Hua Hin and Cha Am


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Asia » Thailand » Western Thailand » Hua Hin
January 2nd 2012
Published: January 11th 2012
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Hua HinHua HinHua Hin

Thai rock with Stoned Head!
2nd January ’12 Bangkok to Hua Hin

Got up for the breakfast buffet banquet then packed up and made our way to the station. We did have reserved seats as the only tickets left were 2nd class, so there was no mad rush but the train was in so we got on only to find people in our seats. Their mistake so no problem and they were very apologetic and pointed out that they had cleaned the seats! The carriage was wooden with all the windows open and ceiling fans so it was nice and cool once we got going. Straight away Howard was back in little boy mode all bouncing around and excited. He kept wanting to stick his head out the window but as the buildings were so close to the train track he could have been decapitated or ended up with someone’s knickers round his neck so he had to be restrained!

As we passed through the suburbs of Bangkok there was still some signs of the flooding but we hadn’t seen any in Bangkok city.

It took about 4 hours to get to Hua Hin down on the coast but it was an interesting
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Where's the beach?
journey with plenty to see out of the windows and a stream of people up and down the carriage selling various strange things to eat and drink. Unlike India where we would have given the food a go this stuff was so weird we just had absolutely no idea what is was and most of it involved either floppy things or strange coloured liquids so we didn’t attempt it!

It was about a 10 minute walk from the station into the town and to our hotel which we managed to find surprisingly easily. We were really surprised at just how many western tourists were there, infact Hua Hin kind of reminded me of a Spanish resort but with massage parlours!

We went out to find the night market, which was great with lots of interesting stalls selling things I would love to have bought but didn’t and fabulous paintings which again I resisted – after all how is a 5 foot canvas going to fit in a backpack?! There were stacks of food stalls with heaps of strange looking things on them and lots with restaurants behind them, so we picked one, ordered off the English menu and
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waiting for the train to Cha Am
saw it being cooked at the stall in front of us. I made the mistake of ordering some noodles and didn’t believe that was what they were when they came, they were wide floppy green things mixed with something which looked like it had been chewed up and spat out onto them!! But apparently this is what they call noodles.

Once again there were loads of horrible men with young thai women, including 2 of the hugest young lads with 2 very slim thai girls and the strange thing was they all looked bored rigid! As we walked about we were handed a leaflet for a bar called El Murphys where a rock band – Stoned Head were playing that night so we decided to give it a go. We made our way through the maze of little streets lined with girly bars and massage parlours and finally found it and what a treat, it was a proper pub, with no girls working it apart from the bar staff. Apart from Howard having a fit at paying £5 for a pint of Magners (when lager was only £2) it was great. The band were all old thai rockers and certainly matched their name! and they played old rock but seemed to be mainly Thin Lizzy or ZZ top with some strange words at times, but it was a treat to hear some live music again and have a drink! We got the impression the pub was a bikers bar by the signs, posters and in between band sets music, but the only biker we saw was a rather wimpy looking western bloke in a hells angel style cutoff. As the night went on the music changed to a kind of U2 session so we called it a day and left.

3rd Jan ’12 Hua Hin to Cha Am

That morning we had a couple of hours before our train so we checked out and left our bags at the hotel and headed back to El Murphys so the English breakfast for a quid we spotted last night. The area looked so different in the daylight, the bars were empty and the massage parlour girls all looked raddled but they were still out there trying to lure you in. As we sat with our English back bacon and Cumberland sausage we were right opposite one of the parlours
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Tonight's match
and the women just came across as desperate as they tried to get chatting to the old blokes and laughing at the pathetic attempts at jokes they made. I have to say the stupid blokes just came across as desperate too.

Hua Hin is supposed to have a really nice beach so we did our best to find it but everywhere along the seafront there are fishing piers which now have restaurants all over them and virtually no space between the piers, we walked right up along the road and still couldn’t find a beach, just giant hotels, very strange.

Back at the station we bought our tickets for Cha Am, it’s only a 30 minute journey but we couldn’t believe it when we were only charged 6 baht (12p) each. It was a free for all to get a seat when the train pulled in and we ended up sharing our section with an English guy who was really interesting. He lives and works just outside of Bangkok as a teacher and was telling us that for 30 minutes before school starts he and the other 2 western teachers have to stand outside the school by a
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The beach
roundabout so people passing can see that the school has western teachers! He has lived in Thailand for years and before that did a lot of travelling (when the holiday camp season ended at home) so we chatted about India and swapped stories.

It was a long way from the station at Cha Am down to the beach front where our hotel was but the only transport available was the motorbike taxis and as I didn’t fancy getting on the back of a bike with a big rucksack on we set off walking. Everywhere in Thailand there are motorbike taxis which is actually a really good idea as they are very cheap and fast and nip around the place. Luckily as we walked down the road one of the overgrown tuk tuks, which cruise about and pick up people who are all roughly going in the same direction as they pass by, stopped and we hopped on and we were the only passengers.

We arrived at the Cha Am Villa Beach and they had our booking but unfortunately the room they had for us was dark and dingy as it was in a parking garage!!! This was supposed to be our post India relaxing by the sea break. We had a walk about the hotel area and saw all the lovely rooms near the pool and went back to see if we could move rooms. As it happened there wasn’t a problem with this and we were shown 3 other rooms and plumped for the one which was light and airy and with a balcony where you could see the sea all for an extra £3.

Cha Am is a much quieter and smaller place than Hua Hin and it seems to be very popular with Thai people, the fact that it is still their NY holiday probably accounts for a lot of the people. The beach is very long and very sandy, there are lots of wooden kind of deck chairs, tables and umbrellas set out which are full of people having picnics and generally enjoying themselves. The Thais all go in swimming fully clothed so you can easily spot the handful of foreigners! Young lads dressed as cowboys ride horses up and down the length of the beach trying to entice people to go for a ride. All in all it has a very different feel to the place, much more laid back and relaxing.

That night we walked down to the Night Market which wasn’t much just a few stalls selling plastic toys, sun glasses and wicked looking knives! All the food stalls were up on a kind of open air pavilion area with a stage at one end and hundreds of tables and chairs in the middle. Well what a treat this was, it wasn’t packed so we were able to have a good look at everything being cooked and prepared and found some wonderful barbecue style pork, some chicken and things on skewers, rice with prawns and take away beer for our dinner that night. We sat at one of the tables feasting and listening to the band playing.

On the way home we spotted a Rotte stall – which is a kind of very thin pancake which they then fold over and cover with carnation milk and whatever else you fancy. So having a night of street food we decided to get one with chocolate. It was all going well, the guy brought out his lump of battery stuff and pummelled it about, wizzed it around on one hand, put it in the wok and stretched it out and folded it with his fingers (he did have a rag tied to one corner of the stall for hand wiping purposes), then he did this enormous sneeze wiped his nose on his shoulder and carried on cooking hmmm we thought, but still waited then he sneezed again, same procedure and he did wipe his hands on his rag before he took it out of the wok cut it up and put all the toppings on. I was a bit apprehensive about eating it but thought what the hell we have no real idea what anyone else had done before they served us food anyway! So if we survive the snot pancake I reckon we are doing alright!!

4th January ’12 Cha Am

Well we made it through the night and down to breakfast in the morning, where we discovered all the other westerners in Cha Am must be staying at our hotel! Later we found out they were all Germans as by the time we got to try out the pool all the wooden sunbeds with mats had been taken or had towels on them!! We managed to find 2 empty ones and half an old raggy mat so we made do with that, had a swim and a bit of a sunbathe.

For tea that night (we discovered earlier all the food stalls had vanished as had the deck chairs and brollies from the beach) we walked up the road and found a nice looking place. It even had T bone steak so I had to have one even though it was pretty pricey. The lovely tranquillity was spoiled by this obnoxious south African bloke on a table behind us shouting out to some guy he knew all about some excuse he had made to his woman (presumably thai) about borrowing money off him so she couldn’t find out he actually had some – well that’s the sanitised version anyway!. The food was ok when they finally brought out the right thing – Howard had ordered some chicken curry thing and ended up with fish soup at first which they then took back and it reappeared again as curried fish soup!!! Finally he got his chicken.

5th Jan ’12 Cha Am

More of the same, including Germans hogging sunbeds so we just went to the beach, found a shady spot for me and then went in for a swim it was lovely! A lady came round offering a foot scrub and a man came round selling plastic toys.

We had a walk back up the main street to go and buy our tickets for the minibus to Bangkok tomorrow and stopped at an Aussie restaurant for lunch which was a rather bizzare thing to find in Cha Am but the food was good and very cheap. There was only us and an old guy who turned out to be from Barnard Castle there so after the footy talk was over we carried on up the road sweltering and melting in the heat and bought our tickets.

We went back to the Aussie place for tea and really should have carried on walking when we saw how busy it was, but it was cheap so we grabbed the last table and ordered. 1 1/2hours later and starving our food finally arrived, by the time we finished we were the only people there and they were shutting up!

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