journey there as he hit every bump, pot hole and curb possible. Woolly says – We had the last laugh as he dropped us off and promptly shoved his tour menu in front of our faces and beaming at us, Zoe being fairly blunt smiled back and said in her ultra polite voice, ‘no thanks we don’t like you or trust you’, we walked away. So, the palace wasn’t going to happen today, we did however have the customary Wat to look at. Hua Hin Wat wasn’t huge but had a lovely entrance guarded by two golden dragons, I trotted up the steps and admired the gold leafed Buddha’s that resided inside and the wonderful artwork that adorned the walls. A lot of the complex looked as though it was still under construction or refurbishment and having found ourselves in the monk’s area we hastily took a few more shoots before we got told off and I trotted off down the road with the women following behind. The town doesn’t have a great amount of tourist attractions, although, Bob, one of our fellow travelblog moderators, had messaged me with a
hotel to check out, not your usual destination but if Bob rated it then it must be worth a look. It proved incredibly easy to find, although the man guarding the gate didn’t look too impressed with our wish to enter and having spotted a sign saying museum we pointed to it and were allowed in. The Railway Hotel was used as the Hotel Phnom Penh in the 1984 film The Killing Fields and dates back to the railway arriving in the town, being built to provide luxury lodgings for the tourists. Opened in October 1922 it had been added onto many times form it’s original fourteen rooms, today it is known as the Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Hua Hin.
It looked incredibly posh, but the highlight had to be the topiary trees that filled the landscaped gardens. Woolly says – Giant elephants, flying turtles and many other animals were beautifully shaped as was a lovely pond which held delicate water lilies. Everywhere I looked there was another work of art, we wandered happily admiring each and every item before finally finding the museum. Well it wasn’t really a museum
more of a twenties style tea room with a couple of display cases, I glanced at the menu knowing that our budget wouldn’t run to even a small snack and having admired another few green elephants we took our leave. A short walk led us onto the cream coloured sand which was soft and warm under my paws, sadly it was difficult to see due to the extensive number of cafes that lined the beach each with hundreds of umbrellas to provide shade, which was lovely but given that they ran right into the sea didn’t make us inclined to linger, somehow we had imagined huge expanses of sand with an odd palm tree, an umbrella just isn’t the same. Having perched myself on a rock to avoid any wet paws the girls pulled off their boots and paddled in the few meters of shoreline that wasn’t crammed with brollies and beds.
The sea was warm and inviting but not for today and not in an area where you join the sunbaking sardines on their sunbeds. Woolly says – Having found our location on the map I looked to see if there
was anything else to warrant my attention, Sai Nam Kheo Shrine a small Chinese temple was a mere moment away and defiantly worth passing on our way to find some food. It might be small, but it was beautifully painted and had some lovely decorative features along with two Chinese dragons who stood proudly outside. A few snaps later and we were done, taking to the main street we wandered along slowly checking out the menus until finding one that would suit us all, a gentle breeze cooled us as we sat in one of the many floating restaurants enjoying the delights of fresh scallops and cold drinks, not a bad start to Hua Hin and I just knew there was even better to come!
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