Left Devon for Heathrow alowing time for 3 hours for check in & 2 extra just in case. Just as well because we ran into road works, bottle necks & hold ups all the way. The journey took over 5 hours. Pre booked purple parking, parked up & then got stuck in traffic again going to termina 3. Finally got to check in & through to departures with 20 minutes to spare, 4 of us power walked to the bar for a quick beer before before heading off on our Thai adventure. All very excited by now.
We flew with Oman Air (again) around £500 per person. Nice planes with rows of 2, 4 & 2 seats. Good inflight entertainment. Stopped at Muscat, had time for a coffee then onto next flight for Bangkok.
Only took about 25 minutes to clear imigration & collect luggage,much better than when we went in March when it was nearer to 2 hours. Afer reading many reviews on TA we decided on Mr Roong for our transfer to Hua Hin.
I'm sorry to say we had a very bad experience. The vehicle was not in good condition, especially the suspention.The driver, a young man,was very erratic. Overtaking everything, inches off of the vehicle in front & swerving from lane to lane to overtake everything. At one point he swung into the inside lane to undertake nearly driving into the back off a slow moving lorry.He had to slam his brakes on & swerve back into the middle lane. I don't know what speed he was doing as his speedometer didn't work but it was definately too fast for the condition of the van. He stopped half way, none of us got out because I don't think we could have got back in again.My husband asked him to please drive slower which he did for most of the remaining journey but he was on his mobile phone talking. We e-mailed Mr Roong the next morning to say we didn't require his services for the return trip & the reason why. He didn't get back to us. I see that most people have had good experiences with Mr Roong, unfortunately we can't say the same.
Our Hotel for the next 13 nights, Smile Resort. It's a new hotel in soi 94, we came across it when exploring on our last trip. Very pleased with our choice, have done a review.Paid around 1,350 baht per room per night with complimentary breakfast. For us (2 couples mid 50's) it's a good location. Close enough to the centre to either walk or get a tuk tuk, also there's the green 10 baht bus. New, now is a 10 baht bus that goes around soi 94, Market Village, night market, train station & back round to soi 94. Driver is looking out for you, toots as he comes along & stops where ever you ring the bell.
Straight across the main road takes you to a nice part of the beach.
There was a lot of rubbish on the beach when we first got there, people were clearing & picking it up early in the mornings & within a couple of days most of it was gone. The beach is great for walking & a sun bed is only 50 baht. We sat most days at the Morning Beach resaurant/bar.5 * service on the beach. The beach vendors don't worry us, you know what you're looking to buy so I just say no thankyou to the things I don't want. But there's always something different that comes along that you can't resist. We talk to some of the vendors, seems they come down from North Thailand, leaving their families behind to work for 5 or 6 months as there is no work where they live.
This was a budget, relaxing, get some sun & enjoy Thailand
holiday as we've had no summer in England this year.
We did go to the train station one morning & walked back along the top road, watching people going about their daily jobs. We had wondered what all the half or 3/4 full bottles of liquid for sale in most road side shops were. Until we were sat enjoying a cold beer when a motor bike pulled up & paid 30 baht for a bottle & poured it into the tank of his bike. Went up monkey mountain & walked down past the sea food restaurants & boats...checking the monkeys wern't behind us. Sat on the beach with our toes dangling in the sea with the golden budha looking down on us, what a magical setting.
We enjoyed lovely food,in the night market on the beach, cheap restaurants & even cheaper restaurants. We talked with lots of different people in lots of different places. Like the monk that needed help to lift 2 heavy bags up onto a winch so he could get in down on a wire to his house.
The only day we had a bit of rain we took a tuk tuk to Huay Mongkol Temple & then on to the floating market. So there's still more for us to see when we go back but we don't need an excuse, we're going back.