Ice. The number of people who avoid putting ice in their drinks on the grounds that it will be infected with the plague, or something even worse, never ceases to amaze me. Do you really think that restaurant and bar owners sit around filling small ice trays with riverwater, then sticking them in the freezer overnight?
They don’t. If they need ice they pop down to the 7-Eleven or supermarket. And to the best of my knowledge, these businesses aren’t deliberately trying to poison the entire population of the island. In the grand scheme of things, dodgy ice is the least of your worries.
Ice Cream. Forget Walls, Nestle and the shockingly poor but very cheap ‘Cremo’. Keep a look pout for the vendors of locally made coconut ice-cream. You’ll see the guys riding on motorbikes with a sidecar containing a large super cooled container of ice-cream. The sign in English ‘ Coconut Ice Cream’ is also an indication as to what they are selling.
You can get a cone or more popular is to have it served in a little plastic tub with your choice of peanuts, sweetcorn, dried fruit bits and evaporated milk. Usually 10 baht for a small cup. But not all coconut ice cream is created equal, some ‘brands’ are far better than others which skimp on the milk & coconut and so is of a bland, icy taste & consistency.
Insects. Don’t be surprised to see lots of strange insects in and around your resort. There’s a huge number of bugs on the island – most are harmless, but some will give you a nasty nip, so it’s best not to go picking up every creature that crawls. Centipedes can be the worst of all, they don’t look harmful but their bites are a far more common cause of serious allergic reaction than snakes.
Internet Access. Land lines now cover pretty much all of Koh Chang. So getting a phone line installed rarely necessitates a lengthy wait as it did in the past.
This means that anyone can easily set up an internet cafe, but nowadays the profit margin aren’t so high and so fewer new ones are being opened. More small resorts are also now offering in room internet or wi-fi, options that he older larger resorts still don’t offer or, if they do, charge a crazy price for. You’ll also find some bars and restaurants are now also providing free internet usage to their patrons. As internet cafes use ADSL services supplied by TOT or CAT, two government telecom companies. This means that internet access on the island should in theory be the same as the cost on the mainland i.e. around 20 – 30 baht an hour. It isn’t of course ,because you people are tourists and tourists pay more. So expect to pay 1 or 2 baht per minute for internet access here. However, you’ll also see daily deals – e.g. ‘Unlimited use for 100 baht a day’ which is good if you plan to send your holiday fitting in front on an LCD screen fighting to save a make believe Kingdom from the twin threats posed by the Dark Knights of Kwarg and a far slower than advertised 2MB download speed.
Islands. There are 52 islands in the Koh Chang Marine National Park. The vast majority are small and uninhabited and only four main islands are served by regular boat services ( Koh Chang, Koh Wai, Koh Mak and Koh Kood – although Koh Kood is technically outside the national park boundaries.) Snorkelling trips take visitors to several other very small islands which are more rocky outcrops than real islands. And you’ll also find some snorkelling and a couple of small beaches on the six islands located off the west coast of Koh Chang not too far from Kai Bae and Klong Prao beaches. Paddling out to these makes for a nice day trip by kayak.