Saturday, December 18, 2010

Hua Hin - BKK 2010, Day 5

The Royal waiting area as seen in daytime.

The Baan Manthana Hotel (exterior)

And now we're in Bangkok. The Centara at Central World, to be precise. Got ourselves upgraded to this plush Executive room. If we had more TV channels and free wi-fi, we'd never leave this room. Ever.

Maybe except for a visit to MBK...

...for duck noodle soup with jellied blood cubes.

And a root beer float. Happy food.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Hua Hin 2010, Day 4

We know enough about Chat Chai Market to actually sample the wares and do some serious shopping.

We're back at Market Village...

...doing more damage to cheesy Italian food at The Pizza Company.

On to the CICADA Market (open Fri-Sun) to shop with the young, arty, trendy, hipster crowd.

June gets the honour of being the first customer of the day at this stall.

Some local talent. Maybe someday they'll be famous.

A parting shot. Getting here was a LONG walk from Market Village as we discovered.

No way we were going to walk back. A songthaew drove us back to civilization where we refreshed ourselves with coffee at Doi Tung. Click the link for more info about this Royally-sponsored social enterprise project.

A very simple dinner back at the Hua Hin Seafood Restaurant. And one very rare shot of the two of us together!

Last stop... Hua Hin Railway Station. This is the fancy Royal waiting area.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Hua Hin 2010, Day 3

Finally! The beach! Unfortunately, June is attempting to recover from something she ate that I didn't, so I'm left to my own devices this morning.

Thankfully, she's feeling a little better in the afternoon.

Better enough to split a quatro stagioni, that is! Too much Thai food, what can I say?

Da Mario Pizzaria for wood oven pizza by the sea.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Hua Hin 2010, Day 2

Armed with a list of local produce to buy, we recce Chat Chai market in the morning.

This vendor strictly enforces a no-fly zone around her merchandise.

Just what we're looking for: preserved seafood.

The Baan Manantha Hotel serves the same complementary brekkie every day. I'm not complaining, though -- there's bacon!

To get to Hua Hin Hills Vineyard, we take the daily shuttle from Market Village, Hua Hin's largest and most up-to-date shopping mall. It's about a 2km hike from our hotel.

Local wine under the Monsoon Valley label comes from here, Hua Hin Hills Vineyard.

Only baby grapes are on the vines. Harvest is long over.

It's really too hot to frolic among the vines, so we cool off at The Sala...

...sipping [home-made] grape soda.

Seafood pasta for lunch.

Sunset at the fishing pier.

Dinner including a lovely filler-free oyster omelet at the (hey) Meekaruna! Asked for a lemon juice, got a lemon sorbet instead. Delicious!

Dropped in on the Grand Night Market next to the Grand Hotel & Plaza.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Hua Hin 2010, Day 1

December vacation takes us to Hua Hin, small seaside town in Thailand

We had a transport assist from the airport thanks to Josh and Jan's contact who drives a taxi. The drive was about three hours. Now that we're more familiar with the place, we'll just take a mini bus from Monument BTS station direct to Hua Hin. Cheaper, though less comfortable.

Dinner at Hua Hin Seafood Restaurant, which we randomly selected while browsing through the night market.

Highlight of the evening was this beautiful lemon-steamed sea bass.

Of course, the thing to do at night is to pick through the colourful stalls in the night market.

And find dessert! Sweet potato balls (above) and Swensen's (below).

Monday, December 13, 2010

Dammit, Jim, I'm a teacher, not a dentist!

Useful link for future reference (see below). Too busy now to comment on it. Places to go, y'know?

“Teaching to the test makes your students do worse on the tests.... It turns out all that ‘drill and kill’ isn’t helpful.” ("What Works in the Classroom? Ask the Students", NYT, December 10, 2010)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The techno-suit: do more, be more

Science-fiction is coming true, though perhaps in a more benign form than envisioned in the movies. Cyberdine in our world isn't building Terminator robots but robotic suits that help enable the disabled. Ironically, the device is called HAL, also the name of the computer-gone-mental in Kubrick's '2001'.

Compare 'real' HAL with Lockheed Martin's HULC, not Marvel Comics' not-so-jolly green giant but another assistive robotic suit designed to help the US grunt be more than he can be. As far as aesthetics goes, the Japanese trump the Americans again, though the bright colours aren't very tactical on the battlefield.

Kids (and teachers) who think science-fiction is nothing but pure fantasy, are you having second thoughts now?