Archive | December, 2011

2nd December – Cha-am Beach

5 Dec

Cha-am is much smaller than Hua Hin and the beach better. It is also a place with more Thai tourists than westerners, and is has a good feel. We are not in a hurry as we only need to be a few km’s down the beach tomorrow to meet up with Keith and Frances, so we decided to stay put.

First thing in the morning we walked north along the beach to see Andre’s truck. It is a Mercedes 911 truck, built in 1980 for the border police. We are not familiar with it, but it is very popular with overlanders as it is four wheel drive and has a massive range of over 3000km. It is heavy though and weighs over 5 tonnes. It would be great for Mongolia!






Andre’s family are due to join him in a week and they will travel around in South East Asia for a while.

During the rest of the day we caught up with some business admin and general emails and spent a bit of time walking. At one point we came across a statue with hundreds of cockerels lined up around it …. one of those things we just don’t understand!




In the evening we met up with Andre again and went for an Indian meal ….. tasty! We will be back here in a couple of weeks with the boys and so it is good to find a few nice places to go.


1st December – Cha-am Beach

3 Dec

We spent the morning driving down to Cha-am and then on to Hua Hin. Cha-am Beach has a nice feel and there are lots of friendly little restaurants and bars along the way. We found a hotel that had a nice pool and vacancies for 3 nights when Tom and Ben arrive, and so decided to book it.

On the drive down to Hua Hin there are a number of resorts, mostly spread out and fairly isolated from the normal bars and restaurants. We will be staying in one of these with our friends Keith and Francis for a few days from 3rd December as we happen to be in the area!

Maybe we just missed it, but the beach in Hua Hin seemed to be very narrow and was crowded with chairs and sun shades. We’ll have another look.

We then drove inland into the hills towards a floating market. This turned out to be a newly built tourist shopping area, so we avoided it, and instead followed signs to a fishing resort. On the way down the tracks the road went through areas of bouganvillia.




The fishing resort is called Greenfield Valley and has lakes filled with huge specimen fish from Asia and the Amazon. It also has cabins, so that you can stay there. There is a lake with normal size fish which is reasonably cheap, but it is expensive to fish for specimen fish (understandably). It was opened by John Wilson (TV Go Fishing series) and his brother is there most days. It is a lovely setting and worth a look.

On the way back we drove through tiny rutted sandy tracks to the main road through pineapple fields. The young pineapple flowers are really pretty, before the pineapple forms underneath.





The fruit then forms and the ‘flower’ opens and turns green.







A short run back to Cha-am Beach and we found a place to camp right next to the beach. The beach here is wide and shady at the back, so we decided to stay here until 3rd, when we meet our friends.




In the evening Andre, a German overlander came and said hello. It was only the third one we had met on our way. We decided to head off into town for diner and a beer to chat about our respective trips. Tomorrow we will walk up the beach to check out his truck.

30th November – Puk Tian towards Cha-am

3 Dec

Left Pattaya and drove up towards Bangkok. We were hoping to skirt the city on the south so that we could avoid most of the traffic. It is actually built up all the way to Bangkok and out the other side. Lots of traffic and as we went around the ring road (9) it was slow going with lots of queues.

During a coffee and refueling break we finally cracked the mystery of normal pickups with huge loads ….. simple …. you just bolt on some truck springs!




After we turned off the 9 we saw a sign showing a short cut to Cha-am on a rural, scenic route. This was not on our map, but decided that anything was better than the big busy roads. It was actually a great choice and it wound its way down close to the coast. All the way along were what we think are oyster beds, miles and miles of them. Every so often there was a river to cross, crowded with colourful fishing boats.




Along the road there are racks where people are drying the small fish.




We turned off onto a small road to Puk Tian Beach looking for a nice spot for the night. This is a very quiet resort, some of the big buildings looked unused. It is like it has been developed a little and not quite taken off. Maybe there is just too much choice. It did however make a nice overnight stop, very close to the water. In fact so close that we started dreaming about tsunami’s!




That’s the great thing about touring Thailand in a camper, there are so few around that people never mind where you park. Just to the left of the camper you can see the Lady of the Sea. We do not have a reference to this and have not searched yet, but we think it is for good luck for the fishermen. Let us know if you look!




Tomorrow we will continue down towards Cha-am to find a place to take Tom and Ben when they arrive in a couple of weeks.