From Bangkok, the next destination was Hua Hin. Just possibly one of the luckiest people in the world, again I was completely looked out for. My dear friend Keeffy, just so happens to have migrated to Hua Hin. Sick of the bullshit in England, he sold up and moved out to Thailand a few years ago and has no plans or desire to ever live in the UK again. Lucky me.
Keeffy couldn’t have helped me more, he really was fantastic. Long before I ever set off, he gave me so much information and travel advice, I’ll be forever grateful. Not only that, where he’d bought a house in Thailand, as it happened, there were a couple of beautiful little gazebo’s for rent in the same little resort, named ‘The Castle’. I was able to rent one for a week. Lucky me.
Life at ‘The Castle’ was hilarious. I had an absolutely fabulous time, and got completely ‘Jungled’. I’m limited to what I’m prepared to share about ‘the complete’ experience, because as we said whilst drinking Jack Daniels around the pool at 7am, what happens at The Castle, stays at The Castle. Quite right too, Rock and Roll’s got nothing on us lot! It was really lovely to meet all the other people who live there too. They were all so good to me while I was there, great bunch of folk who I intend to keep in touch with. Meeting Sid was great too, we had an absolute scream. I needed a holiday after that holiday, but wouldn’t change a single minute.
The Castle was roughly a 15km drive into the centre of Hua Hin. Keeffy was kind enough to lend me his car while he was away, so I went on a bit of a tour each day to see some sights, in between evening shenanigans! There’s a few shots here of some of the places I went to. You definitely need a car to get around, next time I’ll take more cash, hire a car, visit for much longer, and really get my teeth into the country. I really felt at home there, I can’t wait to go back…
ON TO KOH SAMUI….
I went down to the fisherman’s village this morning for a wonder down the beach. I was just stood pondering, looking out to the ocean, wishing I still had another month or so here. A little Thai guy came up to me, smiled, and looked up in the air. I looked up to see what he was looking at. I was stood underneath a palm tree, we both laughed. I was quite windy, it’s something you forget about, but imagine getting bonked on the head by a coconut, it’d be lights out. Ever since then I’ve been paying more attention!
I had lunch on the beach, so nice to sit by the ocean. I had this amazing anchovy salad, I don’t know what the herbs were in it, but it was a cracker. I’ll never get used to waiting staff laying my napkin on my knee for me.After more lounging around I went to go and have a look to see if I could find this bunch of rock formations which fall into the ocean, down to the south of the island. The traffic was insane, again. I got back down to Lamai on the bike, and while I was there I went for a hike up into the bush to have a look at the island from the outside in. I was on snake watch, you knew there was going to be all sorts of things sneaking about in that undergrowth, and flip flops with your toes sticking out aren’t probably the best idea, it was pretty hard going and steep in places. I was quite surprised the bush was so dense because they’ve bulldozed a lot of it. I got up to this lookout point and the island looked so quiet from up there, you couldn’t even really hear the traffic. I thought I might be able to spot the rocks I was looking for from up there but I couldn’t see them. You could see the tops of roofs, which are the resorts scattered about, and I was quite amazed how many palm trees were up there at the top, mixed in with other native trees, it was good to see it from a different vantage point. Maybe an inland retreat would be good here, property is cheap here, it’s quite tempting I have to admit. 7% return, and you’d have somewhere to come and bunk down for as long as you wanted and rent it out the rest of the time.
I climbed back down the mountain and went off in search for the rocks again and it was starting to get dark. I was hoping I might get another sunset shot if I got to the place in time, that was my motivation to come all the way down the island again really. I had to get the map out god knows how many times, and as it turned out, I’d gone straight past it, about 10 minutes ago by the time I realised. As I was putting the map away again, I got chatting to a little Thai girl who was selling virgin coconut oil on a stall. I ended up buying a bottle off her, queer stuff, it doesn’t really smell like coconuts when you get it on your hair. Makes you wonder about the flavouring they use to make coconut products, and make them smell like what we think coconut should smell like, because if this stuffs anything to go by, it doesn’t smell anything like a bounty bar.
I eventually found the rocks, not quite what I was expecting, but I bed they change at different times of the day and whether the tides in or not. Still, it was a lovely spot and worth the ride down. I saw a gigantic jellyfish washed up as well, amazing looking things. I got a photo or two and then set off back up the island. I dropped into the supermarket on the way back, blimey that place is humongous, its bigger than a big Tesco Extra. It sells everything, including mountain bikes! When I come back over here, I am getting a push bike, I’d have loved to have had one to get around on while I’ve been here instead of being lazy and going on the motorbike everywhere. Anyway, the main reason for going in the shop was to see if I could get some do biscuits, I circumnavigated the entire colossus twice before I found a tiny section selling pet food. I bought some dog food, I wanted to buy some bowls and deposit them around some street corners filled with water, but I didn’t. I don’t know when these dogs get a drink of water here; you never see any water hardly anywhere apart from in the sea. I don’t know how they do it in this heat; they must have an inbuilt camel pack or just be so used to not having any. Anyway, I was armed with my biscuits and the first port of call was to my soi dog friends at the bottom of the long dark lane which leads to the bungalows. There’s two of them, a black dog who’s a boy and a golden one. The golden one’s got teats hanging down that look like chewed up jelly babies, god knows how many litters she’s had. I got the meat out and the black dog jumped up on my bike with it’s front paws on the seat, like it was the best thing ever to him, wagging it’s tail faster than a helicopter propeller. I thought it might get a bit over excited at one point and bite my head off before I managed to get the bloody wrapper open. I got the meat sticks out and gave it one, it just dropped in on the floor as if to say, ‘what the fuck’s that?’ Anyway on further inspection, It realised it was meat and wolfed it down, in fact he ate it all, the poor golden dog only got one bit but I wasn’t putting my hands anywhere near! So, all in all, I was very popular, and felt like I’d done my good deed for the day.
Back up at the ranch, I’ve got two right loud Londoners in the bungalow next door to me now, ruining the ambience and watching very loud telly on the veranda, I’m glad it’s at the end of my time here, not at the beginning. I can’t understand why people come somewhere like this, and then watch telly, there’s enough going on in the rainforest without that shite. Anyway, whatever, just turn it down you yellow-bellied lolloping lollypop lickers. Karma has its way of sorting things out though. The cats, yes there’s still here, crying like babies, were both at the bottom of the boardwalk stalking each other. The girl contingent of the loud duo, lured them up to their bungalow. Of course, I knew what a mistake this turns out to be having been there already. That’s the cats off my hands, and veranda, they’re fickle like that cats, which in this case is a good thing. I quietly laughed, and thought that’ll do nicely.