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Somjai's House, Sri Racha


Pen-fifteen

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I have been corresponding with a woman in Sri Racha for a while, so I decided that I should go there and test the waters.  Of course, I needed a place to rest my head at night, so I went looking on Agoda to see what is available there.

 

I'm not into paying large sums of money for a room, and one of the places that is well and truly within my budget is Somjai's House.  It looked good in the photos on the Agoda site, but they are not going to put up pics that show the place poorly, that would be bad business practice.  However, I have an open mind and I booked for 4 nights.

 

I selected this hotel on the basis of price and location; it's just under ฿400 per night and, on the map, it looked to be fairly close to the Robinsons department store.  I knew from a previous visit to Sri Racha that there is a Tops supermarket and a food court in the lowest level of the building, so I would be able to feed myself without searching too hard.

 

I arrived at the place at about 14:00 and I was prepared to find myself committed to staying in a flea-pit, but no, I was pleasantly surprised.

 

My first impression from the outside was that the place is kept clean and maintained fairly well.  In the lobby, there was the lady behind the front desk.  She greeted me with "Khun Dean mai?"  How on earth did she pick me??  She had all of the paperwork ready, photocopied my passport and departure card with entry stamp and put the key to the room into my hot little hand.

 

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The keyset included a magnetic card in a large plastic holder, kinda large, but it would fit into my jeans pocket.  This magnetic card unlocks the security door to the staircase which leads to the rooms.  There is no lift/elevator.

 

And so to the room...

 

The bathroom has a good hot water supply and a western style toilet bowl.

 

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Without getting out the tape measure, the room is probably as large as any other [non-suite] hotel room that I have rented, and as well as the wardrobe, there are cupboards, a TV which is of no interest to me, a bar-fridge, and a place where I can use my lap-top.  A big surprise is the powerboard next to the laptop space - it's a universal plug powerboard.  It will accept any country's plug, one only needs to know that the powerboard has on/off switch for each socket [i found this out when my laptop powered down at an inconvenient moment].

 

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So now a look at the room...

 

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There is an electric kettle, two teacups and teaspoons, and the makings for coffee.  There is no tee-fert k'wut [bottle-opener], probably because of petty theft.

 

Bottle-openers are seriously cheap in Thailand, just go into any 7-Eleven and look at the price.  If someone can afford to rent a hotel room, said someone should be able to afford to buy a bottle-opener, not steal it from the hotel room [end of moralising diatribe].

 

After I had settled in, I went downstairs and discovered that there is a coffee shop next to the lobby.  I have not yet gone in there to check out the offerings, but tomorrow IS another day.  But the good lady that I am "visiting" expects to eat with me tomorrow.  I would settle for a fur-burger with her, but she shaves [no fur] so it has to be a hoy kairng [a shellfish].

 

 

Now I'm in Thailand long-term  :Fantastic:

Lolitas :BJ3:  is my venue of preference when I'm in Bangkok

But I spend most of my time in Isaan; Khon Kaen or Nakhon Phanom

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Good report for the hotel.Just out of interest how did you get there to Si Racha was it from Pattaya or Bangkok.Had thought of going there sometime so wondering if you got a taxi there or used a bus.Cheers.

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Good report for the hotel.Just out of interest how did you get there to Si Racha was it from Pattaya or Bangkok.Had thought of going there sometime so wondering if you got a taxi there or used a bus.Cheers.

 

I arranged for a driver to take me from my hotel in Bangkok.

 

Meow or Tan would do the trip, probably for ฿1000-1300 from Bangkok, less from Pattaya.

Now I'm in Thailand long-term  :Fantastic:

Lolitas :BJ3:  is my venue of preference when I'm in Bangkok

But I spend most of my time in Isaan; Khon Kaen or Nakhon Phanom

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Looking forward the next instalment after the good lady has visited.

 

She's a good girl, I can't tell you about the session in the shower last night...  She's REALLY good

 

I went out with her yesterday morning, she brought her daughter [it's school holidays now].  The daughter enjoyed a Swensons ice cream treat, and later we went to Robinsons to look for a shirt for the daughter.  The good girl saw the price-tags and decided that they were too expensive - even if the farang would pay that much, she wasn't going to ask.  Going shopping this morning, she'll pick me up on her motorcycle at 10AM, an hour before Robinsons opens.

 

I'll see where that takes me; if it's interesting, I'll report further.  It's sure to be somewhere that has french fries, the daughter likes them.

Now I'm in Thailand long-term  :Fantastic:

Lolitas :BJ3:  is my venue of preference when I'm in Bangkok

But I spend most of my time in Isaan; Khon Kaen or Nakhon Phanom

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Go to the restaurant Mum Aroi when in Sri Racha. Very nice place and great food right on the water

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Go to the restaurant Mum Aroi when in Sri Racha. Very nice place and great food right on the water

 

Thanks for the tip; I'll see if I can find it...

 

Probably easiest to ask a saamlor driver where it is.

Now I'm in Thailand long-term  :Fantastic:

Lolitas :BJ3:  is my venue of preference when I'm in Bangkok

But I spend most of my time in Isaan; Khon Kaen or Nakhon Phanom

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Go to the restaurant Mum Aroi when in Sri Racha. Very nice place and great food right on the water

 

I read your advice and took the "mum" of the place name to be pronounced as in "cut" or "up".  It's actually pronounced as "moom", as in "book" or "crook".

 

So there I was, asking the good girl about "mum aroi", and she didn't have a clue.  She then asked a moto-sai taxi driver where it is and he quickly twigged that it should be pronounced "moom aroi".

 

Well, the good girl wanted to buy some clothes for her daughter; it transpires that daughter is growing quickly and her clothes are not growing at all.  I was picked up from the front of the hotel at about 09:30 and whisked off to a market a few blocks away.  All sorts of clothes are for sale there, but especially black t-shirts.

 

After walking around for about 10 minutes, good girl finds what she is looking for and starts to rummage around in a pile of clothes on a table.  After consultation between daughter and good girl [with minimal input from me], they decided on a 2-piece outfit, a dress, and a denim skirt.  The total cost was ฿500.  Cheaper that any single item we had looked at in Robinsons the previous day...

 

We took a saamlor ride to moom aroi and had an early lunch - report to follow.

Now I'm in Thailand long-term  :Fantastic:

Lolitas :BJ3:  is my venue of preference when I'm in Bangkok

But I spend most of my time in Isaan; Khon Kaen or Nakhon Phanom

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MOOM AROI

 

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We arrived before the official opening time, but the place is fairly open-plan, so we were able to have a look around before we went to the tables, and that gave me an opportunity to take some photos and get seriously impressed by some of what they have there.

 

For a start there are ponds, pools, and tanks aplenty.  The first one that caught my eye was on the right of the entrance.  It contained goong, lots of goong.

 

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I looked past the pool with all those goong, and I saw this:

More ponds and tanks...

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I thought that I had been impressed.  There was more to come.

 

To the left of the entrance, and a bit further in from the goong ponds, I noticed a pool with some serious netting over it.  "Probably to stop predatory birds from stealing the fish, or whatever is in there" thinks I.  But I was wrong.  No sane bird would have tried to predate what was in that pool.  Have a look at these fuckers:

 

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I would guess them each to be about 1.4 metres long.  For the few who can't work with metric measurements, that's 56 inches.

 

So I got seriously impressed.

 

The net is to stop these monsters from jumping out of the pool.  I have seen them on a documentary series where the host goes fishing for the biggest freshwater fish all over the world, and these particular fish seem to know what a net is, and they can jump fishermen's nets.

 

I was looking elsewhere when the good girl called to me: "Dean, Dean, bpla yai!"  I was inclined to think that I had seen the bpla yai already, but there was an urgency in her voice that persuaded me to look at whatever it was that she was trying to get me to look at.  When I saw it, all I could think was "holy fcuking shit!  In big, big lumps."

 

The scales on this nightmare were about 7 centimetres diameter and were refracting orange around their edges.  I estimate the length of the monster to be about 2.3 - 2.4 metres.  It would easily have weighed 80 kilograms, possibly 90 or more.

 

Unfortunately, I was not able to persuade it to position itself for a decent photo, so I had to take whatever I could get.  This is the best that I could do, short of putting my hand in the water as live bait.

 

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In the second of the photos, the "nightmare" shows how big it is next to the "monsters".  I saw 2 of the nightmares in the tank, but there might have been more.

 

And at that point we were allowed into the restaurant proper to choose where we wanted to sit.  We [for that, read "she"] decided to sit at the lowest level, just above the waterline.

 

Just above the waterline

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Previous photo also shows this - a view of the islet from which the ferry to Koh Si Chang departs, and the returning ferries arrive...

 

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I like the menus, there is a picture for every item

 

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The tables at the lowest level have 1 chair at the land-side end facing seaward, and a bench on either side.  The daughter was quick to discover that the bench doubles as a sort of deck-chair.

 

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Without going into details, I would rate the service as 7/10 and the food as 8/10

 

Good girl used to work in a restaurant a few-score metres south of the Moom aroi, also on the waterfront - that is where I first met her - and the food there was just as good as the lunch that we had today.

 

The biggest difference that I saw was the scale of the Moom Aroi - the Moom Aroi has had some serious planning and a lot of money put into its creation.  If only they could hire staff that was not so fresh off the farm...

 

The ultimate recommendation is the answer that I give to the question "Would you go there again?"

 

My answer is "Well, yes, but not too often."

Now I'm in Thailand long-term  :Fantastic:

Lolitas :BJ3:  is my venue of preference when I'm in Bangkok

But I spend most of my time in Isaan; Khon Kaen or Nakhon Phanom

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