Sunday, October 2, 2016

Day 3 : Hua Hin - Bangkok

We did not have to get up too early that morning. Breakfast would only be ready at 7.30 a.m.; actually breakfast was supposed to commence at 8.00 a.m., but the hotel accommodated us because we wanted to leave by 8.00 a.m.

Nevertheless, we were all early birds and well ready before time. We then explored the surroundings of this small hotel. Facilities here were limited, but there was a pool in the grounds, and the water did look rather tempting. I wished I had time to relax and swim.

The pool area 

The hotel actually looked rather empty, making me think that we were the only guests that day ...

Breakfast was at the cafe at the front of the hotel .... we chose to sit at the deck, just next to a pretty landscaped garden. Breakfast was not served buffet style. Instead we had to choose from an ala carte menu and place our order with the staff. We could have an American breakfast, or a ham and egg toast sandwich, or a salad ....

Loved the greens at the deck in front of the cafe ... 

Pretty landscaped deck

And so my friend and I were making coffee at the counter top. Behind the counter was a female staff, still taking orders from my friends. She was in fact very unfriendly, and I noted her displeasure when I changed my breakfast order earlier ...

So anyway, I got annoyed at her and actually snapped back at her when she interrupted my conversation with my friend. In her shrill voice, she had pointed to the bin and kept repeating, "Bin down! Bin down!" She had wanted us to throw our empty coffee and creamer sachets into the dustbin and not leave them lying on the counter.

Ok, we got it. We had no intention of littering the place. We would do it after we had finished making our drinks. Couldn't she see that we were still stirring our drinks?

"Wait first!" I answered back! I was annoyed but I wasn't going to let her ruin my day. My friend and I quickly finished making our drinks and threw all she wanted us to throw into the dustbin and went back to sit down to eat.

Salad, coffee and pineapple juice  

Toasted sandwich with ham and cheese  

Omelette with toast, 1 slice of bacon and a tiny sausage ....

We checked out at about 8.15 a.m. Our first stop that morning was Hua Hin Beach. It was still early, and the beach seemed deserted still ...

Hua Hin Beach

We took off our shoes and stepped onto the sandy beach to take a few photographs and then left ...

Next was the Railway Station, purportedly one of the oldest in Thailand, featuring The Royal Waiting  Room - a room that used to welcome the King and his court when they were visiting the town. There was also an old steam train exhibited here. We took some photographs along the train tracks, lingered a bit and then left.

The old steam train on display .... 

The railway station itself was painted bright red and beige, and was very clean

Then, we visited Wat Huay Mongkol. The temple grounds were well-kept and looked much like a park. We saw a large statue of a rooster, which was flanked by many small rooster statues. It also has a large statue of a monk - whom I found out to be Luang Phor Thuad who was noted for his ability to perform miracles.

The huge statue of the monk

Then we went to Santorini Park. Again, we did not want to go inside because again, we did not fancy visiting an antificial attraction. We merely took a some photographs outside.

Next to Santorini Park was Cha Am Premium Outlet, where we spent quite a bit of time browsing the shops. Plenty of labels there were - Nike, Adidas, Reebok, Clarks, North Face, Esprit, Timberland and many more. We hanged out but not buy anything at all.

Nearby was the 1000 Sook's Farm and Food. Again, many artificial structures in a farm-like setting. A building reminded me of the Farmville barn ... lol. Nice decor here ... looked like a happy place.
The driver intended for us to eat our lunch here .... only that we weren't interested in eating in a fancy place like this.

So he brought us to another place further down the road - according to the driver, this place was operated by Thai Chinese entrepreneurs. There was an eatery and also a shop selling souvenirs and local Thai tidbits; and I think they were catered to the local tourists.

This is a dish my friends ordered to eat with their rice; it's kangkong - the Thais call it morning glory or water spinach; what's interesting to me was the way it was cooked. Normally, we have this stir-fried. But here, it's stewed in a Thai-style curry - the gravy was sweet and sour, very spicy but very delicious.

There was rice, soup and dishes - much like the economical rice stalls we have back home. I did not feel like eating rice and opted for noodles instead.

The noodles were enjoyable; the broth sweet and hearty and the meatballs bouncy and full of flavour. I loved the basil in my soup

I browsed in the shop as well, so tempted to buy the many snacks sold here - the cuttlefish snacks, crispy pork, dried mango and so on. However, I did not buy anything then ....

Then it was a long drive back to Bangkok ... and we wanted to go to Wat Arun. The driver dropped us off at Wat Pho, but we did not have time to visit Wat Pho. We quickly proceeded to the jetty and caught a ferry which would help us cross the choppy Chao Phraya River. The fare per person was THB3 per trip.

Crossing the river took about a minute at most 

Wat Arun from the temple grounds ... 

Around the temple grounds

By the time we got across the river, the sky turned dangerously dark. So we quickly walked around the temple grounds and took some photographs. Some of us could not enter the temple complex anyway because we were underdressed - no shorts for ladies. Wat Arun was under renovation, so we could not fully appreciate the full beauty of its structure.

Finally, we went to Asiatique The Riverfront - it's a huge covered malls with a maze of stall selling many things. I did find some of the vendors rude, however. We walked past a shop named MangoTango (check out the website; they claim to serve the best mangoes in Thailand) and saw many people tucking into platters of mango dessert ... and we decided to try it on impromptu.

We merely ordered 3 different platters of mango dessert ... but were told that we COULD NOT sit down to enjoy our dessert because they were too many of us.

FOr all 7 of us to dine in, we needed to order at least 5 platters. Huh? Then, to record the experience, I wanted to take a photo of the menu. I was prohibited from doing so. Darn. So much for Thai hospitality.

This platter consisted of fresh mango, mango ice-cream and mango pudding, topped with whipped cream; the mango was firm and fresh, and both the ice-cream and pudding were not too sweet and delicious

Same as the above, except this platter had sticky rice which was topped with a bit of coconut cream - I loved the saltiness of the rice which complemented the sweet mangoes .... yum

3 bowls of mango served with coconut cream, the two bowls on top were the same, except that one had a dollop of ice-cream in it; the one at the bottom was served in a coconut cream broth - very rich and not too sweet and we all loved this one more than the other 2 smaller bowls ...

I lingered at one of the stalls selling bags and pouches made from a colourful material - not fabric but some kind of synthetic leather. You coud actually customise the bags by adding some brass ornaments to them.

I got stuck at this stall for a while, enticed to buy a imple long wallet - sold for THB150. I did not want any decor on my bag, so I was given a discount of THB20. So I bought it.

I showed it to my friend, and she expressed her interest to buy as well. So we stopped at another stall selling the same thing ... Here we tried to bargain as well, but the vendor did not allow it. So my friend and I decided to go back to the first stall where I bought my wallet from. "Just go! Just go!" the vendor said. How rude.

Next, we headed to the foodcourt and had our dinner there. The name of the stall was Wild Orchid ... some selection of things we ordered ....

Pineapple Fried Rice

Tom Yum Fried Rice

Seafood Pad Phrik 

Tom Yum With Noodles

Stir-fried Noodles

Everything was delicious, and the price was also reasonable. We enjoyed the food very much! 

After dinner, my friends got stuck at one of the foyers, because there were racks and racks of clothing on sale - a Forever 21 cardigan sold for about THB200, and some H&M men's t-shirts and shorts were only about THB60 per piece! My friends indulged themselves in a buying spree.

We browsed further ... and I bought an ethnic print cotton blouse in bright orange at THB200 ...

New blouse and wallet 

Then, finally, we went to a stall selling Thai products like Pocky, Taokenoi, dried mango, cooking pastes. The name of the shop was MeiJengSieng.

The small shop was packed with so many people - many fellow Malaysians - that I could hardly move about. The cashiers spoke Mandarin as their hands deftly punched in the prices of the things in your basket .... in the end, I bought Siangpure roll ons, dried mangoes, Tom Yum and Green Curry cooking pastes. My friends too bought a lot - dried durian, Pocky, and so on.

The ferris wheel at Asiatique The River Front

Then we went back to White Palace Hotel, checked in and dumped our stuff in the room before going out to the streets again. We walked past a stall selling noodles and were tempted to try them. We ordered 2 bowls .....

The stall owner looked pretty angry throughout the time we were there ... not sure how we have offended her. Was she not happy that 4 of us only ordered 2 bowls? But anyway, she was rude when she shouted at my friend to refrain him from eating a packet of durians that he had bought from the next stall .....

 The warning ... 

Because of her, we lost our appetite and our enjoyment of her food .... we left as quickly as we had sat down .... 

So anyway, after the encounter with the unfriendly noodle stall owner, we went back to the hotel and retired for the night. 


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