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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Escort Central

We came to Hua Hin 2 days ago and has been a refreshing, if not slightly disappointing, change to the hustle of Bangkok. Mister Al no longer gets pestered every 2 steps if he'd like to buy a tailor-made suit, if he wants to buy me a rose from a young girl, see a "ping-pong" show or go for some back street massage (its now more like every 10 steps!!!) Hua Hin has defiantly made us get into the back packing spirit and have a little chill. 
Before I go on I forgot to mention in my last blog the flooding situation here in Thailand. As we were flying into Bangkok looking out of the window it was obvious the citys been hit by severe flooding, the rivers were resting on the brim and field after field appeared water-logged. Along Khoa San Road there were still sandbags around the shops and guesthouses but these were removed before we left. When we did our river trip the smaller ports were flooded, with what appeared to be tables and chairs from little restaurants within the ports underwater. Wooded planks had been laid down for people to walk along above the water and big pipes were churning the floodwater back into the river. We felt sorry for the families along the riverside whose homes and businesses had obviously been effected but also amazed and impressed with how they've adapted- we saw people had hung their clothes neatly on hangers out of their windows above the river. Thankfully for the Thai people the rain has stopped, however Mister Al is disappointed as he's dying to stand out in the warm rain and get soaked!!!!

Now back to Hua Hin, I'm sure I mentioned this was a place recommended to us by the "middle-aged," lovely lady who sold us our visa for Thailand back in Liverpool. Hmmm.... this lady defiantly comes to Thailand for reasons different to Mister Al and myself!!! It was sold to us of being a "quiet fishing town" on the coast with nice beaches.
The bus journey here was fine, a little bit squishy but the 4 hours passed quite quickly. When we arrived the bus dropped us off in the middle of a street so with our lonely planet map we proudly navigated our way to the guesthouse we had previously booked, (well we asked 2 people for help but we probably could have found it with out them!!!). The guesthouse "Pattana" is nice, it has a lovely bar/communal area with fairy lights all around the outside. After checking in we quickly set out to explore the beach. This is where the disappointment began. It was packed, full of little "on the beach" restaurants each with their own small space on the sand and deckchairs and umbrellas, and the sea was a rather brown colour with litter floating in it, not what we had imagined.

That night Liverpool were playing Manchester City and we had no trouble finding a bar showing it (Hua Hin gained a point on Mister Als score card!) It was here we noticed the number of "older" western men with "younger" very pretty Thai women. We realised we were in "escort central" as we now call it. This has made good people watching for us though. 

The next day we decided to give the beach a go. We didn't really swim in the not very nice sea but we did have a gorgeous lunch sat on a chair and table in the edge of the sea with our feet dipping in the water! The sun was out and we catched some rays! We also went for our first run since coming to Thailand along the beach bare foot, which was fab, we were very, very sweaty after but we loved it! 

Today we got a tuck-tuck to Takiap, (aka chopstick mountain), where there's a temple on a hill overlooking Hua Hin with a "big Budda" to one side. The best thing about here though was that it is home to hundreds of wild monkeys!!!! They were everywhere, freely walking around the street, up into the temple. We watched a group jumping into a large bowl of water and pushing each other in. I was a little bit scared, as I know these wild monkeys are prone to jump on people especially if they have food. We had our water tucked safely in a bag but we saw a couple who literally got pounced on by about 4 monkeys as soon as they bought an ice-cream, a battle in which the monkeys defiantly won!! 

Today was our last day in Hua Hin and we have swapped and changed our plan for tomorrow so many times this afternoon! When we were in Bangkok we accidentally stumbled across a Thai boxing ring used for Thai boxing training and fitness training. They offer a package for a week just out of Bangkok where they train you twice a day, accommodation and food included and all under our daily budget. However the camp has been closed due to the flooding and is hopefully going to be opened again at the end of this week. We also found another gym offering the same kind of training on Koh Phagnan (where we are spending new year) so we’ve contacted both and hoping one will accept us. So it depends on this what we do in the meantime, we didn’t want to go all the way south if we end up going to the gym in Bangkok but at the same time we want to fit the east coast in before going to the West for Christmas. After walking around and finding out different prices to go different places for about 3 hours tonight, getting lost and very sweaty we finally came to the decision we are going to Khanchanaburi tomorrow, by train first and then hopefully finding a bus to take us the last part. Here we can go to Tiger Temple and do some other activities while we wait for the gyms to get back to us. Then its either back to Bangkok to the gym or to the islands on the west before Koh Phagnan for the gym.

Just realised this is a massive blog, were sat outside the guesthouse and the young guy working here has been waiting for us to come off the internet so he can go home but we didn’t realise so I’m going to have to post this in the morning. Also I’m getting bitten by naughty mosquitoes all over my legs, luckily we have some tiger balm in the room which stops them itching!

Overall Hua Hin is not what we expected however we’ve explored it, been somewhere off the average back packer trail and had a good laugh together :)

Lots of love to everyone xxxxxxxx

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