20 June – Surefire Business Ideas For Beating the Recession. Become a Rancher
With the increasing number of steakhouses on the island and high price of quality imported beef, there has never been a better time to start your own cattle ranch. All you need is a few cows and some vacant land where you can tether them. For example by the roadside just south of Klong Prao village where, if you are quick, you’ll find this member of a prime beef herd eating as little as possible. If you’re slow, you’ll find him listed 300 baht cheaper than the imported option on your menu.
Quite a few resorts now have signs outside offering very cheap deals on rooms. On Lonely Beach you can stay on the sand at Siam Hut for 180 baht/night and roadside in Klong Prao you can get an ensuite AC room for 400 baht.
Or stay in the ‘No1 Resort on Koh Chang’ for only 950 Baht/night. No, not the Amari, or The Dewa, or Aiyapura, or Dusit Princess or Lek’s Guesthouse and Noodle Stall . . .
Battle of the Beaches. Man vs. God
Browsing through brochures, you won’t see a more pristine 100 metre stretch of pure white sand beach than the one direct in front of the Dusit Princess in Bailan. One glance at the brochure or photos on the hotel booking website and you’ll be reaching for your Visa card ready. But before you try to figure out whether to go for Deluxe, Superior or Suite you did notice that all the photos were taken at high tide, didn’t you?
There is a reason for this, the sand keeps getting washed away, as until the resort was built there was hardly any sand here. Originally a breakwater was built out into the sea in order to stop the sand being washed away by the tide. It looks like this didn’t work too well and so has been supplemented by a sea wall was built directly across from the end of the breakwater to the land adjacent to the resort. So at low tide, this basically makes the area in front of the hotel into a large sludgy, murky paddling pool that prevents sand from being washed away.
So that’s Man’s attempt at a beach. About 10 minutes after the photos above were taken I was on Lonely Beach, a natural beach with no additives, colourings or underwater concrete walls, a couple of kilometres to the north. Can you spot the difference? This is what a real sand beach looks like at low tide . . .
Elsewhere . . .
Had a few days off this week and took a spur of the moment trip to Phnom Penh, for the first time in over a decade. It’s still a shithole with some faded charm with the city’s one shopping mall full of natives joyriding on the escalators. So very similar to Trat, only with far more garbage and Landcruisers on the streets.