A cloud covered sky greeted us as we pulled the curtains back on our Garden View room. The room is really quite delightful with many quirky features and nice touches. It took us a while to work out how to pull the screens around the bath to give us privacy when using the toilet area though.
We went and found breakfast and were both quite dubious that it would be just Thai food. Instead we found a magnificent spread of a mixture of Western and Thai items. We choose a table outside and leisurely enjoyed the various hot and cold food.
After this we went and explored the grounds. It struck us as curious that as a Beach resort there wasn't actually much beach. But the gardens were beautiful as was the pool area and so more than made up for it.
We went then and found a couple of sun-beds in the shade. I had the weekend papers from Sydney to read so they keep me amused for a while. I do get bored easily just laying round a pool. Its OK for a 20 -30 minute spell but then ugh.
However this part of the trip was for Karen and she was enjoying it although having her usual moan of wanting some sun but not too much and so we moved the beds into the dappled sunshine.
I struggle with sun beds with my back and legs. After a relatively short period it starts to get uncomfortable and then really hurts and I pay for it afterwards. I also see no point in laying in the sun just to get a tan. I look at older people who have done this and they just look even older and more wrinkled and think why? I am much happier sitting in the shade and believe you get more of a deep longer lasting colour from just being outside.
I then started using the iPad to look up some things and suddenly had inspiration of another present to buy Karen for her birthday and managed to purchase the said item. I read a few emails and found one from the hotel with a survey asking our initial impressions. I completed it and gave feedback that it was very generous of them to give us a voucher for a set Thai meal for Karen's birthday but unfortunately as neither of us liked Thai food we wouldn't be using it. I did suggest that I would be willing to pay the difference to have something off the menu we did like.
Within 30 minutes the manager of the Hotel came and found us on the sunbeds and after a quick discussion booked us into the Italian restaurant in the hotel instead for the next night- Result!
I then ordered the lunchtime combo (Karen wasn't hungry after her 14 course breakfast including a Cro-Nut which seemed to be a deep fat fried croissant dipped in sugar). The fish burger which I ate came with a free beer which Karen drank.
I went and tried out the Gym. After almost 5 weeks of not going it was really quite enjoyable. It was very hot though. I just did a very gentle workout to ease myself back into it. I have come to understand my backs limitations and know that if I push it too much then I can be in agony for weeks afterwards.
We then caught the Hotel shuttle into Hua Hin City Centre. It was horrible (the Centre - not the shuttle). To Karens delight, the drop off and pick up point was outside Starbucks. Needless to say we went in to sample their wares.
We found the Royal Train Station, which was really just a train station. We bought some bottles of wine from the local supermarket and then went to the beach. It was awful. Very little of it. Full of people and horses. It felt grubby and dirty.
Lining the streets were hundreds of small stalls selling all the usual rubbish. We found the main drag and it was chaos. It is a narrow street with cars and bikes all trying to get down it at the same time as all the tourists. People trying to sell us things as we walked along, and there was an awful stench from the drains. There were really no redeeming features apart from the one nice restaurant we found.
We actually had a really nice meal there and Karen even had a dessert and another coffee. Afterwards we wandered back along the main drag.
There were now lots of British people sitting in the small grubby bars lining the streets, just inches from the traffic. We could think of nothing worse to do other than that. Now I'm not the biggest fan of places like Lanzarote but I do enjoy a few days there from time to time, but in comparison to this place Lanzarote is like an upmarket metropolitan city. We decided that the British people were only here as like a badge of honour, to be able to say that they went to Thailand for their holiday.
If you want to do so then stay in a nice resort with some nice grounds. But then again if you do that then you can be anywhere in the world as you aren't seeing the real country. You might as well go somewhere cheaper and easier to get to than Thailand. We were only back in Thailand as our cheap flight deal with Emirates meant we had to come back through it and we thought it would be good to find somewhere to chill for a few days. I doubt very much we would choose Thailand for a beach break again. The streets seemed exotic but the novelty of that wears off after a few minutes. Only my opinion though and I suppose each to their own.
After walking through a small night market we caught the shuttle back for the 10 minute ride to the Hotel. It was an after dark happy hour in one of the many Hotel bars.
So we popped in and ordered a couple of very strong Margaritas (and then 2 more). They were very good and had a real kick to them. There was also a 3 piece band who were actually rather good playing some chilled out background music that we enjoyed.
And then to bed (said Zed-per-dee).