Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Hua Hin Jazz Festival 2011

Oh a whim I decided to take a trip down south to Hua Hin and take in the Hua Hin Jazz Festival. It was over the weekend, so I could nip up and down and be back in time for my language class on Tuesday. I booked an AirAsia flight down to Bangkok and then took the new rail link into the city. One hop down the skytrain, and I was back in Victory Monument (near where I stayed the first time I was ever in Bangkok, waaay back in 2005!). From here minivan hurtle down to Hua Hin every 30 minutes or so, but I had just missed one. Anyway it takes a few hours to head south, and to get out of the Bangkok traffic jam.

On arrival I had booked into a little guesthouse, I thought it wise to book ahead due to the festival. I think I beat the evening rush from Bangkok getting there mid-afternoon, before the masses from Bangkok descend. I hunted down the guesthouse and took a room. Interesting place, Kings Home, not one for minimalism. Decor and bits and pieces everywhere! In my small room I had a pigeon, duck, two 8 foot rugs, a couple of hat-racks, a sun/moon mirror holder, and numerous other bits and pieces. Not very quiet when a motorbike roars past though.

At the festival site itself entrance was free! Always a good thing. It was situated down on the beach on a stretch near the Hilton. It was very chilled out, people just sitting on the beach and enjoying the music. You could purchase a sheet of plastic, from an enterprising local who had secured some old adverts to sit on if you didn't want a sandy bum. There was a few seats over at the side, but it was for the smoking section. The 1st band was good, a large orchestra type band with maybe ten people. A few other bands were a bit hit and miss some straying into Milk Tray territory.

The second day followed and more of the same, some student band who had wangled a spot on the bill, a singer-songwriter, Kina Grannis, from America, and then a consummate jazz band, Infinity, with finger popping bassist. After the acoustic guitar it was a lot louder and I moved back away from the front. Quite different atmosphere from Reading festival! You could sit in a spot and a girl would come round selling beer, didn't have to get off your butt at all! Except for food, had to move over to the side and I got something that I was entirely sure what it was. Something like dried & shredded pork(?) with a thinly sliced green papaya, and maybe fish sauce.

Some other artist, Ford & Friends came on to close the festival, they sounded vaguely familiar, I think I recognized a few of the songs, probably from adverts. I decided to spend another day after the festival in Hua Hin, I went for a nosy about and headed into some of the back streets, managing a loop. However it absolutely chucked it down and I got completely soaked! I tried drying out in the sun, but it never really reappeared. Oh well, soggily I returned to the guesthouse, and the next day I reversed the travel, zooming back to Bangkok in the minivan, and then off the airport and a flight back to Chiang Mai. An interesting little adventure, and cheaper than the ticket price for Glastonbury!
On the beach