The bus ride to Hua Hin was mainly uneventful. I say that because I had gotten a wee bit tipsy before meeting Jo at the bus station and therefore don’t recall most of the trip. However, at one point between little naps, the inevitable sensation that always creeps up when one drinks started to kick in… Yes, I REALLY needed a bathroom!! I had heard that the trip was only a couple of hours, so I figured I would be ok… But just like all mini-bus journeys in Thailand: whatever time you are given for the trip, double it! However, given that, what’s also nice about the mini-buses is that they inevitably always take a bathroom break about halfway or just an hour shy of reaching the destination. Thank goodness for this!!
I seriously was starting to worry whether my poor bladder would hold up! I kept asking the driver “hong nam??” (room water literally) in hopes he would hear the absolute desperation in my voice and make a potential emergency stop just for me. “Ha nittie” (5 minutes) is all he kept saying as I kept praying that THIS time it really would be ‘ha nittie’… Sure enough we did (eventually) make a stop at a gas station for food, drinks and bathrooms (hooray!!!). Fully content (and about a quarter less body weight in water) we continued on the last little bit to the coast.
It’s amazing how much you miss something and don’t ever recall that you do until you are faced with it again… I speak of the ocean. We pulled up at a random junction near the clock tower (which is really a HUGE poster of the King with a teeny clock at the top) where the driver said to us “falangs” (foreigners) and pointed for us to get out. True to my style (and thankfully Jo’s too) we didn’t have any place planned to stay just yet. Jo used her phone to track down a potential place to stay and we headed off in the direction It showed, which was also in the direction of the water.
About 10 minutes later we hit Naret Damri Alley, a bustling tourist street full of every possible worldwide cuisine restaurants that you could possibly imagine. I mean they had German, French, Spanish Tapas, Italian, Norwegian, Swiss (seriously!!), Greek, American, Indian, Finnish, and more!! Having come from and lived in the small town of Sangkhlaburi where the most exciting thing was pad thai or fried rice, we just about fainted when we saw all these delicious food options!! Keeping ourselves in check (wiping the drool from our chins as we walked by each place) we first found a place to stay. Memory Guesthouse just down the street from Dechanuchit Alley on Naret Damri Alley was where we decided to settle for 400 baht a night. We paid for 2 nights, settled in and then headed out for some FOOD!! We opted for an Indian restaurant just across the street and dined as if we had never had food before!
At this point the sun had already set so going to the beach wasn’t an option as far as tanning was concerned. So instead we got a couple of beers and headed out just to scout where the beach actually was from us. First we went the wrong way down N.D. Alley to basically a dead-end, along the way checking out and continuously being shocked even more so by the array of differing cuisines available. We turned around and went the other way down N.D. Alley, past our guesthouse toward the Hilton. We reached what looked like another dead-end (a parking lot near what looked like a Chinese Temple of sorts) but continued on as I was determined that there HAD to be a beach nearby!
Luckily, just around the corner from the Chinese Temple, the land opened up and a vast beach lay ahead of us. The water was severely choppy and there was absolutely no way to swim in it, so we just dipped our toes in for a bit (gloriously warm water!!) then sat on the beach drinking and talking. We watched the moon rise, a fabulous red-orange glow coming over the horizon through bits of hazy clouds and eventually headed back for some rest.