Monday, March 29, 2010

Weekend getaway - Part 1

While the true-blue Navi is fighting the red shirts and ensuring peace in Bangkok, I have decided the best way to enjoy myself is to leave Bangkok, and this resulted in a 1-day getaway where we achieved more than what we bargained for -- Floating market, Beach and Sunflowers.

To allow my readers to have more details of the trip itself for future reference, I will split this getaway description into 3 separate blog entries, starting with the beach.

Being someone who does not swim nor owns a to-die-for sculpted body, I've never been interested in beaches. To me, going to beaches is to dirty myself with sand and to get my skin damaged by the sun. However, there are so many famous beaches Thailand that I need to see one for myself.

I made a very special decision on the location though. With the famous Hua Hin and Pattaya within touching distance, I chose Cha Am, around 3 hours drive south of Bangkok, simply because it is a beach largely un-touched by foreigners, which means that visitors are mostly either locals (living in the province) or from other parts of Thailand. Since I work here, I would like to experience what it is like to travel like a Thai, even to beaches.

True enough, though Cha Am isn't a beach with crystal clear waters nor striking blue skies, it is very clean, with fine sand in most parts, and innocent (not polluted with marketing and commercial activities). The only water sport available is the banana boat, and the people walking around peddling consist 60% of lottery ticket vendors. I think this proves that the visitors are mostly locals, because no foreigner would be remotely interested in buying lottery tickets...

Rolling up my jeans like a fisherman!

Beach dog who looks harmless enough for me to stand near it to take a picture.

And another one.

My second favourite shot of the beach trip. I think it looks like 3 people lost on an island but braving the adventure.

After feasting my camera on the abandoned blue boat above, I saw another green one.

A view from my deck chair.

No one could imagine that we drove 3 hours to a beach to paint!!

We brought figurines to do painting on deck chairs at the beach! It was innovative and fun man. By the way, for your information, you can pay 30baht for a deck chair by a table and sit for as long as you like.

Rit- artist at work - my favourite shot at the beach.

Our semi-complete art pieces. Li Li and myself did the little ducky.

What's a trip to the beach resort without indulging in fresh seafood, oops ok, not fresh, live seafood? At the far end of the stretch of beach, there's a small 'village' of identical restaurants with tanks for live seafood for you to choose from. You may buy and barbeque near the beach or pay a token sum for the shop to cook for you. We did the latter.

One of the 3 dishes we ordered. Grilled live river prawn. The took the prawn, dipped them into ice water until they die and grill them over hot charcoal. The process took.... 5 minutes? Maximum 1o.
Well, Cha Am might not be a place for water sport lovers and snorkellers, but for people like us who just want a peaceful time by the sea, with a medium-sized crowd and affordable live seafood (due to a lack of foreigners), this place is highly recommended. Please come before the boom of tourists changes the entire landscape of the area, and signs are clear that this place is ready for that commercial explosion. I just hope it doesn't happen.

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