1 May – Just popped out of my flu bunker to get some fresh air and update the site.
Not wanting to cause unnecessary alarm, Koh Chang authorities have been busy alerting residents and visitors as to how the threat of Mexican Swine Flu might manifest itself, and what to keep an eye out for, should it reach the island. They’ve come up with this.
Driving around the island yesterday evening I did notice that the Mexican restaurants all appeared virtually deserted. Could that be due to unfounded and irrational flu fears I wondered. Or is it simply because they are Mexican restaurants?
Whither the weather?
The weather is settling into an early rainy season patter now of early morning thunderstorms guaranteed to wake even the heaviest of sleepers at 5am followed by an overcast morning with the sun coming out in the afternoon. But the sea is still calm and snorkeling & dive trips still running.
Name Game Again
E-E-E-K-R-E-E-E-L . . . If you tried using this combination of nine letters in Scrabble you’d be f&@ked. Let’s hope the same isn’t true of the new resort called ‘Keereeele’ that is opening on White Sand beach any day now. How to pronounce the name? Not a clue, but as I’m never going to stay there and never going to have to ask a taxi driver to take me there I don’t really care as it isn’t my problem. I’m not going to be left feeling a bit of a knob as I try umpteen combinations of guessing how I should pronounce a triple ‘e’ in the correct Thai manner so the driver understands. I have a feeling that it will be better known as ‘The big yellow building near the Irish pub’.
There’s a lot to be said for simple, easy to pronounce resort names. And I’ve met people who honestly can’t remember where they are staying due to the current vogue for naming resorts using a unmemorable selection of Pali or Hindi syllables. ‘Driver, take me to Bhumipurikachaburirama. Or was it Gajaramapuriyama? Oh, sod it, you know, the big white hotel on Lonely Beach.’
One example of a simple, easy to remember name is ‘Amber Sands Resort’. Contrary to my initial thought, this isn’t a caravan park on a remote stretch of Devon beach but is in fact the new name for ‘Funky Hut’ on the east coast of Koh Chang. A sensible change as the new owners and their comfy, good value bungalows never really fitted the image that the previous misleading moniker of ‘Funky Hut’ portrayed.
A new one stop shop.
Another great idea that fills a previously ignored niche. If, like me, you often found yourself needing to buy a custom made wardrobe, have lunch and take a relaxing steam bath but simply don’t have the time to visit three separate premises then this new place in Chai Chet should make your life much easier.
Decreased revenue from tourism is leading to budget cuts that are hitting Koh Chang’s local infrastructure plans hard. Proposals for new visitor amenities have been scaled back. So much so that the 136,014 Baht budget earmarked for a new public toilet has been slashed by 136,000 Baht. Leaving just enough for this sticker. Women can squat round the back, guys and dogs can use the front.
‘Songkran 2’ Photos.
The highlight of the two day extravaganza last weekend was a parade of decorated floats all of which had an environmental theme. I missed all that because I was cleaning rooms, but here are a few pics of other sparsely attended activities last weekend.
Events centred around the main festival site near Klong Prao temple where organisers predicted a crowd of up to 100,000 to be on hand to witness a line-up that included some people playing traditional Songkran tunes, old folks taking place in a blessing ceremony, a bartender of the year competition and a bouncy castle.
Echoes of Woodstock at the unplugged bongo jam session kicks off with an 18 minute version of ‘Sympathy For the Devil’ that captivated onlookers both young & old alike.
If you’ve never seen Pink Floyd live then it’s kind of like this only without a pink inflatable Doraemon.
Something that was fun though were the boat races that took place. Very few people bothered to turn up to watch but those that did enjoyed themselves. Cameras from Thailand’s Channel 3 TV station even recorded events for posterity.
The winner acknowledges the crowd in the main grandstand.
At the end of a long day, it’s time to browse the festival food stalls for some of the mouthwatering snacks that Thailand is famous for.