Welcome to Khmerland
Evason Resort Hua Hin ...

Wednesday 1st December 2004

It's my favourite part of the day, that moment when you begin to wake, when your brain is just booting up. Sadly most of us don't get the opportunity to savour the dawning of our consciousness. We're too busy hurtling along to work. Even on holiday there's a schedule, a plane to catch or a temple to explore. The opportunity to come round in slow motion rarely occurs, but today was such a day.

It was beautiful knowing that I could stay in that dream state between sleep and wake for as long as I wished. I lay there motionless, eyes shut, breathing slow and shallow for what seemed like hours. I felt as if I were only a head with the rest of my body not woken yet. I suppose it's that 'returning to the womb' thing, lying there in the reassuring foetal position. Gradually I became aware of my limbs and as the sensation returned, my fingers and toes twitched until I stretched out like a stiff old dog and scratched like one too!

The first thought to enter my head was overwhelming relief at not having a leg the size of a Great Redwood. I remember going to sleep worrying about DVT and being haunted by the vision of my father's leg when he recently had a blood clot lodged in his calf. It was not a pretty site!

As I stretched out again, this time into a star shape the next thought to permeate my meditative bed-yoga state was "Where's Julie?"

I had stretched out an arms length without touching anybody. I rolled over and opened one eye to see her. The bed was so large that she was practically sleeping quite happily on the other side of the room!

Then a flashback crashed into my thoughts of last night's hallucination; the one of being brought to the Flinstones cave.

I recalled a lotus pond with a sunken bath, and I remembered the illuminated private pool. I just had to sit up to have a look if it was just an elaborate mirage or fantastic reality. It was a fantasy, but a real one. True; we had woken up in paradise. Wow!

The attention to detail in the room was remarkable. The lovely soft bed linen, the sumptuous pillows, the attractive furniture, even the door knob was stylish. It all felt so perfect and I couldn't stop smiling. The perfect theme continued at breakfast. They had on offer one of my all-time favourite Italian dishes called Melanzane di Parmigiano. It must have been last night's left overs but it tasted great.

Another of our breakfast time favourite was available; Marmite; or at least its Australian cousin, Vegemite. Could this get any better? Of course it could!! They even had peanut butter which allowed us to put together Julie's very own patented super-sandwich of Marmite & Peanut Butter. Fantastic! It may sound like an odd combination but give it a try. It's delicious! After a week of stir fried veg I gorged myself on all my favourite foods. Now I knew I was in heaven!

We walked around the resort for the first time in the daylight. It was very tranquil and calm. Our villa was only 15 steps east and 24 south from the pool, which was at the beachfront.

There was no idyllic beach, but a strip of sand had been provided to lounge within view of the waves lapping the coastline. A protective sea barrier had been placed to keep erosion at bay.

We lay here for a while enjoying the cool breeze off the Gulf of Siam. Between this strip of sand and the resort's pool was a public sandy road, although we hardly saw a vehicle. It served more as a path to other bars and shops.

To avoid the midday sun we returned to our villa and sat in the shade on our day bed. We read through the literature and noticed that they had an extensive video library; which was free of charge! We wet ourselves laughing when we noticed a misprint listing "The Privates of the Caribbean" starring Johnny Depp. Was it an unknown porn film he did when he was young and desperate for the money?

Our cleaner arrived whilst we lay about and she busied herself with rearranging our bed.

Then out of nowhere a pool attendant appeared with a large net to scoop out the floating leaves and flowers from our two water features. They worked incredibly quickly and within a few minutes the villa was spotless, inside and out.

We skipped lunch as we were still full of breakfast! In fact I could probably have survived on the contents of my stomach for the next week! It was well into mid-afternoon when we decided to return to the beachfront to bathe some more in the sun.

We walked the long way around and found a shop that sold all the items we found so funky in our room. The earthenware mugs, the brass palm tree, the soap dispensers, even the bathroom basin was for sale!

On the sandy strip I lay down for a while catching the rays but I couldn't settle because I was worried that I may develop a silly tan line. My swim shorts came down to a few inches above the knees.

In a moment of madness disguised as inspiration I decided to return to the villa and put on a pair of black Lycra boxer shorts instead! I was not in the slightest bit embarrassed to lie there in my skin tight underwear. Julie was feeling plenty of the embarrassment for the both of us. I argued the case that most men wore tight Speedos and I thought, at the time, that my boxer shorts actually looked better than they did!

With hindsight I was so obviously lying there in my underwear!

She said that I reminded her of what a young Tom Jones used to wear; those nasty gaudy coloured tight swim shorts with a belt and buckle. I can actually remember my dad having an orange pair in the Seventies!

After forty five minutes on our front, forty five minutes on our back, and only using factor 10 sun cream we were still as pale as a pair of albinos! It was soon time for us to get showered and changed into tidy clothes to attend a 'Welcome Party' for new guests.

I must say that it felt initially bizarre showering outdoors. Standing there naked, in the open air, worrying that someone could be watching you soaping up your giblets; it was quite off-putting, but then as you acclimatise to the scenario it felt really liberating. I've never considered being a naturalist, often thought of them being a little perverted to want to be naked all the time, but it must feel pretty cool to let it all hang out and not care a jot.

The Welcome Party was "on the house" courtesy of the resort manager which we thought was a superb touch! We were greeted by a tray of drinks; a vodka and orange for the lady and a bottle of beer for the lout. We mingled briefly before parking our bums on a large day bed nearest the free bar!

There was plenty to nibble, from BBQ meat pieces to some raw vegetable crudités with chutney. They certainly tasted sweeter because it was all au gratis!

We had strategically sat nearest the bar which was very convenient. We truly tried to drink as slow as possible yet we still managed to down six glasses of wine. I tell you, this resort just gets better and better!

The finale to the party was to stand at the balcony to watch half a dozen hot air lanterns, known as kom loy, being released into the dark night skies. They gently floated away with their fires glowing like fledgling stars in the blackness.

It was a wondrous sight.

The hour was up, and we had drunk the free bar dry so we moved on looking for pizza in a more Homer-esque moment than Fred Flinstone. One of the selling points for me when booking was that I read that the Evason had a restaurant with a wood fired pizza oven. Sold! … to the gentleman with the Italian food obsession.

I was a little disappointed on discovering that my heaven was incomplete when the "Beach Restaurant" was closed for refurbishment!

We settled for the bar with its soft squeegee sofas and with pizza on the menu I quickly bounced back to being a happy little bunny.

With a large pitcher of Singha beer, a 'Greek' pizza for me, and a chicken burger for Julie, we sat back and relaxed to the excellent gentle tones of the resident band.

We returned late to our villa, filled the outdoor bath, lit lavender tea lights and a mosquito coil, poured some chilled Freixenet Cava into champagne glasses and continued with our sublime dream. Yabadababoo!!

   
Thursday 2nd December 04 >>  
©Copyright Colin Owen 2005 Contact me at c.a.owen@bangor.ac.uk