A Room With a View

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After a few days in Pattaya to sleep out the jet-leg, we reached our current destination Prachuap Khiri Khan. This is a place we have passed by serveral times before when travelling further south by train. Every time we have been amazed about how beatiful it looks, but never stopped and paid the city a visit untill now. A decision we do not regret, that we finaly  made the time for a stopover here.

Prachuap is so beatiful, so friendly, so easy going and with a lot of fresh seafood reasonable priced. We stay at Sunbeach Guesthouse, in a very quite part of the beachroad. From our huge upstairs balcony we have the best view we can imagine for as little as 1000 baht/day! We are surrounded by National Parks at the Northern and Southern part, and to the west lays the Jungle of Burma. We spend our days cruising around on our rented motorbike, through serveral small fishing villages and beatiful beaches. Evenings are succesfully spend on a nearby seafood restaurant right on the street (and maybe some sweet desserts from one of all the food markets popping-up after sunset).

The most beatiful beach is placed inside the Royal Air Force, but visitors are welcoming during day time. A beach chair cost 10 baht, a “rice-on-top” lunch starts from 35 baht and a bottle of soda water 10 baht. At one of the hills there skall be langure monkeys, but that area was not open for visitors when we were there. Instead we climbed the 396 steps up the hill in the Northern part to visit the temple where the Makaker monkeys stays. Well, then don’t only stay up on the hill, we do see them on the streets and climbing on the nearby buildings, and not to mention how fast they are inspecting our motorbike…… Yesterday the Makaker was on the beach, and they where also swimming and sky diving into the fontaine. It was the day after the Lay Krathong Festival, so probably the monkeys was down at the beach “cleaning-up” (i.e. eating) all the flower decorations from the festival the day before.

On our way to the market at the Burma bordet, we found a very special place. Following the hand written signs to “Hanging Stone” we drive into a narrow dust road ending in a welcoming spot. We climbed the stairs to view point #1, being the rooftop of some kind of bunkers build between some giant stones. Then we moved onto the stairs of view point #2, surprisingly we now found ourselves inside a temple. Our sun-caps are quickly removed, and the welcoming monk shows us were we skall go. And then we are in the middle of  a short jungle-trek around, under and through more giants stones. Amazing.

Did I mention that Prachuap is very beatiful, relaxing, friendly, easy going, and that we have a room with a beatiful view (day and night)?

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Maybe a place to consider for a second home away from home???Prachuap Khiri Khan

“ice-cleam, ice-cleam”

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We have headed up to Da Nang, a very relaxed and friendly destination. For the first time since our Surin visit in November, we are hiring motor-bike again, and are enjoying ourselves cruising around. A sunny saturday we were headed towards the big statue on the Son Tra Peninsula. Many locals were going in the same direction, and we just followed them. Fantastic views, so we had to stop for some photo events. The statue was reached – and fast passed by – as none of the locals in front of us stopped. So we just continue as well. The view is just getting nicer and nicer, with plenty of empty beaches to the left. Would have been a perfect stop for a picnic or just relaxing on the beach, if we had brought any swimming suits with us. So we kept going on. Finally, the roads turned into a T-cross, and we had to choose direction.

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We turned left, and started our new adventure. Small, small winding road going upwards, in the beginning so steep that closing my eyes was appropriate (I was not our driver). Then getting used to the road quality, rather good actually, betong all the way, and stunning views. In each cross, we kept to the left (so it should be easy to remember how we get there when turning back). Met a few bikers on their way down, but mostly we’re on our own. And then we reached the first top, amazed that we could travel here, as we thought the area belong to the military. At the first top, some of the area was restricted with no trespassing, but we could continue moving forward and going even higher. On the next top, we noticed tourists up on a viewpoint, so we headed there, parked our bike, and started climbing. Up there we had time for a game of chess (?) before planning where to go next.

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Then we heard a very familiar and welcoming pling-pling sound. It was the icecream seller, on motorbike, coming the same way as we. P1040322

Everyone bought the cold and refreshing icecream cone for 20.000 vnd. We didn’t plan going so far and had not brought any cold drinks, so as this was a sunny day, his ice-cream offer was more than welcoming.

P1040318The road continued, and the ice-cream man confirmed that if we continued straight we would reach Danang. So we kept going, up, up and up – until we reached the next viewpoint – new positive surprise as a young couple has started a small drink & coffee stand here – and very reasonable priced. Refreshing ourselves, listening to the sounds from the jungle, was there maybe monkeys???? The Son Tra Peninsula is also called Monkey Mountain named after the monkeys living there. The way down to Danang from here was easy, since it now was a normal two-lane asphalt road.

The weather changes quickly, ad since this first Saturday it has been cloudy and rather cold. One late afternoon we went up to the top once more, but this time by the two-lane asphalt road. Just arrived to the top, then the fog came, and we could not see anything. But as quickly as it arrived, the fog disappeared again and we had a fantastic sunset view, but difficult to imagine that a few days earlier we were welcoming cold refreshments while we this day only wanted something hot ……

“same, same but different” – it is the same place but on two different occasions

We have also managed to make the drive through the Hai Van Mountain Pass. The history of this route is better described by another blogger, so read his story here. We enjoyed our ride, and when we watch the train going in and out of tunnels along the pass it felt that we had shrunk and became models in a huge Merchline Railway. Now we are waiting for a sunny day to arrive so we can repeat the trip once more.

At the end of the pass, is the small village of Lang Co, it looked so beautiful from a distance, but really difficult to travel through, specially since we arrived when the school closed for lunch and we found ourselves in the middle of all the bikes.

 

Below you can enjoy part our ride through the Hai Van Mountain Pass.