For 2009

March 6

7 March – Another long gap between updates as I ended up having an idea for another website and decided to play around doing that for a day, then got a bit carried away decided I need to learn how to use WordPress and so it’s taking longer than I planned.

But it’s a simple idea, of interest to anyone wanting to come to Koh Chang. A site to spend a while on if you are a first time visitor to it, but also something with new content everyday so you will keep coming back. But when you do, it will only be for a brief look to get your Koh Chang fix for the day as you slave away in your drab office counting down he days until you can be here on holiday.

Coming some time. . . .Baan Rim Nam 2.

6mar-fisherman-houseIt was a tough choice spend a huge amount of money I don’t have on buying a soulless shophouse on the main road or spend a far smaller amount of money that could be scraped together by emptying piggy banks and various dormant bank accounts and finally, after about 5 years of trying, buy this beauty.

OK. So it’s in need of a few essentials such as such as a floor, walls and roof, and there’s also the matter of not having any cash to do that at present. But eventually, possibly next high season, or the year after, it will be for rent. Possibly as a two bedroom house for families as this doesn’t exist on Koh Chang at present. Possibly as something similar to what we have now but slightly more upmarket, it may even have a hot water shower as I have heard they are all the rage nowadays.

But its overwhelming attraction is that it’s right next door to us and so we have about 40 metres of river front for boat moorings which, one day when people can afford boats with engines again, will be worth something.

Dining Out.
A plug for Phu Talay restaurant, as it’s out near neighbour and I can’t remember mentioning it recently.

Phu Talay Restaurant, Klong Prao

Phu Talay Restaurant, Klong Prao

If you want a restaurant built on the water in an ‘Olde fisherman’s style’ but can’t be arsed trekking all the way down to Bangbao for experience, then Klong Prao is the place to be. Take the turning next to Ramayana Resort, on the main road and head down to Phu Talay. Good, but not great, food with sensible prices and a nice atmosphere. Avoid holiday weekends as the place gets packed out with Thai visitors from Bangkok. Go during the week and you’ll have it to yourself.

Chilling Out.
So you’ve built a luxury hotel. You pride yourself on aiming to be the best of the best and yet you wonder why you never get any phone calls. Until this week The Chill had the number for another resort listed as theirs on their website.

View From Ocean Villa, The Chill Rsort

View From Ocean Villa, The Chill Rsort

I noticed when I tried to call the hotel to arrange to go and meet a couple who had invited me to knock back some wine at Ocean Villa, the best room in the place, and had the receptionist from Chang Park Resort answer the phone.

Words of Wisdom.
Every time I go out paddling my canoe and see the local guys bobbing around in their small fibreglass longtails I am reminded of the old proverb “Give a man a fish and he will be fed for a day. Teach him to fish and he will spend all day on his boat drinking beer with his mates.”

Lounge Bars.
Just as every ‘Resort’ is now a ‘Resort & Spa’ every other bar appears to be transforming into a’ Lounge Bar’ WTF is a Lounge Bar? I remember pubs in England used to have a Lounge. This was where the women supped on halves of sweet cider and black and discussed Gail Tildsley’s love life whilst the menfolk bonded over pints of larger top and jokes about Sam Fox’s tits in the adjacent Bar

Yet, somehow, that didn’t seem to fit what I had observed on Koh Chang. Google would know. The first answer to ‘What is a lounge bar?’ in Google is ‘A place which serves beverages and little sandwiches. Sometimes there is a grand piano in such places . . .’ Hmmm, maybe the guy at Google needs to get out more as in all the results there is no mention of a lounge bar being an open walled shed with a pool table and half dozen bored hookers in attendance practicing well-rehearsed innuendo regarding “balls in pockets”. So, if anyone can explain the difference between a bar and a lounge bar, feel free to enlighten me.

Unsolicited ads.
A few weeks ago I noticed that this website was being used to advertise a couple of homes for sale in Klong Son. The strange thing was that they weren’t actually listed on this site. Anyway, I’ve now and added some details as that only seems fair as the owner has put up loads of signs along the roadside like this one.

Hey, I Know That Website

Hey, I Know That Website

They are 1 bedroom and have frontage onto a small river and are already fully completed, so no worries about buying off plan. (And no, I’m not involved in building them or anything like that as it’s pretty obvious these are designed and constructed by someone who has never been to, or heard of, Ikea.)
Sticky the Stick Insect.
I found this little guy this afternoon. I’ve seen a few stick insects here, but this was one of the largest.

Litte Bit of Nature

Litte Bit of Nature

The Pursuit of Peachfulness.
In the wake of The Thai Tourism Authority announcing that what was really needed to lure visitors back to Thailand wasn’t cheap airfares or discounted hotels but the ‘Siam Sunray’, a national cocktail, the powers that be on Koh Chang have taken a leaf out of the same book and decided to simply invent a word that sums up the island. And that word is . . . .

Peachfulness . . . It Has a Ring To It

Peachfulness . . . It Has a Ring To It

“Why? Well why not?” enthused Tourism Spokesperson Sarinya Thammachat in a manner that only a former ‘Miss Koh Wai Island 2005’ can. “New words are invented daily in the English language. That’s the beauty of it. For example, my Grandfather invented the word ‘Bungalow’. ‘Rhododendron’ was another of his. However, for Koh Chang we needed a word that implied the essence of a peaceful beach and, by combining these two words and another word ending with ‘-ness’  thus ‘Peachfulness’ was born.”

The New Koh Chang Slogan

The New Koh Chang Slogan

Within 3 months Sarinya expects the word to have entered into common usage and is targeting entry into the 2011 edition of the Oxford English Dictionary as the ultimate goal. This will be accomplished through advertising hoardings, such as the one above, the bastard son of an unholy threesome between Tampax advert, grammatical error and police state. Plus glossy print ads promoting ‘Peachfulness. See it. Smell it. Touch it. Taste it. Only on Koh Chang.’ These campaigns are designed to attract a larger slice of the younger, hipper, devastatingly good looking, visitor segment who have money to burn; want to play frisbee on the beach or go horse riding no matter what day of the month it is; and who won’t accept any accommodation that doesn’t come with a Jacuzzi and dock for their Iphone. “Our demographic is simply based on the type of visitor that you see in all the adverts for luxury resorts.” confirmed Sarinya, before adding, with a tinge of desperation in her voice. “Or just shit loads of Russians, they’ve still got cash. Haven’t they? I hope so, I’m on commission”

(But seriously, either no-one in the asylum that runs Koh Chang has dreamed of employing someone who can use the Microsoft Word spellchecker or they just like to piss me off with their blatant ineptitude. ‘peachfulness’, come on, what were you smoking?)

Name that snake.

Snakes on a Verandah

Snakes on a Verandah

This 1.5 metre long beauty slithered up onto the deck of a house in Klong Prao. However, it’s bark (if it had one) is worse than it’s bite as this coolly named ‘Copperhead Racer’ is pretty harmless and non-poisonous. It is a type of rat snake and enjoys dining on small birds, geckos etc.  It also enjoys walks on the beach at sunset, a glass of Aussie Cab Sauv and selected works of Ernest Hemingway.

Ring road. Coming soon. Maybe.
More meetings last week in Salakphet about completing the ring road. The locals there are all for it and are pushing for it to go ahead in the near future. But expect the Bangbao mafia to be firmly against it as Salakphet Bay is a far better place to moor boats / yachts than Bangbao but until now has been too inaccessible for the majority of visitors.

The other big ‘Will it, won’t it’ is the arrival of Tesco on the island. A plan for a store in Klong Son was refused a couple of years ago but apparently, as there’s been a change of local government leadership on the island, the plan has been resurrected and Klong Prao looks like being the site of a store in the not too distant future.

The same small handful of local families are still trying to block it. Not on any grounds of environmental impact but simply because they run small the wholesalers and over-priced minimarts that would see their business collapse as soon as a non price gouging store arrived on the island.

Rant for a Mouth.

Rant a Room For a Mouth

Rant a Room For a Mouth

Email Request of he Week:
From a Russian guy enquiring about land for sale. ‘If I buy this, will the owner take payment in Traveller’s Cheques?’ The land cost over US$100,000. Anyone need any laundry doing?

Nice chopper.
You know you are either very rich or have very big debts when senior bosses from Kasikorn Bank fly in by helicopter to meet you on Koh Chang.  (Psst . . .Don’t tell your shareholders. They think you took the bus.) Anyway, they weren’t coming to meet me.

Helicopter From Kasikorn Bank

Helicopter From Kasikorn Bank

Leave a Comment