Singapore to Hua Hin

Trip Start Nov 09, 2007
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Trip End Feb 03, 2008


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Friday, January 25, 2008

The final two legs of our long journey that started in Porto then went to Barcelona, Milan and then Singapore would see us taking a Thai Air Asia flight from Singapore to Bangkok and then a 'limousine' from Bangkok to Hua Hin.
Boarding the Thai Air Asia flight was a typical experience for a budget carrier - a mad scramble for seats. I have no idea why so many of the budget carriers have unreserved seating on their flights. It couldn't take any extra time during check-in to allocate seats nor is there any way it could save them money. What it does create is a vast pool of extremely anxious passengers, and a lot of ill will. As you ready to board you are filled with a rush of adrenaline as you push and shove your way into a seat. The only conclusion I can make is that they are trying to make passengers pay to get the 'express boarding' service which allows you onto the plane first. Mind you, if all the passengers bought this there would be a mad scramble of all the 'express boarding' people. Basically any extra revenue they might receive is completely wiped by the ill feelings generated and also makes the airline appear disorganised and slap-dash. It can't be good for them and it certainly no good for us travellers.
Anyway, rant over. Apart from this the Thai Air Asia flight was smooth and comfortable. We landed in Bangkok, collected our luggage (now down to a single bag since we left most of it in Singapore) and headed out through customs to find the man waiting with a sign with our name on it. I had successfully managed to book an online limousine transfer for the 4 hour journey from the airport to Hua Hin. This service www.taxihuahin.net was simple and easy and the price quoted online was 3000 baht for a minibus. The minibus was clean and comfortable and the driver offered us water which we gratefully received. We had a pretty straight ride to Hua Hin although I had thought it was 3 hours but it ended up being closer to 4.
Hua Hin is on the western shore of the Gulf of Siam and is Thailand's earliest coastal resort. It came to prominence when the King of Thailand built a palace here and the southern railway was built and provided a way for Thai people to get here. Hua Hin definitely has a different pace to other Thai resorts. It is aimed far more towards the Thai domestic tourism market and it is nice to see so many Thais on holidays relaxing and playing rather than just providing services for us fat and lazy westerners.
Having said all of that, Hua Hin still had the requisite number of massage shops, bars, restaurants, night markets, beach vendors, tuk tuks and everything else that goes with a typical Thai holiday. Hua Hin is also a traditional resort for Swedes, Fins and Danish people escaping the horrors of the northern winter. More on that later.
We reached our destination,
Ocean Breeze, without incident. Ocean Breeze is a tiny resort with just a few bungalows. Ours has a garden of its own, a small pool just for us which is enough for the girls to splash about in when we are not at the beach, and a two bedroom cottage. The cottage is a bit rustic - certainly not your up-market resort experience, but I had booked it for this very reason. Ocean Breeze is located about 4km out of Hua Hin in an area known as Kao Takiab, named after the large rocky knoll that sits at the northern end of the beach.
We were greeted warmly by the staff and gratefully sat down to a glass of refreshing orange juice. Our body clocks were completely out of whack by now. Although the girls had snatched some sleep on the planes and on the car trip down here, neither Jess or I had had any sleep in more than 24 hours and our bodies were telling us that it was ten in the morning although the clock said four in the afternoon. Jess and I lay down for a few minutes while the girls had a splash in the pool. About 5 o'clock we headed down to the beach for a bit of a stroll. The beach is OK - nothing too flash - but only a 2 minute walk from our bungalow.
On our first evening we walked up to the northern end of the beach and then on the way back Jess came down with Maggie's bug. I guess it was inevitable, because Jess had taken the primary nursing role for Maggie. The girls and I left Jess sleeping while we went to find some dinner. Our host recommended SuSaMas, just a five minute walk away. We took him up on his recommendation and discovered a small unassuming restaurant on the side of the road. It has great Thai food, however, and at very cheap prices. The girls and I had a big feast and the bill was just 400 baht (about $14). At home the same meal costs us around $100.
We went for a bit of an explore before heading home to give Jess a chance for some time on her own. By 9 o'clock we were exhausted and headed home and to bed. I crashed out completely but the girls stayed awake until after midnight!
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