A very full Saturday

Trip Start Nov 09, 2007
Trip End Feb 03, 2008

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Sunday, January 27, 2008

Jess was still feeling out of sorts but managed to get us up 8 o'clock for breakfast and joined us for breakfast although I could tell that her heart wasn't in it. After breakfast she went back to bed and the girls and I headed down to the beach.
We arrived pretty early and found a lot of empty lounge beds. We hired two for 50 baht each, This allowed us to run a tab with the restaurant behind and to use their toilets as well. Not bad value for $1.70 I thought. I stretched out our towels and we all went in for a swim. The waves here are pretty gentle but enough for a bit of a body surf. The girls discovered some tyres that were available for hire so I sent them off to sort it out. They came back excitedly telling me that they tyres were 20 baht each for a full day hire. I gave them each 20 baht and off they went again, returning a minute later with the tyres. They had a great play in the surf with the tyres, and I had to take a turn as well (great hardship).
As I watched the endless stream of beach vendors trudging back and forth laden with various goods I saw some pretty dresses that I thought the girls might like. Calling them over I asked them to pick out one each. This took some time, but the women selling didn't mind - it was a sale after all and they appeared to be fairly hard to come by. Eventually the girls made their choices, tried them on and then the woman and I got down to haggling. 450 baht she typed into her calculator. 'For how many?' I asked. 'For one' she said laughing, knowing her opening bid was way too high. I typed 150 into the calculator. 'Oh no' she said, 'not possible'. She typed in 350. I said no way and typed in 170. By now she could see I was going to move slowly upwards. She came down to 300, I went up to 180. She said 'final offer' and typed in 250.  I said no, here is my final offer and typed in 200. She said no, I said okay then forget it. She looked alarmed and said '220'. I said no, I'll leave it thanks. She said 'OK 200' and the deal was done.
It was time for lunch so what could be more convenient that walking 10 metres to the restaurant immediately behind our lounge beds? We had another good meal for a reasonable price. The girls had fried rice with chicken which was very tasty, but my green curry was a bit watery sadly.
After lunch we walked back to our bungalow to check on the invalid. Jess was sleeping but woke when we prodded her hard enough. She said she was OK but still needed to lay low. We desperately needed sun screen. Although there was no sun and the girls were only out in the non-sun for 2 hours they had already been sunburnt a little. Thailand is deceptive that way. Often it can be hazy, seemingly harmless but the UV rays are just as damaging. Anyway we walked to the nearby market and bought the sunscreen. Strangely, this is one commodity that is never cheaper in Thailand. In fact it is about twice what we would pay for it at home.
We called back in on Jess on the way back to the beach, dropping off some crisps that she had requested and went back to reclaim our beds by the sea. A corn vendor came by. This fellow carries around an overgrown set of scales on his shoulders (the name of which escapes me for the moment) with sheafs of corn on one end and hot coals on the other. For 50 baht he will roast the corn over the hot coals, brushing it with butter and lashings of salt then presenting it on a stick complete with a toothpick for post-eating enjoyment. We ordered two of them. The girls then went for another play on their tyres. This time they had rash tops on to save them from both the sun's rays and the rubbing against the tyre.
After a while I succumbed to the urge for a foot massage. The massage station was just behind our lounges and from there I could watch the girls playing in the sand. For 250 baht I was treated to an hour of blissful attention to my feet. While this was happening Jess emerged feeling much better and enjoyed the last of the daylight.
As we sat we watched the legions of very fat, very red, very old, very skimpily clad Scandinavians pack up their belongings and head back from whence they came. It is remarkable just how much flesh is on display here, and not in a good way. God knows what the Thais, naturally very modest people, make of it all. As we were leaving we were asked if we wanted to reserve our beds for the next day. 'Many people come' we were assured. I was somewhat sceptical of the hoards expected but reserving the beds sounded like a good idea anyway, so we did.
After dark our host suggested that as it was Saturday we might enjoy a trip into Hua Hin night market. For 150 baht a taxi or tuk tuk would take us there. We walked to the end of our soi where sure enough there were a number of taxis waiting to take us into town.
The night market is a series of stalls set up on either side of the street over 2 blocks. It has the usual assortment of stalls that you might expect in Thailand, including food, handicrafts, knock-off watches, clothing, luggage and heaps more. We had fun walking around and asking prices with not much intention to buy - we have three days in Bangkok for shopping at the end of our trip. We made a couple of small purchases (complete with requisite haggling) and ate at one of the restaurants that flank the markets. The food was ok but not spectacular. Cheap as anything though.
After the night market, at around 10:30 we went for a walk around Hua Hin but it was mostly closed except for the bars and massage shops. So we all had a massage, then around midnight jumped into a tuk tuk and headed home. It was the end of a very full day.
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