We stayed in Hua Hin one month and I had a lot to do since I did not start my vacation yet. Aum took the chance to spend a lot of time with her family and I met some Swedish guys that live there more or less permanently and a friend from before so I had some company when Aum was away sometimes. It was a good month and felt kinda like vacation, but after this the real vacation will start and we’ll spend it in the Philippines. 
  
Mixed pictures from Hua Hin. We have seen most things around here already, but managed to find some new things to do/see like wakeboarding/waterskiing.
 
Monkeys at Hua Hin viewpoint. I didn’t give them food or anything but they got interested as I sat down and waited for them to come.

Tips:

+++++ Do go to Thailand as it is one of the best places to visit in the world I think, and many people agree : ) Try to find local Thai restaurants, don’t just go to the ones filled with tourists. Better price and nice to try the original taste. I will write some tips and thoughts after spending around one year in total time now in Thailand. Some tips are things to avoid or can sound negative, but that does not change the thing that Thailand is awsome with really friendly people and nice nature. I have been to so many places here from north to south to east in the country, and I recommend to not only to to the most touristy places even if they are famous for a reason.

 

ATM: Usually the ATM will ask “continue with conversion, yes/no” when you try to withdraw money. Then a fee is specified at around 220 baht. If you press “yes” then you will get a really bad conversion rate and pay maybe 1000 baht extra depending on how much you are withdrawing. So press “no” and you will get a better rate, but will not see exactly how much money is withdrawn until the next day.
TRAFFIC: There are a lot of traffic accidents in Thailand. I mean a lot. To put this in perspective there are more traffic deaths in Thailand around the new years weekend than in Sweden in a whole year. Of course more people are living here but it’s still 13 times more deaths in traffic per capita in average as well. So use a safety belt when going in minivans. Often the belts are hidden underneath the seat or something, but possible to put up again. If you rent a motorbike and drive you should know the traffic here first and the dangers of dogs, water etc. I have seen 3 accidents happening live during my 1 year total time in Thailand. For example this is very common (to drive the wrong way, against the traffic):

BARS/TAXI : If you’re going to a bar in the evening it’s often free to play pool, but be careful and read the bill before you pay. It’s common to add something extra or charge for a more expensive beer and so on. The Swedish guys I met here stopped going to many places after finding this out one by one as they don’t want to support places that try to scam people, even if it’s small money. As for taxi, try to go with taximeter even if it might be tricky to get someone to agree on that in some areas. Just take the next one then.
 In Thailand they have food everywhere, they even have food/snacks at some hairdressing saloons : )
 
 
TOILETS: Usually there is no toilet paper anywhere but if they charge a fee to go to the toilet you can buy paper there. If you did not get paper before going there is usually a water hose to help close to the toilet.
 
DENTIST: Healthcare in Thailand is very good in general. You might get the same or better treatment than in Sweden if you go to a good dentist here, and much cheaper too. Normal dental care is free for Thai people, and the good dentists cost 2-3 times as much as the cheaper ones. But from what I have seen they are really good and even if they are concidered very expensive here it’s still only around 350 SEK to fix a normal cavity. I have only tried the expensive places with good reviews so I cannot say anything about the cheaper ones.
 
ANIMALS: Be careful with dogs on small streets as many are stray dogs. They might be a bit agressive and are especially dangerous for motorbikes if they decide to run over the road in the wrong time. Don’t ride on the harshly broken down elephants or go to drugged tigers for photoshoots. There are a lot of animals to see in the wild, or a zoo might be okay at least. Animal rescue centers are often interesting and informative as well.
 

CULTURE: Everyone wants to make a good apprearance and is really against arguing in public or “loosing face” so don’t raise your voice or make a scene with a Thai even if you’re angry. An example of this is someone I know a bit that has been hiding her pregnancy and her child from nearly everyone since it looks bad to have a child without a father/marriage. This is common since everyone wants to be seen in a positive way and try hard to acheive this.

Family comes first in Thailand and Asia in general. Before anything else, even before a husband, work or the person him/her self. This person I met here had a bf and they had a child comming and was going to marry. But the mans family did not like her so they could not marry and broke up even if they wanted to marry. Then of course she moved back home to hide her pregnacy as it is very bad to be pregnant without a husband and illegal with abortions.
He never meets the child because of this, and the child is not living with the mom either since she doesn’t have time as she has to work and also since her family don’t want anyone to know she has a child. So the child and mother meets sometimes but usually the child stays in another city with her grandparents. This is all quite normal here, but many might not know or understand this if you have not been in Asia a lot. Now she has actually told everyone that she has a child after 12 years, before only the closest friends and family knew. A video about this subject if you’re interested in this:

For me this difference between western countries and Asia is very important since I have a Thai wife, but of course every person is different. She puts her family first as is normal here, but still is free to make her own choices and is living with me in Sweden. I’m happy that my wife and her family can still try to understand the western view also, and we all get along really well. Aum understands the difference between the cultures but of course it’s more difficult for her family since they have not been outside of Asia and not met many foreigners. Aum cannot tell them too much about the differences since she is the youngest in the family.