For 2005

January – March 2005

elephant-wedding1 Jan – Happy New Year!

3 Jan – A-Z updated, ‘Typical tourists’ info added.

Price wars in Kai Bae!!!   Slashing their price to 29 baht/kilo, Kai Bae laundry have   launched an all out assault on the host of other 30 baht/kilo laundry services in the area.   Is 29 baht/kilo sustainable?   Will a rival undercut them to 28 baht/kilo? Is Koh Chang’s ‘Marketing Strategy of the Year‘ award in the bag already? Do they have lots of one baht coins to give as change or will you find the price has been rounded up?   Watch this space for updates.

11 Jan – A big gap between updates . . . due to Koh Chang being   currently packed out with visitors and me   being inundated with emails about accommodation, buying land, recommendations for decent seafood restaurants etc.

12 Jan – More real estate added.   Also be wary of a certain dive school operator offering aircon rooms for rent for 1500 baht/night.   The real price is only 500 baht/night.   The rooms aren’t great but they’re clean and functional. However, hassle is caused when guests talk to each other and discover some are paying 3 times the real cost – the difference going in the dive guys pocket.   Apparently the dive operator doesn’t have a problem with this.

13 Jan – Passenger ferries now arrive at a different pier on Koh Chang and there’s a new bus service direct to the ferry pier from Bangkok – more info is buried on the ‘Getting Here’ page.

16 Jan – Last night, one of our guests and I were   discussing the downsides of big hotels.   Nothing revolutionary came out of it other than two new additions to the Koh Chang A-Z, New year Gala Dinners & Welcome Drinks.

18 Jan – You can now book your Koh Chang hotel through this site.

If you’re planning on staying in a resort, have found this site more fun,   useful, sarcastic and/or   irreverent than other Koh Chang sites, please shower me in commission payments by booking your hotel here.

20 Jan – A death in the family . . .a little kitten, part of the cat family that allows us to feed them, fell into the muddy river bed a couple of days ago.   One of our guests heard it meowing, jumped in and fished it out.   The fall screwed up it’s hind legs and although it wasn’t in pain it couldn’t walk at all.   We took it to the vet today but it had internal injuries so had to be put down.   More on Lisa the vet . . .

‘Little Pattaya’ – the bar area of White Sand Beach is booming (comparatively), and has seen an influx of tarts from Phuket, apparently putting some older, less attractive noses out of joint in fluffy pink blinkered world bar girls tend to inhabit.

24 Jan – Interesting bit of property for sale at   a good price   – on the east coast, sheltered & ideal for mooring   a yacht or two. Been messing around in a boat today . . . it’s the best way to appreciate the island.

I’ve also got my hands on a glossy local government brochure detailing the ‘big picture’ for Koh Chang.   So some   interesting reading and the type of nonsense that only Thai local authorities can come up with will be added to the site soon (ish).

A taster . . . rank these well known islands in order of desirability. Hawaii, Bali, Maldives, Koh Chang. (Can you guess which island is head and shoulders above the rest? – Clue: It’s the one in Thailand.)

29 Jan – A quick rundown of the govt.’s masterplan for Koh Chang in the Articles section – it’s amazing how little information you can actually give and still, apparently, keep the public happy.

2 Feb – Busy, busy, busy & no time to mess around with this site recently.   If any local business owners are interested in having a story about their bar, restaurant, hotel etc in ‘Pattaya & Beyond‘ tourist guide – get in touch as I’ll be writing the Koh Chang stuff for them.   (Don’t worry, no piss taking, they’ll only be benign advertorials.)

Also . . . coming soon . . Koh Chang’s first real estate website.

5 Feb – The ‘Fortune Elephant’ was  moored in Koh Chang the other day.   For those not in super-rich sailing circles, this is a $5 million yacht that usually hangs around Phuket and is often used by the Thai govt. to entertain visiting rich folks. Wonder why they need to use a Cayman Islands registered hyper-yacht for their wining & dining? (It’s owned by CP Company, apparently.)

A new page . . . ‘The Crap signs of Koh Chang‘ – coming soon-ish.

Recommended place to grab a bite to eat on White Sand Beach . . .the VW van that’s parked near the north end of the beach.   Get a chicken, pork, tuna, tofu etc sandwich, made with loads of salad and a big roll for 30 – 40 baht.

14 Feb – Love was in the air today for one happy couple. If you’re on Koh Chang then there’s only one way to say “Marry Me” . . . and that’s with an elephant. See more photos here. Want an ‘elegram’ or ‘PMS’ (Pachyderm Message Service)?.   If you’re staying in the Klong Prao area a personalised elephant can be yours. Just email me to find out how.

20 Feb – Quiz time, combined with more inane sniggering at typographical errors in flyers:
“The objective is to provide entertainment to tourist and to prevent the noble breasts from wandering around city streets.”
Is this a) from a flyer for Baan Chang Thai elephant camp or b) from a ‘little Pattaya’ beer bar?

Should visitors be warned that thefts by farang gangs posing as tourists is on the rise?   That was the topic of a recent meeting of the Koh Chang Business Club. Half a dozen laptops went missing from Whitesand’s restaurants & resorts in the space of a week. Many resort owners are apparently of the opinion it’s best not to make tourists aware of potential risks as they might be frightened off coming here.

24 Feb – Went round the island with a couple of guests from our place – so a few photos added.

Backpacker’s favourite hangout, the Treehouse, will move to Long Beach in the south east of KC.   A hillside has already been flattened to make a large carpark near the bungalows.   Easiest way to get there for now is by the daily boat service (150 baht one way) from the Lonely Beach Treehouse.

26 Feb – Murder on Koh Chang.   This lunchtime the police found the body of a local Thai woman who had been missing for 2 days.   They aren’t sure of a motive yet, but her phone was stolen. Her body had been dumped in long grass near KP Huts, Klong Prao.

Police are apparently looking for three young Thai guys who a local resident saw acting strangely in the area a couple of nights ago.   This is the first murder that locals can remember happening.

27 Feb – The murdered woman was a receptionist at Panviman hotel.     Three Cambodian labourers were picked up & later released and police are now looking for anther member of the hotel’s staff who hasn’t been seen for the past couple of days.

1 Mar – Happy Birthday to my missus.   33 today but we don’t mention that at all.   A guy from ‘The Independent’ (UK) newspaper threw a few darts in a world map and low & behold decided that Koh Chang was one of the planet’s top 10 island escapes.   Read how KC stacks up to the competition.

7 Mar – Burn baby burn.   Yep, forest fires have been in the Thai news   during the last week so it’s only natural that some should break out on Koh Chang.   Whether they’re man made or as a result of mother nature playing with fire lighters is anyone’s guess. . . .but two of them have been conveniently located on hillsides overlooking beaches.   A third, larger, fire is currently burning on a hilltop near White Sand Beach.

“I want to buy a bar or small resort on Koh Chang.   How much will it cost?” I get a couple of emails a week asking this.   As a guide, a well established bar with around 20 newly built rooms smack in the centre of White Sand Beach beach recently sold for 42 million baht.

Coming soon – a new monthly guide to Koh Chang including free classifieds and hopefully a bit more personality than the current crop of informative but dull print guides.

The Hippo cafe will soon complete it’s relocation from White Sand Beach to Kai Bae, thus giving people staying here the opportunity to sample the ‘food’ (for want of a better word) that passes for bread & cakes in Thailand.

Koh Chang Queens Cup – which combines, in a uniquely Thai way, an event for tourists with a total lack of promotion, is taking place from March 11-13. It’s a 3 day kayak ‘rally’ around Koh Chang, entry fee is 3,000 baht per 3 person team.   For more info, see the website or call the organiser Khun Pittaya: 01 919 3995

8 Mar – Anyone out there looking for prime beach front land?   120 Rai on Klong Prao Beach could be yours for US$15 million.

Jellyfish, such as young Bob pictured left   (photo taken from my deck),   are in season now. Luckily they don’t sting …..much.   From my own experience it’s only a very mild burn, if anything, and there’s no scarring.   The worst thing is brushing up against them when you’re swimming. So don’t let that put you off taking a dip in Koh Chang’s family friendly, crystal clear waters unless you’re allergic to them or easily freaked out, in which case I’d book a hotel with a good pool.

10 Mar – The fires at White Sand Beach, Chai-chet and Klong Prao show no signs of burning out.   Lots of smoke but no flames as it’s the root system is slowly smouldering.   A neighbour, with a friend in the forestry dept., told me the blame for a couple of the fires has been placed on a resort owner who employed unskilled workers to burn a patch of hillside land.   That fire appeared to go out – but it was still burning under the surface and spread.

15 Mar – The Queens’ cup Kayaking thing, came & went without anyone really noticing. A shame because it’s for a good cause but unfortunately it’s not a spectator event or even one that encourages visitors to participate in.

More fires, such as the one above, are being lit (allegedly) by landowners wanting to get mother nature to do their dirty work for them.   So far the count is: Fires starting roadside on hillsides overlooking the beach   = several.   Fires in the hard to reach interior   = zero.

Minor Thai royalty are heading to Koh Chang to release turtles at a resort on Kai Bae Beach next week.   I can’t begin to describe the excitement that news is generating . . . so I wont.

Raining, or more accurately pissing it down, all day today.

19 Mar – I found out yesterday, it’s giant clams not turtles that will be released to roam freely off Koh Chang, not sure if that heightens or lessens the ‘Wow’ factor.

22 Mar – The clams were interesting enough, although you had to be into hugging marine life to really appreciate the moment. (If you’re the owner of a   Chinese restaurant, get in touch as I have a few menu ideas.)

26 Mar – More rain.

28 Mar – Had an interesting email the other day from the boss of a dive company asking if I could tell people how great his place was and how crap his competitors were in return for a bit of cash.   Judging by the fact I’ve posted this info it’s safe to say his offer wasn’t nearly enough.

Something I’ve never been able to get my head round . . . what exactly were Chang Park Resort thinking when they built the ‘English House’ and the ‘French House’ on the beachfront? The other house is yellow – it looks far worse . . . if you can imagine that.

29 Mar – Good to see Porn Bar, Kai Bae doing their bit to help establish Koh Chang as a hedonistic party zone.   The flyer for their recent full moon party made a point of highlighting the fact that there was ‘free fruit’ on offer.   Make mine a large mango to go. What will next month’s party bring? A   cheese and wine evening perhaps?

30 Mar – How many tailors shops does one island really need? I’ve   noticed another three   have opened in the last month or so.

Saw something cool this evening, some kind of eagle (brown with white head) diving for fish off Klong Prao Beach.   I’ve often seen it hovering over the coconut palms but this was the first time I’d seen it actually do something eagle-like and dive into the sea to   pluck out an unsuspecting fish.