When I was on Pearl beach last week I noticed a new building on the clifftop, just to the north. And a couple of days ago a sign went up advertising what it is. The Thai Navy are in the process of building a shrine to honour Admiral Krom Luang Jumborn Khet Udomsakdi – father of the Royal Thai Navy. There are statues to him pretty much everywhere the navy has a presence. Eg The one in Pattaya is on Big Buddha Hill overlooking the city and on the mainland there is a statue of him at the naal memorial close to Krom Luang pier – where boats to Koh Mak depart.
Whist no doubt a few people will visit because they have an overwhelming urge to pay their respects to the deceased Admiral, I am pretty sure most visitors will head there for the views. A dirt road leads to the shrine and steps are in the process of being built. Once at the top of the hill the views are good but not great. There are still a few too many trees in the way to allow a 180 degree panoramic view or clear views north to White Sand and south along Pearl beach. The views inland looking across to the mountains are similarly impressive, and partially blocked. In the pics you will be able to make out the top on Koh Chang’s pointless inland lighthouse, which was another naval
folly project. ( I am all for keeping hundred year old trees but if you are going to cut down loads to build a road, steps and shrine anyway, then chainsawing a dozen more in order to provide better views won’t make much difference to global warming and would provide a better experience for the visitors.)
The shrine is located 50 metres to the south of the International Clinic at the southern end of White Sand Beach. By the shore nearby you will also find the ‘navy resort’ where officers can go for some R&R on Koh Chang.