Friday, 11 January 2008

First day, arrived at Prachuap Khirikhan

The first day of our trip.

Today we left at 7 am for the car ferry in Nathon where we had a reservation waiting for us, which proved to be very helpful, since all the buses for the main land are on this ferry as well, so it was pretty jam packed in the car parking area.

The ferry trip was rather uneventful, as was the trip over to Prachuap Khirikhan, our first stop over of this trip. We try not to travel too much each day, so the children aren’t stuck in the car all day. It looks like today may have been one of the longer days.

Coming from the South, just before you reach Prachuap, Thailand has its smallest passage with just a few kilometers between the coast at one side and Myanmar at the other side.
There’s also nearby a point where the two coasts are just a few kilometers apart from each other

Prachuap is a lovely, sleepy little town which won us over immediately, which we reached by 3 pm. Very quickly we found a hotel, the Had Thong Hotel, where we got a Jr. Suite for just 1.100,-Baht per night.

During the Ayudhaya period (1350-1767), the town was known as Muang Bang Nang Rom, a small fishing village, this was later changed during the early 1900 to Prachuap Khirikhan meaning ‘A town among Mountain Chains’. There are some lovely views here and great beaches to be found in this province.

After having checked in to the hotel, we decided for a small tour to see what was up here and we discovered ‘Ao Manao’ or Lemon Bay. Funnily enough, this bay is located smack in the middle of a Thai Air Force base, but it’s accessible for non Navy personal and has a lots of charms inside it’s premises. First of all a couple of beautiful bays but also a lot of green with some pleasant, unexpected attractions. The picture above is 'Ao Manao' just before sunset.

Here;s another bay at the Air Force base. All in all a worthwhile place to visit with plenty of things to see, besides just hanging out at the beach.

The Air Force likes to show their heroes and this is one of them, in front of the Air Force museum on the base. Very heroic! It almost looks like a surfer but he's actually standing on a propeller blade.

Some old and outdated planes are on display throughout the whole base, which is right up my ally and me and the kids had a great time getting shots of all the various planes.

there’s also a monkey conservation program as well, for the Duskar Langur monkeys and they were all over the place, running around or sitting in trees and minding their own business.

Here's a bunch of them sitting in a tree and eating and chatting away. The kids just loved it!

There's also an Air Force museum, as already mentioned, which was closed unfortunately and just overall, it all has a great quiet and relaxed feel to it and we felt straight away at home. The interesting thing is however, that all the time you’re in this Air Force base. Very interesting!

After having checked the Lemon Bay and the various sights at the base, we returned to downtown Prachuap and had something to eat in a local restaurant.
Prachuap hosts a very nice and cozy ‘boulevard’ where again, everything is very relaxed and easy going. The restaurant we ate at was called Ma-Prow (coconut) and had some good food, Fried fish and squid, pork with veggies and glass noodles with curry powder and crab meat (pad Bunsen pong curry puu). It was a tad bit expensive for being located at the beach/boulevard I guess, but it was good nonetheless.

All in all a very nice and relaxed place, Prachuap Khirikhan and I can highly recommend stopping by if you happen to be in the hood.

Tomorrow we’re off to Bangkok. We will try to get an early start, since it’s children’s day tomorrow (only in Thailand?) and we want to maximize our time in Bangkok, since we only have two days there. This pretty much means shopping tomorrow at the various shopping malls Bangkok hosts, like Central Chitlom, Siam Paragon and who knows how many other ones the missus comes up with ;-)


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