After a powernap, three hours before our departure to Thailand, everything packed and ready for the ride by taxi to the airport, Google makes us aware that our flight was canceled...
Slightly stressed and after various useless calls, we nevertheless took a taxi and made the one hour journey to the airport. It was a very good decision. The flight took off on schedule at 02:55 am. Thanks Google, very nice.
Our 30kg sports luggage was unfortunately only accepted as overweight baggage and on the plane we didn’t receive neither food nor water. With Mauritian rupees you could not buy anything, since they were not accepting it. Thanks AirAsia X, also very nice.
After 8 hours flight, we made a short stopover in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia where we could finally drink and eat something.
We continued to Bangkok, Thailand. Again a bit nervous because of our visas. We have chosen the most sympathetic passport-checker. Who let us in without asking any questions.
The last journey was a three hour taxi ride to Hua Hin, south of Bangkok. Very tired of our 24 hours trip, we finally arrived in our new home.
The decision was between the continents Asia or Australia. More specifically, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines, Australia or Indonesia. Only Thailand and Vietnam made it to the finals - because of the optimal travel and wind conditions. We had to throw a coin to decide. Asia got our attention because of completely different cultures, traditions and their unique architecture.
The Kingdom of Thailand, also known as the land of smiles, has about 68 million inhabitants. 8 million alone live in the capital Bangkok. 95% of the population are Buddhists.
Here it’s constant 30 ° C with high humidity and also the sea water is 27 ° C warm. This is the lower limit for Jessica ;)
Since 1946 King Bhumibol Adulyadej had been the head of state. Unfortunately, he died one day after our arrival on October 13, 2016. He reigned for 70 years and had been caring a lot for his people. For this reason the Thais love him very much and they are now mourning for a whole year.
We live in a very nice apartment with 2 bedrooms, a living- and diningroom and a balcony. It is very bright, spacious and only 5 minutes from the beach. From air conditioning to a kettle - there is everything you need. Even a small kitchen, which is quite rare here. But later on more about this.
The first month
The first days it only rained. It rained like there was no tomorrow. With floods and powercuts. We were already afraid that this would continue for the next two months. But after a few days, the sun triumphed and the storms finally ceased.
On the first days of sun, we decided to walk all around Hua Hin to get to know it better.
A nice walk along the sandy beach led us to Khao Takiab. It is a Buddhist temple on a small mountain right at the beach, also known as Chopstick or Monkey Mountain.
Actually one should see lots of monkeys on this mountain (therefore its name). But we only saw some cats and dogs.
After some good meals in the restaurants and the first big shopping in the supermarket, we understood why in Thailand there are normally no kitchen in the apartments. The food in the restaurants is very cheap compared to the supermarket. Only on the small local markets you can find cheaper food.
In almost every restaurant and especially on the streets you can find fried rice, noodles or soup in combination with eggs, vegetables, chicken or pork. The menus are freshly cooked, very light and cost about 50 baht per plate. This is not even 1,50 €. For comparison: 135g Swiss Emmental cheese from the supermarket correspond to 4 plates of fried rice.
There are also a variety of other cuisines such as Japanese, Italian or German. Nevertheless, we already miss the Swiss food :(
The hospital visit
The main reason for a hospital stay in Thailand is diarrhea. This is due to the dirty tab- and seawater and of course because of the food. Actually we always have been very careful when it comes to food. We love fresh salad, but here we do not eat it.
Nevertheless, it caught Andres. After a beautiful and long night, with diarrhea and vomiting (sometimes at the same time) - he landed a little dehydrated in the emergency room. They kept him for three days. The hospital was very nice and modern. Jessica could stay all night and come and go when she wanted. With lots of antibiotics, good care of Jessica and after a week of rest, Andres was fortunately much better.
The train station
In 1920 the station was built in Hua Hin by King Rama VI. It is one of the oldest railway stations in Thailand and well known for its architecture.
Hua Hin is one of the most popular spots in Thailand for kitesurfing. Even though Thailand is generally not very windy. Currently, the northwind should blow with about 15-20 knots. This wind is somewhat “colder” and the waves are higher. The beach is less wide and at high tide it can even disappear completely.
Until now we had only about 4 days of fun on the water.
But we got to know very nice people at the spot, which makes the wait for the wind much more pleasant.
The Thais are always very polite and smiling - that's why Thailand is called the land of smiles. However the are rather closed to everything and everyone they don’t know yet. That makes it very difficult to get closer to them as a foreigner. It’s actually quite similar to Mauritius, they are primarily concerned about your money.
But there are also many foreigners who are very open to nice conversations or even friendships. Most of them told us, that even after 5 years, they still have trouble getting closer to the Thais.
Khao Lan Thom
Another Buddhist temple with a small food market. We found this temple by chance on our discovery tour walking around Hua Hin.
The visa extension
A longer trip took us to the Immigration Office of Hua Hin. We were on the road for two hours. Completely sweaty, we have extended our visa by 30 days. Satisfied and motivated again, we returned all the way and rewarded ourselfs with a nice dinner.
In Hua Hin there are many temples and markets. Pae Mai is a tiny market, which is working only on Tuesday evenings. As we walked towards the market, Andres destroyed his left flip-flop. The way through the wet and muddy roads was not really pleasant. Arrived at the market, we found new flip-flops very quickly and Andres could enjoy the market as well.
We still have a few weeks left here in Thailand.
See you in the next chapter :)