Saturday, August 13, 2005

Seafood on the beach

Since we got to the seaside resort of Hua Hin, we have been eating the best seafood I have ever eaten: buttersoft squid cooked in a variety of ways from marinated and steamed, through barbequed, to stir-fried; sweet barbequed whole lobster dressed in a spring onion and chilli sauce; grilled king prawns; green-lipped mussels; and steamed crab. And we have been eating in some great places too -- the kinds of places we see in Wong Kar-Wai movies (even though his movies are set in Hong Kong!): roadside plastic-tabled cafes; sitting on the white sandy beach at beachside restaurants with the crystal clear tide rolling in and watching Thai families bathe in the sea fully-clothed like Indian families in India; and in the heart of a bustling night market where deep-fried soft-shelled crabs, packs of sliced pineapple and watermelon, whole barbequed white fish, pirated Hollywood DVDs, fake designer tishirts and cheap trinkets are sold both to Western (farang) and Thai tourists.

Hua Hin is on the Western seaboard of the Gulf of Thailand, 190km or 118 miles south of Bangkok. It is one of the oldest beach resorts in Thailand, dating back to the 1920s, but still retains an under-developed, old-fashioned ambience. There are some Western tourists here, especially from Holland and England, but it is mainly a resort for weekending Thai. As a result, during the week it is largely empty, and during the weekend it is full of Thai. Which is perfect!

No comments: