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Published: January 12th 2014
Hue Hin Railway Station
The King's waiting room (he lives in Hua Hin).
400 Bahts (£8) was the taxi fare from Cha Am to Hua Hin which was reasonable for the half hour ride and we arrived again at Tira Tiraa Condominium where we had stayed 3 years ago. This time a nicer 1 bed apartment with a view over the pool.
We stocked up with food etc from the local supermarket and were soon off for a meal at one of the many restaurants on the Night Market.
Within minutes we were tapped on the shoulder by Marg and Phil whom we met last time. Nothing had changed!
We picked up a songthaew each morning and went back to our favourite beach with our favourite (cheapest) sunbed man, followed by a coffee at Starbucks. Night after night we ate, on the Night Market, fried rice with various seafoods or vegetables, costing about £9 for the two of us with drinks. After a week of this we decided for a change and went to a local restaurant (if you can call it that). We looked for somewhere to sit down but were met by a lovely Thai girl who spoke a little English, she explained that this was a 'buffet' costing
Our self service restaurant.
Cooker in the middle of the table.
£2 each. All the raw food was on a table in the middle and you had to cook it yourself on a little charcoal cooker on our table. Michelle's face was a picture however she was persuaded to stay. Being semi vegetarian we went through our usual attempt at explaining that we did not eat meat. "This ok for you", "so no meat, no pork?". "No just chicken". However we managed and were soon putting mushrooms on our 'grill', ripping up cabbage and spinach with the best of them and soon we had everything boiling merrily. After eating and eating we finally realised that we had cooked too much and were totally bloated, just as 'lovely girl' showed us where we could get our Thai dessert. This seemed to consist of dolly mixtures soaked in sweet cold custard. After a bowl of this each we left for a lie down!
The next night United were on TV on a big screen at another 'restaurant' frequented by the locals. We had noticed on the menu that they served french fries, they also served fried eggs. We literally did put two and two together and ordered egg and chips.
Monk feeding the monkeys.
The beer here is 3 pints for £3 and United won, what a great night.
The weather has been oddly cold for Thailand, so instead of going to the beach we took the songthaew to Takiab which is really at the southern end of the long stretch of Hua Hin beach. Still only 10 Bahts but about 5 miles out of town. Here the beach is a not as good but there is Monkey Mountain, basically a rock with a temple on the top. Of course it is a long climb and you see the occasional Macaque monkey blocking your path but they are not interested in us and they act as though we are not there. However when the monks come to feed them you realise there are several hundred, they fight for food around your feet but there is no danger. There is little left to do so after a coffee we returned by songthaew.
Christmas Eve meal is more celebrated in Europe than Christmas Day meal, which meant it was difficult to find a place in a restaurant! however we were pricing up our Christmas Day meal and decided on the
Hua Hin Seafood restaurant. We arrived next night and ordered Michelle's choice of lobster. It weighed 1.2 kilo and cost £35, Terry could not get full enjoyment out of this celebrated food when he worked out that it cost over £2 per mouthful "you can buy two pints of beer for that"! A nice meal and later a nice night with some friends in a bar but I think lobster has been put on the back burner.
Michelle wants us to assess all the restaurants we have been to, or shied away from, mainly on the Night Market. Most of the restaurants are pretty much the same, and the service depends on which waiter/waitress you get. Food can be good in one but next night only OK, and prices vary for different food and drinks. So it is too hard and inaccurate to recommend one. What we can say is that two stood out as being expensive. The Green Mango we actually walked out of when we read the menu as most prices were 50% more expensive than the majority, it also always seems empty, maybe for the same reason, it is also for sale, some people
never learn! The Lanna also was expensive but not by as much.
Leaving the Night Market and following the rail tracks 300 metres north, there are restaurants mainly for the Thais and much better value. Starting with the aforementioned self service, but further along though was a Manchester United bar called The Pream! This was probably our favourite as the food was cheap, there was an offer on the beer at 3 pints for £3 and the waitresses were the most beautiful in Thailand (so Terry said).
Our favourite bar we had no doubt 'The Retrophilia' which played great music and one night had a lovely singer on live.
There is a big car park next to our block and it is usually full of trucks which take people back and forth to Bangkok. It can be quite smelly and dirty but one day they were brushing up the litter and later they were putting up a bandstand. So when we were both dressed up that night we thought we would walk that way on the way to the Night Market and the restaurants.
There were a group of girls singing and dancing on
New Year's Eve.
With Paul, Marg, Phil and us two.
the stage and about 500 people sat on chairs. All around the outside were stalls selling (or so we thought) food and drinks. We stood for a few moments watching.
Then, first a man, then a few women signalled to us that we were welcome and could get some food. Eventually Terry asked a lady who spoke English what was going on. She said it was the Buddhist New Year 2557. She also told us to get some food telling us it was all vegetarian, again we said no it was their party. The next minute she brought us two skewers of roasted mushrooms on two plates with some hot sauce, also two cartons or orange juice with straws. She told us that as they were Buddhists their policy is to give. We looked at some of the food and gave in. We went onto the inside and were approached straight away with people offering food. We had more mushrooms but resisted the sauce! Then noodles with tofu, tomatoes and mushroom. Some sort of donuts, some sort of potato in batter. We moved on, vegetables and banana in a batter with soy sauce. Sweet rice, cakes and more sweet
Buddhist New Year
Dancers on the stage.
things. Just as we were getting a bit full there was a stall with fried rice, our favourite. Then a young lad, who had been smiling at us (like everybody else), asked Terry did he want 'ice hockey team'. Terry was embarrassed to have to ask him twice but still could not grasp his meaning so he pulled Terry to another stall where he showed him a tub full of ice cream!! He was given a large portion of it and Michelle also soon had a tub.
It is hard to explain just how nice these people had been to us, very poor but so generous. Obviously we no longer needed a meal so we found seats to watch the show.
Dancers, singers, comediennes. Eventually it seemed near to an end and 5 women appeared in costume doing typical Thai dancing, after a while they were encouraging all the women to come on stage to dance and then to dance in front of the stage, which they readily did. Then the unforeseen happened and two women dragged Michelle up. One of the least likely dancers in history then did Thai dancing for over ten minutes until the whole
Spot the odd one out.
Michelle joining in the Thai dancing
show finally wound up at 10.15.
A great night in Thailand, one we will never forget.
And so we end our 5 weeks here. We spent £1,000 in five weeks which was £500 under budget. Would we come again to Hua Hin? Three weeks ago we said no. One week ago maybe. Now hmmm.
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