On Monday 21st June we all got up early in order to leave Kanchanaburi and get to Hua Hin reasonably early as we expected the journey to take 4-5hrs. As soon as we arrived at the bus station we jumped on the number 13 bus to Ratchaburi which was just leaving. We should have known from the bus number that the journey wouldn’t go as planned! Two hours later we arrived in Ratchaburi only to find the bus stop was a couple of benches on the side of the road. We kept getting told by the locals it would be ten more minutes, then another ten, eventually it arrived after nearly 2 hours!! The bus was jam packed with people and when all the seats were full they started lining people up in the aisle! We were very surprised when 2 hours later we stopped in Petchaburi and were told this was the last stop! We were left in the middle of nowhere at this tiny little bus station and had no idea when there would be a bus to Hua Hin coming. Obviously the only thing to do in this situation was to get a few beers in and wait. It took 20minutes for the bus to arrive; we all got on and just couldn’t believe it when 2 minutes later we stopped at a service station for a 20minute food and drink break! We eventually arrived in Hua Hin at 6pm, 8 hours after leaving Kanchanaburi! Needless to say we dropped our bags and headed straight for the bar. Later that evening we visited the night market before having some drinks on our rooftop before bed.
Our rooms were decorated really nicely but unfortunately the beds were a bit too hard so after breakfast we moved guesthouse. While everyone else went to the beach Mum and I went to the tourist information for things to do in the area. On our way there we passed the police station which had a stall outside selling police hats, jackets, badges etc which was quite strange. After going to the tourist information which wasn’t really that helpful we went to meet everyone on the beach only to find them all lying in the shade of a single palm tree. In the afternoon the men went off suit shopping while the Mum, Jo, Le and I went in search of handbags and shoes. We were going to go and look for the men but somehow got sidetracked and ended up in a cafe having cocktails! Oops! Although not long after we’d sat down they turned up and told us that Dad had ordered 1 sit and Martin had ordered 2! Although they only cost 1900B each (£31)! At 8.30pm we went to watch Muay Thai not far from our guesthouse, there were 5 fights each with 5 rounds. Nick and I had a bet on with Dad, 20B a fight; unfortunately he won 4 of the 5! Beginners’ luck I say!
The next day everyone but me and Le went for a walk along the beach to Khao Takiab, an outcrop of land with a 19m tall Buddha, temples and monkeys. Nick told them it should only take an hour but it ended up taking about 2! In the afternoon Le and Jo went to the beach while the rest of us went to Dad and Martins suit fitting. They were very thorough with the measurements and agreed to put their names inside their jackets, for a small fee obviously. We walk back past a tour operators where Mum and I have seen an advert for a Thai Show, after checking with Jo we book 4 tickets for that evening. At 6.30 Mum, Jo, Le and I are picked up and taken to the Theatre which is just outside of town. It looks very posh and our table was right in front of the stage so we had an excellent view. Before the show began we had to pick four courses from the menu which would be brought out throughout the show. The show was all about different styles of Thai dance and was very good, although you couldn’t hear the speaker so didn’t really know exactly what was going on. Near the end of the show Mum and Jo were taken onto the stage to join in one of the dances where they had to dance between bamboo poles, it was very funny as on her first try Jo got her foot caught! At 9pm we were driven back to our guesthouse and found the men in a small restaurant having a beer, we had to go to the market so said we would meet them in a little while. When we returned we found them in our guesthouses bar playing pool with the Thai women that seemed to be after more than just a game of pool! It was quite funny that as soon as we arrived they weren’t so interested in them anymore!
On Thursday we rented mo-peds again in order to see the surrounding area. We ended up going to Khao Tao a small fishing village 13km south of Hua Hin. On the way we passed loads of pineapple fields and stalls which smelt so sweet. The beach was absolutely covered in shells some of which were bright pink, so we all set about collecting a few. Martin even found some sea urchins which Jo has planned to make a wind chime out of. Dad, Le and I waited while everyone else walked to see the temple and Buddha’s on the hill at the end of the beach; but they took so long we gave up waited and wrote ‘Gone to Bar’ on the road with a little arrow. However just as we were leaving they came round the corner, typical! In the evening we drove to Cha-Am as we wanted to show them the big night market, only to find it had been on the previous night. Dad had spotted a couple of markets on the ride though so we stopped off at them on our way back, although it was mainly food on display. We had decided to leave the next day and head south to Prachuap Khiri Khan, a smaller beach side town that was much less touristy and more Thai. Again we waited at the bus station and were told the usual 10 minute story, eventually we got fed up of waiting and decided to go by pickup. When we arrived in Prachuap the guesthouse we’d originally planned to stay at didn’t look very appealing and didn’t have enough room so we went to another nearer to the town. It was a modern building with brilliant views of the hills and the beach, which was just across the road from the guesthouse. Perfect. After lazing on the beach all afternoon we walked into town that evening for dinner, along the way we saw loads of bats coming from a cave under ‘mirror mountain’ and loads of monkeys in the park on the side of the road. It was strange to see a lot of the locals sat on the pavement having picnics and even more doing the same in the park. After dinner we went back to play cards and have our first glass of wine in 5months! We all woke up in our own time and went downstairs where you could have breakfast overlooking a river being used for oyster beds, with huge limestone cliffs covered in trees in the background.. We spent another day on the beach and although we were in the shade for most of the day a fair few of us still managed to get sunburn and Jo had some lovely panda eyes from where she’d worn her sunglasses! On our last day in Prachuap Mum, Dad, Jo and Nick went snorkeling while Martin, Le and I stayed on the beach again. Apparently the snorkeling wasn’t that great but they got taken to some lovely bays in the area. When they came back we went for a Thai style lunch where we bought a variety of dishes to share, these included a huge plate of green lip mussels and some gigantic prawns! After lunch we phoned Kay to wish her a happy birthday while Martin raided the children’s piggy banks for 1baht coins so we could play poker that evening!
At 8.45am we left Prachuap and started the 5hr journey back to Bangkok. As we boarded the bus another westerner got on and sat at the back with me and Nick. He told us that he was also going to Bangkok and then on to Cambodia. As the bus started filling up he moved seats to sit next to a Thai girl in front of me and Nick. They started chatting and then swapped phone numbers, they obviously liked each other and I thought it was really sweet. He gave her a little kiss and then put his arm around her. I looked over at Martin who mouthed to me ‘ladyboy’, I couldn’t believe it! We were then all shocked when he changed his plans and got off the bus with it at Hua Hin! Sure enough when I saw its face and figure you could tell it was not a girl after all! I couldn’t believe things like that actually happened in real life and couldn’t help but wonder if he’d realised it was actually a boy?! In the afternoon once we’d arrived in Bangkok we all went souvenir shopping and Mum, Jo, Nick and I booked into a cookery course. That night most of us went to bed early but Jo and Nick somehow managed to stay up until 1am and drank a large bottle of Sangsom between them!
For the morning of their last day in Thailand Mum and Jo came with Nick and me to the Thai cookery course, Dad caught the riverboat over to the Forensic Museum and Martin and Le went shopping again. In the afternoon we all met up for a drink before Mum, Nick, Le, Jo and Martin went to the Grand Palace whilst me and Dad stayed at the guesthouse. They said the Grand Palace was absolutely stunning and well worth a visit. On our last evening together we went to the same restaurant that we’d gone to on our first night together. The only difference was this time we weren’t happy with the service. Still that’s the fun of traveling, the bad stories are always better than the ones where things go to plan!
The next morning we walked them all to the minibus which would take them to the airport and said our goodbyes. Now, its back to being me and Nick again just as it was those 4 long weeks ago.
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