Mini vacation

After my epic trip to China, school began within a week and honestly it was hard to go back to work. Of course I was dying to get out of the country again. Where should I go??? Where would be my next destination? I really wanted to go to Laos since it’s my goal to visit all ASEAN countries, and after I go to Laos and Brunei, I can check my list off from “to travel list.”

But when I checked the airticket, they were just too expensive. I only have a week off and I don’t want to get exhausted after coming back from Laos so I decided to stay in Thailand and just take a mini vacation to Hua Hin with a friend ….. just to read and relax.

Usually I don’t like to spend money on nice hotels because I know I won’t be spending my time in a hotel room. I want to explore as much as possible. As long as there is a clean bed and a bathroom, I’m fine. But this time I knew I wouldn’t be going out, so I decided to spend a little money and stayed at Novotel Hotel between Cha am and Hua Hin.

I went to Survanabumi Airport to catch a bus to Hua Hin and I wasn’t prepared like I normally used to do when I travel. I just went there without checking on the Internet. My friend and I arrived at the airport around 8:45 in the morning to catch 9:30 bus to Hua Hin. When we got to the bus company, we were welcomed by the news that both 9:30 or 11:30 buses were fully booked. Next available bus would leave at 1:30 pm. Oh crap!

So we decided to take airport link to PayaThai to go to Victory Monument where we could take mini vans to Hua Hin. We got there around 9:30 and we were told that the next van would leave at 10. Perfect!

The van that we were on seemed like a carrier van since it stopped 3 times on the way to drop things off at different places. After 2 and a half hours van ride, the van dropped us off on the high way road. From the high way, we could see the big Novotel sign but that meant we had a long way to walk.
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Thank God we both only had backpacks. After a couple of steps, this Good Samaritan couples stopped and asked me in Thai if we wanted to get a ride. Of course we said yes desperately. It would be a good half kilometer walk from the main road to the hotel.

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The couples dropped us off in front of Novotel entrance. Again we both had backpacks so the hotel guard hesitantly stopped us to ask where we were going. I’d say the majority of the guests either came with cars or at least with taxis so he had to make sure these backpackers were really staying at the 4 star hotel.

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Before I went to Hua Hin, I pretty much knew I just wanted to relax and read a lot of books. I could check out a few places but I mostly wanted to read and do nothing. That was my whole point of staying at a four star hotel.

But for some reasons I heard about this Venice style outdoor shopping mall in HuaHin and I was curious about it. So I asked my friend if she was willing to go and gave it a try.

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I love the Venezia… Not!!
That was a total disappointment. There was literally nothing interesting there but a very lame outdoor shopping mall.

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At Venezia, they weren’t many restaurants open. There was a Brazilian steak place at Venice inspired outdoor shopping mall. Interesting! So we decided to go with simple Thai food and ordered Khoa Pad (fried rice). If you are in Thailand and if you don’t know what to order at a street food stall, just order Khoa Pad (fried rice). You just couldn’t go wrong with Khoa Pad. Well… I don’t even know how to describe this Khoa Pad….Let’s just say the worst Khoa Pad I’d ever had in Thailand.

To make up for that terrible lunch, we decided to treat ourselves with pizza at the hotel to sit by the beach. Once we got to the restaurant, my friend and I changed our minds. Instead of pizza, we decided to try their Thursday night meat lovers special with free salad bar. I ordered ribs with mashed potatoes and my friend ordered chicken steak with mashed potatoes. The salad bar was not that great but I wouldn’t complain because it was a complimentary. Our food arrived and I was excited! I love ribs!!
The moment I took my knife to cut the ribs, I could smell a disappointment. Ribs are supposed to be tender that you could just pick a bone off the meat but that was not the case. Well, my expectations were high for a restaurant from a four star hotel but it was a thumb down. Then I heard my friend’s disappointment… “This is instant mashed potatoes.” I was thinking she’s gotta be kidding me. Instant mash potatoes??? That’s what you get at McDonald’s but not at a restaurant. I could forgive not so tender pork ribs but I couldn’t forgive my instant mash potatoes.

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Was I asking too much from a 4 star hotel when I asked a simple mashed potatoes? I think not! Of course my friend and I complained to our waitress and she was very nice and apologized to us. Then she explained that the kitchen had too much orders and they were short on staff. She said she would take our mashed potatoes back and give us potato wedges instead. After paying our bills, we were ready to head back to the room and guess who we ran into? The head chef of the restaurant! My friend felt uncomfortable about complaining although she’s an American but this Asian (me) felt completely comfortable about complaining. So I went to him and politely said, “Hi Chef, I just wanted to let you know about our dinner. My friend and I ordered mashed potatoes and we weren’t happy with our orders. If I’m not mistaken, they were instant mashed potatoes.”
The chef was off guard to receive a complain. “I’m sorry you aren’t happy with your meal. We want our food to be standard but potatoes in Thailand are watery that we use instant mashed potatoes.”

If I’m not wrong, the chef was French. What a lame excuse! Potatoes in Thailand are watery??? Go figure how to make it creamy, Chef, because my school cafeteria can serve real mashed potatoes and they also used Thai potatoes.

Anyway, after two nights in Hua Hin, it was time to go back to Bangkok. This time there were no good Samaritans. So we just had to walk to the main road with our backpacks.

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It seemed like I was complaining a lot but I did enjoy my short getaway. But I can’t wait to travel again.

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