Hua Hin originated as a beach destination for royalty to escape the brutal Thai heat, back in the early twentieth century. And with such close proximity to Bangkok, it remains popular today with locals and tourists alike. After (barely) surviving the overnight train from Chiang Mai to Bangkok, and the connecting train to Hua Hin, I was ready for some beach time! We were greeted at the hotel with some chilled washcloths and a cool, sweet tea. Ahhh, things were looking better already!
We had a breathtaking view from our room.
The hotel grounds were lush and beautiful.
Swimming was the first order of business. To the right of Eva was the water slide. The girls probably slid down that slide 200 times during our stay!
We loved evening walks on the beach. I can still feel the warm, balmy air.
Good morning sunshine. What a way to start the day!
We loved the pool area at the hotel. Definitely an ideal beach vacation. We were surrounded by families and older people, the perfect demographic! We always enjoy talking with older couples who are generally a wealth of travel information (and not of the overnight train variety!)
A swim at 8:00 in the morning? Why not?!
We spent most of each morning walking along the beach looking for treasures.
This particular treasure really started to smell after it come home with us!
We happened upon a jellyfish that had washed ashore, which the girls really loved investigating. We touched the smooth, slimy surface, and also rolled it over to see underneath. Fascinating!
The view from my beach chair. Yes, please!
Pony rides, anyone? Not today, Eva. Sorry.
This fair child was not made for hours of sun exposure!
Hua Hin has a population of about 51,000, so it is a large enough city to have things to walk to (like markets and cafe's) but small enough to have a quaint feel.
Our daily walk to a nearby Thai massage place.
On, the second day we opted for the one hour ($6) foot massage, rather than the full body. It did not disappoint. Matt is hooked now, too!
I became addicted to these sesame and honey (?) coated peanuts in the hotel lounge. We saw them many places in Thailand, sure wish I had some right now.....
On Sunday, I was passing through the hotel lobby and noticed this sign for a small church service. I decided to check it out for a few minutes.
They generously offered me coffee, tea, and refreshments, immediately.
This little church was so filled with God's love, I am still affected by my experience with them. So many members embraced me, (and I mean embraced me in a bear hug, even with my sweaty beach clothes), and joyfully said "Jesus loves you." I felt like a long, lost sister, and I guess in Christ, I am.
The praise and worship songs were actually shouted by many. They seemed so deeply moved and grateful to be there. The experience made me contemplate my own worship and how often I "go through the motions", while distracted with other thoughts.
I was really struck by the poverty in Thailand and the poor living conditions for so many. The church was in the process of building a children's home in Hua Hin, which will house, feed and educate up to 45 children in the area. If any of you feel so led, please consider a donation to this wonderful project. Power of Love International Church Website: www.thaipolic.com E-mail: email@example.com
Out of curiosity, I only meant to peek on the service for a few minutes, but ended up staying for the entire two hours. I feel so blessed to have been a part of their congregation, if only for a day.
Outside....more of God's abundant blessings.
We are usually not typically beach vacationers, but how can you beat this view?!
And more lovely walks on the beach. Dusk is my favorite time of the day.
Our breakfast spot.
We kept pushing back our departure time, because we just couldn't bring ourselves to leave. It was such a relaxing and rejuvenating time and we loved every moment here.
Goodbye, Hua Hin. We hope to return very soon.
Now back to Bangkok for our flight home. (PS- We hired a driver this time and it was a much nicer experience than the train, and only took three hours instead of four. Just for the record.)