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Thursday, December 1, 2011

The 100 Baht Challenge

Our last day in Hoa Hin we decided to go and see the monkeys at mount Tapiak. There is about 400 monkeys living there wild. This was also my first chance to enjoy a tuc tuc (think hair dryer with a trailer attatched for the passengers to sit in) We arrived at mount Tapiak and straight away there were monkeys all over the place, there was groups playing about in a large plant pot full of water and there was groups of monkeys sitting in the road playin chicken with any oncoming traffic.  It was also another opportunity to see a temple. Which means one thing, donation boxes.  Miss Alex and me can sleep at night knowing that we have donated money towards
·      A new temple roof (yes even in Thailand they use that old chestnut)

·      The skinny under nourished cows
·      Another temple donation box, this time for the pleasure of letting a monk tie a white string on my wrist
·      The tuc tuc man and his family to go on holiday this year (we paid 400 baht for him to take us to mount tapiak
If I could describe to you what I thought of our stay in Hoa Hin I would say it was like a fine wine, although im not sure how many fine white wines miss Alex and me have had in the 3 for £10 range. The more I stayed the the more it kind of grew on me. Hoa Hin is like Blackpool with green curries instead of kiss me quick hats.

We had an agreement before we left the guesthouse that we would only get a tuc tuc to the station for 50 baht, any tuc tuc driver we came across laughed his/her head off at this bartering tactic from us. So we ended walking to the station from the guest house, it must have been a good 2km. In the midday heat, by time we got to the station we looked like we’d just stepped out of the shower.  The plan was to jump a train to Nakhom Pathom then grab a bus to Kanchaburi. Simple or what. Our tickets to Nakhom Pathom cost us 33 baht each, which is about 66p.  We made a challenge then to get to the Kanchinaburi  for less than 100 baht each (£2). Miss Alex and me must attract mugs because there was a young Thai looking bloke who was sitting next to us in the station, as he’s over heard my accent and asked if I was Scottish we got talking to him. It turns out he studied in England for a year and now is a “Thai government official.” Who looks after tourists. To cut a long story and train journey short when we got to Nakhom Pathom, which was where we had to find a bus route to Kanchinaburi, he’s chanced his arm with us and said he’s missed his train and has no money and no phone on him as he left it in his place which “just happened to be in kanchinaburi.”  We saw straight through him and shook his hand and wished him well.

So miss Alex and me are stood in the middle of a road in Nakhom Pathom, scratching our heads with the map upside down. A couple of school kids ask if they can help us. I was very skeptical, as I know kids from where I live would happily send some one on a mad goose chase if asked directions. However these 2 kids took us straight to the correct bus station and told us what number bus to get on. The bus journey took us about an hour and a half and it cost us 50 baht. So the grand total of our cross country dash cost us no more than 88 baht £1.68 ish each!! Little fact for you, Nakhom Pathom has the biggest temple in Thailand. At the time though with rucksacks and hand bags and beach bags hanging from us and we were still looking for the bus station, the last thing we wanted to do was visit a temple to donate for the new roof especially when I was thinking I could google it at a later date! 

Speak soon xxx 

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