With no classes on Mondays, we have long weekends to go exploring. This past weekend we went to Cha-am, a beach down 3 hours south of Bangkok, and our first trip out of the city. We left early in the morning to catch the bus. The cost? 140 baht (about $4) for the 3 hr ride. Just one more thing to love about Thailand. When we got to Cha-am, we walked about a mile to get to the beach and our hotel, a mere 1200 baht, roughly $36 for our room for the night. The rest of the day was spent at the beach napping, playing in the waves. playing football (soccer) and getting constantly approached by beach vendors asking us if we wanted to buy stuff. I learned that you should reapply sunscreen after swimming for an hour in the ocean, or else when you fall asleep on the beach with your hand across your chest you’ll get a VERY noticeable sunburn handprint.
The main attraction at the beach were these giant inflatable tubes towed by jet skis. Nozomi seemed to attract a lot of attention as well. He got approached on at least three separate occasions by thais wanting to take pictures with him. The most hilarious incident of the trip was when three thai women asked to take a picture with Sean and Nozomi, then pushed Sean away to just have the picture with Nozomi. Of course, the other males on the trip couldn’t stand for this, so we decided to bury Nozomi up to his head in sand and let the tide deal with him. Unfortunately, none of us are civil engineers and our construction budget allowed only for a plastic scooper that we found in the waves, so Nozomi easily broke free.
We spent the first part of the evening talking and eating appetizers at a nice restaurant, then set out to find another place to find dinner. We tried to find a bar, but soon realized that the only people who frequent the bars in Cha-am on Sunday evenings are older white european males surrounded by younger thai women (I’ll let you make the connection). After a few calls of “Hey handsome man” directed at Sean by several sketchy thai women, we realized we’d best go back to the restaurant we started at for dinner. Afterwards we went to the beach to continue our conversations until the early hours of the morning.
Our second day was also spent at the beach, but I decided to avoid the sun this time. We finished our trip at an all-you-can-eat noodle buffet back in Bangkok. Next weekend we’re going on a four day tour of southeastern Thailand with fellow Thai students.