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Bustle to Beaches

THAILAND | Sunday, 15 December 2013 | Views [1640]

We woke up this morning excite at the prospect that we were leaving the city. We packed up our stuff, had our last breakfast at the hotel, which we had gotten sick of, and we were off on the Skytrain before 7:30. Because it was Saturday morning, the train was far less busy, a very good thing because Tim and I were packed up like a couple Sherpas setting our for a long trek up a mountain!

 Me packed to go

Hua Lamphong was, on the other hand, extremely busy. Apparently Saturdays are a popular travel day in Thailand. We quickly bought our ordinary class ticket to Hua Hin, 44 baht each, and marvelled over the crowds of people going about their lives. There were hundreds of school kids, which we later found out were on a school trip to Cha-Am, a small beach community on the coast of the Gulf of Thailand, and only one stop before Hua Hin. It was going to be a packed train.

 

We boarded as quickly as we could, securing seats without incident. We would, however, have to share seats with at first two smelly Thais, but later one of the students, named Ming, replaced a Thai that got off a couple stops into the journey. Ming, who spoke pretty good English, was apparently very shy, because here teacher was the one that insisted she sit down and at first, she was so nervous of us she was hugging the legs of her friend. We expected that she was about 14, but later when she opened up she explained that she was 18, in her last year of school and looking forward to going to University the following year. Ming was an amazing young girl, after she opened up she wouldn't stop asking us question of where we were from, where we were going etc. After explaining we were from Canada, Ming was giddy with excitement about snow, wanted to see pictures and exclaimed that she would desperately like to see snow in her life. I told her that most Canadian's think it's beautiful for the first snow fall, and when you are doing a winter activity such as skiing or snowshoeing. Other then that, it sucks!

 Ming

The train experience was much better this time, maybe because of Ming, but also because it was on time and hassle free. We enjoyed the scenery the journey had to offer, from the banana and pineapple plantations, rice fields to wild monkeys. Although many vendors got onto the train and we had a translator, we didn't adventure into the delights the locals had to offer.

Monkeys

 

We arrived to Hua Hin and immediately appreciated the reduced smog and traffic. Our hotel was a short 300 metre walk, located very close to the clock tower and 1 minute from the night market (Baan Manthana). We checked in and were off to the beach faster than you can say bathing suit. The beach is about a kilometre from our hotel and we made it in record time; albeit, we forgot our camera so had to return to our hotel before settling into a comfortable spot on the sand.

 

Hua Hin's beach is quite large, stretching for what seams to be miles. It is lined with the typical beach chairs and umbrellas, which for a small fee you can enjoy a beverage of choice and enjoy the tranquillity of the Gulf of Thailand. The sand was unusual in that you could form it into a ball, even when it was mostly dry. The sand particles appeared to be more like tiny crystals instead of tiny pebbles.

 Beach Sand

The tide was on its way out and we enjoyed watching the crabs scurry away, hiding in the sand with impressive precision. There were also hundreds, if not thousands, of little crabs on the dry section of the beach that had build a little hole which they would carry little balls of sand out of. It created an interesting spectacle when walking because you could see the little buggers moving out of the corner of your eye, but by the time you were close enough to see them, they had vanished back into their homes. If you stayed still, even for a couple seconds, the things would go about their business of carrying sand out of their homes.

Busy Crabs

 

Crab

 

The night market in Hua Hin was amazing in many ways. The seafood restaurants displayed their daily catch of giant 1 pound prawns, 2-5 pound lobsters (no big claws); and other assortments of fish and shellfish. Neither of us were very hungry, so we enjoyed a beer and did some people watching. Although this market was busy, it was nothing compared to Bangkok. The isles were much larger and it was easier to walk through, stopping at the shops that interested us. The relaxed atmosphere was a refreshing experience and we set out to task. Tim was able to find a good hat, no more burnt foreheads for him; and a replacement to the glasses he bough only 24 hours before. He said they must have been cheap; but I'm pretty sure expensive ones wouldn't survive him sitting on them ;-)

 

As we walked through one of the many shopping areas, we discovered a shop with many floor level aquariums. We had seen the fish eating spa treatments on the internet and I was anxious to try it. We saw one in Bangkok, but the price was crazy (300 baht, per person for 15 min), but for for only 150 baht for both of us, we 'drove in'. The tanks are filled with hundreds of small leach type fish that swarm your feet almost immediately. The feeling is hard to describe, but we both agreed that it was very similar to pins and needles after your foot “falls asleep”. Tim thought they should pay us to feed their fish, but I enjoyed the smooth feeling the fish feeding frenzy left my legs.

 Fish Feeding

The night ended with us getting some food. We skipped the comparatively expensive restaurants, which are not bad priced at about 300 baht for a t-bone steak, or prawn dinner, but not the trip we are on. Nope, we looked for a couple minutes and on a side street found some locals eating curry noodle soups; two bowls please. The soup was very good, but deceitfully spicy. I had almost finished my bowl before I realized my lips were numb from spice. I think I might pay for it tomorrow...

 Soup

Tim really liked it :)

 

 

Tags: beach., fish spa, hua hin, night market

 

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