29.12.2010 - 01.01.2011
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Over a month in and finally, some beach! Cha Am Beach was our first stop and we got a great last minute deal on a resort so we decided to stay there for a couple of days and relax. To get there, we took taxis, which consisted of the back of two motorbikes. I agreed to this only because it was so close and traffic is minimal here. George got onto his bike and didn't know what to do with his legs so he just let them hang down on the sides while the bike took off, which looked hilarious. Our drivers kept yelling at him to pick up his feet and he finally found the foot rest. I could not stop laughing.
The hotel had four pools that we could barely pry ourselves away from. George worked on his back float (he still sinks) and I made many ungraceful entrances into the water (it was a little chilly!). We read our books and we went into town for our meals...not much else to report! Just a nice relaxing time in some beautiful weather and fantastic resort.
9 out of 10 for style
cha am pool...a little different from our typical accommodations
On New Year's Eve, we made our way a little further south to Hua Hin, another beach town just down the road from Cha Am. Staying in nicer places is great, but you lose some of the great things about staying in budget accommodations, like knowledgeable staff (and free wi-fi!). So we were happy when our next place was so incredible with booking buses and providing information in general. One of the staff members even went into town and booked our ticket at the bus station himself at no extra cost! Our last place barely knew where the bus station was.
relaxing, except we forgot our towels and the chairs made us green
nothing like a day at the beach
So after more beach and pool, we decided to go out for a simple dinner at a local place down the street and head back to our hotel for their New Year's celebration, which they had already started by 6:30pm! The only problem was, it seemed as though they couldn't keep up the momentum of entertainment until midnight so they stopped with just half an hour to go! What??!?! Oh well, we turned on the TV and watched tons of fireworks go off from our balcony, which was perfect for us. What we found really cool was the release of "sky lanterns", paper lanterns that are lit with a flame inside that causes them to rise high into the air. The Thais believe it is good luck to release them and think of it as problems and worries floating away. It was amazing to see little balls of fire fill the air (I thought the first couple were UFO's).
new years festivities before they ended prematurely
The next day we prepared for our overnight bus to Phuket. Finally getting down to the islands!