The Map Said ‘Dried Squid Racks’

It figured there’d be a fishing harbor too. But what sealed the deal was the old pier ‘long abandoned to the elements’. The boat-shaped playground and pink, smiley face jellyfish were just icing on the cake. I laid plans for a motorbike trip to Pranburi. Didn’t take much planning as it’s 20km south of Hua Hin and the two towns share the same main road. Oh, it’s not pronounced PRAN-booo-re, but pran-boo-REEE.

First stop was the fishing harbour. Boring. Next was the park. Boring but with decent benches and shade. Tis a pity that the two were not aligned. At least it had public toilets. Optimistically, I ventured on to the squid racks. Bingo. But where are all the white squid at? Nothing but racks.

Either the old pier is gone or I missed it. During lunch it occurred to me that an aerial view would be helpful. Rode inland, crossed the estuary, road back to the shore then up the hill famed for its mediocre viewpoint.

The plan was clear. Ride back the way I came, turning down roads which led to the estuary’s shore. Found several small clusters of fishing boats and fishermen. No dried squid or dried anything except dusty dirt roads. Went back to the road with the bridge across the estuary intending to go home. Then I remembered the turnoff before the bridge.

Whizzed right by it the first time. Checking it out seemed both the optimistic and obvious thing to do.

Ok, so they were fish and not squid. That’ll do.

Next to the field of racks was a structure with 4 identical open air bays. Each had a tub over a fireplace. Trays used to store iced fish on fishing boats were stacked nearby. A big pile of scrap wood lay on the other side of the road.

Are the fish cooked before drying? I asked a few long time expats. Their responses centered mostly around why did I go to Pranbui, which in expat-speak means ‘I don’t know’.


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