Wednesday, 13 September 2017

3rd Week: Hua Hin Beach Combi

Sawadii ka, everyone!


On Sunday we went to Hua Hin for the Beach Combi Week. The drive there in a minivan took about 5 hours with two stops at 7eleven. 



When we arrived we were pleasantly surprised by our accommodation. We lived in modern little houses with 4 beds and a bathroom.


It was really pretty but we didn't have a wardrobe so that was kind of annoying but we soon got over it and already planned our first afternoon/evening. We decided to go to the local Hua Hin beach for the first time, taking a taxi. 



When we got to the beach we were all quite happy because it looked beautiful with all the palm trees and the light sand.
There we straight ahead went into the water for a swim, which was only partly a good idea because almost everyone sliced their feet open on the rocks, that were under the water. Nothing major though. 



After getting out of the water we were all hungry again so we went to get food at an italian restaurant.



When everyone's finished dinner, we had to call a taxi but didn't know how, since we didn't have any agency's number and the taxis, which were standing there, were only for about 4-6 people and we were 13. We then texted Sunday, a coordinator, and asked him if he could call a taxi, which he thankfully did. We still had to wait quite long for it but we went to 7eleven in the meantime so it wasn't that bad. 



Back at the accommodation we didn't really do anything else besides just talking and having fun in our room(s).



Monday  


On Monday morning we went to the Plearn Wan Vintage Village.


It's a market with various shops, where we could buy clothes, souvenirs and food. There was lots of cute stuff in those shops but I only bought a mango shake, which was really delicious.


Then we went to the same beach we've been to the day before.



It was obviously still as beautiful but looking back, I liked that beach the least because there were (in comparison to the other beaches) the most tourists, since it's the "main beach" in Hua Hin with the most hotels near it.


After we've been there for a few hours, we decided to find some place to eat lunch at since the Hua Hin Beach Combi Week ist the only week where participants have to buy lunch themselves.
After walking a few minutes on the main road, we came across a quite fancy looking vegan restaurant and decided to get food there. My vegan mac'n'cheese was amazing and I was sure that I would go there to eat again the following week, since I booked two beach weeks in a row.


Later we went back to the beach and spent the rest of our afternoon there. We did just basic beach things such as swimming, tanning, taking pictures and getting sunburned. Our coordinator Kong picked us up at 4:30pm and we got back to our accommodation.


In the evening Kong took us to the local night market which was amazing. There obviously were the usual thai market shops where you could buy cheap, low-quality clothes and souvenirs but there were also lots of food stalls and restaurants.



We all bought some stuff like backpacks, little bags, Buddha or elephant statues and so on and so forth. We also got some crepes and paid for those fish who basically eat the dead skin off your feet.


After strolling around a bit more we got picked up again and went back to our rooms where we did the same thing as yesterday - just talking and having fun.



Tuesday


On Tuesday we had to do voluntary work in the morning. We went to a temple and sweeped the floor with huge brooms. We only did 20 minutes so I don't know if that really counts as work. Everything was clean though afterwards, so I guess it does.

Later we visited the Hua Hin Artist Village where we could watch people paint pictures and craft jewelery like earrings and necklaces.



We could also paint paper bags and take it with us. There was beautiful artwork, especially all the paintings with elephants or gold and black patterns I found amazing.



We then went to another Buddha statue which was at the same time a view point where we had to walk up to on a forest path.  From the temple view point we could see a beautiful beach.
First we had to go back down again though and when we arrived at the bottom we saw some kind of asian-water-monitor-lizard-komoda-dragon-thing in the water there. It was at least 2 metres long and looked quite scary to he honest but it didn't do much besides chillin'.


We had lunch at a large and cheap thai restaurant near the beach. I ate pineapple rice and after we'd paid we even got free bananas.


After lunch we finally went to the second beach of the week, the Sai Noi beach.
This one was my favourite beach of the whole week since the ambience was beautiful and there were hardly any other people because there was only one resort. We walked along the beach at least 5 times and saw many beautiful shells and dead jellyfish.


Unfortunately it began to rain after a few hours but it wasn't that bad. We had to go back to the car anyways around that time so we packed up our stuff and left the beach.


Tuesday evening was exactly the same as Sunday evening and Monday evening. We just went to our room, showered, ate snacks, listened to music and just had fun basically.



Wednesday


After breakfast on Wednesday we went to two view points where we could see the entire Town of Hua Hin.
We had to do a little bit of walking and on the way there were monkeys again. I think I've already mentioned that I hate monkeys now. On the way to the view points we only saw five of them but on the way back there suddenly was a massive amount of them right in the middle of the path. I was the first person to walk this path and soon got brutally attacked by one of the monkeys. Okay, maybe not brutally attacked but it did come upon me looking weirdly and since I obviously freaked, it freaked as well and made me even more afraid. Luckily Kong helped me by scaring it away.


We then went to a temple again where there were.... monkeys again. Those ones didn't really come near us though so we could safely tread the temple. This one was with lots of stairs and flags on the side and if you're like me and you usually don't do sports very often (especially not in Thailand when it's 35°C and it feels like it's 42°C) you understand me when I say it was exhausting.


Up there we had a pretty nice view again; inter alia, we saw the monkeys get in our car. Whohoo.
When we got back to the car, Kong tried to scare them away again but this time it didn't work that well. They didn't want to go out of the car for a few minuted and right before they finally did, one of them peed in it. Kong, our hero, cleaned it all up for us and brought us to the third beach of the week which was the Pine Beach.



As the name indicates, this was a beach with lots of pine trees. We rented deck chairs for 50c each and went straight into the water. There were large green puddles before the sea started which were pretty warm and kind of nasty. The water was quite agreeable since it was warm but still refreshing.


It soon began to pour so we had to flee under the roofs of a restaurant and waited there for about 2 hours. After those 2 hours it was already too late to go for one last swim so we went back to the car and thus back to the accommodation.


In the evening we could've went to the same market we went to on Monday but we didn't want to go since we were going to go the following week again anyways. Instead we cycled to 7eleven and got toast and sweets which we then ate all night long in our room.



Thursday


 On Thursday we went to the Mangrove Natural Trail which was some kind of crab forest, I suppose. After a while there was even a view point platform in the middle of the woods where you could see all the bright green trees from another perspective.
This was the first time it didn't feel like we were in Thailand anymore but somewhere in Europe. We also came across a dried out river where usually a boat would've sailed and obviously, since it's a crab forest, we saw lots of green shimmering crabs on the ground.

After we finished the trail, we went to the nearby beach and cleaned it for 20 minutes. The garbage there was mainly plastic bags and we collected a whole black trash bag full of those. We also found a few really pretty shells again.


After doing this bit of voluntary work, we went to another beach, Khao Kalok Beach, where we also got lunch.
It was a beautiful beach again with a little hiking trail which lead to another beach. Part of the group went there but we stayed at the original beach where we obviously went swimming again.


There I got stung by a jellyfish for the first time and nearly freaked out. It wasn't really that painful, just burned a bit for a few minutes, but I googled what to do in case of a jellyfish sting and almost every article said, I should've went to the hospital. Soon I calmed down and just let it be, didn't go to the hospital but nothing major happened anyways.



Unfortunately it then began to rain so we had to hide in some pigeon cave. After it had stopped raining, we went tanning again on the beach and there got approached by a few Thai people who wanted to take pictures with us since the apparently don't see western people in that area very often. #fame.


We stayed there until 4:15pm and got back to the accommodation at 5pm to have dinner. After dinner we did the same as the day before, which means cycling to 7eleven, buying lots of food, playing the ukulele a bit and just enjoying our free evening.



Friday 


Friday morning we had free time and could've slept in but we decided to get up at the usual time (8am) to get breakfast since the breakfast in Hua Hin was always amazing. We had banana muffins, waffles and crossaints. 

We had lunch at our accommodation and went to the same beach we've been to on Wednesday, the Pine Tree Beach. This time we were on the other end of the beach though.
I didn't really go for a swim, I only jumped in for short amounts of time, since there were so many jellyfish in the water. A friend of mine actually got stung by a fire jellyfish but treated it with vinegar, which is provided on almost every beach, right away. I spent the day on the beach reading a book and watching Netflix whilst hoping to get atleast a bit of a tan.


In the evening, after dinner, we visited the Cicada Night Market. It was a quite fancy market with lots of handcraft shops where we could buy all sorts of souvenirs.
There also was a big "food court" if you could say so. It was a collection of food stalls, both thai and western style. I got a nutella crêpe again and a freshly made mango-maracuja-shake, which both were delicious. 

Back in our room I skyped a bit with some of my homies in Austria and spent the last evening with the two Austrian people, Sophie and Joan, who became good friends of mine in the last three weeks here in Thailand. 

Saturday


Saturday was a sad day for me. While I still had 9 weeks left in Thailand, my fellow Austrians had to leave already to go back to school. Since I wanted to do a second beach week to see other friends, who were leaving the next week, I stayed there over the weekend.

We had to spontaneously change accommodation since there was a British group from another organisation which had to use our original one as an emergency accommodation since apparently something went wrong with their agency. I was actually quite happy about the change since the new resort was a lot nicer, in my opinion. We even had a fridge, a TV and air-conditioning! The only downside was, that we had to drive back to the previous accommodation for every single meal. 

I then went to 7eleven, with Geena, who was staying for the second week as well, to get lunch. On the way back, we went to the Artist Village, which now was directly opposite our new resort, and got iced tea and milkshakes. We had a great view there - we looked at a large pond with weird but cute ducks and pretty plants.

In the evening we went over to our neighbours, who were staying the night and then going further in the south for another project, and played cards and Lupus with them until we went to bed.

Sunday


Today we could sleep in again. We had breakfast at 10 and dropped a guy off at the bus station.
Geena and I went to the Hua Hin beach again and did usual beach things. We went swimming (without getting stung by at jellyfish), tried to get tanned, watched Netflix, read and walked along the beach.

For lunch we went to the vegan restaurant from Monday and ate pasta and carrot cake. Later we went back to the accommodation and relaxed until it was dinner time. For dinner we had a BBQ and all the people, who were doing the new week with us, finally arrived. 

At night I went to the others and we played cards again until we went to bed.

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