Phitsanulok Field notes: coffee, noodles, tuk-tuks, kings etc

An omnibus round-up for lousy photos of logistical considerations and personal memories in Phitsanulok, Thailand. Please watch the “Healing Ramble, introduction” video for context on this series.

you knew there would be a post box, yup, Hip Inn had several – my kind of place!

Finding Rest & Calm

On my visits to Phitsanulok (aside from a few transitions and late night arrivals), i stayed at Hip Inn and Coffee because they have typewriters and cappuccinos and all manner of quirky decor (Vespas, VWs)…

clean, quirky, low-key, convenient – love this place (3+ visits so far)

It’s not in the “thick of town”, a little outside but still walkable in a pinch to market and hospital. Nearby was a larger hotel so could get a tuk-tuk or taxi when needed. 

all-time slobber champion

Plus this dog lives at Hip Inn and good for a pet after a tough day.

Here’s my no-longer-secret -but-otherwise-public review of Hip Inn  at: 39/5 Sanambin Rd, Tambon Nai Mueang, Amphoe Mueang Phitsanulok, Chang Wat Phitsanulok 65000, Thailand

Could Live Here for a Month

i know it was my room because there was a typewriter at hand

Pros: Eclectic decorations for a homey touch, clean comfortable large room, not much commotion, easy-going atmosphere. Also, great coffee and tea!

Cons: Nothing especially I didn’t like, though a public wireless computer printer would be handy as well as variety for the complimentary breakfast (local food please) but appreciated the effort.

breakfast was hearty (really too much for me but hey, awsum “problems”)

Location: Very close (short drive) to PHS airport, a medium walk into “downtown”, family run noodle cart across the street and great open air hot pot restaurant close-by. [ed note: details to follow}

Review: I dislike plain generic hotels — especially when I’m staying for a while. But, I also don’t enjoy “B&Bs” or guest houses as I kind of keep weird hours and schedules. Hip Inn provided a perfect fit for me for 9 days on one occasion and another 5 days stay later on. I will return again for sure. [update: i have subsequently returned]

i love setting up a workspace with fruit, coffee and all sorts of scrapbooks, letters, stationery etc

1st floor is a coffee shop/café with an eclectic mix of decorations and furniture which provided a nice place to hang out to work on my scrapbooks, write letters, and enjoy their absolutely top shelf espresso drinks.

yes, coffee, thai tea, many other tasty bevvies. your stay includes i per day

Throughout the little hotel were all sorts of interesting curios and collections of small things like toy Volkswagen busses and larger things like Vespa scooters and old typewriters. Felt as though I decorated it myself. The floors were all polished concrete which avoids the dust and mildew and bugs which congregate in carpets, plus a modern aesthetic to older bldg. 

yup, a panorama of my room (Same room all three visits. corner, quiet, clean, nice shower

Most importantly though, my room was spacious, clean & had a large comfortable bed, a great shower, as well as a small refrigerator with bottled water and closet for hanging up/airing out my clothes. The room had lots of windows so it was bright and cheerful, but could also be shut down to block out light as I tend to sleep late. 

i have a strict policy of only staying in places with towel art, strict

Despite my lack of Thai language, the staff were cooperative and helpful as we communicated through Google translate to arrange taxis, send laundry out, etc.

always take a chance to meet a new pal

Worth noting that I wasn’t there for “sightseeing” per se but rather for medical treatment so it was nice to come home to a welcoming place.

you know this was shown to taxi drivers and into a scrapbook

More decorations at Hip Inn (i can’t stop…)

Hip Inn had all sorts of interesting items scattered about – some of which, like this Vespa, i wanted to put into action but resisted
i never used the TV in my room but did enjoy the fact that this one exists
this bike reminds me a terrible accident when i was 14 which we don’t talk about (ouch!)
special dedication to pal JMV with this display

Eating Food

Across the street from Hip Inn is a family run noodle shop – well at first, was a cart in front the guest house and they’d add a couple of chairs the sidewalk table and voila, now they’ve taken over an empty garage of some kind. I go there to eat most times.

Evidence of the lovely family * obviously noodles, follows: 

yup, this is it, this is dinner many times
you can have your michelin starred fancy-pants boutiques, i’ll take a cheap and cheerful way to meet lovely folks making handmade food with diligence every single day
at first the “restaurant” was on the sidewalk in front of Hip Inn so i would roll down in my (custom made) pyjamas for my bowl and bevvie – when the moved to a empty garage across the street, i figured i’d best wear ya know… clothes
remember what i said about always make a buddy? here we go!
this hard-working family was so kind to me all the time. grateful to them

Other times i would go to a great open-air Hot Pot place which was lively & enjoyable when i was feeling up for a bit of commotion #SensoryOverload

i was a lone wanderer stepping into the regular life of people, my hat in hand, trusting in the universe for spark – yup, truth

i made friends, and was fun to play with food with a flaming set-up on the table. 

fire on the table? so much veggies, meats and sauces! such goodness and danger
she noticed i was obviously baffled by the routine and came to show me how the process goes.
these dudes were great and made sure to see them on the next visit (photo evidence exists)

Most days i would also buy fresh fruit on the walk back and occasionally would eat some street food at night market bazaar – but wasn’t out much. #Resting

Transport Modes

Getting around the compact city was easy, even for me :). After massage i would usually walk some of the way, maybe poke into a market or stationery store and then catch a tuk-tuk, taxi, or bicycle back the Hip Inn (often using the name of the nearby big hotel for easy communication). 

the main rotary in front of the train station, the cars, scooters and whatnot all cooperate to keep things moving. at night, this area becomes a market

Transport examples follow: 

this is the “other kind” of tuk tuk where they sorta run like a carpool picking up and dropping off along the way – i don’t care for this kind as can’t see scenes and hard for me to get up and down into
the bike rickshaws are THE BEST but not too common (sometimes balk at going to my hotel cause no return far). BUT, loved rocking the guys a huge tip if they would haul me around
if you ever thing you are tough, remember this dude who rolls bike rickshaw. stick that in your Peloton &/or Strava
didn’t roll in this but enjoyed seeing beloved old VWs doing their magic around town
bicycle rentals available with handy maps (i am not qualified to safely do this so, well did not but you can…)
Walking around was pleasant because public restrooms – are you seeing this Vancouver?

Onwards (& a map)

Phitsanulok station, somehow this place is loaded with memories for me – coming and going in auspicious circumstances

Then i leave by airplane from nearby PHS airport or via train, north  to Chiang Mai or south to Bangkok and beyond… 

not sure this is a train i rode, so many of them but love this snap – anyhow, there are plenty of trains in other video and whatnot if you want/care
yup, a chill regional airport with links to Don Mueng airport (the domestic) in Bangkok and other links for quick escapes if needed

Should you have a notion to visit, here is a vague map:

this was my little universe though didn’t do much of the beer part (just a little)

Thank you Phitsanulok for providing safe haven.

at the historic train by the Phitsanulok station
same train, a year or so later, different hat, specs and me

Bonus: 3 Kings

The monarchy is a huge deal in Thailand – that’s all i’ll say about that… and by chance, i was in country for a few significant related events including the passing of the king, later his cremation and then coronation of the new king. All  interesting and that’s all i’ll say about that. 

“new” King, picture was suddenly everywhere and clothes turned form black to colourful… hmmm
dead King (he acceded to the throne unexpectedly when his brother was murdered shortly after coronation – what a story!)
rounded out the collection with a previous king. no details aside from great mustache (& lousy photo)

Related Creative, etc. 

Towns and Trains – a collection of short poems and fuzzy Lomo photos (mostly) from rambles from Pai to Hat Yai + others 

Musical Respite – a moment in an empty market watching a craftsman repair an instrument

Scenes of Life – fuzzy Lomo old film “spy” photos from wandering from massage and hospital back to guest house

Rolling Elsewhere – Thailand trains, ambient space cruises, gazing out window (and possibly airplanes)

Ramble Elsewhere – rolling around Phitsanulok in a tuk-tuk, so you can hear the downshift of the motor and all the swerve, swerve, fun

trust exercise with straight razor (photo by pal Athaya)

Misc – Haircut and shave in this collection of barbers, and you probably already caught the healing bathtime and hospital and massage riffs yeah? Phitsanulok tag for other sundry items now or in future. 

Carry on Thailand, see ya again…

Whatcha think?