21 February – The return of the Pathetic Sharks
If you happen to notice your Dive Instructor getting all gooey eyed and seemingly in a permanent state of arousal it isn’t because they overdid the buckets of Vodka-Redbull-Viagra the night before. More likely, it’ll be due to the return of the ‘The Whale Sharks’ to the waters south of Koh Chang.
In layman’s terms these very large fish are the big girls’ blouses of the shark world, totally harmless – unless they sit on you.
But they are an impressive sight. Scuba Evolution got a very good video up on YouTube last week and, such is the ‘Wow Factor’ and allure of Koh Chang as a dive destination, that a whopping 85 people worldwide, or 83 if you discount the two times I clicked on it, have already viewed the footage.
Skip the opening 90 seconds which is just of regular fish and enjoy the remaining few minutes. Have a box of Kleenex handy if you get easily excited by the sight of a 7-metre long fish.
Since then other dive schools have also offered trips allowing visitors the ‘once in a lifetime’ chance to annoy Whale Sharks in person. Coincidentally, a host of new items are rapidly appearing on the menus of the island’s seafood restaurants too.
Does the burning sun get you down? Are you sick of returning to your car and having the the vinyl seats meld to your nether regions? Sometimes a regular sun visor just isn’t up to the task of fighting off the intense tropical sunshine. You all know how convenient it is to be able to park under the shade of a coconut palm, but ideally situated palms are getting harder to find on this rapidly developing island.
Fortunately there is now a simple, affordable solution, ‘Port-a-Palm’. Port-a-Palm uses nature identical palm fronds to create intense shade over an area 100% larger than the best selling sun visors can manage. Despite appearances, each fold out Port-a-Palm frond weighs in at a mere 47 grams and can fold into the size of a box of matches. This is achieved by using pioneering space age technology found, until now, only in space. Available island wide at all good auto accessory shops.
Meanwhile, away from the fish themed fun. The image below is an entry to this month’s ‘Avoid looking a twat during the dusty dry season.’ photo competition. Proudly sponsored by Klong Prao Car Wash.
Elsewhere on the island the credit crunch spectre is looming large over the ambulance service which seems to be cutting back on the number of emergency calls it will attend. Injured residents are now being asked to huddle by the roadside and share the daily ambulance.
Next time you step into a minivan for your transfer to the airport or hotel, pause a moment to enjoy the signs on the sliding passenger door. Not all vans have these but sometimes the drivers like to advise passengers on what is acceptable.
Mystic Koh Chang
Local folklore tells of an ancient tree deep in the jungle which can read the mind’s of those who make offerings to the spirits that live within. As I’m a bit of a sceptic I decided to put this to the test one lunchtime last week. Apparently some kind of sign appears within the branches of the tree spelling out your deepest, hidden desires. Initially there was nothing. But no sooner had I decided to write off my offering of a bottle of red Fanta and 10 baht bag of deep fried bananas as a tax deductable loss, than I began to tune into an almost subliminal message. Uncannily accurate too.