On Thursday my young friend and I set off for a holiday in the Far East. We chose EVA Air - a lovely airline that most of my friends have never heard of.
It's so nice not to be cramped and great to be served meals course by individual course on spotless white table napkins. Apart from being bumpy over Afghanistan and Pakistan we had a very smooth and comfortable flight, and as we left in the evening managed to get a fair amount of sleep that night. Met at Bangkok airport by a smiling Thai driver on Friday afternoon, three hours later we arrived at the Anantara hotel in Hua Hin. This is a view of a wooden figure nestling in the foliage.
And being right next to the sea on the ground floor I took this picture of a pair of little ponies trotting along on the near deserted beach.
That first evening we chose a seafood restaurant right on the beach itself and ate delicious fresh fish to the accompaniment of the gentle sound of the waves rolling in a few yards away.
The next couple of days were spent lazing around. Swimming in the sea and eating satay and pineapple at the poolside restaurant. It was nice and cooling to be sitting on turtle-shaped stools in the water while sipping fresh mango juice with the searing sun blazing away above us. We loved the pool and I especially liked, in one of the alcoves, strong jets of water that massaged my back.
Last night a tropical storm managed to plunge Hua Hin into blackness for an hour, but as the hotel had emergency generators the lights came on again in a couple of minutes.
Today, our last day in Thailand, we decided to visit King Rama IV's Summer Palace and the Big Buddha. Unfortunately we weren't allowed to go in to the upper floors but nevertheless we had a pleasant, though hot, time wandering around. My young friend had to hire a shawl to cover her shoulders, and luckily I wasn't wearing shorts or I would have needed to hire a sarong to cover my unsightly legs! Here are a few photos taken in the grounds of the Palace.
The site of the Big Buddha was much more interesting. About half an hour's journey from the hotel, along a very winding road, we passed this collection of images
And a big carving of an elephant under a shady sala.
Eventually we reached the summit and there was the Big Buddha - a dusky image of a famous Thai monk.
Such a colourful scene. Here are a few of the many photos I took there.
The Thai people buy sheets of gold leaf and attach then to some of the images as part of their way of making merit and paying homage.
It poured with rain today. Luckily the hotel supplied umbrellas because after lunch my cousin David was picking us up to take us to his son Steven's house in Hua Hin. (Steven lives here with his wife Kee and their two children). now we are going to sample the food in the Italian restaurant once more before getting ready for a very early morning ride to the airport.