Itiniary……..For full report see below.
Days 1/2, Bangkok to Cha-Am via Petchaburi (2 nights stay).
Day 3. Cha-Am to Bangkok by train.
Cha-Am…..(These were by rented motorbike or on foot). Swiss Sheep Farm, Chin Boo Chak Festival.
Cha-Am……Cha-Am Villa Hotel, rating....good (but only because of the pool), price 700 baht (2 nights).
Weather (temperatures are approximate)
Cha-Am sunny, hazy, hot 35c overnight 25c.
Cha-Am.....Cha-Am offers dining of every concievable description and price. Seafood is a speciality all along the beach road and to the north over the bridge towards the fishing port.
Minivan to Victory Monument 35 baht, minivan to Petchaburi, 100 baht, local bus to Cha-Am 30 baht, motorbike taxi, 40 baht.
Train to Bang Sue Junction, Bangkok, 40 baht, MRT, 18 baht, local bus, 8 baht, taxi 50 baht.
Cha-Am……price/day 200 baht (well used Honda automatic). fuel 50 baht.
Tour Log...Thursday 14th February 2013
Out of the blue........After two days on complete inactivity accept for sitting behind my computer I thought to take a break. With another long tour less than a week away I ponder what to do. By 10 am on the third day, despite options, I still feel weary of travel and still remain undecided but by dusk I will be nowhere near Bangkok. Before 11 am I’m packed and ready for another 2/3 day trip; hopefully one far less demanding. My first job is to change some currency which is hampered by a rate deteriorating ever since I arrived in Thailand then off to Victory Monument where I can take transport out of the city. I head for Petchaburi province a couple of hours from Bangkok but instead of aiming for Cha-Am the province’s principle resort, I head for the city itself hoping to find a base to explore this interesting town and to secure independent transport. I arrive in Petchaburi well before 4 pm. Petchaburi is a busy provincial city but does not serve as a tourist base despite it's many historic and natural attractions. It’s not dissimilar to some of the provincial cities and towns I passed through on my last trip. Sadly I’ve drawn another blank. It will cost too much to hire independent transport and there are no motorbike rental establishments or comfortable hotels or guesthouses nearby.
I don’t want to make extra work for myself so take an easy option. Conveniently a short-wheelbase orange bus is passing. It’s going to Hua Hin via Cha-Am. Instinctively I jump aboard. In Cha-Am I will be well within my comfort zone as this resort town is perhaps the most familiar to me than any other location in Thailand. It also offers me perhaps the only chance this trip to be near the beach. The old bus, decorated lovingly by its driver, slowly makes its way out of Petchaburi, collecting many students on the way. This is surely the most curious way I’ve ever travelled to Cha-Am but around 5 pm I’ve arrived. I make it to Soi Bus Station where I know I can rent a motorbike at Noi’s guesthouse but being a busy part of town I prefer to head along the beach road where I find Cha-Am Villa Hotel which has a swimming pool. At last maybe I can now relax and just do what the majority of other tourists do. Practically nothing! In the evening I wander down to the port area famous for its seafood restaurants but after a spicy seafood dish here I’m in for another disrupted night with diarrhoea. That’ll teach me: Should have had a cheese sandwich.