We went to songkhla with the whole family on Tuesday morning, all the swimming and beach gear packed… however unfortunately after enquiring at a few hotels (in Thailand you never normally book things) we discovered there was a medical conference and therefore no family sized rooms. Unsure of what to do, we carried on with our day and decided to plan later whether to head back home or find somewhere else, we met Rob’s Californian friend Marlane who is an anthropologist and so knew a lot about the history of the town and had a lot of things to show us. We walked round the town and to the port, before going up ‘monkey mountain’ although Rob said he often used to jog up it, he also said that was how he damaged a tendon in his back, so we opted for the lift.
Monkey mountain got that name for a reason, as we arrived we saw about a hundred monkeys climbing and sitting on the grass and on the pavement, apparently they’re a bit of a nuisance in the town as they can take food right out of people’s hands, none of them got particularly close to us though. There was an amazing view from the top of the mountain, we could see the entire town, and many islands in the distance.
After taking a lot of scenic photos, we headed to our hotel. We both decided to stay on our own for the night, without Rob or any other person fluent in Thai to help us, so we were quite excited! Our night alone began with going for a typical Thai meal… okay maybe not, we opted for Italian, where a friendly waitress asked for our facebooks! Everybody is quite interested in talking to us! Following our meal of six pounds, we realised the complex was closing and had to be led out of the building by a security guard! Walking along the interesting streets, we tried to find a Tuk Tuk to take us to a ‘Red Cross’ festival, thankfully we learnt the words for ‘Red Cross’ so we didn’t have much trouble getting there. But the way back is another story…
After purchasing several gifts and assorted things at the festival we asked a Tuk Tuk outside to take us to “chok dee hotel” however we pronounced it “chuck dee” which confused him, we did not realise our mistake until he stopped at “lucky bar”, much to our confusion as this was a strip bar… and certainly not the place which we intended to end up at! Luckily for us the thai girls on the Tuk Tuk with us understood where we meant and instructed the driver accordingly (he was not very amused), still can’t really argue with 40p per person transport!
Our second day in Songkhla started with a breakfast of Dunkin’ Donuts, yes we are quite ashamed of not always sticking to the healthy Thai cuisine, but what can we say? We had a craving for sugar. During breakfast we met another ‘phelang’, a French guy waiting for his family to come over. He invited us to see the aquarium with him, however we had our hearts set on another massage, so went in search of a parlour. Coming across one near our hotel room, we both asked for an oil massage, which is self explanatory, however, after putting on the clothes given to us, a relatively loud Thai women told us to take them off, so we both ended up wearing next to nothing with Thai women rubbing essential oils into our backs. Hollie didn’t really like it, however if Jess explained it she’d probably see its’ positive side, I guess it felt quite relaxing. The hotel room only cost four pounds each, so we checked out happily! After meeting Rob and grabbing a quick Thai lunch, we set off in search for a swimming pool.
The first hotel, where we had been intending to stay the day before had had its swimming pools drained… Rob commented it was probably lucky this hotel hadn’t had space as if we had booked a room and found there was no swimming pool Clara and JJ would have been very disappointed. Arriving at a second hotel, Rob managed to get us access to the pool there, even though it is normally only for hotel guests, as he has a well connected friend. As Rob went to get a foot massage, as he didn’t have his swimming stuff, we had the pool all to ourselves. It couldn’t have been better located, there were palm trees around the sides and a view of the sea, the water in the pool wasn’t too cold and it was very refreshing to have a nice long swim. There was also a little hot Jacuzzi connected to it which we sat in for a while, it was idyllic. As we enjoyed our little slice of “tourist style” holiday we were oblivious to everything else, and truly had a chance to relax, hopefully more of this when we head to the island on our own tomorrow for two nights 😊 we are hoping to meet our Russian friends there, and will probably not have internet access while we are there.
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