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Published: September 13th 2014
After our final breakfast at Kanpuri Hotel, Jo and I headed out on the motorbikes to start making plans to travel south, with the coastal city of Hua Hin our proposed destination. We collected our finished laundry (4kgs - THB80 - NZ$3) and found the train station to figure out how best to get to our destination. Trains from Kanchanaburi were few and far between, and didn't seem to fit in with any connections heading south, we may have even had to go back to Bangkok. A mini-bus seemed to be the way to go.
Before leaving, we had one more tourist stop to make in town - the Kanchanaburi War Cemetery (Allied War Cemetery) located across the road from the Thailand Burma Railway Centre. 6982 Australian, Dutch and British POWs are buried in the cemetery, most of whom died while working on the railway as POWs of the Japanese.
We were lucky to get a tuk-tuk driver from the motorbike rental shop that knew his way around and we were surprised to be dropped off somewhere other than the station that we arrived at. The station was a huge shed housing a number of food vendors and a
couple of touts selling THB220 (NZ9) tickets to Hua Hin. We paid up stating that we would put our bag on our laps rather than buying a ticket for it.
I had just enough time to down a $1 super spicy pork mince before we headed off on the 3 hour drive. A monk that was also waiting for the mini-bus got the shits with two German tourists for taking the front seats in the main part of the van and was not any happier when the driver offered him the front passengers seat. He started to complain that the tourists had not paid for their bag despite the fact that there were only four people and himself in a mini-bus that could hold at least a dozen people. This carried on for a few minutes but stopped when I confronted the driver.
"Are we going to have any issues here?"
"No" I was assured.
"Good - let's get going then."
The monk seemed less than happy but went quiet and stayed quiet (as all good monks should do) for the rest of his free ride.
There was one stop on the way, at
a gas station in Phetchaburi where we found a KFC to fill ourselves in the thirty minutes it took for the mini-bus to queue to fill it's tanks.
Hua Hin was immediately disappointing. It is located along a long stretch of coastline that I'm sure is quite beautiful but is lined by international hotels from all the chains, meaning the coast cannot be seen from any vantage points accessible by the public.
After a quick walk around we found the "Say Cheese" Guesthouse and it's Dutch owner rented us a couple of motorbikes at THB300 each for 48 hours. He was picking his son up from a school just over the road from our home for the next two nights Nantra Hua Hin Hotel, so we followed him through the streets.
We took the bikes out for a spin, heading south along the tourist part of town where bars, massage parlours, guest houses and suit makers competed for the foreign dollar. It was all a bit plastic for my liking and Jo felt much the same.
We splashed out on dinner at one of the few placed I could find with a sea view... in fact
the restaurant was over the water. The THB1250 NZ$50 meal was as touristy as it's surroundings. Fortunately there is no such thing as bad lobster or seafood pizza and the view made up for any gastronomic shortcomings. We were given a free fruit plate for dessert but it ended up coming home with us in a doggy bag - we were well eaten indeed.
We had an early night and made plans for another motorbike adventure the next day.
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