A wise man once said....

A wise man once said
"When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen you may learn something new."
Dalai Lama

Monday, 13 July 2009

A Thai Beach.

What better way to spend a day. We had a relaxing weekend and spent the Sunday afternoon on the beach at Jontiem. It’s something we used to do a lot of, ages ago. So it was with some excitement that we set off for an afternoon of swimming and relaxing under the sun and of course some beach food. Would not be a complete trip without the food.
I had forgotten the ‘buzz’ of the beach life. Everybody, Thais, Foreigners of all sorts all on holiday trying to enjoy themselves just sitting around and relaxing.
Relaxing? Not as easy as it sounds. While being surrounded by hawkers of all kinds it is not that easy. Takes a whole new mind set. Try sitting and thinking all with be quiet. This especially after being used to a beach in Seychelles where you might be the only person for miles….So very different.
I tried to photograph a few of the sellers to give you some idea of the hustle and bustle, and to see the range of goods available. Food of course varying from full on Thai and Western Meals, (made in restaurants across the road and hand delivered), someone even selling toilet roll/paper napkins. Add in the hard sell for silk bed sheets, nail clippers, toys, games, balloons, DVD’s, fake watches, baseball caps, polystyrene model planes, rip curl shorts etc to name just a few and you begin to get some idea about the difficulties of relaxing on Jontiem Beach Not so easy after all… It’s a tough life being a tourist.

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Well we went for it all, head on. Sat down under umbrella shades and promptly ordered a cold beer and ‘Yam Wumsen’. The latter dish comprises a mixture of cooked prawns and squid mixed with noodles and various herbs and of course plenty of hot chilies. Delicious. While eating this more hawkers arrive selling fruits, salads, deep fried bits of everything, spring rolls, mouth watering prawns, fresh fruits etc. We settled on and bought quail eggs. One of my favourite snacks. The eggs are hard boiled (cold) and are served with a small packed of fish sauce as a dip. Really a great side dish to go with the cold beer.
Wanna opted for a new dish, well new to me not her… It was called ‘Krung Ten’ which literally translated means 'Dancing Prawns', comprising very young live prawns mixed with lemon sauce, dash of fish sauce and again lots of herbs and this time even more chilies. It tasted fantastic. Had a sort of sparkling fresh taste I think due to the lemons and the prawns were soft and sweet. Amazing mixture of flavours. At first it was a bit disconcerting to take a mouthful of this as the prawns kept jumping out of the dish…. So first few mouthfuls.. you kept expecting to feel lots of wriggling of the prawns, but not so. The lemon juice finally ‘kicked in’ and cooked them. All OK.

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Enough sitting around, time for a swim. Even the beach was fully occupied with everything from jet skis, speed boats, banana rides and wind surfers. Came across an interesting sight of a wind surfer on the sand. One guy had made up a 4 wheeled base and was using it on the beach. Went well until he got into the soft welt sand and came to a shuddering halt.
I reflected on all this and realized it was a typical day out on a Thai Beach. Different to anything I could imagine and even more difficult to explain. I’ve tried to capture the essence of it all but am sure I have not done it justice. Al I can say is it was fun and I’ll be back again soon for another relaxing afternoon.

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