Where to begin? Well transportation. I had called our driver and negotiated a price and pick up time. He arrived much to my horror, initially, in a trishaw. Wasn't my idea of a two hour trip. I envisioned watching a movie on my netbook in air conditioned surroundings. Being that we hardly went any faster than 35mph or so it really didn't matter. We loaded up his trishaw and hit the road south.
It was interesting to see the landscape change the further south we went. We passed many towns with tsunami damage and both remnants of buildings and homes and shacks that people were still living in.
Another thing was the number of cows walking along the road, many of them. They are considered sacred by the Hindu's.
Our driver pulled off the road at a king coconut stand and treated us to coconuts to drink, very delicious and refreshing. The vendor then chopped the coconut in half and made a small spoon out of the coconut to scrape the meat with. We jumped back in the trishaw for the rest of the trip.
We arrived at Jetwing Tropical Villas right on time. At check in papaya juice was brought to us and our driver. The hotel staff gave us the hard sell for a $50 per person New Years Eve buffet, we passed.
Our room was of decent size, but sparsely furnished, make that not furnished? There was a closet but that's about it.
I won't go on about the hotel, everything else was booked up and they had rooms for only $60 per night with breakfast so we shouldn't complain. On the other hand we won't go back either.
My mission was to spend lots of time riding the waves on my boogie board, that turned out to be disappointing as the waves closed very quickly so what rides I did get were short lived.
The beach itself was nice, the atmosphere wasn't. You had vendors approaching you every few minutes being your sitting on a blanket or walking. They were easy enough to dismiss with a wave or “No thanks”, but the beggars sometimes tended to be a little bit more in your face.
We did get to enjoy a candlelit dinner on the beach, complete with mosquito bites every couple of minutes. The atmosphere was nice, but the menu's were pretty much all the same and lackluster wherever we went and the food overall was bland.
Oh, the elephant on the beach. Yes there was a man who offered elephant rides on the beach, also a guy with a horse, a guy who offered to take pictures with his monkey and or python snake. Pictures with the dogs were free.
We were glad to go on our last day. I settled the room service bill, not bad, around $38, considering $11 was for a dinner buffet I had (And wish I hadn't).
Opening the door the apartment and feeling the air conditioning was the best part of the trip.