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Thailand - February 2017

2017


We returned from our November trip
with heavy hearts. Nothing to look forward to, nothing booked! Someone up there must have been aware of our plight, however, as an offer from EVA Air popped into my mailbox at almost the same time as an e-mail from the Hyatt, Hua Hin - and we had only been home for five days. 7 days after our return we had flights and accommodation booked and confirmed (once more in Thailand) for 3 weeks, over the period of my birthday. We could now concentrate on Christmas and also have something to lift our spirits once the glitz of that festival was over!

With having a late booking, we could not get seats together but, when I did the on line check - in we found that we had been re-allocated a bulkhead window pair. We set off for the airport on a cold February evening, checked in and zoomed off to the Star Alliance business lounge and we knew our holiday had begun. The seats were excellent, with plenty of space and, once again, I was able to sleep for a great deal of the outbound journey. The queues for immigration at Suvarnabhumi were long and slow, but we arrived at the baggage carousel and our suitcases popped out almost immediately. Joy of joys my Thai SIM still worked, so we changed some cash and went off to meet our pre-booked car from Taxi Hua Hin, who we usually use.

The journey to Hua Hin was not particularly fast, just over 3 hours, but check-in for our Club room at the Hyatt couldn't have been smoother and the welcome was warm and, I'm convinced, sincere. In no time we were off to our top floor room where we discovered that the bed had been decorated withorchids, rose petals and leaves with a welcome message and cards welcoming us from the General Manager and from the staff! We unpacked speedily, freshened up and headed out for a drink (or two).

Welcome Back
2017-Feb- A Drink or Two

2017 - Hyatt - Welcome Back

2017 - Feb - A Drink or Two


This was always meant to be a "Chill" holiday - relax, look up friends and not much more. In addition to our local friends we were also to meet up with Rob and Linda, who we first met on the "Road to Mandalay" river boat cruise on the Irrawaddy river in Burma over 4 years ago, who were now staying at the Centara.

Well, relaxation was king. We lazed on the club lawn, overlooking the sea and picked up the cooling breezes. We ate far too much for breakfast, indulged in several complementary fizzy pops and canapes in the evening before venturing out to one of the many restaurants that we know and love.

We were able to get a table (pre-booked from UK) at Angie's Bistro for the second night which was Valentine's night. They had very good live entertainment, the food was excellent, as usual, and the company was great. Angie's is one of our favourites and we dined there 4 times on this trip. The food was great, the price was always very reasonable and Tanida's and Angie's smiling faces and welcoming manner always ensured a first class evening. We met up with Rob and Linda and ate a very nice Thai meal in Bird Chilli and arranged to meet again later. Unfortunately, Rob was taken ill with a bad chest and spent two periods in hospital. We did however meet up on my Birthday at our favourite Italian Restaurant, Carlos, where we had a great evening with good Italian food and copious amounts of very fizzy wine! Unfortunately, soon afterwards Rob was taken back to hospital, where he remained until after we returned to UK. Fortunately, he is now back in UK and is recovering.

We also met up with some local friends. We went to a beach restaurant with Jang and Bill for a really good Thai meal (and relatively inexpensive) and we also went out to Jang's new Bistro - T Time, where we enjoyed the food and hospitality. We met up with Kian who was married to my late friend, Richard, eating at both Sara Jane's and (Thai food) at Siggi's German Treffpunkt (a couple of times). We also met up with both Yu (who manages Siggi's Treffpunkt) and her friend Pim. Somehow, I managed to end up playing pool (which I haven't played for, perhaps, 40 years) and getting thrashed! We ate in two other Italian restaurants - La Botte (twice) and Da Mario's - where the food was excellent. The biggest surprise was an Indian Meal, at the Take 5 Sports Bar near our hotel. We were a little worried when we asked our concierge where we could get an Indian meal locally and he suggested this bar. It was surprisingly excellent. I can thoroughly recommend the Butter Chicken.

Needless to say, we carried on with the daytime relaxation - being well provided with morning fruit and afternoon ice cream at our sun beds!

Bird Chilli
Siggi's

2017 - Feb - Bird Chilli

2017 - Feb - Yu and Kian


The Club Staff at the Hyatt made my Birthday very special. At breakfast, we arrived in the lounge and were taken to a table with flowers and a Happy Birthday sign, that had been made by Arissa, one of the supervisors. We then went to our usual position on the Club lawn, overlooking the beach and were surprised that the staff had also decorated our sun shade and my lounger. The umbrella was decorated with two strings of shells and orchids with pennants spelling out "Happy Birthday" and my lounger had been decorated with a rose petal heart. Additionally, our lounger table had a display of flowers - beautiful. The day started out rather overcast (the only time) but the skies cleared and the decorations sparkled!

On returning to our room we found that we had Birthday cards, once again from both managers and various members of staff and our bed had been decorated with orchids, rose petals and leaves - spelling out "Happy Birthday". As we were dining out with Rob and Linda, we left the decoration on the bed, showered and changed and headed off to the club lounge for some liquid refreshment, prior to heading off to the restaurant. I might have guessed. Once again, a table had been reserved and flowers placed on it, but this time there were also 2 champagne flutes, decorated with orchids. Well it seemed rude not to take a drink and liberal quantities of the sparkly stuff (complementary, of course) were consumed. Well, it wasn't over as the most divine whipped chocolate cake (with candles) arrived. Fortunately, I was able to blow out the candles and several children licked their chocolatey lips, after helping us to eat the cake. The most touching moment was when Arissa came up and gave me a beautiful large wind chime, made from shells, which she had purchased as a personal present. This almost had me in tears and things were made more difficult as Arissa then went off duty and was on a break for a couple of days - until after we left for Bangkok.

I really must thank the General Manager, Director of Rooms, Club Staff (who, without exception made our whole stay delightful) our room maid and housekeeping and all the staff who made this visit so memorable. We now realise what makes us hurry back here. (Janet has already decided that we will spend our next anniversary here.

2017-Bday-Club
2017-Feb-Carlos

2017 - Hyatt Club - Birthday Drink

2017 - Carlos with Rob


We were sad when it was time to go to Bangkok for our last 4 or 5 days. We wished that we had cut that down to just an overnight prior to our flight, but it was too late to change plans. After a leisurely breakfast and some long farewells, Taxi Hua Hin picked us up and whisked us off to the Landmark in Sukhumvit. We had a club room on an executive floor (28th). It was an attractive room but suffered from having little space to store your personal washing kit and toiletries. Bangkok was exceptionally hot and I was reduced to a molten mess when we ventured out to do some shopping. We decided to spend more time at the rooftop pool and hotel spa and cut down on daytime sorties!

We ate a British style meal in the Huntsman (It was good!), we ate Thai Food at Cabbages and Condoms (It was poor) and then we discovered "Monsoon" in Suk Soi 8. On our first visit, we discovered the delights of their cocktails, their French Onion soup and I thought their chicken was great - we even had dessert. We decided to return on our final evening, Janet having an absolute repeat of her first meal (and me changing only the chicken for a "Swiss" style burger). Was it any good? We would have no hesitation in recommending this restaurant to our best friends!

I should mention the spa at the Landmark. For me it had a none too stimulating name, "Viva Jiva", which I thought did nothing to inspire confidence. Obviously more expensive than the local massage places we found, however, the massage to be excellent. I should not have worried and we agreed that it was very good.

The following day, after an unhurried breakfast, we were off to the airport (400THB by taxi). We arrived as check-in opened and were once again reallocated seats to bulkhead seats. We always enjoy the EVA lounge in Bangkok so our spirits were high despite not really wanting to return to the cold and dampness of UK. An uneventful but nondescript flight, landing on time and then it was back to the reality of the Divided Kingdom!

2017 - Feb - Landmark Club Room
2017 - Feb - Sticky Rice and Mango

2017 - Feb - Landmark Club Room

2017 - Feb - Sticky Rice and Mango


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