25 June – This is a new site. Not having a phone line makes running a website a tad inconvenient. Therefore, as soon as I get a phone line, early August(?), updates will become more regular.
14 July – On White Sand Beach, CP Co.’s demolition of the remaining bars & roadside stalls opposite 7-11 is nearly complete as is the new Kacha resort‘s demolition of the Hippo Cafe & old shacks opposite what used to be Had Ngern Resort.
25 July – As Koh Chang’s environment must be protected the local powers that be, in a sad attempt to be seen as ‘coral huggers’ banned snorkelling & diving for 4-6 weeks to give the reefs a break. It may just be coincidence but this gesture is happening at the quietest time of year on the islands, the time when fewest business interest would be hurt by such a move as the majority of dive schools have shut up shop for low season.
5 Aug – Not been near an internet cafe for a week or so, apologies to the few people who have been waiting for replies to their emails. Petch-Ngam resort’s bungalows are in the process of being dismantled and re-built opposite the Kodak shop on the hill out of the southern end of White Sand Beach – not a good place for a resort.
9 Aug – Not been near an internet cafe for a week or so, apologies to the few people who have been waiting for replies to their emails.
13 Aug – A few more bits & pieces came to mind and were added to the A-Z.
15 Aug – This morning a Thai navy frigate fired off quite a few rounds from the waters opposite the Panviman Hotel, Klong Prao. Only two possible reasons for this: 1) A worthwhile training exercise as the Cambodian navy seemingly presents a clear & present danger to Koh Chang or 2) To impress the VIP who, along with his military entourage, was staying at the hotel and presumably wanted some entertainment during breakfast.
16 Aug – The biggest snake I’ve ever seen outside a zoo decided to make our kitchen it’s home. Well over 3 metres long, brown with yellowy underbelly & throat. After half an hour or so it decided that the mangroves behind the house were better suited as a place to rest for the night. (Mental note to self: Steer clear of the mangroves from now on as according to our builder these snakes pack a nasty bite sting.)
17 Aug – New gallery of photos taken of the neighbourhood within 5 mins. walk or canoe paddle of our house.
22 Aug – A few more topics added to the A-Z
30 Aug – A-Z tinkered around with, ‘Money Pit’ updated and a bit more nonsense from a hotel brochure. Also got a phone line installed now, proof, if any were needed, that there is a God.
13 Sept – Spent a couple of days putting together Koh Chang info for ‘Farang’ magazine. Expect a new Koh Chang page in October’s edition, on sale at all good newsstands in Thailand, Hong Kong & Singapore. Or read the first draft and final, edited version here for free.
31 Aug – Is it me or do these photos of the early stages of construction of a new resort seem to fly in the face of the idea to protect the island’s environment? One nice developer is lending Mother Nature a hand to remodel the riverbank.
6 Sept – Wrote some info about Koh Chang for the backpackers portal, khaosanroad.com. So, if you can’t be bothered reading all this site there’s a condensed version over there.
15 Sept – The Battle of Koh Chang, an interesting read for those of you who, as I was, were under the impression, due to the occasion being celebrated annually, that it was some kind of victory for the Thai navy.
19 Sept – White Sand Beach circa 1994, click the snapshot in ‘Photos’ column on this page.
20 Oct – Eagle eyed readers will have noticed the yawning gap between updates and total lack of any mention of how the long awaited ‘Accommodation’ section is coming along. Delays are due to the untimely death of my partner, Mam’s, father in a freak accident. Temple related stuff took priority and we’ve only just come back to Koh Chang . . . and mother-in-law is staying with us for perpetuity or until the novelty wears off. Should be fun.
21 Oct – I received an email from a well known travel mag asking me to do a write up for them on the island for a year end edition. (I was even offered cash money!) The only proviso was that it had to be in the ‘non-sarky, fluffy, big hugs, life is perfect’ style favoured, for example, by inflight magazines. I did try, during funeral down time, but after several rewrites I realised I just couldn’t use nouns such as ‘gorgeousness’ and still be happy.
22 Oct – During our absence the govt. has installed a new overlord on Koh Chang. Khun Plodprasop, formerly of quite a few high ranking positions, has been around the Thai govt. for a while so it’s surely just pure coincidence that Googling his name & ‘corruption’ results in a rather large number of results.
23 Oct – Koh Chang received a glowing write up in The Times newspaper last month – reprinted here without permission.
24 Oct – “Koh Pa-Ngan eat my shorts” Who says Koh Chang ain’t party central? Family friendly beach parties, promising ‘Hidden Pleasures’, are now being organised by the posh Ramayana Resort on the beach near the new Amari. Expect an odd mix of middle-aged hotel guests, lost stoners and rugrats staying up well past their bedtime. Party the night away (until 1am) every Friday & Saturday.
Plodprasop (see below) is also known as an ‘ideas man’. One of his brainwaves was to ban cars from the island from 2007 onwards . . . so why have local govt. survey teams busy measuring up the road all along the west side of the island?
3 Nov – The past week was spent painting stuff in the house that hadn’t already been painted at least once. Also heard that a patch of dirt in north Klong Prao will soon be home to a large permanent fresh market. If that news doesn’t excite you, you obviously aren’t Thai.
4 Nov – Sina, from Dolphin Divers, wants the world to know that his new dive boat (right) is a bit of alright and can be chartered at very reasonable rates.
15 Nov – Backsound – a new club on Lonely Beach opened using the line: ‘Farang Magazine presents . . ‘ on their banners. Strange the Koh Chang correspondent for ‘Farang’ travel magazine (i.e. me) and the guys in the office in Bangkok didn’t know anything about it.
18 Nov – Two new photo galleries added – Bangbao & Ban Kwan Chang Elephant Camp. Six of the best. An accommodation summary in response to my most common email FAQ “Can you recommend somewhere to stay?”.
20 Nov – A bit of jungle trekking info added to the A-Z.
Coming soon, a beach bar/restaurant on the small island nearest Kai Bae beach. Rent a canoe in Kai Bae or Klong Prao, paddle out and enjoy lunch on your own private island. Courtesy of three local Thai guys who we know – Nui, Wat & Sukum.
24 Nov – Property: A couple of houses for sale and some land, with planning permission for a small resort already granted, to rent cheaply if you’re looking to linger longer on Koh Chang.
30 Nov – Our guesthouse/homestay is now kind of OPEN. 800 baht/night gets you an aircon room, great views and peace and quiet away from the tourist hoards on Klong Prao beach. More relevant than the news that our dog’s vet also treats the King of Thailand’s pampered pooches is that I’ve just added the much requested, in depth report on this year’s Klong Prao temple fair.
8 Dec – The number of surfaces that require painting seems to be ever increasing and that’s occupied my waking hours for the last week. Our builder is currently nearing the end the 2nd week of a 4 day job to enlarge the kitchen. Not his fault, Mam has got him custom making cabinets now.
9 Dec – A couple of photo galleries of White Sand Beach added. Including a photo of possibly the crappiest place to stay in Koh Chang – stay in a shipping container??? A theme resort and the theme is the illegal immigrant experience.
The Baan Rim Nam renovation continues at a Thai snail’s pace.
As of tomorrow I’ll be busy writing a course on security for a Kuwaiti oil company. Right now my knowledge of the subject matter can fit nicely on the back of a postage stamp. Therefore, updates to this site might be delayed till January.
20 Dec – Kai Bae photo gallery added. News snippets: Koh Chang’s first housing development, prices from 4 million baht, will be built near us. A road from Klong Plu waterfall around the back of Kai Bae is being built as I type.
A Thai friend told me there’s now an easily walkable, 7km long, 2 metre wide path across the island from Than Mayom waterfall – Klong Plu waterfall. (Of course it’s not signposted anywhere) He plans to build a jungle camp on his land smack in the middle of the island – something for adventurous types only as it’ll be a long walk to get there.
12 Dec – Photo galleries for Pearl Beach and Klong Prao added. Completed four lessons for Kuwati security guards on how to handle bomb threats at oil refineries for my security course. Wodner if they will ever find out thgat it wasn’t written by an ‘expert’.
13 Dec – By absolutely no popular demand . . I’ve added a Suzuki Cariban Review to the A-Z.
27 Dec – **IMPORTANT** For people emailing me . . .Koh Chang hasn’t been affected at all by the tsunami . your friends/family will be fine if they are here.
29 Dec – Donations for the tsunami relief effort in south-west Thailand can be made at Klong Prao Temple on Koh Chang.