We find it better for everyone if we stay for a minimum of three nights anywhere, so we decided to head to Chumphon and had found a hotel online that appeared to have a family room so we could all be in together.
Driving out from Khao Sok was beautiful, lush and green mountains and gentle roads with wooden houses and homesteads on the side. We eventually hit the main roads which weren’t too busy but still the drivers are a little bonkers! Especially the motorbikes, no helmets 3-4 people clinging on, driving pretty much wherever they please, we often saw them going the wrong way down the motorway! Nuts!
After 4 hours we finally arrived at our booked hotel, on which we checked in and almost immediately checked out! It just wasn’t right! On the main road, no proper lock on the door they went directly out to the street, no where to eat! In fact I could still see the left overs from breakfast with flies on it sitting on the side! Nope not for us!
Yikes so we bundled back in the car and drove along the coast road! Thankfully we spotted a Novotel just down the road, and pulled in to see if they could take us, I think I was starting to feel a bit sick with worry at this point! But I needn’t have worried they welcomed us in with cool drinks and found us a lovely room with an extra bed for wriggler Daisy!
As it turned out the Novotel was a fraction of the price of the previous hotel even with ‘all you can eat’ kids club, beautiful pools and a sneaky massage!
It also turned out to be just what we needed, we realised after setting down our bags…we were all totally worn out and feeling a bit exhausted after the previous weeks of exciting traveling! We needed a sort of ‘break’ on our break if that makes sense!
So we spent a couple of lazy days getting up late, doing a little schooling in the morning and then sunny afternoons by the pool to recuperate! I even indulged (or perhaps I should say endured!!) a Thai massage! I think ticking on the form, to say I preferred a medium to strong pressured massage what a bit of a mistake…when the little Thai lady walked over my back with her heals and then found a knot in my neck with her clenched fist! Boy I had tears in my eyes! 😳
So after a couple of days and feeling a little recharged we got back on the road heading for Hua Hin, the royal beach city! We checked into our perfect Airbnb, another private pool! Wahay! Plus we have a much needed washing machine and a decent kitchen To cook some family favourites for dinner!
So our first day here was spent finding our feet, getting some food at the local Tescos! I’m not kidding! And then enjoying the sunshine by the pool. Daisy has taken to just jumping in without swimwear…I guess one of the plus sides to having your own pool!
We also did some topic work on coconuts and it was great when one fell out the tree onto the grass in the garden! So after watching a you tube video we de-husked as best we could with the kitchen knife to find the nut inside, before cracking it open to drink the water and try the white flesh! Daisy spent a long time making a video about it, and I thought to myself how wonderful travel schooling is!
Today we have been on a bit of an adventure (can’t sit still for too long!) we were up early and decided to find the hidden temple in Phraya Nakhon Cave in the Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park about 45 minutes south of Hua Hin.
We drove to the small beach village of Bang Pu, and parked the car in an almost deserted dusty car park. We then walked through the quiet little market and empty beach cafes to the sandy beach, where we found a lady selling tickets for a small wooden boat to take us around the cape to Laem Sala beach, where we could climb the mountain to the cave!
So we bought our tickets and asked where we got the boat, she then pointed to one out in the water…over there! So we stripped off shoes, rolled up shorts and began wading through the water to climb aboard the boat! I think it was Molly who first spotted the hundreads of white moon jelly fish swimming around us! Eek…Den and I quickly scooped up the girls who were freaking out and literally dashed for the boat, it was horrible feeling them bumping into your legs not sure if you would tread on one at any moment!
Safely aboard the boat we took the short trip around the rocky cape before our boat driver pulled up to the shallow waters of the sandy palm fringed beach, signaling we should jump out and wade ashore! Taking a quick check for jellies, none thankfully, we climbed over and walked through the clear waters up onto the beach!
Now it was a bit like being dropped off on an island by Bear Grylls, we turned around and our boat was gone and we couldn’t see another soul around! We walked up towards some huts we could see under the palm trees and out came a lady, ‘you see cave?’ She shouted! Thank goodness someone to help! She asked if we wanted a guide for 300baht, seemed a pretty good idea as we didn’t have a clue where we were going, so out came Nim a young girl to lead the way!
Now the trek up to the cave was really really tough! About 430 metres up rocky uneven steps! The sun was shining down and we were literally dripping in perspiration, Molly nearly passed out twice! Eventually we reached the top and began the descent into the cool caves.
The first cave looked beautiful with a natural stone bridge overhead, lush plants and waterfall rock formations but the surreal beauty of the second cave was amazing! A short wooden bridge connects the two caves and upon entering we could see the sparkling pavilion standing in the centre surrounded by trees and vegetation, and basking in a beam of light that flooded in through the huge hole in the cave roof! We had made it and it felt like something out of an Indian Jones movie!
We walked around the cave taking it in from many angles, and trying my best to capture its beauty on film! (Impossible!) Nim showed us the sacred Kings signatures on the rocks and the many special stones that looked like animals and birds! Fascinating!
Afterwards we slowly took the journey back to the beach, looking out for the many monkeys as we went. Once down we thanked Nim and waited on the sand for a boat to come and collect us!
What a trek our legs felt shaky and wobbly but it was amazing and worth it!