For 2010

August 5

Before I get to the weather, a well deserved mention for Koh Chang tourism chiefs who launched the ‘Koh Chang Grand Sale 2010′ with a flurry of banners placed strategically above the road –   so that any drivers trying to crane their necks to read them would probably hit a motorcyclist in the process.

As with all official promotion of Koh Chang the details are a bit sketchy and exactly what is being sold in the ‘Grand Sale’ and where you can buy it isn’t mentioned. The Tourist Association of Thailand website doesn’t have any information about it and neither does Google.   So unless you happen to be one of the members of the committee who came up with this idea, you haven’t a clue what the Grand Sale is all about.   Possibly a car boot sale.   You never know what you can find there . . .

It’s been raining here.   It’s also been raining in Pakistan too where over 1,500 people have died and 1 million have been displaced in the floods     But let’s not allow that to detract from the very real drama occurring here on Koh Chang.   Some trees fell down, at least a couple of dozen or so.   And there was a lot of mud on the main road in several places. In addition, many businesses got very wet floors. But top marks to the authorities who got the mud from landslides off the roads pretty quickly. ( But I wonder if anyone is thinking that the budget for digging up the surface of the viewpoint at Kai Bae and replacing   it all with intricate block paving could have been better spent on something more practical.   I thought not.)

Having missed the worst flooding a couple of weeks ago, the Thai TV stations sent camera crews to Koh Chang in the hope of getting some good footage. But the best example they could find of the horror and hardship we’ve been enduring was a guy casting his fishing net in the 30cm deep ‘Flood of the Century‘ on the main road outside Ramayana Resort. But even this was enough to get Bangkokians reaching for their mobiles and calling friends on Koh Chang to check on their safety, much to the bemusement of the people receiving the calls.

Fortunately there were no casualties on Koh Chang, other than a few bargirls based in the centre of Kai Bae,   They had to endure several severe bad hair days caused by wearing plastic 7-eleven carrier bags over their heads so as to avoid getting their hair wet and thus catching a really nasty cold.   Next time they may not be so lucky.

Baracuda was an old fashioned beach bar on Klong Prao beach which closed about a year ago.   No frills, just simple wooden tables and chairs on the beach with good tunes and excellent food right by the sea, and only 150 metres from our house. After running a minimart and roadside restaurant in Klong Prao village, Honk, the owner, and his family ended up down in Bangbao in the new Baracuda (still spelt incorrectly) which is located on the right half-way down the pier.

I get quite a few emails from people who visited Koh Chang before and enjoyed a good night out at the original Baracuda and they always ask   me what Honk is up to now.   So when I was in Bangbao a few days ago I called in to see him.   He’s been busy painting, during the rainy season, so here are some photos of a few of his rather nice watercolours.   They are for sale from 500 – 1,500 Baht each, perfect if you want a one off souvenir of Koh Chang.   Mostly he paints landscapes of the Koh Chang   he remembers when he first came here, but there is some weird stuff too.   If you want to contact Honk, his email is   < baracuda_kohchang@hotmail.com >.

It’s not often that Koh Chang has a song written about it, but The Samoans, from Cardiff in Wales, have done just that and they’re actually a real band that gets pretty good reviews from people who listen to shoegazing rock. Enjoy the sound of   ‘Koh Chang’ on their MySpace page or catch them live in concert at Buffalo Bar in Cardiff on 18 August.

( Aug 6 Update – Had an email from Dan from the Samoans today who let me know that the song was written about the time him and his girlfriend stayed at The Treehouse on Koh Chang.)

This week’s crap email of the week came from a nice lady at Tamar.com. Basically they do SEO in the UK and get your site up there on the Google search results if it isn’t good enough to get there on merit.   So, the same idea as a million other companies. However they call themselves a ‘search and social conversion agency’. and so can charge the client more . . ‘cos they have the Facespace and know how to use it.   From what I can see it means staff simply spam sites like mine and try to get them to help promote ad campaigns by multinationals such as Holiday Inn which should be viral, and thus not need promoting heavily, if they were innovative enough. Holiday Inn is spending a reported US$100 million on their new ‘Stay You’ campaign.   So if they really were interested in having me help promote them, you’d think they’d want to spend part of that on bribing paying me to say nice things about them.   Unfortunately Mr Holiday Inn doesn’t.   (But I am always open to offers.)

And if you’re looking for a business for the coming High Season, the asking price for this   well established bungalow resort with long lease in Lonely Beach as just been reduced from 5 million to 3.5 million baht as the owner is looking for a quick sale.   Details etc

Finally, due to a bereavement a family no longer require their 3 bedroom beachfront home on Koh Chang and so it is for sale for a very reasonable price.   Situated on approx 1,700sqm of land by the sea the house also has a pool and maid’s cottage.   Some photos and more details here.

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