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Thailand -2012

2012


An excellent flight of just over one hour by Thai Airways, from Rangoon delivered us to Suvarnabhumi. There was no hassle (small queues) at BKK immigration, our bags were delivered promptly on the carousel and we were off to our pre-arranged transfer to the Centara (formerly Sofitel) Hua Hin (yes, that's 3 times in two years, boring!).

After a speedy check-in for our Club Room (even the same room again!), we met up with an old friend and ex-work colleague for dinner and the scene was set for the next week.

Maruekhathaiyawan Palace
Let the Train Take the Strain!

Maruekhathaiyawan Palace

Let the Train Take the Strain!


Our days at the Centara were spent relaxing, despite rain on 5 of these days!

We hired a car and driver and took trips out to
Phra Nakhon Khiri park, near Phetchaburi, at Khao Wang. Here the palace of Chatchawan Wiang Chai, which was built as a summer residence by King Maha Mongkut (the King of "The King and I") and is now a museum, and a large chedi Phra That Chom Phet can be viewed. Fortunately there is a railway which takes you almost to the top of the Hill.

We also visited the
Maruekhathaiyawan Palace, between Hua Hin and Cha Am. This was built as a summer retreat for King Rama VI. The palace grounds featuring 400 metre long golden teak pier, currently under restoration, were well worth a visit.

The Club at Centara was always fairly full - probably because of the inclement weather - and service slower than it had been as a Sofitel. It was none the less an enjoyable stay and we will return.

We were fortunate enough to be in Hua Hin for
Loy Krathong, which we had last seen 5 years previously, in Chiang Mai. The kratongs, floated on the sea in Hua Hin, could not compete with the mass of lights being floated on the Ping river in Chiang Mai, nor could the lanterns launched skyward, but it was nevertheless an enjoyable evening.

Restaurant recommendation has to go to Orchids - wonderful food, excellent service, excellent atmosphere and good prices.

A Proud Krathong Maker
Our Krathongs

A Proud Krathong Maker

Our very small Krathongs


We checked out of the Centara late in the morning and travelled by car to Bangkok. This journey took almost 4 1/2 hours - mainly on the expressway in Bangkok, on which traffic was held for an hour whilst VIP motorcades used the expressway system.

We arrived at the Landmark Hotel
late in the afternoon and to our delight were upgraded from our reserved Club corner room to a suite. This was nicely furnished and decorated, but a bit of a waste for just one night.

We took a walk down Sukhumvit to
Suda, an inexpensive, Thai restaurant just past Asoke station. It was packed and, rather than wait for a table, we strolled back to the Landmark and had a meal in the Huntsman, for old times' sake. Good simple food, reasonably priced - just what the doctor ordered.

The following day, we had a lunchtime flight back to UK, so we took a leisurely breakfast, savouring what I still believe to be one of the finest breakfasts in Bangkok. We took a taxi to the airport, checked in with no problems and were soon on our flight, which departed on time and landed 40 minutes early in Heathrow.

The flight was, once again, good but the food was some of the poorest that we have had on EVA. An excellent trip, marred only by some poor weather (where is the unseasonal rain coming from?)


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