You know what it’s going to be like, you’ll be by the pool in your swish resort on Koh Chang with the family and the kids will be playing up, “Please Dad, I want to gawp at some poor people and also avail myself of some cracking views. Please Dad. Pleeeeaseeee” You can try to fob them off with an all you can eat ice cream buffet, a snorkelling trip or a ride on an elephant but, at the end of the day, you going to have to give in to their demands.
But where to find such a place? The printed guides don’t provide any clues and the Lonely Planet certainly doesn’t. Fortunately, I am here to help out.
In the past I have written about the Cambodian Kid’s School on Koh Chang, which has been going for around 4 years now, and to be honest taking an hour or two out of your hectic sunbathing schedule to visit is the main reason why you would find yourself wandering through a Cambodian slum on Koh Chang. You’ll find plenty of info on the school on their Facebook page and there’s also a few more videos of the school on Youtube
But the info on the school doesn’t really show the community around the school, so I thought it’d be interesting to take a walk around people’s houses and see if anyone shot or mugged me. They didn’t. Just a few strange looks as old folks stirred in their hammocks and a few shy “Hello”s from kids. I deliberately took a walk mid morning on a weekday, when most people are out at work and most kids in school, as I’m not really one for pointing cameras in people’s faces as they go about their normal life. (And as an added bonus, less chance of being mugged or shot.)
The road that leads inland off the main road, close to Ramayana Resort, to the no-name village quickly becomes a dirt track which then meanders into the valley and winds its way up onto a hillside, where, if you walk past a barrier which is probably there to deter people from walking past, you come to a rubber plantation and then some hilltop land where two very nice small houses have been built and a third is under construction. These have the best views of any houses on the island, looking out over Klong Prao beach and to the nearby islands. But probably best you don’t go wandering around up there as it is private property. A case of “Do as I say, not as I do”. :-)