UPDATE–Odds and Ends for December

The Hua Hin Bike Week 2009 was a raging success. Many, many bikes and bikers from all over the country and Malaysia and Singapore. Lots of Chang, food, music and old friends catching up. Hats off to the Vampire MC of Hua Hin.

Billy’s Birthday party was also quite a night. Biggest crowd this party goer has seen since Randy’s Birthdays at Goldfingers. The band was excellent and still had the crowd going long after FBF headed home. The biggest surprise was that locals were heavily outnumbered by tourists and passersby. Will try to post some photos on the Billy’s Bar page. Can’t wait til next year.

The Hua Hin Rock Festival is this Saturday, the 19th, and there are sound trucks up and down the Sois reminding folks. Posters are everywhere so the road to Khao Takieb should be quite backed up all day Saturday. Too bad the road to Khao Takieb is the only road through Hua Hin…

It looks like the Intercontinental Hua Hin is finally open. At least all the trucks are off the street and traffic is much better in that part of town though the Marrakesh down the road has a long way to go and the earthmovers are still quite busy.

The new golf course at the Suan Son Army Camp seems to be coming along. Sprinklers are going full throttle and the heavy equipment seems to have all moved up to the Marrakesh operation in town. Shouldn’t be too long before the course opens.

Speaking of the Intercontinental, Maria Sharapova and Venus Williams will be celebrating New Year’s Eve at the new resort before facing off in the Hua Hin Centennial Invitation tennis match next year. This event is being organised by the Lawn Tennis Association of Thailand under the patronage of His Majesty the King and the city of Hua Hin.

The Hua Hin Centennial Invitation will be held at Centennial Park* (currently under feverish construction at Soi 112), on Saturday 2 January 2010 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the seaside resort and usher in the New Year in exciting fashion with two of the most popular tennis players in the world.

After their singles match, Maria and Venus will combine with local stars Paradorn Srichaphan and Danai Udomchoke for a set of mixed doubles.

There are other activities and festivals coming up over the holidays so there are places to go and things to do other than the mandatory gala dinners at the big hotels. Additional posts will be added soon with the details.

*Centennial Park is south of town at Soi 112, just past the big curve to Pranburi. It’s just south of the ramp of the overpass, across from the Mobil station. As it’s still under construction, it’s difficult to be sure, but it appears that parking will be limited.

October Odds & Ends

Plearnwan is now open again and it looks like the back 40 is complete. Haven’t been in so don’t know if any of the new shops have occupants but now the folks from Bangkok have a new place to bump into each other again.

Just talked to Fred and it looks like the Baja TacoMobile is a go for the first week in November. He wants to wait until the ASEAN Summit mobs have gone and Hua Hin is back to normal before powering up. He promised to call and give us an update as the time approaches.

BKS, the transport people, are the folks with the new minivans between Victory Monument in Bangkok and Hua Hin. They’ve also started the same service for Pranburi. The stop in Pranburi is just outside the entrance to Tesco Lotus and they have trips in each direction at least once an hour from O Dark 30 until late evening. With this new service, folks wanting to go direct from Bangkok to Pranburi will not have to pass through Hua Hin and the length of the trip should be about the same as the minivans take the bypass rather than the coastal road.

FBF has also noticed that the BKS minivans coming to Hua Hin drop off passengers well south of their office downtown so apparently one can go almost as far as Khao Takiab in one of their vans.

Baja Taco Calling It A Day?

This is not good news. Just in from the rumor mill but from one of the more reliable mongers:

I had what might be my last burrito from BT last night. They close at the end of the month (next week). Too high rent and not a great location for that biz.

Too bad.

This is not good at all. FBF has posted here before about how the location is not convenient for his nighttime partaking of burritos and haven’t been there since Fred gave up on opening during the day.

Hope he looks for a better location so that FBF can once again have some of the best Mexican food he’s ever paid for in Thailand.

Yearning For The Past

You’ve probably seen it, the pile of rust that could easily be mistaken for an abandoned cotton gin in West Texas or perhaps something gleaned from the back lot of MGM.

A lot of money was obviously spent on the building (the rumor being spread by the Essan construction hands in Bo Fai that the rusted out tin was imported notwithstanding) and there are hundreds of Bangkok cars and fleets of identically painted VIP tour coaches parked up and down Petchkasem Rd every weekend. So there must be something interesting there, right?

Before visiting Plearn Wan, FBF checked out their website and learned that someone has a thing for the Hua Hin of days past when travel to the resort by train was very convenient. Looking at their site, I wasn’t sure if I’d be greeted by Yul Brynner and Deborah Kerr or perhaps a Sarit lookalike and minor officials in pith helmets and khaki knee breeches.

FBF stopped by on a week day, hoping to avoid the hordes of the weekend. There was no one strutting around saying “et cetera”, or anyone else for that matter, but there were lots of old movie posters and ads for patent medicines though my favorite ad of the gas passing elephant of Standard Oil wasn’t present.

There’s a sign at the bar saying that DJ Kob plays a special set of 70’s music including rock ‘n roll, pop, and disco in the evenings but the movie posters include Jarunee and Surapong who were more popular in the ’80s. There’s also a poster of Tata Young’s first movie and Tata wasn’t born until 1980.

Behind the 2-story facade, the place does look like a movie set. There’s a stand selling sugar water, an ice cream shop, and a boutique selling an assortment of clothes that got a very strange look from Mrs. FBF.

There’s what is called a miscellaneous shop that sells the five and dime junk stuff normally found in the Mom and Pop shops located near elementary schools. There’s a little corner with a barber’s chair and other tonsorial paraphernalia but there are large signs saying no standing or sitting or touching that really wouldn’t make a nice addition for anyone even thinking of taking a photo.

The bar opens at 1700 for those longing to hear Love Me, Love My Dog. That’s pretty much it.

There’s a lot of construction taking place out back that looks like the makings of many small shops so there may be more delights in store in the near future.

As it is, it’s like a theme restaurant or park, full stop.  Most of us have been to an Outback, or Disneyland, or even a Hooters. They have things to look at and things to eat or ride or ogle at while we empty our wallets. Right now, Plearn Wan has about 5 minutes of things to look at and then…

The grand opening was at the end of April and movie and TV stars of yesteryear put on a show to the delight of those who remembered who they were.

The website has a notice board with a list of activities but hasn’t been updated since July. There’s mention of an Open Air Cinema and Holiday House but they are both Coming Soon.

FBF realizes that even with a tad over 6 weeks in Thailand, he’s just an F, and will never understand Thailand. FBF accepts that and wouldn’t change a thing. Only problem is: Mrs. FBF was born in Thailand, can sing the anthem and understands 110% MORE than what FBF does not and she had one single question as we were leaving—“Why?”