Paradise North and South of The Paradise We Call Home

It’s strange when you live in one of the best beach resorts in Thailand and you never go to the beach. That is, the beach in Hua Hin. We’ve been to the beach at least a half dozen times in the past couple of weeks but I can’t remember the last time I went to a beach in Hua Hin.

It’s not that there aren’t nice beaches in Hua Hin. There are, in spots, but unless you’re staying in an expensive hotel and can walk from your room, you’re lucky to find a parking place within several hundred meters and that can get messy if you’ve got kids, beach toys, bags for dry clothes, bags for wet clothes, etc.

We’ve been to Dolphin Bay twice this month which I really like, and Cha Am more often than that, which the in-laws like. I like Pu Noi Beach at Dolphin Bay because there’s no one there. It’s a beautiful bay that I was first introduced to a few years ago for a bike ride. It’s great for biking as there’s little traffic the entire length of the four or five km bay and there are islands and fishing boats on the water side and an arc of small hills off in the distance on the beach side.

We had been to Dolphin Bay a few times over the years, mainly for biking, but had never stayed overnight. Decided it was time to get out of Dodge for more than just a few hours a couple of weeks ago and saw an interesting place to stay on the net that looked like it was worth a try.

There are places down there that charge 80,000 Baht a night for a 2 bedroom suite during the high season and those that would probably sell you 50% of their joint for that kind of money. We stayed in one closer to the lower end and it was quite nice. Fifty meters from the beach, hot water, air, Wi-Fi, breakfast, all the essential Thai channels on TV and free use of their sea kayaks.

I was pretty much in heaven. I appreciated the internet access and the quiet beach and available seafood. FBF Jr. loved the sand, the mud, the hermit crabs and just about everything but the puppies hanging out at the bungalows. The other half actually liked the sea kayaks. We did a little spin the first afternoon and then went out to one of the islands the next morning. There are no banana boats, jet skis, or even that many swimmers so you just paddle along with no fear of getting hit or hitting anything. The water is so shallow that only Ira Hayes or one of his Bintabaht counterparts would have to worry about drowning.

Took the in-laws down this past weekend and they were bored silly. When you live in Nakhon Nowhere, I guess a beach in Nakhon Nowhere is just too much like home, albeit with water.

They like Cha Am. Noise, beach chairs, umbrellas, banana boats, lots of people, more noise, food–heaven in spades. You want Somtom, got it; you want fresh crab, got it; gai yang, got it; and you don’t even have to get up. Even better that Pizza Hut ‘cuz you don’t even have to make a phone call, just wave your hand and someone’s there to take your order.

FBF even likes Cha Am on week days. You park where you sit. You can take the kitchen sink with you and it’s there in the car if you need it. No humping gear all over creation and no worries about some itinerant taxi driver keying your car because you had the nerve to take his parking place.

So, if you need to get out of town (the Jazz Festival is only a couple of weeks away) for a few hours or a couple of days, there are nice places within a short drive. Cha Am won’t change that much in the near future but Pranburi will. There are already pale face real estate agents working the bungalows offering deals. Really bizarre, there are no ladies offering massages on the beach, no ponies to ride but we ran into two different Farang real estate agents. Go there while you can but please don’t go where I go.

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