Real life in Hua Hin

Walked to the water department today to pay my monthly bill of $1.50. Took my camera and lingered a couple of places on the way back.

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Always present meals on wheels

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The new king’s images are replacing the deceased king

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This is the songtaew that goes from one end of town to the other for about 70 cents

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Durian anyone. 150 baht per, or almost $5. Expensive

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Coconuts for 25 baht, 80 cents

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My chilli peppers are now bearing fruit

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No passport – no package

DSC_1198One of the minor irritants here is when you are expecting a package in the mail – but you are not outside your house when the deliverman comes by. He leaves you a notice to pick up your package at the post office.

The post office is outside of town, a walk/taxi/walk for me. No problem for those with transport. Takes a little effort and time my poor way.

Anyway, I dovetailed the trip with a short meeting with a client, caught a taxi pretty quickly, and made the final trek along the highway, motorbikes zipping by my elbow both ways.

I took a number – there was about eight people waiting – and went into the adjoining area where I could mail a letter to my daughter. Less than 50 cents normal mail . Hope it makes it. The wait for the package took a bit longer – during which I began to wonder if I needed my passport for ID.

DSC_1197Damn! And couldn’t bluff my way through. Did the walk of shame back to the taxi pickup and took a red taxi instead of the green one, and had a very circuitus ride back to soi 80.

Will have to go back – with passport this time.

Another trek, the day before

I’ve been limiting my walking lately due to some knee issues, but feeling better yesterday I decided to investigate a grocery store I had heard a lot about – Big C.

This store predates the more modern Tesco groceries now in Hua Hin, but still allegedly offers prices below other groceries. I was curious. It is a bit past my usual walking distance, but I figured if I actually bought anything (I was taking my trusty backback), then I could jump on the back of a killer motorbike to get back.

Still, one way was a killer on my knees – and feet.

The store was a total dud in my eyes. Very little fresh food area, mostly packaged. Lots of canned and dried goods that I can only assume are cheaper than Tesco. I guess if you live in that part of town it is a convenient local grocery for everything but fresh vegetables, meats, seafood and alcohol.

The most interesting part of the walk, which bordered on dangerous at various points, was the stretch where various local artists painted murals of their late king. He was very loved by the people and was actually a truly benevolent monarch, starting a variety of programs to better his people and bring them into the modern era. I’m not a fan of kings but he apparently was a good one.

Here’s a selection of the 300-meter wall – the one “different” photo is what you typically see on the other side of the street:

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Posted in Hua Hin, Passport/Visa, Thailand, Uncategorized | Tagged ,

Singapore Day 2 – not so easy

DSC_1011I was reminded today why I hate being a tourist. And why I’m not a fan of the Chinese.

The day started innocently enough. I did have to go downstairs to the 7-11 for coffee, however, since the maid did not replenish the instant stuff. This should have been a warning.

Our destination this morning was the skyway cable cars going across to Sentosa Island. My misunderstanding of where they originated from led to a comedy of directional errors for the next 2 hours. (It really wasn’t all that funny.) But first, the cab ride.

We hailed a cab right away and headed to Vivo City, where I was told the skyway cable cars started, although I may have also said the tram, and I didn’t say cable cars. So I received bad directions.

DSC_0899But we didn’t make it to Vivo City right away, because Non forgot her phone, and I thought she needed it to video her experiences, and I needed it for translation. So when we reached our destination, we turned back and returned to the hotel. Then we flagged another cab and made the trip back to Vivo City.

There we boarded a tram, thinking it was taking us to the cable cars. Then followed a series of misdirections, miscommunications and lost souls, leading to many meters of walking in the heat, and with two bad knees.

Finally, after much asking of directions (by a man, mind you), we arrived at the correct cable cars – there are more than one and our tickets had us rejected at two others.

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The ride is interesting, and I was always curious about it whenever I visited Singapore from across the strait in Batam, but I’m not sure I would do it again for SGD29/USD21 per person.

DSC_0945We eventually eneded up back on Sentosa Island. Trying to find attractions that would be of interest, I chose the butterfly and insect exhibit nearby. Almost no butterflys but a cool iguana and some beautiful birds. They wanted $5 to hold the iguana or to feed the parrots.  A waste of money.

Next, I figured let’s check out the beach section, so we found the bus connection and waited for transportation. Bus 2 came and we exited at the beach destination, as I was finally figuring out the tourist map I had found.

However, Palawan Beach is not a beach, it is a rock wall. Silseo Beach next door is a slim sliver of sand facing monster cranes and various types of cargo ships. Not really worth the time.

I should comment on two food experiences on Sentosa Island, where we were. We stopped for lunch at a Subway for a steak and cheese – and half the meat was unchewable. And later for some chicken nuggets at KFC, which turned out to be processed chicken. Oh well, Western food.

DSC_0993My plan was to end the touring with a visit to the aquarium. I had no idea how good it is. Except for the crowds, the tanks are often interesting. The shark tank is great, as are the two large group tanks, where you can see all types of fish intermingling.

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However, I almost  tore heads off a few Chinese.

We were done with touring Singapore, except for finding a taxi back to the hotel. A long queue in the basement below the aquarium area and we took a cab back to our fleabag hotel.

And then the dinner.

Our dinner last night at Chinatown Seafood convinced Non she wanted to go back on our last night. I suggested gorging on crabs. She agreed. However, once there, she reneged, and opted for a chilli prawn dish.

I was determined on the crabs, regardless of price. The price: SGD55/USD39 per 800 milligrams, one large crab. I ordered one, thinking it was not enough and that Non would probably eat half of it – as well as most of her prawn dish, and most of the  ice.

It was enough. And Non did end up eating at least half of it. And it was good. Total bill: SGD111/USD80.

 

 

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