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Published: February 2nd 2019
Lion&Shark - really nice restaurant belonging to a hostel
So 2 days on the beach has had positives (mainly) and a few negatives. There is a lot of development in the area, more than is immediately apparent. The main street ‘pink’ travel agency is now half the size, the other half being made into another Burger King, when there is already one just round the corner. Really??? And on the way to the beach, behind the Last Fisherman Bar there is a lot of construction. Not high rise, but when finished I don’t know how the beach will cope. There are so few places to be out of the sun. Téoo (not Nai, as I’d thought) said that next year it is planned to replace all the bamboo massage huts with proper buildings, no doubt much more expensive rent wise for the local people who make a living out of them. They don’t seem very busy as it is. So that is quite depressing.
Not so depressing is finding breakfast places. Yesterday I went to the Indian restaurant down the road, where 2 years ago my buddy came a right cropper in the toilet when it was raining bigtime and the floor was wet, and last year I got
mild food poisoning. Breakfast was fine, so third year lucky. Today I looked on Tripadvisor and went to a hostel called Lion&Shark, really nice but you’d never spot it as it’s up the side road next to Tandoori Night’s (sic!). Lovely bread, a big cup of tea, cool music and not all of the seating needed you to be cross legged, luckily. Last night I walked up the hill to find a food court. One called Jame I’d seen on a vlog was closed down but there’s another small one next to Memory Hostel, after Blueshotel. It was OK but not local, all tourists there and not much variety. Fish, mainly. I had a thing on a stick, then a banana pancake near my hotel.
Also yesterday I had a foot and leg massage for 150b and my nails painted with flowers, 200b, both at hut 15 on the beach. Interestingly and annoyingly, it’s moved location, so the numbering now goes 9,10,15, 12. See pic. The old 15 has been taken over by the kayak people who used to be next door. Téoo is not happy as her space is now smaller. She still has some of the same
staff but some have gone elsewhere, to Malaysia and (soon) to Japan, where they can earn more. The service is still great there. I got free bananas, pineapple and watermelon, was offered coffee and the sunbeds are still 100b. Apparently each hut is allowed a line of 8 sunbeds and one row behind. People seem to get down much earlier than before. For lunch, the rules have changed about vendors, so the sweetcorn man isn’t allowed to walk down the beach. He has to stay near the bars. He trots along to take orders, but as he is deaf communication isn’t easy for him.
It was nice to talk to Téoo and learn a bit about her life. She has an English boyfriend, Barry, a lot older than her. When I said I’d heard about him she got her phone out, I thought to show me a photo. The next minute I was facetiming him in Basingstoke, where he was sort of snowed in. He would like to move here, his family (understandably) are not so keen, and Téoo has had her visa application refused twice, also not so surprisingly! She said that she kisses her friends here, meaning
westerners, although Thai people don’t touch friends of the opposite sex. She learnt a bit of English at school but never used it and has the usual good listening comprehension of someone who has picked it up on the street, or beach in this instance. She also explained the wai greeting, used only to people older than you. Tourists have cottoned to this custom but not the finer detail!
Today on the beach I saw a lot of urchins washed up on the tide line. Some were still alive, all would ruin your holiday if you stepped on one. I’ve never seen live ones on the beach before. Sure enough, they are also rolling around in the shallows. I expected to hear screams all day. Most people don’t have shoes. I went in, but one step at a time, wait for the water to clear, then one more. So tomorrow it’s Poda Island, 600b return and 400b National Park fee. You wouldn’t want to pay that every day.
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