Chomlay Restaurant (and Bungalows) - Unchained Melody - CycleBlaze

January 26, 2024 to January 28, 2024

Chomlay Restaurant (and Bungalows)

Rest Days

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Chomlay Restaurant (and Bungalows)

To say we stayed at Chomlay Restaurant for four nights would sound a bit strange but the owner of Chomlay Restaurant still has not added "and Bungalows" to either his signs or Google Maps.  His four beautiful bungalows are perched on the edge of a 60 foot cliff overlooking a large bay, distant islands, squid fishing boats and a gorgeous beach.  We can even see the big Buddha at Wat Kaeo Prasert at the far end of the bay in the hills.  

We love this place.
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Last year when we discovered this paradise we told the owner that he should advertise his bungalows with a sign out at the highway in English as well as Thai.  I wrote a great review of his restaurant on Google Maps and raved about the wonderful bungalows as well.  I fully expected a new sign on the highway by now and kind of fretted that we wouldn't get accommodation there because of it.  But nothing had changed and we had no trouble obtaining the very same bungalow we had last year for the same price.  We even made the same deal with the owner that since we always make our own breakfast we didn't want his breakfast that was included in the price of the room.  He still wanted the full price of the room but told us we could have dinner included instead of breakfast.  That is a much better deal for us since his restaurant is known throughout the area for having excellent seafood.  The owner likes to bargain and he likes to go a bit overboard, pleasing us by giving us great food, loads of bottles of water and generally treating us really well.  He certainly doesn't have to.  He could actually get more for his bungalows and not even include breakfast.  It's that spectacular.  

The bungalows face directly east. The scene changed constantly.
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I would guess the owner has had the restaurant for quite a few years and IT is his baby, not the bungalows.  The building of the bungalows in recent years was possibly an afterthought or maybe he occasionally has visiting relatives he needs to house for a night.  Whatever the deal is with the bungalows they are definitely not his priority, the restaurant is and I feel as though it will always be the more important money maker for him.  

The restaurant sits with the same spectacular view which must be half the reason people love eating at Chomlay Restaurant.  Almost every day there was a family eating there and it always felt as though it was their special place that they have been coming to for years.  Sometimes there was only one family that arrived the entire day but the owner always seemed pretty chill about it.  I guess he knows that there are slow days but then there are days when lots and lots of people come to eat.  

Across this grassy area from our bungalow is the restaurant.
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Our colorful jumping spider friend who always seemed to be telling us that it was his table and we should scram.
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Ron SuchanekGental soften you and me.
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2 weeks ago

We were there to relax, mostly in our bungalow.  I took a walk on the beach when the tide was out.  It was still storming off and on the entire four nights we were there which is very rare for this time of year.   We could see the big black clouds coming across the ocean and the rain would pelt down furiously.  Then it would clear up, however large waves crashed the entire time we were there suggesting more disturbances out to sea.  The waves were loud, so different from one year ago when the water was placid as a lake without a wind.  I swam there several times last year.  No way was I going to swim this year.  Plus, the moon was full making for enormously high high tides.  It basically couldn't have been more different at Chomlay as one year ago.  It didn't matter though, it was still so beautiful and the food so good that we now count ourselves with those who return feeling it is a special place.  The three women cooks are all talented chefs.  To have a nice bungalow with a killer view and to be a short walk away from killer food, what more could a cycle tourist want for three days and four nights?!

On the way down to the beach.
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Some of the photogenic trash on the beach.
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Jen RahnDefinitely not suitable for Swimming Boof.

But what would Surf City say?
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3 weeks ago
Bruce LellmanTo Jen RahnIt's too rocky too. I was actually a terrible surfer because I am nearly blind without my glasses, or back in high school my contacts. I did surf with my contacts in a few times but I was too afraid of losing them.
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2 weeks ago

It was a real shut down for us.  I mean, we did next to nothing.  Wifi didn't reach our bungalow and the remoteness and hills prevented our Thai data plans to be of much use either.  We were dead in the water computerwise and phonewise inside our bungalow.  The dining area had pretty good wifi at times and our data was at least in existence there but slow.  And then, the weather was so bad at times that the place lost power at least three times during our stay.  We were able to get a bit of work done on this journal but it was slow going.  You readers might not have any idea how frustrating it is for a single photo to take minutes to upload.  And when I wanted up to forty photos in a single post, that meant a lot of time sitting there watching the molasses pace of uploads.  Being served fresh squid in a dark ginger sauce helped the process along.

We had nothing else to do though.  This is the vacation phase of our trip if you haven't already figured that out.  Four days here, two at another bungalow and three somewhere else means we have slowed down considerably.  But why not?  It's too beautiful to zoom through this part of the world.  We always try to keep Thailand at the end of our trips in SE Asia and we have always called it dessert.  That's Thailand in general but the southern coast is like whipped cream on top of your favorite dessert.  

Frangipani
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One evening when we made our way the 100 meters across the grass to the restaurant (it's a hard life) we saw a bigger black cloud than normal advancing quickly.  The dining area is pretty much open air.  One part of it is covered but completely open on the viewing end to the sea.  That storm suddenly blasted in with more forceful wind than any of the other storms.  There was a mesh screening rolled up at one end of the opening for windy days and several of us guys tried to unwind the roll and affix it to the front of the opening while all the women were videoing us with their phones.  The mesh caught the wind and was actually lifting me off the floor!  We finally accomplished getting the mesh tied here and there but the wind was still too strong for the mesh to stop the rain from making it through.  That meant that all the diners, us included, made a mad dash downstairs where there was a large glassed-in room, also for dining.  It was Sunday night and a lot of Thais had come for a special dinner together.  The inclement weather actually made for a more cozy togetherness, as it always does, and everyone was happy.   

This was moments before the big storm hit.
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One older man was drinking whiskey with his family and very much wanted to communicate with us.  It was rough but he respected that we had ridden our bikes so far and we respected what we think he was telling us, that he had wandered by foot all over Thailand's jungles for twelve years.  Interesting man and I, too, very much would have loved to have been able to communicate completely with him.  I dislike language barriers and so far anyway, the translation on phones is still a bit cumbersome.  At least we understood each other without a lot of language and I guess that is worth quite a bit too.  I really liked him. 

I was surprised that the squid boats were able to go out right after the biggest storm. They use beautiful green lights to attract the squid. I'm kind of attracted to them myself.
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Bungalow and the restaurant beyond.
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Mr. Chomlay holding the full moon which always turns out to be a speck on photos.
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Jen RahnI love how Bruce's smile captures the joy of his friend holding the full moon.

From Mr. Chomlay's expression, I'm not sure how he's feeling about it. He appears to be taking the mission very seriously.
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3 weeks ago
Bruce LellmanTo Jen RahnHe was actually trying to get us to do that but we refused because we knew the moon would be this little tiny speck. He always looked serious, this was nothing new. I love this unusual guy.
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2 weeks ago

The owner of Chomlay Restaurant is a very sweet man but kind of odd.  Whenever someone would eat at his restaurant he would go talk with them, which is good, but he would maybe talk to them too much sometimes.  He would park himself standing at the end of their table and watch them eat while talking to them.  We noticed some of the diners eventually would rather be left alone.  He didn't see what we were seeing.  His particular personality was blind to a lot of things.  He watched everything that went on at his restaurant, noticing every little detail but not understanding how odd he himself was.  His employees did seem happy to be there however. 

We never found out if one of the women chefs was the owner's wife.  And, we never found out if the sluggish boy, maybe 18 years old, always lying on a bench looking at his phone, was his son.  We never found out anything about the owner.  We observed that the owner himself never did actual work that we ever saw.  There were a lot of things that could be done around there such as picking up fallen palm fronds.  It seemed any work that needed to be done was hired out.   There were stairs being constructed down to the beach alongside the restaurant.  When we saw that the owner's dog had walked on the wet cement we told him but he didn't seem upset and didn't even get the cement workers to fix it right away.  He was busy talking to some diners!  Priorities!  

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Is that cement on your paws? Oh so guilty.
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Maybe the problem was that we thought we had shut down and were in vacation mode but in actuality we were still busy bee Westerners seeing all that needed to be done around the place.  If I owned the place I would try to remove all the trash that had washed in and littered the beach but they will never pick up any of it maybe because they think it is an endless job so why bother.  Maybe they are right.  Maybe we needed to shift our thinking to island time, taking more naps and eating more freshly caught squid.  

Even plagued by our Western mindset we did feel super relaxed.  We thought the rain should be stopping though.  Why can't we control that too?!   It has been weird that it's suddenly raining so much, however, better to be holed up at Chomlay Restaurant (and Bungalows) than on our bikes.  It's been a wonderful time here for us and who cares if there is no internet or if the power goes off.  The chefs can cook without power and I think it's time for more squid or maybe shrimp this time. 

The bikes took a break in this position the entire time we were there.
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lovebruce

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Jen RahnYeah, this is one of those places I'd like to beam myself to.

It would be fun to be your bungalow neighbor for a couple days - enjoying the view and some conversation, eating good food, and mainly just chilling out.
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3 weeks ago
Bo LeeFab spot for a layover! We'd like to be your bungalow neighbors too.
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3 weeks ago
Rachael AndersonWhat a wonderful place to hangout while the weather is so stormy!
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3 weeks ago
Bruce LellmanTo Jen RahnWe talk about being able to beam our friends in all the time.
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2 weeks ago
Bruce LellmanTo Bo LeeIt would be so fun. You would love this place. There is nothing around for miles either direction but all a person really needs is food and the restaurant across the grassy area is amazing. I think it's kind of famous.
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2 weeks ago