Monday, March 04, 2013

Pak Nam Pran

We're back in Thailand now. Whereas Vietnamese food is very nice and the coffee's way better, Thai food still wins hands down, and that includes the awesome snacks. One of the first things we did on our return to Bangkok was to hit 7/11, where I found an appropriately-named (and also very tasty) snack for Dgym:

It's true.
(His injections have all gone well, one more to go and he hasn't started foaming at the mouth yet).

We have spent the past couple of weeks train-hopping our way south to explore the Gulf coast some more - before we headed out to Vietnam we'd spent a very enjoyable week in Prachuap Khiri Khan, a pleasant and sleepy little seaside town, and we decided to explore that stretch of coast some more.

Riding 4th class

Our first stop was Hua Hin - we arrived about 8pm, our train having been due in at 5 (not at all unusual with Thai trains) and after wandering around and finding a hotel we made a snap judgement that this wasn't our kind of place.

A little hasty perhaps but expat bars and burger joints everywhere isn't a good sign for us - not to mention very few Thai people in sight - and wherever Thai people go, good Thai food is never far behind! So we weren't too keen to hang around and made a "swift" exit next morning by means of sitting around for a couple of hours waiting for the next train to show up.

We got off at Pran Buri, a small quiet town which was actually too quiet and so untouristy we actually had to use hand gestures to get a drink from a street stall - which is fine, we're gradually learning Thai at a rate of about one word per day, but we saw no sign of anywhere to stay... so we found a taxi to take us to Pak Nam Pran, a nearby seaside town which we'd previously noted on the map and looked as if it may have some potential.

Pak Nam Pran turned out to be to be the dried squid capital of Thailand, with racks and racks of flattened squid drying in the sun all the way along the seafront. The smell was quite something - I was quite delighted to see so many squid in one place, although Dgym was less impressed.


Dried squid on a string makes a lovely decoration and won't add much to our baggage weight, so our friends and family will be delighted to learn we are bringing one home for everybody!

Squid shop

The town centre lacked our kind of cheap & comfortable hotel so we ended up in a resort about a 10 minute walk away from the centre and we took the day off from hot sweaty travelling to use the lovely swimming pool, catch up on laundry, explore the town a bit and figure out what to do next.

It seemed like a nice little town with plenty of cheap street food, a nice clean beach and a big 7/11 which made us most happy (I won the find-the-weirdest-food contest by picking up a packet of chocolate bacon flavour sunflower seeds). We weren't the only tourists but felt like it at times - we were stared at and waved at quite a bit and although there are quite a few resorts nearby, either they were quite empty or their occupants weren't venturing into the town much.

Lovely beach and broken pier at Pak Nam Pran

Beautiful wooden houses

One of the nice things about being here at this time of year is that it's spring - back home that's when we get lambs but apparently around here it's baby gecko time! I found this tiny fella trying to sneak into our room:


We spent two nights in Pak Nam Pran and then decided to move on. While waiting for the train out of town we stopped at a food stall and, by the tried and tested means of "pointing at yummy stuff", we obtained these lovely dumpling-pancake things - the orange one was shrimp flavour, the other contained some kind of leafy vegetable

Dumpling things

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