|Monkey Island, Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park,|
I missed travelling in the North last time around and didn't make it down the West side of the Gulf of Thailand. A motorcycle tour of the North (one of the top 10 rated rides in the world, no less) and a four day beach buffer between work and adventure was planned. I did some homework and discovered this beautiful stretch of beach between a National Park and Hua Hin.
This beach experience is a friendlier, cleaner and quieter experience than that of the Islands. Family oriented, many Thai and European families vacationing with young ones. Not an inebriated backpacker to be seen and the price of $50/night for a beach side resort with friendly, helpful staff is a dream.
I'm finding myself falling back into my unemployed backpacker mentality '300 baht for a foot massage?!' '450 baht for dinner?!'. This is triggering a need to hunt down what I remember to be 'reasonable' (this is a relative term - 450 baht is still less than $20 for a good dinner for two people but I know I can find the same for less than $5 in Bangkok). Cue renting bicycles for 100 baht a person to find lunch on the beach somewhere. It took a good half hour of riding down the street to find a stand near the beach that had all locals eating from it. I found my deal - less than $3 for two meals and two ice teas, this was more like it! Tony nicely pointed out that the rental of the bicycles brought the total cost of the meal to what we would have paid near the resort. I, on the other hand, factored bicycles as 'entertainment' therefore not part of the meal cost.
Our last day on the beach today and an early morning wake up tomorrow for our ride back to Bangkok to fly to Chiangmai for the adventure part of our trip. Well rested, internal alarm set to 5:30 am Thailand time and I'm ready for some exploring.