Sunday, 20 November 2011

Hua Hin and Kanchanaburi

After I left Ban Krut I headed to the budda that I could see sitting on the hill to have a look.
This is it. Very shiny.

The guards on the road leading up to another temple which I didn't look at.
Around the base of this are people doing their offerings of food and drinks and whatever. Usually you'll see an orange or some rice and a small drink with the incense burning around it. I assume it's an offering and that you're supposed to leave it there. I've never seen anyone clean it up. But at this place there were some people who had left an open bottle of Hennesy reserve, and a full roast duck sitting on a table. I thought that was quite an offering, but they took it away after it had been there only a while. I don't know the rules on offering and my quick googling doesn't reveal anything. Maybe the time needed for an offering is inversely proportional to the expense of the items.

After that little detour, I got petrol, and then did a 160km stint without getting off the bike. That's the longest I've done so far. I used to stop every 50km but that just flies by, so now it's every 100km but I guess I've just extended that further again.

I was expecting Hua Hin to be built up and crazy, and it was. There are a lot of tourists here, and a lot of people from Bangkok were escaping the floods but now they are starting to head back. The hotel I stayed in only had 3 people staying in it, but they said it was full a few days ago (more on that later).

Once I checked in I went to find the local TAT office, which is the offical Thai tourism office, any other info place is a tour company. I had hoped to get some info on road closures from the floods because I know there are areas north of Bangkok that are still flooded but they aren't in the news anymore. But the TAT are hopeless and don't really know what's going on or where to find out that sort of info. I did mange to get a few maps out of them though, one was actually useful. I also bought the local English language paper, but it had no details on roads either.

So then I just wandered aimlessly around.

The fishing boats unload here.
There's a Navy ship on the right in that photo, and just out a bit further were a couple of others. Seemed like a lot to guard the fish. But later on I learned that the King has an official residence in Hua Hin, so perhaps he was in town, didn't see anything else to verify that.

The farang part of Hua Hin.
There are guesthouses in the piers just right of center in that photo, and then a maze of pubs and restaurants mainly for foreign tourists . On the left is where the actual beach starts, but it's covered in people and market stalls.

Looking north towards Cha Am. I expect it goes on like that for much further though.

This street was on the edge of the densely packed tourist area. 
It's very touristy but not to the scale of Phuket because a lot of Thais holiday here too. I thought it wasn't that busy (except for the main road) but I was told that this is still considered busy for this area.

That night when I was about to sleep I was wondering why I was so itchy, then I saw a bed bug full of my blood crawling away... Since the room had two single beds I swapped to the other but cleaned off any bugs that I could see first. I also tried my mosquito repellent to try keep them off me but I'm not sure that worked. I don't have any marks on me, but I could feel them crawling around. This meant I didn't get too much sleep from all the checking to see if I have any on me. Hopefully I didn't bring any with me either.

So then the next morning I packed up and headed to Lins near Soi 80 for breakfast. It was mentioned on some english expat forums that it's the best breakfast in town. And it was. Best bacon ever, sausage, eggs, and bread which I suspect was fried in lard (it was an english place after all). A few people asked me where I was going etc, it's getting boring repeating this... One guy talked to me about motorbikes from across the restaurant while I was eating, then he got food and I thought he would give me a chance to really concentrate on eating, but no, that didn't slow him down. I nodded my way through my bacon. 

I was warned that because it was a Sunday most of the people from bangkok would be heading home and the highway north would be very busy. But it wasn't too bad. No worse than any other day. There's a northbound only expressway in the middle of the highway which just started all of a sudden. I think from the signs that motorcycles and trucks were banned from it but I stayed on it for a long time because there were no trucks!

I eventually arrived at Kanchanaburi and stopped at a park to research my options for accommodation. 
This is the park. Those house looking things are floating resturants. This is in the more thai tourist area of Kanchanaburi.

I eventually found a big room with aircon right on the river for 400baht/night. It's not the main part of the river however, but that's good because the boats are on the other side of an island.

This is the the view from the chair in front of my room.
From the steps just to the right of my room.

Kanchanaburi is the start of the death railway, and "The bridge over the river kwai" is here. Only, it's not the same bridge anymore. And it's pronounced more like "Kwhere". 

The bridge.
Underneath they are setting up for two weeks of reenacting the bombing of the bridge with a sound and light show... Apparently it's very popular, they had seating set up too.

There was a plaque nearby with the history of how it was built/rebuilt etc. The part that I found odd was that the Japanese built it under a contract from the Thai government, then it was destroyed, and when the British took over they sold it back to the Thai government. It might be a bad translation, or a bad interpretation by me, but I should look that up.

I'm here for two nights, tomorrow I'll go look at the war museums, and maybe try and stand on the bridge as a train is going past. 

No comments:

Post a Comment