Friday 11 December 2015

Having a reasonable night’s sleep is often rare in the first night in a strange bed but oddly this one goes well. Once awake we wander around the complex as we have to find the way back – and the stairs we came down in the dark are not obvious (or labelled) in daytime. On emerging from our room we are struck by the heat, the humidity and invisibility as the glasses mist over! Eventually we find the dining area and elect to sit outside which is probably a mistake as of course inside is air conditioned as well and jumping from hot to cold and back is probably not good.

With a reasonable breakfast inside us we descend to collect some pool towels and take a couple of loungers on the decking area adjacent to the main pool. The area fills up although I note that not all loungers have been put out and suspect the hotel is not completely full at present. It is high tide in the morning – later in the afternoon it is noticeable that swimming in the sea in the roped off area would not be possible.

Being our first day we have the usual rep visit and book a couple of excursions to be taken later during the first week of our stay and confirm transit times to our second hotel and back to the airport for our return home. We are given some guidance on the local behaviour and where we can go to see the sunset – a short walk along the road.

We retreat to the dining room and take a light lunch; the spring rolls seem exceptionally hot to me! A further hour in the sun before we decide not to over do it on our first day and retreat to our room. On the way there I am able to show Jackie a much quieter pool adjacent to our room with some comfortable looking day beds which also look as though they provide some excellent shade in the heat of the day.

At about 5:15 pm we leave the complex for the first time heading out to end of the road. The plan is to spot restaurants for later eating and also to see the sunset in the west which duly happens about 45 minutes later. Our excursion had given us the chance to note 4 – 5 possible restaurants as well as to see a local street market along this stretch of road.

One of the restaurants is on Jackie’s list from Trip Advisor and we decide to make things simple for ourselves by having a fixed menu for two. Some chicken satay to start was not completely enveloped in peanut butter; soup, hot for Jackie and not for me – her chilis were obviously added at the end of the process. Once these tasty delights had been consumed we then waited the fisherman’s main course – a huge basket of fish. I had the opportunity to demonstrate I could still remove the bones from a complete fish and we also shared vast quantities of squid, mussels, soft shell crab and five decent sized prawns. For the food the Baht1500 quoted on the menu covered the entire food for two (which is about £30 at current exchange rates).

I always love fish platters and this was no exception at Baan Ra; recommended. We walk back to the hotel and agree on a couple of the other restaurants which seem most likely candidates for a visit later in the week.