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Thailand Trip Report Part 3 - Hua Hin continued

Thailand Trip Report Part 3 - Hua Hin continued

Sep 5th, 2004, 03:05 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 115
Thailand Trip Report Part 3 - Hua Hin continued

I shall continue with my trip report now, even though it appears that no-one has anything to say about Part two of my report - oh well, ever the professional - here goes;

On the 24th August, we decided to go to the nearby Elephant Safari in the hills to east of Hua Hin - only approx 15 min drive from our hotel. The weather was extremely hot and sunny - whoever said it was the rainy season ?? We were asked to climb a staircase to a platform that enabled us to mount the elephant - surprisingly, the three of us were allowed to sit together on the same elephant - poor thing !!

The ride was a very strange experience - the seat was not designed for 'long haul' journeys, let me say, and I compared the ride to slow motion turbulence on an aircraft - up and down, up and down. We were grateful for the small mercy of an umbrella provided to protect us against the blazing sunshine. The ride lasted for nearly an hour, with three elephants (the other two for our friends)rambling their way through a trail that passed through a small village and finally into a pond - well, the steep pond banks made us feel more like bucking broncos as the elephant carefully strode down the bank, until we levelled out into the pond to be greeted with large mounds of elephant poo floating in the water. However, despite all this, it really was a thrill to ride on these beautiful, elegant animals.

Not surprisingly, the rest of the afternoon, was spent swimming and relaxing by the pool.

At this stage, I would like to mention the weather - apart from a few spots of rain here and there, and one 10 min heavy shower, we had superb weather throughout our stay in Hua Hin - I have heard that the monsoon doesn't really hit the east coast until during September, so for all you families/couples - a good August choice.

We made mistake of choosing the famous 'La Mer' hilltop restaurant that evening for dinner - solely because none of us eat seafood (except my wife who likes fish but not shellfish/crab etc). The setting was beautiful, and indeed my wife's food was very tasty she said, but for meat eaters who do not eat fish - not worth it really. For those fish/shell fish lovers - go still, as I am sure you will have a lovely meal.

On the 25th August, we finally heard from Marriott Manager who my friend had been trying to contact - he offered us a free hotel switch to sister hotel, Anantara, but by now we were half way through Hua Hin part of trip and considered it too late to waste half a day packing/unpacking - so my friend politely declined the offer - more to follow on this story.

This evening, we went to a lovely Austrian restaurant down the road from Hilton called, Amadeus - superb food, all for 1000 Baht for 3 of us - ridiculously cheap.

Throughout all these treks to Hua Hin each evening, we were continuely buying watches, bags, t-shirts - hard to resist at such good prices - bartering every time of course.

One if the highlights of our holiday occurred on the Thursday 26th August - we went on day trip to National Park about 1 hour drive to east of Hua Hin (our friends went on a separate trip as this was unsuitable for small children). We stopped at caves first which housed a buddhist temple, then a pineapple farm, before finally reaching our main destination - we had a 30 minute trek through the jungle alongside a fast flowing river, precariously feeling our way over stones in the water and using low hanging branches for support. Finally, we reached a beautiful waterful with a shallow area to swim in - my wife opted out at this point, but my daughter and I, keen to cool off, eagerly splashed our way into the river - boy was it cold at first, but very refreshing and we quickly became accustomed to the water. In addition, there were hundreds of carp swimmimng around us and through our legs, every now and again going into a frenzy as people threw fish feed into the water - what an experience. The hardest thing was trying to dry myself once I got out of the water, and retain my dignity - luckily, the wife was on hand to help !! The trip ended, with a pleasant Thai lunch on the return journey.

That evening, we tried out Mamma Mia's Italian reaturant, once again in Hua Hin centre - a bit more upmarket this time, but at 1900 baht we still thought it was good value.

The rest of the holiday was spent relaxing by day - with the odd massage, beach walk, laundry trip in between - oh yes, we used an excellent laundry place just over the main road opposite the hotel - I don't know what they used, but the clothes smelt wonderful ipon collection.

Two more significant things to mention - firstly, the Marriott Manager, finally offered us a monetary refund of equivalent of US$40 per room for paid nights of our stay - very generous and considering our friends had two rooms (interconnecting), even more so for them.

Secondly, we decided to take advantage of in internet restaurant recommendation on the Friday evening (27th)to a place in Cha-Am, about 20mins away, offering "The best Mexican in town". It was simply called 'Chicken-Coop' - BIG MISTAKE. We first suspected a problem when our taxi driver, turned off the road towards Cha-Am beach, into a dark alleyway - then when we say the actual place, it consisted of a Go-Go bar connected to a cafe (that is being polite) - in a state of shock, we actually sat down in the 'cafe' - the women seemed equally surprised to see two families, but to their credit attempted to treat us with respect and showed us their menu. Needless to say, the food was awful, not surprising, considering state of kitchen - and every now and then a scantily clad girl would pop into the bar/cafe from next door. We couldn't wait to escape.

So there you have it - the final few days were very relaxing and we left Hua Hin on the journey to Bangkok Airport, feeling like we had had a proper rest - lovely.

Unfortunately, the flight home took a distinct turn for the worst when we encountered air rage for the first time ever - an english husband and Thai wife had a massive argument about two missing game boy's that cost him £200 by all accounts. He was drunk and being very loud and abusive to her and all around him , and then it all became too much for her and she exploded into a rage of swearing and crying - very unpleasant. He finally fell asleep in a drunken stupor - thank god.

Even then, the problems were not over - having landed at Heathrow 15 mins early at 6.15pm, we were delayed in Baggage Reclaim for 1/2 hour due to lack of trolleys - when they finally appeared at 7.15pm after a total of 1 hour delay (30mins before we arrived too), there was an almighty stampede for them - I am surprised no-one was hurt in the melee. In all my years of aircraft travel, I have never experienced chaos like it anywhere in the world - thanks Heathrow !!!

But , at last at 9.30pm, we reached our front door - hooray.

But what a great holiday - Thailand is BRILLIANT !!!!!!!!!

Kevey is offline  
Sep 5th, 2004, 06:30 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 444
One thing I would change about Fodors is that there should be a record of the "views" made of a post. I am sure that many people have read your post but just not responded.
fiona is offline  
Sep 5th, 2004, 07:11 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I'm glad you enjoyed Thailand. There are always glitches in any trip. You certainly learned some valuable things for next time around.
Kathie is offline  
Sep 5th, 2004, 08:27 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Sorry - my earlier post got cut short.

One of the things your story reminds me of is how important it is to know as much as possible about your internet sources. As someone who posts regularly on this board, I find that there are peple who I mostly agree with and those I mostly disagree with. We all have different priorities. When I'm making note of recommendations, I more likely to pay attention to a recommendation that gives me some info about a place ("wonderful Thai seafood" means more to me than "great food"), and I pay more attention to a recommendation from someone who has enjoyed some of the same places I've enjoyed. Still, there are times for all of us when we just take a recommendation because we don't have any other info.

A few years back, I was planning on staying at the brand new Hyatt at Hua Hin. I'm a very frequent stay guest with Hyatt, so had a great rate to stay in the Regency Club. Just two weeks before we were leaving for Thailand and Cambodia, I got a call from the Hyatt saying the hotel wouldn't be open when we had reservations. So with very short notice, I had to find another place to stay. I took the advice of a regular poster here on the board, Sarah, who recommended the Anantara. I made reservations for a Lagoon room, and hoped for the best. It turned out to be a great recommendation, but I have to admit that I was holding my breath as we drove up to the hotel.

Thanks for all of the info about your trip!
Kathie is offline  
Sep 5th, 2004, 09:03 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 6,664
Thanks for the report(s). I can assure you that they were avidly read by many people, but only a few responded. I've noticed that people who do not respond directly will make reference to a trip report in later (sometimes much later) original postings.

Your weather report on Hua Hin was very similar to the weather we experienced there in early December. We had mid-70's(F) with a gentle breeze. It was perfect for relaxing and reading with an occasional dip into the water.

I'm glad the Marriott manager finally made an effort towards satisfaction. It partially corroborates the positive posts on this board. Saying that, we ignored the Marriott posts and stayed at the Sofitel, which we found to be wonderful.

As Kathie noted, posts (positive or negative) should be filtered through an experiential screen. For a guide, I pay careful attention to the people who seem to have similar tastes to mine. Unfortunately, this is useless if it's your first time. The only guide in that instance might be spelling, diction and grammar. Follow those who exhibit these "qualities" at the same level as you. The good news is that so much of Thailand is so great that it's hard to make a really bad choice in hotel, restaurant or activity.

Thanks again.
Gpanda is offline  
Sep 5th, 2004, 09:41 AM
  #6  
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Gpanda.

I have been to Thailand several times, but Hua Hin/Cha Am only once before - so recommendations of any sort are certainly worth recording - however, from my experience, there are so many that in the end we just left things to chance - and to be honest, everything that happened, was all part of the holiday 'experience' that will live in the memory for years to come.

Just one piece of advice - unless you are single male looking for Thai girl to spend night with - don't go to Chicken Coop !!
Kevey is offline  
Sep 5th, 2004, 09:42 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 4
As cfw already had noticed we did in fact travel together and i think i must make it plain that in fact it was not the manager of the hotel that finaly came through it was in fact the director of marriott hotels based in bankok who after 2 or 3 coversations did make attempts to settle our disputes and not the hotel manager who still did nothing to help.
jeremyfreedman is offline  
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