November 26, 2014
Bob and I desperately needed a trip away from China and he delivered. Here I am in the Hyatt Regency Hua Hin on the beach, enjoying the Regency Club happy hour by myself. Bob has gone up the road to get a massage. We have had no less than 4 Thai massages since arrival. He is receiving his 5th and I opted out. The backs of my calves are so so sore, if someone touches me I will hit the ceiling. I adored Thai Massage and it was the first time we ever got them. It’s a different technique where the massagee is fully clothed and there is a lot of joint manipulation. I am wondering how it took me 49 years to experience it. We had the first massages in our fancy digs at the hotel spa the first night two-for-one deal, then on the beach for 250 Bhat ($8) thereafter. I am not kidding.
At 7pm, I am drinking a red wine from Italy and grazing on light munchies. It is about 85 degrees out and humid. Nice climate but I am a little warm right now. Of note, right this minute in the aforementioned club, is that I am the only American around. Tons of Germans are here, the occasional Brit and a bunch of Scandinavians. Here also are a few Koreans and Japanese. There is not one Chinese here and I am told they don’t come here because there is not enough entertainment. Interesting! They stay either in Phuket or nearer to Bangkok. Also of note, it is Thanksgiving week so perhaps that is keeping the Americans closer to home.
Back to the Germans: these people are out and about all of the time! They are so tan and leathery, someone is going to try to make a handbag out of them. Besides the guests here at the hotel and other hotels on the beach, there are many Europeans who have purchased homes and stay here part of the year. We met a nice Swede the other night who says he has a Thai wife. He was out eating pasta by the way. There are also heaps of vacationing men and I am assuming they are from the same areas in Europe who are with young Thai women. Better for them if they are double dating, then there might be a conversation at the table. Otherwise, the silence is deafening at these meals. Also seen at the happening eating and drinking establishments in Hua Hin are tables of young Thais from Bangkok on their smart phones not saying a word. When the food arrives, most of them put down their devices and eat. Still, they don’t talk much.
The Hyatt Regency Hua Hin has one of the best water slides we have ever been on. Super fast with no circular action to slow us down–just three dips and we flew into the water. We went down it about 10 times each. At the bottom are two really beautiful dragons.
We found amazing seafood this week. We were told to go check out the night market—a very busy walk street of people selling junk and some food. We passed several restaurants with hawkers on the busy walkway promoting his/her place. We took a risk and tried one where we ordered a salad, French fries, shrimp and a rock lobster. They brought us grilled scallops, which we explained we didn’t order. They insisted we keep them and we are sure glad we did try them. Now we have ordered them 2 more times at other restaurants.
We made it to some sights in the area, one called Monkey Mountain. The monkeys’ reputation precedes them and we were told to be careful not to carry plastic bags (which they think are food) around. While we were there, they were well-behaved enough with the humans anyhow and not necessarily with each other. Under the backdrop of enormous golden buddhas, there was a gaggle of monkeys and some were really whooping it up, doing male dominating ape tricks. Impressive.
In addition, we took a car and a tour guide to Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park. Noi was our fearless guide, a slight man of about 40 years and very cheery and informative. We couldn’t take the boat to the beach and where the trail started because the waves were quite high so we hiked over a steep hill and down. After fueling up with a snack and a cold drink at the snack bar, we hiked a spectacularly steep incline to a huge cave at the top. The cave had been visited by one of the Thai kings over 100 years ago and that is one of the reasons it is so famous. There were very cute stray puppies, a fantastic swim in the ocean, a mediocre Thai lunch and cold drinks. We also stopped in at a pineapple plantation. Of note there was how they are grown and that almost all of them are canned and sold for export. Hello Dole.
We flew in and out of Bangkok and took a taxi 3 hours south to Hua Hin. We stayed for 5 nights and days and really loved it. Several couples we know already have retirement places there and maybe, just maybe we’ll follow suit. We barely had a look at Bangkok and look forward to doing so the next trip. Asia is growing on us.