Thailand (Hua Hin): Paradise Found! – by Barb

After spending 11 days in and around Chiang Mai, I thought it might be nice for the boys (as well as Clay and I) to see a beach – since Thailand is so well-known for its beaches. Originally we had thought we would just stay in the northern part of Thailand but at this point I was ready for a change of scenery and when it’s so hot, beaches seem inviting! After some research on airbnb I found what looked like a “too good to be true” deal. There was a resort south of Hua Hin (about 4 hours south of Bangkok) that would rent us a villa (2 bedrooms, full kitchen, BBQ, jacuzzi, swimming pool) for $59 a night. I booked it but didn’t say much about it to Clay or the boys, since I thought it was another one of those situations where we would show up only to be  disappointed. (Some of the places look pretty inviting on airbnb and when you get there you see the “reality”!)
We had planned to head to Bangkok from Chiang Mai anyway, since we were flying out to Jakarta, IndonesDSCF9717ia from there. When I had created our itinerary I had left about 10 days “open” after our time in Chiang Mai, to see what we felt like doing. I wasn’t sure if we’d want to spend more time there or if we’d feel like heading elsewhere. October is apparently not the best time of year to visit beaches in the southern part of Thailand because of the rain and storms but apparently the Hua Hin area is least affected by these due to it being sheltered in the Gulf.
We boarded a train from Chiang Mai to Bangkok. It was a 13 hour trip to Bangkok and we would be taking thDSCF9722e sleeper car. When we first set out from Chiang Mai only two other “bunks” on our sleeper car were full but we seemed to stop at every town and village along the way and gradually they filled up. A woman came along not long after we boarded, asking if we’d like to order dinner, which we did. You could choose whether you wanted to get the food at 6, 7, or 8 pm.  The cushions on our bunks looked quite worn and grotty but Clay quickly changed them for cleaner versions from the unused bunk next door! The boys and I went to brush our teeth in the sink at about 8:30 and a man came along and “made up” the bunks while we were gone. They give you a clean sheet, a blanket and a pillow. The air-conditioning was on, full tilt, so the blanket was a necessity! DSCF9715   DSCF9726
The boys settled in on the top bunks, but about an hour later, Connor came to snuggle in with me because he claimed he was “too cold up there!” This made sleeping a little bit more of a challenge but we managed OK.
When we arrived in Bangkok we got off the train and grabbed some croissants and juice for breakfast. Then we boarded our train to Hua Hin. We lucked out and got a seat with an electrical outlet beside us so we all watched a movie on the computer on the way! Our taxi driver met us as soon as we disembarked and we were soon on our way to see what this villa looked like.
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What a pleasant surprise! It was amazing! With a swimming pool running down the middle of the row of villas, like a main street, a two story tall water slide, a swim up bar, and lovely little bridges crossing the water, who could complain?!! Connor was in heaven! (He’s part dolphin!)
Then there was our villa: spotlessly clean, a full kitchen with pots, pans, and utensils, 2 bedrooms and a bathroom with a SEPARATE SHOWER! (a rare find in Thailand). We also DSCF9735had a rooftop terrace with a BBQ, hot tub, and outdoor shower. This was heaven! What a change from the places we usually stayed in. Sometimes it’s nice just to take a break from “travel” for a few days and relax!
We rented bikes one day to check out the beach that was only 5 minutes south of us. It was beautiful as well. You had to be careful of the jelly fish in the water but the beach was deserted and was perfect for shell hunting and crab watching!
I don’t think we’ll be able to top this place!

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