What we really needed was a nice place where we could rest for a few days, allow Scarlett some time to learn to walk without her cast on, and hopefully not spend too much money.
We couldn’t have done better than roll into this lovely seaside town. We arrived by 3rd class train for the price of 68 bhat for all of us (about £1.20). OK, so the train was 3 hours late, but at that price who can complain?
After a bit of a hunt around, we have a HUGE (seriously, massive) hotel room with a sea view, spotlessly clean & much nicer than we can normally afford, for 1100 bhat/night (about £21)*. They have been so friendly to the children, giving them little cakes and treats, and there’s a lovely outdoor seating area with free tea, coffee and Ovaltine, so we’ve had a great time doing homeschool out there by the sea, making the most of the freebies.
The town is set in a beautiful horse-shoe bay, dotted with little islands, and has the unusual feature of a promenade, reminiscent of Scarborough or the East Coast of England. There’s also a large playground (which the children are totally hooked on, I have spent about 6 hours there in 2 days) and a brilliant night markets, with scores of little stalls selling everything you can imagine. Mostly we call it ‘funny stuff’ as we don’t know what it is, but it’s absolutely delicious and unbelievably cheap!
It’s so lovely to be in a real Thai town rather than a tourist town at last. In fact, we have just extended our hotel booking for a few more days. It’s hard to know how long to stay in each place; we have a 60 day visa and so many islands we want to see, what if we regret staying so long as we have to rush through other beautiful places? Or will we move on and sigh in regret that we didn’t stay there longer?
I say, if it isn’t broken, don’t try and fix it. Enjoy it while it’s good, and be grateful that’s the biggest problem we’re facing right now. Happy days.
* Pratchuap Beach Hotel, about 500m south of the pier, if you are looking for it!