Road Trip: Hua Hin- Bang Saphan
We have been in Hua Hin for over 3 weeks now and we love it. BUT we needed to get away from the traffic, noise, the many shirtless tourist on buses (seriously put a fucken shirt on) and the noisy train track we live next to. We wanted get back to nature, find somewhere quiet and be as far away as we can from other air breathers.
It was a last minute decision to hire a car and drive south for three days. It wasn’t until we spoke with the owners at Palapon gym where Gerhard is training. They told us about this place called Bang Saphan. So a few google searches later we decided Bang Saphan it is. Quiet, beach, good snorkeling, great food and did I mention quiet?
This little trip was a splurge and we definitely went over our budget but it was worth every single cent and we would not change a thing. Sometimes you just have to ball out(dollar dollar bills yoooo)!
Ill try my best not to bore you with little details like “so we stopped here, the mountains were pretty, the roads were crazy and food was good” but rather share a few short stories of what we experienced over the three days and what we have taken away.
1. How NOT to be a great parent
It was a really hot day, the kids were arguing in the and back saying “Are we there yet?” We knew we had a long bush walk ahead of us. So we lied to them, don’t judge us haha. We told them its “just over the hill” and then we used the ultimate parenting technique and bribed them with ice cream and fizzy drink.
At no point were we skipping along the track holding hands and singing kumbaya. There was a lot of “I’m tired, I’m hungry, I’m hot, my feet hurt (they ended up walking with no shoes on)”. Our response? “Please please please just shut up”. No we really said that. We were tired and hot as well. Gerhard was doing the whole “When your legs get sore, it means they are getting stronger and you can walk further next time” and good old hippie mum comes along with “You need to change your perspective. Look at what you are surrounded with, don’t miss the opportunity”. Such wanker parents.
It wasn’t all frustration though. It was great to see the kids asking so many questions, from the insects to the mountain itself which is mainly made up of limestone. They got to understand what it means to be quiet and still in nature, so they could hear what was around them. They encouraged each other so many times with “Good job Markus,” “come Mattaeus look what I found,” and “be careful.” When they are under pressure or in a uncomfortable situation they always have each others backs. I wish it was like this all time.
On our way down from the cave we stopped to have a little break where we met an older French couple. They also sold everything and traveled with their children for 12 months. Even at their age they were still travelling the world with eyes wide open like kids in a candy store. This confirmed for me, you’re never to old to travel.
2. We aren’t anything special
We stopped at a local Tesco to get some lunch. We’re use to the stares but this was something different. People almost looked at us and the kids in disgust. Some staff refused to serve us and people would push in line. We felt like a hassle and I was getting the shits so we couldn’t wait to get out of there. It shows we aren’t anything special and don’t expect to be treated like hot shit royalty because we are tourists. Once you get out from those main tourist areas you’re just another person like every other Tom Dick and Harry.
3. The great debate or should I say argument
So I fucked up. We went past our exit to Bang Saphan. My bad! Than the GPS said “address not found”. At this point we were hot, tired, annoyed from our Tesco experience, battery was running low and we just wanted to make it there before the sun went down. So shit hit the fan. Good old mum and dad decided to crack the shits at each other with very tentative ears listening from the backseat. Nek minit.
Gerhard: “Just shut your mouth!”
Mattaeus: “Guys stop arguing”
Markus: “Yeah you shouldn’t talk to mummy like that”
Mattaeus: “Yeah you cant talk to women like that”
Me: (thinking) Shame you lost
Gerhard: (thinking) My kids are fugging awesome…. But I’m still right!
Since leaving Sydney we haven’t had the space to chat privately. Its been interesting to try and resolve disagreements around the kids when we know they watch and hear everything we do. At first I thought it was a terrible thing! Then I realised they need to see how adults resolve shit. Its not always pixies and unicorns.
4. Snorkeling: Koh Talu Island, Bang Saphan
We recently watched a documentary called Mission Blue where a Marine Biologist shows us the damage we are doing to the coral reef. The kids really enjoyed this and couldn’t wait to go snorkeling. Once we finally hopped into the water it was actually quite sad, most of the coral was dead. One staff member with limited English went on to explain how we are affecting the marine life and how they are trying to reverse this. Again this goes back to what we are trying to teach our kids. There is more to life than just me, myself and I. They are apart of something so much bigger.
Check out a short video of our snorkeling trip!
5. Pizza and Coffee
As soon as we walked into Sabai restaurant we knew we were on the money. There was a kids park where we palmed the kids off and pretended to be kid free, even if it was for a few moments. Times like this we really appreciate.
We don’t really do small talk very well. Its either dick jokes or we talk about life, politics, podcasts, journalist, documentaries, food and what we want for our family.
Over some amazing pizza and great coffee we spoke about how we are sick of working for other people and imaginary businesses we would eventually own. We were enjoying the conversation so much we ordered another pizza. Well that was our excuse at least.
6. Elephants: To ride or not to ride
In 2012 Gerhard and I went to Phuket. We did the typical tourist thing and went to Bangala Road, shot a rifle, rode a horse, drank too much and rode an elephant. Seeing the condition of the animals, how sad they looked, the chains they were in and the steel pole they were being prodded with, was enough to make us feel like douche bags. For us we vowed never to do it again or be a part of anything that promotes animal cruelty.
Thanks to Trip Advisor we were lucky enough to find Kui Buri National Park. You hire a guide and they take you around the national park to spot wild elephants on the back of a ute. If you see one, that’s great! If you don’t, you don’t. At no point was it about getting as close as we can to the elephants (we were fortunate enough to see 4!). It was about teaching us about the wildlife in the park and having as little impact on the national park and its wild life as possible.
Its a choice we made as a family not to ride them as we don’t think its right. Seeing them chained and the treatment they receive is not something we wanted to be a part of.
Wow this blog post sounds depressing. 85% of our road trip was amazing! It felt like an adventure within an adventure. We hope our kids got at least a better understanding of nature and the effect we as humans have on the earth. They made some great connections along the way and if they didn’t learn anything at all I’m sure all the ice cream stops were worth it. Here are the rest of our photos from Bang Saphan. Drop us a line and say hey!!