Russian Strippers, Terrorist Training Camps, Death by Drowning, Lady Gaga* and Tennis on Koh Chang. ( And if that doesn’t result in a few more homepage hits I don’t know what will.)
New News. Koh Chang has a new English language ‘mediapaper’ , The Koh Chang Sun, which is like a newspaper only without any news but with adverts for bars. The first edition kicks off with a front page article posing the question on everyone’s lips . . . ‘Is Koh Chang Safe?’ and you’ll be pleased to know, the conclusion is that ‘Yes, Koh Chang is safe’. (Providing you don’t kill yourself on a motorbike or go into any dodgy bars. And avoid the French, they’re perverts. And don’t touch drinks belonging to English football hooligans. And avoid Scum in general. But the Thai people are very nice. Except the ones with guns. But they’ll just shoot other Thais and not you, so it’s OK.’) That’s set my mind at ease.
Road safety, especially where motorbikes are concerned seems to be a burning issue in this first edition, with everyone from the Editor, to a nurse, to a tourist policeman going on the record to say that it is not a good idea to have an accident. I’d like to help the cause by suggesting that all motorbikes be fitted with signs like the one below. That should help ensure pick-up truck drivers keep their distance. However,once the truck drivers realise you don’t actually have a baby you’ll be fair game again.
The obvious next step is ‘Baby Rental’. I see loads of toddlers sitting doing nothing all day when they could be earning a living and helping to keep visitors to the island safe by clinging onto the handlebars of a rental scooter.
Piss taking aside, producing a community paper for expats & tourists is a nice idea and thinking of something interesting to write on a weekly basis isn’t easy. Hopefully some volunteers will chip in and contribute photos and articles to liven it up a little and column inches won’t then be filled with pleas such as ‘Know about a new event, a baby born? Contact us as we want to know!’ which just makes me think ‘Why do you want to know?‘ . . . unless of course my Baby Rental idea has been stolen already. Damn.
Mmmmm. Roadside billboards eschewing the delights of famous fast food went up island wide last week. You don’t want any of that spicy unpronounceable stuff when you are on holiday on Koh Chang. You want seafood? Why not have your prawns battered in a bun? The way they should be cooked. When on holiday you want food you vaguely recognise. Admit it. Junk food connoisseurs prefer Chester’s Grill. Same same McDonald’s and KFC, only different. This franchise is owned by a Thai conglomerate who’s ‘Mission Statement’ includes promoting itself as ‘Kitchen of the World’, so I guess the world must want burgers, fried chicken and French fries from Thailand. Lucky world.
More Crap Advertising. On the subject of ‘less than subliminal’ advertising, does anyone want an eyesore of an 80sqm billboard at Ao Sapporot Pier? Although according to the sales blurb, it will improve the landscape. No doubt by blocking out all those ugly trees which contribute very little in terms of revenue to the owners of Koh Chang Ferry.
Your resort or business can be seen by loads of visitors to the island for just under 800,000 Baht/year. As the flawed logic in the pitch has it – the cost of printing 1 million leaflets would be 1 baht each, this billboard will reach 1 million visitors to the island but costs 20% less, and so is therefore a more cost effective solution to your advertising needs. Can’t argue with that. Well you can, but if you do then you obviously aren’t the target customer for these billboards.
Not even the eternally optimistic TAT figures show there are 1 million visitor’s to the island, and even if there were all it would mean is that you have 1 million people all wondering how desperate must ‘XYZ Resort’ have be to erect a huge eyesore of a billboard in order to garner trade. More details for masochists with money to burn.
Coming Soon to Koh Chang. A new sports complex featuring tennis courts and a Muay Thai gym. This is under construction now and due for completion in the very near future. It is a Russian/Thai partnership and the aim is to bring in professional Muay Thai trainers to teach both locals, and any foreigner visitors, how to knock people out in a wide variety of ways in a traditional manner.
Another Very Nice Holiday Home For Rent on Koh Mak. (As you wont find anywhere like this on Koh Chang.) Fully furnished home with three ensuite bedrooms in landscaped gardens. Sea views and only a few minutes walk to the beach. Facilities available include restaurant, pool & spa. Sleeps up to six. Daily rates from only 2,000 Baht/night. More Details
Dining Out. One of the remits that I place on myself is to try new restaurants every so often in order to broaden my horizons. I could keep things simple and just eat at Kati in Klong Prao as I know I wont find better Thai food elsewhere but from time to time it’s worth trying somewhere else just for a change. This week I’ve endured the new ‘Lighthouse Cuisine’ at Sea View Resort and also Coconut Beach Resort’s beach restaurant. So you don’t have to.
Lighthouse Cuisine – Can’t fault it if you somewhere to bring your loved one for an amazing sunset view and evening drink. But skip the food as the Thai dishes are way overpriced and the Western food – at least the stuff we had – was a bit iffy to say the least. There was also live music, some kind of Jazz I think, I can’t remember now as I was trying to block it out at the time. They also have a 2-for-1 deal on certain house cocktails ( i.e. those unknown to you or I ). But what they don’t tell you is that these are priced at 250 baht each and so are double the cost of a normal cocktail in many restaurants.
Coconut Beach Resort – One of the saddest things that can happen to a Thai chef is that he cooks for foreign package tourists so often that he forgets how to cook Thai food. That’s what’s happened here. When chefs start throwing tomato ketchup into every Thai dish they make, it’s time to give up and go home. However, there were some things with no ketchup in them. One is pictured below. Can you guess what it is? On the plus side, the dishes are reasonably priced, the view is excellent -as you look along the length of Klong Prao & Kai Bae beaches and the cocktails are pretty good too.
If you guessed ‘Garlic Bread’ you’d be correct and must also have very low culinary expectations which will be to your advantage whilst dining here. But, to be fair it was a plate with eight triangles of sliced white bread with chopped garlic and a bit of butter on top.
Surprisingly, there is some substance to the first line of this update . . .
Sea + Booze = RIP. On the afternoon of 13 February a foreigner who had been living on the island for a couple of months decided to have a few drinks and try to swim from Klong Prao beach to the nearest island around 1.5km away. Seemed like a good idea at the time, I’m sure. He wasn’t back by nightfall and the local rescue guys searched the beach that evening but didn’t find anything. His body was found early the next morning washed up by the tide at KP Huts. Sad, but no doubt the average IQ on the island increased a little upon his passing. The lesson to be learned is a simple one, ‘Don’t be a f&%king idiot‘.
The Pattayafication on Koh Chang. Also coming in time for next high season another Russian/Thai collaboration, this one will be a classy striptease joint . . . complete with exotic Russian, or more likely Ukranian, ‘dancers/escorts’.
Wannabe Taliban? . . . or Possibly Not. And finally, pictured below are two groups of residents from Koh Chang. On the left you have guys who like nothing more than donning military gear, picking up replica guns, planning their strategy and then trying to shoot each other. On the right you have the poorest children on the island.
Using your skill and judgment decide which of these groups is currently being investigated by the local authorities and police who obviously have nothing better to do, as possibly being a front for terrorist training right here on Koh Chang. (Yes, seriously. Seems to me like some of the natives have a grudge or at the very least are envious of outsiders who try to do some good on the island and are stirring things.)
(*OK, so I lied about Lady Gaga that was just an attempt to target a few more gay travellers.)