Kyushu Shinkansen advert

I saw a commercial video for the Kyushu Shinkansen.
This video was supposed to be released 1 day after the March 2011 earthquake. But as it was deemed to cheery to be shown. Here it is: I wonder how many Kyushu residents are actually involved in this commercial. It can put a smile and possibly some tears on everyone’s face.

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charming Putahracsa, heritage Railway Station and nostalgic PlearnWan

We checked out from our hotel in Bangkok and made our journey down to Putahracsa Hua Hin.

Took BTS to Victory Monument Station, walked on the circular overhead bridge facing the monument. Had a little misadventure, we walked to the right side of the circular overhead bridge, when we should have walked to the left side towards the Rajavathi Hospital. Blessing in disguise though, we now know we can travel to Ayutthaya by minibus in future.

Along the road, there will be lots of white minibuses. Just ask a friendly face, and say “Hua Hin”, they will point you in the right direction. The services on this road only caters for the minibuses to Phetcaburi, Cha Am and Hua Hin. Other roads will have services to Ayutthaya and Pattaya etc.

Upon arrival in Hua Hin, actually walked to Putaracsa Hotel. Once we checked in,  we hired an automatic motorcycle for 200 Baht a day. The lady owner required a copy of my passport and license and a simple proficiency test. Bike check… once done, look for a gas station to fill her up, (in my non-existent Thai language again, though we looked the part), I attempted to ask the attendant to pump at 40 Baht, the Stations only accept 50Baht for pumping).

Oh yes, we did get helmets, a red and white one, it looked basic enough and I wondered if this was the best they had, and if that helmet would make any difference. Soon enough, it proved to be our savior as we fell off the bike at the first u-turn we had to negotiate. My non-familiarity with auto bikes was evident here. Ouch! A few bumps and bruises and some TLC by a Thai elderly woman who helped us up, the helmets had saved us when fell gently on the road.

Btw, there were road blocks at night too. We approached one, were told to slow down but once verified we had our helmets on, they waved us on quickly. Some offenders were stopped and got the ticket though. In Hua Hin, non-helmets, side saddling and toddlers carrying were actually a common sight.

We rode the auto bike extremely slowly to PlearnWan.

For the second time this trip we were at a public place during flag lowering. Everyone stopped in their tracks again. Yesterday in Bangkok Chatuchak everyone just stop, wherever they were facing any direction…it was quite a sight, its like some X-Men unleashing its TIME FREEZE power. This time around, at PlearnWan, I was right in front of the flag, as the flag lowering was in progress. Awesome! You can view the video recording too.

Food sellers can board the train to sell their food or simply transact through the windows. I guess even if the board the train, they will walk the whole length of the train and probably follow the train southwards and alight 1 or 2 stops away. They then take the next train northwards to sell and return back.

We went to the Bismillah, Southern Thai Muslim Restaurant along the Hua Hin Railway track for dinner.

 At night, they have an adjacent stall selling Teh Tarek (Milk Tea) and Fried Chicken with Yellow Rice. We had the following:

2 plain rice + Stir-Fried Beef Chilli & Tom Yum Soup = 130 Baht.
1 hot milk tea + 1 hot tea w/o milk = 20 Baht

   

Did I mention about the lovely resort we stayed in? Putahracsa Hua Hin.

We took the Oceanbed Pool Villa at SGD$250 per night via an Agoda promotion.

 

Rocking with Stone Temple Pilot at a room with private pool, jacuzzi and a BOSE set. I’d not ask for more.


 

On 26 Dec 2011, we were both lazing at home, watching the news on TV, when we saw images of Hua Hin affected by flooding and high waves. I do hope the lovely folks at Putahracsa: Aom, Aun and Kwang, the lovely stall owners we had met in Hua Hin will be safe.

 http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/local/272549/waves-wreak-more-havoc-on-southern-coast

1 night in Bangkok

Our last trip to Bangkok was in 2006. We were actually arranging for a Chiangmai-Ayutthaya-Bangkok-Hua Hin trip, but due to the recent flooding, we had to abort it. After some deliberation, we then decided to do Hua Hin and a night in Bangkok.
 
We looked forward to arriving at Suvarnabhumi Airport and taking the 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Chatuchak Weekend Market was still opened when we left at 7pm. It used to close at 5-6pm, not too sure the reason for this. I did find out though that City Hall will no longer manage the market in 2012. State Railway will be claiming its rights to manage it. There seems to be plans to open on weekdays and to change its layout too. (story here)
 
No, these boxes were not Xmas presents. Those were sandbags used during the flood.
 
We took a short walk to MBK for halal dinner and some shopping.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
We stayed at Novotel Siam Square for the night. In 2006, it was still located at MBK, but they are now at Siam Square, still spanking new. We also read that during the flood last month, the hotel opened up 250 rooms for the staff to stay in with their families. I’m sure it meant a lot for the staff and families.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
My feet in the middle of the Thai Foot Massage. Check out the swollen blood veins of my feet.
 
The morning after…thought I was looking at pair of girls feet. No kidding, just check out the blood veins at my feet no longer popped out.
 
The beautiful sunrise at Bangkok overlooking Sukhumvit area.
 
We had to checkout early and make our way to Hua Hin, via a minibus from somewhere around Victory Monument area.