I think I may just have to stay in Thailand forever. Well, at least for the next three months. If the rest of the three months are as fantastic as the first week has been, I am in for a wondrous time.
We left Bangkok by the public train in the early afternoon last Thursday on our way to HuaHin. We got there a couple of hours early to buy our tickets, carting our ever-increasing luggage (seriously, how do three people accumulate so many things each place they go?). We made our way to the ticket booth and on the way were stopped by a travel agent from one of the tourist agencies located in the train station. He told us that all the tickets for the train we wanted to take were gone because Thai people get their seats for free. He was nice enough to offer us expensive seats on a private bus. Don’t worry, we had this scam tried on us before in our travels and knew better than to trust the kind but misleading gentleman. We ventured onto the ticket window and although the first class tickets were indeed all gone, we happily purchased second class tickets. Even the lady at the ticket counter warned us that the second class seats with no air conditioning were very hot and we should wait for the next train. Chad and I are not that easily swayed though.
I was so glad that we took those second class seats. It was a sublime day. We traveled for five hours with the window down and the old rotating fan cooling us periodically. We got the chance to talk to each other, buy fruit and snacks from vendors running up and down the train cars, and getting to know the people around us by smiling and nodding and using our little ice breaker named Zoë. She makes locals that would normally ignore us, open up and try to get to know us, especially if they themselves have children as well. It felt like a true Thai experience, not a tourist Thai experience.
Five hours later we arrived in Hua Hin, Thailand. We grabbed a songthaew (basically just a truck with benches in the back used as a taxi) to our temporary home for the next 5 days, Sea Harmony Guesthouse. I plan on writing a full review of Sea Harmony on Friday, but just so you know, it was awesome!
The next day we checked out HuaHin City Beach, which was a white sand beach lined with resorts, vendors selling everything you could possibly need on the beach, and people giving horse riding lessons. The beach had little shade, was quite dirty (we found a used hypodermic needle, ewwww) and I was constantly worried that Z would run out in front of an oncoming horse and get trampled. Instead of thinking negatively about these things (see I am starting to work on my promises) , I chalked it up to a lesson learned. We would try a different beach next time.
That was really the only day we had to relax and enjoy the beach, because we had to find a house to rent! Chad and I never like to do things too far in advance, and we felt that 4 days was more than enough time to find a place to live. We had ideas of what we were looking for in a house here in HuaHin, Chad had started researching rentals online while we were still in Taipei. We waited until we arrived in HuaHin to book a place because we wanted to make sure that the neighborhood was actually where we wanted to stay. We learned our lesson from booking our place in Curacao without knowing exactly where it was.
What Chad and I did not realize is that all the homes that were for rent were being snatched up in lighting speed because high season is on its way. High season, apparently begins in November and ends in April, and is the driest time of the year, as well as the coolest (still above 80 degrees Fahrenheit though, thank goodness!). We were up to the challenge though and poured over any website that seemed to have houses or condos for rent.
We went and looked at a couple of places, but one stood out to us. A four bedroom villa with a private swimming pool, full kitchen, and every household item we could need. The house was a bit out of HuaHin, about a 10 minute drive, but we decided the quick drive (and the price of the rental car) was worth the house and it’s amenities. Did I mention that the house also comes with a weekly housekeeper, pool caretaker that comes two times a week, and a gardener as well? The house was exactly what we had dreamed about having in Thailand before we even started on this trip.
We moved into our villa yesterday and are finally settled in today. We are enjoying every moment and have been pinching each other to make sure that we are not dreaming. I feel so incredibly blessed.
Not only do I feel blessed about being here in this spectacular country, but I found out this week that my mom and my sister both bought tickets to come visit us! My mom will be here in just a week and my sister shortly after. I can barely wait to show them why I love Thailand so much. I hope that they will love it as much as I do.
Truly, this whole adventure has been a dream come true so far. Every day, every destination, every new person I meet, makes my life feel more rounded and full. This has truly been a trip so far and I so appreciate you following along with me. Here’s to more fun and adventure just around the corner…