I could get used to five star luxury holidays. Last weekend was a long one because Friday was the King's Birthday... think our royals should start giving us a national holiday when one of them has a birthday. Me and the family set off for Hua Hin around 7am and it took about 5 hours to get there as every Thai man and his dog were on the roads.
When we arrived we went straight to a famous seafood restaurant on a hill. Also on the same hill is a 66ft gold buddha, which I saw fleetingly but didn't get a chance to take a snap. We ate clams, crab, squid, and other fresh yummy things, and drank coconut milk straight out the coconut. Very tropical.
Very full of fish we headed back through the chokka-block town to our hotel. I didn't really know what to expect as all I was told is that the Doctor had a conference down there with other doctors in his area (cardiology) and it was all paid for as part of that. We pulled up in front of this spectacular foyer with valet parking and bell-boys, which kind of said it all really.
We were greeted with a sweet green drink, which was lovely and refreshing, no idea what it was. Then we were escorted across a fabulous decking and through little windy paths full of greenery to a big gate. Inside which was a big door. Inside which was the most luxurious suite I've ever seen.
There was a sunken area in the living room with big sofas and loads of stylish looking cushions, a big plasma tv, fully stocked fridge and minibar (one bottle of water cost what I could live on for three days!) The room looked out through big panelled doors onto the private jacuzzi, decking, sun loungers, and a big plantpot-looking thing full of warm water to rinse with after the chilly pool water. Then there were the bedrooms with big comfy beds with lovely fluffy pillows. And it was comfortable, which makes a nice change from every other Thai beds I've slept in which have been like wood.
The best bit for me, being the water-loving-pamperer I am, was the bathoom. It was hugeee. It really was like a little piece of heaven. A big sunken marble bath, an inside shower, and a shower outside in a shady courtyard full of greenery. It was one of those big rain-showers, and it was pure bliss. I was very clean this weekend as I managed at least three to four showers a day. It's the cleanest my feet have been in nearly two months! You know a hotel's posh when there's a phone in the loo, and when the toiletries supplied include shampoo, conditioner, shower gel (all in lovely ceramic bottles), razors, toothbrush, toothpaste, cotton wool, sewing kit, comb, emery board... I was in freeby heaven (although obviously didn't steal the ceramic bottles, instead I filled up my own miniatures). I very much enjoyed my bath-salted steamy hot candlelit baths. So that was the suite. And then there was the restaurant, the library, the pool, the private beach, the sun'beds'. It really was quite amazing. Am already planning my honeymoon there!
The Friday evening we went to another well-known seafood establishment and ate even more fishy delights. Was feeling quite full already when a stack of fresh crab was placed in front of us. Love crab as I do I don't quite have the knack of opening them and actually getting to the meat, but I struggled on trying not to fling claws and the neighbouring tables. I declined having a second one. Had a good nights sleep that night, full of food and in the nicest bed ever.
Was up bright and early for breakfast... and love the thai food as I do, rice at breakfast, lunch and dinner can be a bit much. The range of foods on offer at the buffet was immense, so I opted for continental and feasted on croissants, pastries, nice bread, muesli and yoghurt with dried fruit (served in coconut shells) and lots of cheese. This made me very happy as cheese is the food I've missed most from home. Alas this cheese-feast left me with a cheese-headache.
I wasn't really sure what we were doing over the weekend, but the family's plan seemed to consist of watching tv. By the afternoon and hours of not understanding the Thai soaps I thought I'd go for a walk and find Hua Hin beach... we were in a beach resort after all and I felt it would be sacrilege not to see the actual beach. So map in hand I took myself off. Hua Hin isn't like a normal beach where you can walk along it.. you have to walk along the parallel main road about a km or so from the coast.
My first mistake was wearing my heeled flip flops. My second mistake was not realising the scale of the map and thinking I was a lot further along the road than I actually was. My third mistake was my instinct to just keep turning left as that was the direction of the sea. After about 4 of these left turns being dead-ends, I opted to keep walking along the main road until I saw I sign. Although the sign lied and infact took me to the sea with a crumbling pier (no beach) and then in a big loop back to the main road. I found myself on lots of cute little side roads though, and in the tourist hotspot so lots of teak guesthouses.
An hour and forty minutes later I eventually found the beach and it was very beautiful, though the skyline spoiled somewhat by the odd big hotel. But still, white sands, palm trees and crystal waters isn't bad for my first experience of a Thai beach. I walked along in the shallows and got at least up to my mid-calf wet. Decided to tuk-tuk back as thought sandy feet and the heeled flip flops didn't bode for a comfy walk back. Think I was overcharged when they realised the posh gaff I was residing at.
Was planning on having a dip in the luxurious pool on my return to the hotel as I hadn't managed to in the sea, but after about 30 mins of being back Jun decided to throw a tantrum that he must eat right that second (same child who through himself on the floor of the posh restaurant in a fit at breakfast because he didn't want to eat!) For a four and a half year old his behaviour is disgraceful, he's been having terrible twos for most of his life it seems, and I can't see how on earth he'll start school in six months when he's still in nappies!
So we went down for an early dinner, which was yet another incredible buffet. I can't even remember what I ate as all the gorgeous food had moulded into one in my mind, but it was divine, and I had lots of interesting Thai desserts, including sticky rice flavoured with different things and those sweet little pancakes I had when Mo and Anna were here. Didn't do much that evening, just watched some of Harry Potter (the library had a huge dvd collection to borrow).
After another continental feast we left the hotel around 11am. Just over two hours later we stopped for lunch. Surprisingly I only had a very small helping as was beyond not being hungry. The car journey wasn't the most pleasant.. another five hours with the whinging boy and in mourning at having said goodbye to the heavenly bathroom. That night I couldn't even bring myself to have a cold shower in my little blue-lino bathroom.
It really was a holiday in heaven, even though I didn't see a great deal of Hua Hin itself it was worth going just for the sheer luxury of the place... with one night being my months wages I doubt I'll be going anywhere like it on the remainder of my travels.