Doing the tourist thing


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It’s Sunday, right? So it’s a touristy kind of day, right? I’m getting a little claustrophobic so decided to seek out one of the local attractions – Khao Takiap.

This is a volcanic outcropping a couple miles south  of Hua Hia. Lots of development around the area.There’s a Buddhist temple on it so it’s an attraction, Also some new resorts.

I intended to take the 10 baht taxi to khao takiab but a motorcycyle taxi came by and  I waved it around and hopped on – without asking the fare. Don’t do this!

temple up

going up. an excellent workout

The motorcycle taxi is 15-20 times more expensive than than the public taxis. Don’t take it! It’s also much more dangerous. He did take me to the top of the hill, with me having to get off once when his bike couldn’t negotiate the incline with two people onboard. Then he asked for 200 baht. He came down to 150 baht but only had 30 baht in change for my two 100 baht bills, so I ended up paying 170 baht ($6).

The views on top of the hill are great but the temple thing is overblown. Bangkok has it all over this place for such things, but I dutifully did my photography. But first I just had to do the step climb to the temple. Glad I keep in shape because that was a muscle burner.

At the base of the hill, nestled along the sides of the curving roadway are a series of open air restaurants right where the fishing boats come in to dock. Each one had multiple live fish tanks filled with huge prawns, live crabs, all sorts of mollusks (they eat everything here), lobster, fish. There were prices but once again I’m not sure how much you get for the price.

It was a hot day and I found a small store for a beer ($1) and looked around while the fishermen organized their nets for the next day, and women sat around cleaning meat out of mollusks. I intended to try some of the fresh seafood and should have done it there, but continued walking looking for a restaurant on the beach side.

boat.rocks - CopyThis I found but the prices were pretty high. The Khrua Khun Toi restaurant sits right in front of a boomerang-shaped beach with rock outcroppings on one side and the vista of the long beach on the left stretching pas the high rises of Hua Hin on the left. The beach was filled with Westerners, and far too many Speedos, so I kept going.

I finally stopped at a restaurant further down the road and decided on some grilled scallops. They looked delicious but after four I decided they weren’t c0existing well with my stomach, so I left half of the meal untouched. They weren’t really that good.

lunch

Grilled scallops and Thai beer

Finally, I hopped on a green taxi and took it to the Market Village, where I wanted to pick up a few things at the grocery and maybe find a printer. A printer is very useful if you need to have a translation for some task you have planned, especially for Thai, as, unlike most languages, I can’t just write out the words. For example, here’s “How are you?” in Thai – สบายดีไหม?

So I did Khai Takiap. I climbed to the temple. No need to do it again. I should say that there are other points of interest there, such as an elephant camp, but motorized transportation is necessary to get around to everything. Maybe another time for the elephants.

And now, about the fishing. So far, there’s fishing but not catching. I’ve been to the beach five straight late afternoons, sometimes using a silver spoon and sometimes cut bait. The spoon caught a small fish the first day, but the cut bait it provided yielded zero bites.

The lack of fish is puzzling, given the venue – it looks and feels a lot like Southwest Florida, with a couple of significant differences. First, the water is shallow for very far out, although it’s deep enough to harbor predator fish. There were large schools of mullet and shad going by one day, so there is food available for the predators. The second difference is the strong tidal action. Too strong to keep a weight from drifting rapidly.

monkey2I think my next effort may be at the city pier, which I can walk to along the beach at low tide. The structure will hold fish and the deep water may be just the ticket.

Tuesday morning I will attempt to open a local bank account. I’ve chosen Krung Thai Bank and will meet a local there who has offered help. The bank account, if they let me open one, is supposed to be the next step to securing a retirement visa here but now the person in Bangkok who is supposed to help me (for a hefty fee) get the visa is saying that if I open a bank account in Hua Hin AND have a rental agreement in Hua Hin, then the visa work needs to be done in Hua Hin, not Bangkok.

Nothing I have read has mentioned anything of the sort and I’m not sure how the visa can be given in Hua Hin when a visit to the Thai Embassy in Bangkok is required, I think. And this consultant knew of my plans beforehand and never mentioned this possibility. So I’m not quite sure where I stand on the long-stay visa and am awaiting word from the consultant. I need the local bank account anyway so that I can eliminate those onerous bank fees, but I may be doing visa runs to Myanmar every 29 days in order to stay in-country, exactly what I was trying to avoid in Indonesia. There are visa run services here to take people to Myanmar, and the driver who brought me to Hua Hin also offers the service for about $100.

About 2bagsandapack

Lifetime journalist, author, magazine editor and publisher, now semi-retired and traveling the world. My plan, after living in Costa Rica for 14 months, was to visit a new country in southern Europe every three months to experience the culture and the challenge of adapting to a new environment, while on a fixed income. That plan was sidetracked when I was offered a job in Indonesia, providing an opportunity to explore Asia. Indonesia lasted for a 4 wonderful years but I have now moved on to Hua Hin, Thailand.
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